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Volume 13, February
 
 

Arts, Volume 13, Issue 2 (April 2024) – 32 articles

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20 pages, 14670 KiB  
Article
Queer Nightlife and Contemporary Art Networks: A Study of Artists at the Bar
by Joseph Daniel Valencia
Arts 2024, 13(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020072 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 259
Abstract
This article positions queer nightlife as a central vehicle in the lives and practices of queer Latinx artists working in Los Angeles over the past decade. It highlights how queer nightlife has provided a generative space for art making and community building in [...] Read more.
This article positions queer nightlife as a central vehicle in the lives and practices of queer Latinx artists working in Los Angeles over the past decade. It highlights how queer nightlife has provided a generative space for art making and community building in LA and considers how the usage of queer nightlife as a frame of study ruptures existing art historical and curatorial methodologies relative to Latinx art. I closely analyze works by artists rafa esparza, Sebastian Hernandez, and Gabriela Ruiz drawn from the gay bars and streets of downtown and East Los Angeles to underscore the radical and sophisticated ways by which these artists create art, community, and opportunity. By critically examining three case studies—Escandalos Angeles (2018), a performance by Hernandez and Ruiz at Club Chico in Montebello, California; Nostra Fiesta (2019), a storefront mural by esparza, Ruiz, and friends at the New Jalisco Bar in downtown; and YOU (2019–ongoing), a queer party directed by Hernandez and launched at La Cita Bar in downtown—I reveal how queer nightlife has served as an incubator for these artists to come together, express themselves, and generate a sense of joy and freedom from the struggles of everyday life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Queer Latinx Artists and the Human Body)
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27 pages, 17194 KiB  
Article
A Child Burial from Kerch: Mortuary Practices and Approaches to Child Mortality in the North Pontic Region between the 4th Century BCE and the 1st/2nd Century CE
by Joanna Porucznik and Evgenia Velychko
Arts 2024, 13(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020071 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 235
Abstract
This article discusses a poorly studied child elite burial discovered in 1953 at the necropolis of Panticapaeum, situated near the modern city of Kerch, Crimea. A reassessment of previous research is urgently needed since it did not offer an analysis of Bosporan society [...] Read more.
This article discusses a poorly studied child elite burial discovered in 1953 at the necropolis of Panticapaeum, situated near the modern city of Kerch, Crimea. A reassessment of previous research is urgently needed since it did not offer an analysis of Bosporan society from the perspective of childhood studies in general and local approaches to child mortality in particular. This fresh approach sheds new light on social structures and transformations within the northern Black Sea region. A broad chronological and geographical perspective is provided in order to detect changing mortuary rituals regarding deceased children in relation to shifting socio-political situations among North Pontic Greek and non-Greek societies. A survey of current social interpretations concerning the (in)visibility of children in the mortuary customs, particularly between the 4th century BCE and the 1st/2nd century CE, is followed by a detailed description of the history of research in the Panticapaeum necropolis. A comprehensive analysis of the grave goods that accompanied the deceased child is also provided. The discussed material suggests that a new form of elite self-representation, expressed through mortuary rites, appeared around the turn of the first millennium. This included a different approach to deceased children, whose ascribed status and expected, yet unfulfilled, social roles were frequently displayed by the family through the funerary ceremony. Full article
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10 pages, 231 KiB  
Article
Social Choreography as a Cultural Commoning Practice: Becoming Part of Urban Transformation in Une danse ancienne
by Johanna Hilari and Julia Wehren
Arts 2024, 13(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020070 - 09 Apr 2024
Viewed by 233
Abstract
This article examines social choreography as a cultural commoning practice that is embedded within a relational structure between different institutions, the people involved, and specific socio-cultural contexts. The artistic research project Une danse ancienne by French choreographer Rémy Héritier and their team is [...] Read more.
This article examines social choreography as a cultural commoning practice that is embedded within a relational structure between different institutions, the people involved, and specific socio-cultural contexts. The artistic research project Une danse ancienne by French choreographer Rémy Héritier and their team is presented as a case study of this practice. This collaborative choreography is based on a dance performance and social gathering that is reactivated every year by the same dancer in the same peri-urban site in a metropolitan area of Lausanne, Switzerland. Une danse ancienne holds strong relationships to temporalities, to the changing urban space, and to communal processes of documentation. Its relational choreographic structure and sharing practices are analyzed against the concepts of ‘expanded choreography’ and ‘cultural commoning’. This article, therefore, discusses social choreography as a cultural commoning practice that involves interactions with different social groups and institutions and practices of sharing and communal documentation. This article shows how, as social choreography, Une danse ancienne reflects upon urban transformation through cultural commoning practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choreographing Society)
1 pages, 124 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Peña Torres (2024). La Liga de la Decencia: Performing 20th Century Mexican History in 21st Century Texas. Arts 13: 47
by Jessica Peña Torres
Arts 2024, 13(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020069 - 07 Apr 2024
Viewed by 158
Abstract
In the original publication (Peña Torres 2024), (Belliveau and Lea 2016) was not cited and its related reference was also omitted [...] Full article
21 pages, 4789 KiB  
Article
From Leonardo to Caravaggio: Affective Darkness, the Franciscan Experience and Its Lombard Origins
by Anne H. Muraoka
Arts 2024, 13(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020068 - 06 Apr 2024
Viewed by 522
Abstract
The function of affectivity has generally focused on post-Council of Trent paintings, where artists sought a new visual language to address the imperative function of sacred images in the face of Protestant criticism and iconoclasm, either guided by the Council’s decree on images, [...] Read more.
