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Arts, Volume 8, Issue 2 (June 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The House of Leda at the Sicilian city of Soluntum was built in the second to early-first century [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Intermediaries and the Market: Hans Rottenhammer’s Use of Networks in the Copper Painting Market
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 June 2019 / Published: 24 June 2019
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Abstract
In Willem van Haecht’s Gallery of Cornelis van der Geest, The Last Judgment by the German artist Hans Rottenhammer stands prominently in the foreground. Signed and dated 1598, it is one of many copper panel paintings Rottenhammer produced and sent north of [...] Read more.
In Willem van Haecht’s Gallery of Cornelis van der Geest, The Last Judgment by the German artist Hans Rottenhammer stands prominently in the foreground. Signed and dated 1598, it is one of many copper panel paintings Rottenhammer produced and sent north of the Alps during his decade-long sojourn in Venice. That the work was valued alongside those of Renaissance masters raises questions about Rottenhammer’s artistic status and how the painting reached Antwerp. This essay examines Rottenhammer’s international market as a function of his relationships with artist-friends and agents, especially those in Venice’s German merchant community. By employing digital visualization tools alongside the study of archival documents, the essay attends to the intermediary connections within a social network, and their effects on the art market. It argues for Rottenhammer’s use of—and negotiation with—intermediaries to establish an international career. Through digital platforms, such as ArcGIS and Palladio, the artist’s patronage group is shown to have shifted geographically, from multiple countries around 1600 to Germany and Antwerp after 1606, when he relocated to Augsburg. Yet, the same trusted friends and associates he had established in Italy continued to participate in Rottenhammer’s business of art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Art Markets and Digital Histories)
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Open AccessArticle
New Insight into Hellenistic and Roman Cypriot Wall Paintings: An Exploration of Artists’ Materials, Production Technology, and Technical Style
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 24 June 2019
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Abstract
A recent scientific investigation on Hellenistic and Roman wall paintings of funerary and domestic contexts from Nea (‘New’) Paphos, located in the southwest region of Cyprus, has revealed new information on the paintings’ constituent materials, their production technology and technical style of painting. [...] Read more.
A recent scientific investigation on Hellenistic and Roman wall paintings of funerary and domestic contexts from Nea (‘New’) Paphos, located in the southwest region of Cyprus, has revealed new information on the paintings’ constituent materials, their production technology and technical style of painting. Nea Paphos, founded in the late 4th century BC, became the capital of the island during the Hellenistic period (294–58 BC) and developed into a thriving economic center that continued through the Roman period (58 BC–330 AD). A systematic, analytical study of ancient Cypriot wall paintings, excavated from the wealthy residences of Nea Paphos and the surrounding necropoleis, combining complementary non-invasive, field-deployable characterization techniques, has expanded the scope of analysis, interpretation and access of these paintings. The results from in situ analyses, combining X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and fiber-optic reflectance spectroscopy (FORS), forensic imaging in reflectance and luminescence, and digital photomicrography, were informative on the raw materials selection, application technique(s) and extent of paintings beyond the visible. Data collected through the integration of these techniques were able to: (1) show an intricate and rich palette of pigments consisting of local and foreign natural minerals and synthetic coloring compounds applied pure or in mixtures, in single or multiple layers; (2) identify and map the spatial distribution of Egyptian blue across the surface of the paintings, revealing the extent of imagery and reconstructing iconography that was no longer visible to the naked eye; and (3) visualize and validate the presence of Egyptian blue to delineate facial contours and flesh tone shading. This innovation and technical characteristic in the manner of painting facial outlines and constructing chiaroscuro provides a new insight into the artistic practices, inferring artists/or workshops’ organization in Cyprus during the Roman period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 2))
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Open AccessEditorial
Notes on the Useful Arts—Technological Progress as a Basis for Modern Architecture
Received: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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Abstract
It is a commonplace that Modern Architecture is a product of the Industrial Revolution, as practically all representatives of the Modern Movement refer, in some way or another, to technology and regard it as the foundation of their architecture [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technological Progress as a Basis for Modern Architecture)
Open AccessArticle
Innovative Exuberance: Fluctuations in the Painting Production in the 17th-Century Netherlands
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
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Abstract
The surprising and rapid flowering of Dutch art and the Dutch art market from the late 16th century to the mid-17th century have propelled scholars to quantify the volume of production and to determine the source of its growth. However, existing studies have [...] Read more.
The surprising and rapid flowering of Dutch art and the Dutch art market from the late 16th century to the mid-17th century have propelled scholars to quantify the volume of production and to determine the source of its growth. However, existing studies have not explored the use of known paintings to specify and visualize the fluctuations of painting production in the Dutch Republic. Employing data mining techniques to leverage the most comprehensive datasets of Netherlandish paintings (RKD), this paper visualizes and analyzes the trend of painting production in the Northern Netherlands throughout the 17th-century. The visualizations verify the existing observations on the market saturation and industry stagnation in 1630–1640. In spite of this market condition, the growth of painting production was sustained until the 1660s. This study argues that the irrational risk-taking behavior of painters and the over-enthusiasm for painting in the public created a “social bubble” and the subsequent contraction of the production was a market correction back to a stable state. However, these risk-taking attitudes during the bubble time spurred exuberant artistic innovations that highlight the Dutch contribution to the development of art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Art Markets and Digital Histories)
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Open AccessArticle
Tenacious Tendrils: Replicating Nature in South Italian Vase Painting
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 6 June 2019
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Abstract
Elaborate floral tendrils are one of the most distinctive iconographic features of South Italian vase painting, the red-figure wares produced by Greek settlers in Magna Graecia and Sicily between ca. 440–300 B.C. They were a particular specialty of Apulian artisans and were later [...] Read more.
Elaborate floral tendrils are one of the most distinctive iconographic features of South Italian vase painting, the red-figure wares produced by Greek settlers in Magna Graecia and Sicily between ca. 440–300 B.C. They were a particular specialty of Apulian artisans and were later adopted by painters living in Paestum and Etruria. This lush vegetation is a stark contrast to the relatively meager interest of Archaic and Classical Athenian vase painters in mimetically depicting elements of the natural world. First appearing in the work of the Iliupersis Painter around 370 B.C., similar flowering vines appear in other contemporary media ranging from gold jewelry to pebble mosaics, perhaps influenced by the career of Pausias of Sicyon, who is credited in ancient sources with developing the art of flower painting. Through analysis of the types of flora depicted and the figures that inhabit these lush vegetal designs, this paper explores the blossoming tendrils on South Italian vases as an evocation of nature’s regenerative powers in the eschatological beliefs of peoples, Greek and Italic alike, occupying southern Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 1))
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Open AccessArticle
Bringing Back the (Ancient) Bodies: The