The function of affectivity has generally focused on post-Council of Trent paintings, where artists sought a new visual language to address the imperative function of sacred images in the face of Protestant criticism and iconoclasm, either guided by the Council’s decree on images, post-Tridentine treatises on sacred art, or by the Counter-Reformation climate of late Cinquecento and early Seicento Italy. This essay redirects the origins of the transformation of the function of chiaroscuro from objective to subjective, from corporeal to spiritual, and from rational to affective to a much earlier period in late Quattrocento and early Cinquecento Milan with Leonardo da Vinci. By tracing the transformation of chiaroscuro as a vehicle of affect beginning with Leonardo’s Virgin of the Rocks, it will become evident that chiaroscuro became a device used to focalize the viewers’ experience dramatically and to move viewers visually and mystically toward unification with God under the influence of the Franciscans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Affective Art)
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15 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
The Power of Convening: Towards an Understanding of Artist-Led Collective Practice as a Convener of Place
by John David Wright
Arts 2024, 13(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020067 - 05 Apr 2024
Viewed by 555
Abstract
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in artist-led collectives with high-profile recognition within contemporary art mega festivals, prizes, and biennials. Yet, these amorphous entities and initiatives tend to be framed either through their politically motivated actions or as a critique [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in artist-led collectives with high-profile recognition within contemporary art mega festivals, prizes, and biennials. Yet, these amorphous entities and initiatives tend to be framed either through their politically motivated actions or as a critique of the notion of the single author or ‘artist-as-genius’ mythology. This article builds upon this discourse to shift the emphasis onto both interpersonal and socio-political relationships that constitute artist-led collectives in order to explore their complex role in convening and placemaking and what this might mean for both policymaking and research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visual Arts and Design: Practice-Based Research)
24 pages, 14669 KiB  
Article
“Spaces of Silence” and “Secret Music of the Word”: Verbo-Musical Minimalism in the Poetry of Gennady Aygi and Elizaveta Mnatsakanova
by Olga Sokolova and Vladimir Feshchenko
Arts 2024, 13(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020066 - 31 Mar 2024
Viewed by 399
Abstract
Two major poets of the Russian Neo-Avant-Garde—Gennady Aygi and Elizaveta Mnatsakanova—created textual works that transgressed the limits of language and the borders between the arts. Each pursued their own method of the visualization and musicalization of verbal matter, yet both share a particular [...] Read more.
Two major poets of the Russian Neo-Avant-Garde—Gennady Aygi and Elizaveta Mnatsakanova—created textual works that transgressed the limits of language and the borders between the arts. Each pursued their own method of the visualization and musicalization of verbal matter, yet both share a particular musical sensibility, which guarantees the integrity of the linguistic structure of their verse, despite the fragmentation and logical incoherence of its elements. The atonal (serial) musical tradition has a special significance for these experimental poetics of minimalism. Mnatsakanova, herself a musicologist, who was friends with Dmitri Shostakovich, not only used the techniques of contemporary music composition in her visual and sound poetry, but also collaborated with electronic musicians in her recorded poetry performances. Aygi experimented with language, not only crossing the boundaries between music and poetry, but also between sound and silence. For him, music was a way of expressing pre-verbal subjectivity and reproducing signs of meaning that are hidden from ordinary perception. In his poems, Aygi brought together Chuvash folk music with experimental techniques of minimalism, correlating his own work with such Soviet unofficial composers as Andrey Volkonsky and Sofia Gubaidulina. This paper will address the issues of transmutation between verbal, visual, and sound art in poetic minimalism of the Soviet-era underground. Full article
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24 pages, 10678 KiB  
Article
The Protection of Monuments and Immoveable Works of Art from War Damage: A Comparison of Italy in World War II and Ukraine during the Russian Invasion
by Cathleen Hoeniger
Arts 2024, 13(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020065 - 31 Mar 2024
Viewed by 491
Abstract
This article compares the safeguarding of monuments and immoveable works of art in Italy in the first years of World War II to the on-site protection undertaken in Ukraine during the Russian invasion and explores whether traditional or more innovative methods are being [...] Read more.
This article compares the safeguarding of monuments and immoveable works of art in Italy in the first years of World War II to the on-site protection undertaken in Ukraine during the Russian invasion and explores whether traditional or more innovative methods are being employed in Ukraine. Both the planning in advance of war and the implementation of protective measures amidst substantial obstacles are considered. The focus is placed on fixed works of art in churches and public statues. Special attention is given to the vulnerability of churches and their ornamentation during war. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ukraine Under Fire: The Visual Arts in Ukraine and Abroad Since 2014)
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20 pages, 6712 KiB  
Article
Taking the Deer by the Antlers: Deer in Material Culture in the Balkan Neolithic
by Selena Vitezović
Arts 2024, 13(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020064 - 30 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1080
Abstract
Prehistoric communities had strong ties with the animal world that surrounded them—animals were prey, sources of food, and raw materials, but also threats and mysteries, and certain animals often had an important place in the symbolic realm. With the process of domestication and [...] Read more.
Prehistoric communities had strong ties with the animal world that surrounded them—animals were prey, sources of food, and raw materials, but also threats and mysteries, and certain animals often had an important place in the symbolic realm. With the process of domestication and the switch to animal husbandry as the main source of animal food, these relations changed considerably, and a certain dichotomy between “the domestic” and “the wild” may be noted in numerous past communities. When it comes to the Neolithic period in the Balkans, domestic animals had an important place in subsistence and economy, and it seems that cattle had a particularly prominent symbolic role. Wild species preserved some of their significance in both subsistence and symbolic realms, especially cervids (red deer, roe deer, and fallow deer). In this paper, the place of deer in the material culture of the Neolithic communities in the Balkans will be analysed: skeletal elements of deer were used for the production of diverse items, including non-utilitarian ones, or were part of ritual depositions, and deer representations are encountered in other materials, such as clay figurines. The symbolic meaning of deer cannot be reconstructed with certainty; however, it is probable that deer were tied with territoriality and the landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals in Ancient Material Cultures (vol. 3))
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14 pages, 249 KiB  
Article
Applied Theatre: Research-Based Theatre, or Theatre-Based Research? Exploring the Possibilities of Finding Social, Spatial, and Cognitive Justice in Informal Housing Settlements in India, or Tales from the Banyan Tree
by Selina Busby
Arts 2024, 13(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020063 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 395
Abstract
This article draws on a twenty-year relationship of short-term interventions with Dalit communities living in informal settlements, sub-cities and urban villages in Mumbai, that have sought to create public theatre events based on research by and with communities that celebrate, problematise and interrogate [...] Read more.
This article draws on a twenty-year relationship of short-term interventions with Dalit communities living in informal settlements, sub-cities and urban villages in Mumbai, that have sought to create public theatre events based on research by and with communities that celebrate, problematise and interrogate sustainable urban living. In looking back over the developments and changes to our working methods in Mumbai, I explore how the projects priorities the roles of the community as both researchers and artists. I consider where a specific applied theatre project, which focuses on site specific storytelling with Dalit communities in Worli Koliwada and Dharavi, functions on a continuum of interactive, participatory, and emancipatory practice, research and performance. Applied Theatre practices should not and cannot remain static, they need to be constantly reformed and as practitioners and researchers we need to constantly re-examine the ways in which we work. This chapter poses two central questions: firstly, can this long-term partnership between practitioners, researchers and artists from the UK and India working with community members genuinely be a space for co-creating knowledge and theatre? And secondly, if so, is this Theatre-based Research or Research Based Theatre? I interrogate Applied Theatre’s potential to create a space of cognitive justice, which must be the next step for applied theatre, along-side its more widely accepted aims of searching for social and spatial justice and which places the community as both artists and researchers. The Dalit social reality is one of oppression, based on three axes: social, economic and gender. The chapter explores how working as co-researchers and the public performance of their stories has been a form of ‘active citizenship’ for these participants and is a key part of their strategy in their demand for policy changes. In looking forward I ask how working in international partnerships with community members can promote cognitive justice and go beyond a merely participatory practice. I consider why it is vital for the field that applied theatre practice includes partners from both the global south and north working together to co-create knowledge, new methods of practice to ensure an applied theatre knowledge democracy. In doing so I will discuss if and how this work might be considered to be Theatre-based Research. Full article
14 pages, 238 KiB  
Article
The 60 Years of Queer and Trans Activism and Care Project: Learning to Conduct Archival Research and Write Dramatic Verbatim Monologues
by Tara Goldstein and Jenny Salisbury
Arts 2024, 13(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020062 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 380
Abstract
This reflective essay describes a research course which provided undergraduate students with an opportunity to conduct archival research on six decades of queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (QTBIPOC) activism and care that have challenged heteronormativity, cis-normativity, and racism in Canada. [...] Read more.
This reflective essay describes a research course which provided undergraduate students with an opportunity to conduct archival research on six decades of queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (QTBIPOC) activism and care that have challenged heteronormativity, cis-normativity, and racism in Canada. While there are many ways to share the findings of archival research, we chose to teach our students how to create dramatic verbatim monologues as the arts-based research method of verbatim theatre required students to use the words of activists themselves to explain why a particular moment of activism and care was needed. Students attended three different workshops during the full-year course from September 2022 to March 2023: a workshop in conducting archival research, a workshop about centring themselves and their communities in their research, and a workshop in verbatim monologue writing. Here, we reflect upon what these workshops taught us about archival research, working with Indigenous archival material, and rupturing systems of oppression in our own bodies. At the end of the course, students reported their take-aways from the course. This included a new understanding that it was possible to conduct research on topics they felt passionate about and that theatre-based research provided them with a way to express the findings of their research in forms other than writing essays. This new-found freedom was life-changing. Full article
24 pages, 6424 KiB  
Article
Haunted Monasteries: Troubling Indigenous Erasure in Early Colonial Mexican Architecture
by Savannah Esquivel
Arts 2024, 13(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020061 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 539
Abstract
This essay examines the placement and displacement of Nahua labor in the architectural history of Mexico’s early colonial monasteries. It takes as its point of departure the story of a ghost in the Tlaxcala monastery as told by a Franciscan missionary to analyze [...] Read more.
This essay examines the placement and displacement of Nahua labor in the architectural history of Mexico’s early colonial monasteries. It takes as its point of departure the story of a ghost in the Tlaxcala monastery as told by a Franciscan missionary to analyze the discursive and spatial dimensions of emergent racial ideologies in Mexico’s earliest Catholic missions. While the ghost’s appearance signals the eruption of unresolved tensions between the missionaries and the Tlaxcalans in a cohabited religious complex, the specter also animates settler colonial domination. Cross-referencing Nahuatl and Franciscan documents reveal the ghost story as a whitewashed tale of monastic ritual life wherein the ghost effaces Indigenous labor at precisely the moments and places missionaries deemed it most threatening. In so doing, this study illuminates how racial ideologies were structured discursively and experientially at the missions and contributes to urgent debates about how the history and preservation of Catholic architecture in Mexico conceals and represses the lived experience of Indigenous peoples. Neither the manuscript nor any parts of its content are currently under consideration or published in another journal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race and Architecture in the Iberian World, c. 1500-1800s)
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21 pages, 45946 KiB  
Article
Replacing Settler Spaces: The Transformational Power of Indigenous Public Art
by Megan A. Smetzer
Arts 2024, 13(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020060 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1110
Abstract
Similar to 19th-century steamship travel, 21st-century cruise ships link far-flung communities for visitors to the Pacific Northwest Coast. Contemporary Indigenous artists, like their ancestors before them, have transformed touristic curiosity into economic, educational and cultural opportunities for their communities. Public art has become [...] Read more.
Similar to 19th-century steamship travel, 21st-century cruise ships link far-flung communities for visitors to the Pacific Northwest Coast. Contemporary Indigenous artists, like their ancestors before them, have transformed touristic curiosity into economic, educational and cultural opportunities for their communities. Public art has become an increasingly important site for engaging visitors who have only a few hours to spend on shore. This paper compares two public art projects—Juneau, Alaska’s Kootéeyaa Deiyí (Totem Pole Trail) and Vancouver, British Columbia’s Blanketing the City—to explore the multivalent ways in which public art expresses Indigenous sovereignty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arts of the Northwest Coast)
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13 pages, 258 KiB  
Article
Rethinking Conceptual Parameters of Choreography (in Social Spaces)—Actualization of Intensities in Discursive Fields
by Kirsi Monni
Arts 2024, 13(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020059 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 541
Abstract
This article aims to take part in the ongoing discussion on the social and political potentialities as well as the conceptual premises of choreography and to contribute to the discussion about world relations in the choreographed movement. The much-used definition of Western choreography [...] Read more.
This article aims to take part in the ongoing discussion on the social and political potentialities as well as the conceptual premises of choreography and to contribute to the discussion about world relations in the choreographed movement. The much-used definition of Western choreography is “organized movement in space and time”. Although this definition always applies, it does not specify the world relations and worldmaking capacities of the choreographed movement. The main focus of this article is an ontological rethinking of the basic concepts of choreography: movement, space, time and organization, with the addition of kinaesthetic fields, kinaesthetic and spatial intelligence, virtual and actual realms, striated and smooth spaces (Deleuze and Guattari) and different conceptions of time. By analyzing these concepts, the aim is to provide a view of ontologically elementary units in choreography (such as a change in space, the difference over time and space, and passage to shared actuality), with a wider understanding of the inherent social relationality in choreographed movement. After discussing these topics, a few social choreography events and protests are described to represent different choreographic aims and organizational modes arising from each specific situation. The article concludes by proposing that choreography could be seen as organizing movement in space and time but also as a choreographic actualization of intensities in different discursive fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choreographing Society)
14 pages, 3249 KiB  
Article
“[…] Un Tout Petit Peu de Dufayel”—Picasso, 1910–1914
by Laurence Madeline
Arts 2024, 13(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020058 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 558
Abstract
Picasso twice quoted the name of Dufayel, once in relation with the name of the Louvre and once for the same period of his career, between 1910 and 1914. This essay explores the universe created by the businessman Georges Dufayel in order to [...] Read more.
Picasso twice quoted the name of Dufayel, once in relation with the name of the Louvre and once for the same period of his career, between 1910 and 1914. This essay explores the universe created by the businessman Georges Dufayel in order to understand the role it played in Picasso’s evolving cubism from that of analytic to synthetic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Picasso Studies (50th Anniversary Edition))
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44 pages, 40410 KiB  
Article
Violent Raiding, Systematic Slaving, and Sweeping Depopulation? Re-Evaluating the Scythian Impact on Central Europe through the Lens of the Witaszkowo/Vettersfelde Hoard
by Louis D. Nebelsick
Arts 2024, 13(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020057 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 848
Abstract
In 1882, the lavishly decorated golden regalia of a steppe nomad warrior prince, which was crafted in the late sixth century BCE in a “bilingual” Scythian–Milesian workshop on the Black Sea coast, was found on the edge of a Lusatian swamp 120 km [...] Read more.
In 1882, the lavishly decorated golden regalia of a steppe nomad warrior prince, which was crafted in the late sixth century BCE in a “bilingual” Scythian–Milesian workshop on the Black Sea coast, was found on the edge of a Lusatian swamp 120 km southeast of Berlin. Its discovery and the ongoing findings of steppe nomad armaments—arrows, battle axes, and swords—in central Europe have led to a lively debate about the nature of Scythian–Indigenous interaction in the Early Iron Age, ranging from benign visions of long-term acculturation to violent scenarios of short-term raiding. In this article, I argue that an analysis of the iconography of the Witaszkowo hoard and new information from excavations at its find spot make it likely that it was sent as a diplomatic gift by Scythian elites to an indigenous leader and deposited by the local community as a votive hoard. An affirmation of the compact chronological range of Scythian artefacts found in the west, growing evidence for the destruction of indigenous strongholds by horse-borne archers, and concurrent evidence for the drastic depopulation of vast landscapes in the second half of the sixth century BCE allow us to envisage the gifting of this hoard as an episode of a fierce and destructive altercation. It is posited that this onslaught was a facet of the western thrust of the Lydian and Persian Empires, and that its extirpative impact was the result of systematic, commercially driven slaving triggered by the concurrent monetisation of the economies of the Black Sea coast. The effects of these raids on Eastern Central Europe’s later prehistoric communities are made manifest by analogies to the disastrous ramifications of the transatlantic slave trade on societies of 16th-to-18th-century West Africa. Full article
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16 pages, 105890 KiB  
Article
Interiority, Metamorphosis, and Simone Leigh’s Hybrid Cowries
by Tiffany Johnson Bidler
Arts 2024, 13(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020056 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 918
Abstract
By way of an analysis of Simone Leigh’s You Don’t Know Where Her Mouth Has Been (2017), this essay argues that by hybridizing the cowrie and watermelon, Leigh creates her own natural history of these biological forms that disorders the rigid taxonomic classification [...] Read more.
By way of an analysis of Simone Leigh’s You Don’t Know Where Her Mouth Has Been (2017), this essay argues that by hybridizing the cowrie and watermelon, Leigh creates her own natural history of these biological forms that disorders the rigid taxonomic classification on which systems of discrimination rely. The resulting hybrid cowrie not only defies classification, it also forms a folded architecture that facilitates a Deleuzian reading. The hybrid cowries, by way of their capacious construction and narrow slits, evoke an interiority that enables metamorphosis. By way of the analysis of the works of Cupboard (2014) and Cowrie (Pannier) (2015), the essay further investigates architectural forms. It considers the intricate interactions between the hybrid architecture of natural forms, such as cowries and watermelons, and human-fabricated forms, such as teleuks and crinolines. Full article
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13 pages, 219 KiB  
Article
Nandanar: Visibilizing Caste in Bharatanatyam Performance
by Preethi Ramaprasad
Arts 2024, 13(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020055 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 695
Abstract
What are the implications of a bejeweled dancer in fine silk on the proscenium stage performing a piece that undeniably centers caste? As the Bharatanatyam field reflects on the art form’s appropriation from the hereditary dance community, analyzing choreography reveals different bodily representations [...] Read more.
What are the implications of a bejeweled dancer in fine silk on the proscenium stage performing a piece that undeniably centers caste? As the Bharatanatyam field reflects on the art form’s appropriation from the hereditary dance community, analyzing choreography reveals different bodily representations of caste. Many Bharatanatyam dancers globally perform excerpts of the Nandanar Charitram, by Tamil composer Gopalakrishna Bharathi. The plot traces Nandanar, a Dalit saint who is not allowed in many temples and ends with his immolation, allowing his “purified” self to unite with the Hindu god Shiva. I study performances of the Nandanar Charitram comparing two Bharatanatyam showings and the 1942 film “Nandanar”. To recognize how caste is both articulated and understood, I analyze choreography, interviews conducted with dancers, and forums where audience members share their responses to the works. I use Judith Butler and Dwight Conquergood’s theorization of performativity, acknowledging that while Bharatanatyam choreography is often “iterative”, it has the potential to “disrupt” dominant norms on caste and politics. Nandanar remains the most prominent Dalit figure seen in the Bharatanatyam repertoire. By studying representations of his story, I highlight the relevance of bodily caste politics in the South Asian diaspora today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choreographing Society)
15 pages, 7839 KiB  
Article
Bridging the Vantage Point of Distance: Reynaldo Rivera and the Visual Legacies of Queer Spectacle across Time and Space
by Estefanía Vélez
Arts 2024, 13(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020054 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 780
Abstract
Gender impersonators and trans gender-nonconforming people have long been a source of fascination within the visual arts. Nevertheless, illustrators and photographers alike have perpetually instrumentalized the image of the queer subject as a visual shorthand for criminality, freakishness, and deception. Beginning with the [...] Read more.
Gender impersonators and trans gender-nonconforming people have long been a source of fascination within the visual arts. Nevertheless, illustrators and photographers alike have perpetually instrumentalized the image of the queer subject as a visual shorthand for criminality, freakishness, and deception. Beginning with the broadside illustrations of José Guadalupe Posada, this article examines how visual representations of Latinx queerness and gender nonconformity shifted across the Americas and throughout the late nineteenth century into the late twentieth century. Ultimately, I contend that Reynaldo Rivera’s photography of late-twentieth-century ballroom culture provides a substantial departure from these speculatory conventions by visually legitimizing the lived authenticity of the queer Latinx people who populate his work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Queer Latinx Artists and the Human Body)
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22 pages, 9034 KiB  
Article
“Playing” with Color: How Similar Is the “Geometry” of Color Harmony in the CIELAB Color Space across Countries?
by Yulia A. Griber, Tatyana Samoilova, Abdulrahman S. Al-Rasheed, Victoria Bogushevskaya, Elisa Cordero-Jahr, Alexey Delov, Yacine Gouaich, James Manteith, Philip Mefoh, Jimena Vanina Odetti, Gloria Politi and Tatyana Sivova
Arts 2024, 13(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020053 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 787
Abstract
In physical environments and cultural landscapes, we most often deal not with separate colors, but with color combinations. When choosing a color, we usually try to “fit” it into a preexisting color context, making the new color combination harmonious. Yet are the “laws” [...] Read more.
In physical environments and cultural landscapes, we most often deal not with separate colors, but with color combinations. When choosing a color, we usually try to “fit” it into a preexisting color context, making the new color combination harmonious. Yet are the “laws” of color harmony fundamental to our shared cognitive architecture, or are they cultural products that vary from country to country? To answer these questions we conducted an experiment with 599 participants aged 18 to 76 from eight different countries, including Algeria (MA = 26.2 years; SD = 8.8; 49 men, 26 women), Belarus (MA = 19.8 years; SD = 9.1; 19 men, 63 women), Italy (MA = 29.0 years; SD = 12.8; 23 men, 67 women), Mexico (MA = 20.0 years; SD = 7.0; 34 men, 23 women), Nigeria (MA = 34.7 years; SD = 10.5; 29 men, 32 women), Russia (MA = 24.6 years; SD = 6.3; 17 men, 72 women), Saudi Arabia (MA = 24.5 years; SD = 8.6; 28 men, 38 women), and Chile (MA = 34.3 years; SD = 15.1; 35 men, 43 women). To create experimental stimuli, we used 10 color combinations composed by the Russian avant-garde artist Mikhail Matyushin and his disciples for the Reference Book of Color (1932) based on shades that were typical in architectural design—yellow ochre, light umber, light ochre, and burnt umber. We removed the “intermediary” linking color from each of the selected color triads and asked participants to adjust the color of this band according to their liking. Mapping 2995 color choices into CIELAB and CIELCh color space to identify their chromatic characteristics (hue, lightness, and chroma), we demonstrate graphically that color triads in different cultures have a different “geometry” in CIELAB color space and on the color circle. We conclude that the revealed patterns of these relationships reflect cross-cultural “shifts” in human perception of color harmony. The analysis presented in this paper will facilitate opportunities for architects, designers, and other color professionals to create culturally specific harmonic color combinations in urban environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colour: Art and Design in Urban Environments)
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26 pages, 10858 KiB  
Article
Local Fabric: Mid-Century Modernisms, Textile and Fashion Design, and the Northwest Coast, 1940–1967
by Laura J. Allen
Arts 2024, 13(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020052 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1236
Abstract
In the mid-twentieth century, growing North American textile and ready-to-wear industries vigorously appropriated Native American aesthetics to cultivate a commercial and design identity apart from Europe. Most studies of the circulation of Indigenous idioms in these industries focus on Southwestern or South Pacific [...] Read more.
In the mid-twentieth century, growing North American textile and ready-to-wear industries vigorously appropriated Native American aesthetics to cultivate a commercial and design identity apart from Europe. Most studies of the circulation of Indigenous idioms in these industries focus on Southwestern or South Pacific regionalisms, and scholarship on studio and commercial fabric and fashion design from the Northwest Coast in the twentieth century is limited. This paper contributes by raising Indigenous and non-Indigenous use of Northwest Coast design forms during the politically turbulent 1940s–1960s and analyzing the impact of this aesthetic vocabulary within broader North American textiles and fashion. Throughout, I engage with the approaches of critical fashion theory and multiple modernisms, considering the frictions of property and power relations within settler-colonial states, then and now. Drawing from study of objects, periodicals, and archival materials as well as first-person perspectives, I contextualize these representations within entangled art, museum, and design worlds in the Northwest Coast, New York City, and the Southwest. My examination illustrates that Northwest Coast artists and art ideas asserted a peripheral but locatable role in mid-century textiles and fashion, facilitating the development of today’s robust Indigenous fashion network on the Northwest Coast and its cultural politics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arts of the Northwest Coast)
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43 pages, 38993 KiB  
Article
Murals and Graffiti in Ruins: What Does the Art from the Aliko Hotel on Naxos Tell Us?
by Elzbieta Perzycka-Borowska, Marta Gliniecka, Dorota Hrycak-Krzyżanowska and Agnieszka Szajner
Arts 2024, 13(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020051 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1414
Abstract
This manuscript investigates the cultural and educational dimensions of murals and graffiti in the ruins of the Aliko Hotel on Naxos Island. Moving beyond their aesthetic value, these artworks are examined as conduits for complex sociocultural and educational discourses. Employing semiotic analysis, particularly [...] Read more.
This manuscript investigates the cultural and educational dimensions of murals and graffiti in the ruins of the Aliko Hotel on Naxos Island. Moving beyond their aesthetic value, these artworks are examined as conduits for complex sociocultural and educational discourses. Employing semiotic analysis, particularly informed by Roland Barthes’ conceptual framework, the study offers a multi-layered interpretation of the significance of street art. A systematic approach guided the empirical data collection, entailing the careful selection and categorisation of 76 photographs, eventually honed down to 21 key images for detailed analysis. This set, comprising 6 murals and 15 graffiti pieces, was subjected to meticulous examination to discern both dominant themes and motifs (‘studium’) and the elements evoking personal connections (‘punktum’), thereby facilitating emotional and intellectual engagement. The methodology of the study is tailored to uncover the collective narratives encapsulated within these visual forms, as well as the individual responses they provoke. It probes how personal interpretations are influenced by the viewers’ beliefs and backgrounds, thereby expanding the semiotic analysis to encompass both shared and individual meanings. This balanced analytical approach deepens the understanding of visual expressions as dynamic interactions between the artwork and its audience. It underscores the transformative role of street art in urban environments and its contribution to public art discourse. The impending demolition of the Hotel Aliko ruins underscores the ephemeral nature of street art. The murals and graffiti, as transient custodians of cultural and social narratives, accentuate the fragile nature of this cultural heritage. This critical moment underscores the importance of documenting and preserving such art forms and the stories they encapsulate, highlighting their significant role in shaping community identity and cultural education. Full article
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19 pages, 10311 KiB  
Article
Jewish “Ghosts”: Judit Hersko and Susan Hiller and the Feminist Intersectional Art of Post-Holocaust Memory
by Lisa E. Bloom
Arts 2024, 13(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020050 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 862
Abstract
This article delves into the underexplored intersection of Jewish identities and feminist art. It critically examines artworks by Judit Hersko and Susan Hiller, aligning with evolving identity constructs in contemporary aesthetics. Concepts like “postmemory” link second-generation Jewish artists to past experiences and unveil [...] Read more.
This article delves into the underexplored intersection of Jewish identities and feminist art. It critically examines artworks by Judit Hersko and Susan Hiller, aligning with evolving identity constructs in contemporary aesthetics. Concepts like “postmemory” link second-generation Jewish artists to past experiences and unveil the erasure of Jewish women’s memory of Jewish genocide. Analyzing Hersko and Hiller’s diverse works, from landscape photography and sculpture to performance art, it underscores their shared pursuit: illuminating lingering “ghosts” of the Holocaust in modern landscapes. Susan Hiller’s The J Street Project represents an ongoing exploration of loss and trauma beyond the Holocaust in Germany, using archives as a dynamic, evolving phenomenon. Judit Hersko’s art calls for bearing witness to a potential climate catastrophe in Antarctica. The article culminates in the exploration of “The Memorial” (2017), an art project by the activist collective Center for Political Beauty that focuses on the resurgence of overt anti-Semitism in Germany. In essence, Hiller and Hersko confront erasures in history and nature, emphasizing justice and repair. Their art, intertwined with a project addressing contemporary anti-Semitism, serves as a testament to the enduring power of feminist art, reflecting, mourning, and transforming a world marked by historical traumas and war. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Articulations of Identity in Contemporary Aesthetics)
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18 pages, 3883 KiB  
Essay
Feeling Is First
by Richard Shiff
Arts 2024, 13(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020049 - 28 Feb 2024
Viewed by 780
Abstract
Within the fields of aesthetics and psychology, there is a long tradition of arguing that affect precedes cognition. A verbalized thought following upon a feeling and associated with it does not translate the feeling precisely or adequately. In fact, as C. S. Peirce [...] Read more.
Within the fields of aesthetics and psychology, there is a long tradition of arguing that affect precedes cognition. A verbalized thought following upon a feeling and associated with it does not translate the feeling precisely or adequately. In fact, as C. S. Peirce would argue, the thought itself projects its own affect, which is independent of its logic. The essence of affect or feeling will always elude linguistic capture. This essay argues that experiences of belief and doubt are affective sensations, and both can be graphed on a scale of sensuous intuition or cognitive guessing (which, again, projects affect). The failure of language to grasp what we refer to as instances of emotion, feeling, sensation, affect, belief, doubt, and the like is more of an intractable problem for philosophical aesthetics than it is for the aesthetics of the art experience. Examples of the art of Cy Twombly, Barnett Newman, Donald Judd, Bridget Riley, and Katharina Grosse are invoked to argue through the gap between thought and feeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Affective Art)
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51 pages, 23187 KiB  
Article
Golden Swords of the Early Nomads of Eurasia: A New Classification and Chronology
by Denis Topal
Arts 2024, 13(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020048 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1184
Abstract
The “ceremonial” forms of swords and daggers—that is, bladed weapons decorated with precious metals—occupy a special place in the culture of the early nomads. For the Scythian period, we know at least 76 ceremonial objects from 61 sites, corresponding to 3.5% of the [...] Read more.
The “ceremonial” forms of swords and daggers—that is, bladed weapons decorated with precious metals—occupy a special place in the culture of the early nomads. For the Scythian period, we know at least 76 ceremonial objects from 61 sites, corresponding to 3.5% of the total sample. More than half of the finds come from the northern Black Sea region (mainly Ukraine). Ceremonial forms are represented in all morphological categories (from daggers to extra-long swords), but their distribution is slightly different. Most akinakai belong to the average and long swords. Most Scythian akinakai in Eurasia belong to the dagger and short sword groups. Although most Scythian swords and daggers fall into the Middle Scythian period, most ceremonial forms belong to the last phase of Classical Scythian culture. This period is a veritable “golden autumn” of Scythia with its huge royal burial mounds and abundance of gold, perfectly illustrating our argument that conspicuous consumption coincides with periods of political and social instability. After the peak of the proliferation of ceremonial akinakai in the third quarter of the 4th century BC, we observe a generation later the complete disappearance of Classical Scythian culture, along with its characteristic weapons, horse harnesses, and animal style. Full article
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0 pages, 7449 KiB  
Article
La Liga de la Decencia: Performing 20th Century Mexican History in 21st Century Texas
by Jessica Peña Torres
Arts 2024, 13(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020047 - 27 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1149 | Correction
Abstract
This article describes the development and public performances of La Liga de la Decencia, a new play presented as part of the 2023 New Works Festival at the University of Texas at Austin. Inspired by the cabaret scene and teatro de revista [...] Read more.
This article describes the development and public performances of La Liga de la Decencia, a new play presented as part of the 2023 New Works Festival at the University of Texas at Austin. Inspired by the cabaret scene and teatro de revista of the 1940s in Mexico City, La Liga de la Decencia combines live performance and video art to explore how hegemonic gender and social norms shaped by the emergent nationalism of postrevolutionary Mexico continue to oppress femme and queer bodies today across the US–Mexico border. Through satire, parody, and dance, La Liga de la Decencia problematizes the social, class, and gender norms as established by the cultural elite and the state. Following research-based theatre as an inquiry process, this article describes how writing and directing this play allowed for a deeper understanding of the dynamics of a historical period. By mixing facts, fiction, and critical commentary, La Liga de la Decencia investigates history through embodiment. Full article
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42 pages, 32437 KiB  
Article
Gold Artifacts from the Early Scythian Princely Tomb Arzhan 2, Tuva—Aesthetics, Function, and Technology
by Barbara Armbruster and Caspar Meyer
Arts 2024, 13(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020046 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
This article explores the extraordinarily rich gold finds from the Early Scythian princely tomb Arzhan 2 in the Republic of Tuva, southern Siberia (late 7th to early 6th centuries BCE), through the methodological framework of the chaîne opératoire (operational sequence), in order to [...] Read more.
This article explores the extraordinarily rich gold finds from the Early Scythian princely tomb Arzhan 2 in the Republic of Tuva, southern Siberia (late 7th to early 6th centuries BCE), through the methodological framework of the chaîne opératoire (operational sequence), in order to reconstruct the objects’ processes of manufacture. Through an interdisciplinary study of the finds at the State Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, the principal author analyzed tool marks and surface morphologies, which allow for the comprehensive identification and documentation of the numerous techniques employed in the creation of the often very elaborate jewelry, decorated weapons, and other personal ornaments. The production of both individual pieces and extensive series of thousands of identical trimmings attests to the existence of complex craft processes and workshop organizations. The technological aspects of the gold finds impress through their diversity and outstanding quality, both artistically and in terms of their craftsmanship. As this article will demonstrate, the objects present the earliest evidence for a highly specialized goldsmith artform in southern Siberia. Full article
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16 pages, 272 KiB  
Article
Permission to Cry—Drifts on Research Based Theatre on Top of an Elephant
by Emilio Méndez-Martínez, Esther Uria-Iriarte and Montserrat González Parera
Arts 2024, 13(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020045 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 825
Abstract
This article aims to propose a critical reflection on what it means to be a professional of drama-based practices. To do so, we promote a process of cooperative creation and research based on our own doubts, contradictions, and concerns about the different roles [...] Read more.
This article aims to propose a critical reflection on what it means to be a professional of drama-based practices. To do so, we promote a process of cooperative creation and research based on our own doubts, contradictions, and concerns about the different roles we play in our practice. The results of this process are presented in artistic form, using dramatic language and metaphor as doors to new spaces for reflection. Full article
21 pages, 2898 KiB  
Article
Spanishness and Race in North American Monumental Architecture
by Lauren Beck
Arts 2024, 13(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020044 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 810
Abstract
The representation of Spain, and Spanishness in general, at sites of collective identity in the United States and Canada requires scholarly attention. Many monuments, which range from statues and museums to capitol buildings and national parks, continue to commemorate colonial times despite broader [...] Read more.
The representation of Spain, and Spanishness in general, at sites of collective identity in the United States and Canada requires scholarly attention. Many monuments, which range from statues and museums to capitol buildings and national parks, continue to commemorate colonial times despite broader public awareness of the association between colonization and racialized violence, as well as the explicit movement toward decolonization. This commemorative material also demonstrates how non-Spanish settlers have appropriated historical moorings of Spain and its colonial past to reinforce and whitewash their identities in places such as New Mexico and Texas, and even in Newfoundland and Labrador. How monuments are funded and gain public support is another vector that points to the ways that identity—particularly, white identity—informs monumental architecture in ways that exclude people of colour, as well as women, who, when featured in monuments, are usually dehumanized as concepts rather than being the actors of settler-colonialism. This article explores these challenging topics with the aim of articulating a roadmap for future scholarship on this subject. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race and Architecture in the Iberian World, c. 1500-1800s)
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15 pages, 7488 KiB  
Article
“Grand Narratives” and “Personal Dramas”: (Re)reading the Masterpieces by Artemisia Gentileschi
by Małgorzata Stępnik
Arts 2024, 13(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13020043 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1013
Abstract
This article discusses the œuvre of Artemisia Gentileschi, a prominent Baroque painter who was rediscovered by art historian Roberto Longhi in the 1910s. Today, her art is interpreted through various lenses, including art theory, women’s studies, and psychoanalysis. Gentileschi’s paintings are often “read” [...] Read more.
This article discusses the œuvre of Artemisia Gentileschi, a prominent Baroque painter who was rediscovered by art historian Roberto Longhi in the 1910s. Today, her art is interpreted through various lenses, including art theory, women’s studies, and psychoanalysis. Gentileschi’s paintings are often “read” in close reference to her painful biography, with a focus on the “chiaroscuro” of trauma and its overcoming. Significantly, such biography-oriented approaches seem to be predominant in scholarship on art created by women. The argument presented is that Gentileschi’s works require a thorough re-reading free of “compulsive biographism”, as postulated by Salomon. The focus should shift from an empathic Einfühlung (or empathic projection) towards an objective analysis based purely on art-historical or sociological criteria. This article also explores the presence of the socially mediated and mediatised figure of the artist in fine literature (novels by Banti, Lapierre and Vreeland), cinematic biographies (Artemisia, directed by Merlet, documentaries (Artemisia Gentileschi: Warrior Painter, directed by River), anime (a series titled Arte, directed by Takayuki Hamana), and graphic novels (Ferlut and Baudouin; Siciliano). In this artistic constellation Artemisia is labelled as an art/feminist “icon”, a female genius, and as in numerous scholarly texts dedicated to her, “a victim”. I propose that the discussed literary and visual texts related to Gentileschi be interpreted as symptomatic (in line with Panofsky’s concept of ‘iconology’) of the contemporary mentality, which is filtered through feminist and subaltern thought. Full article
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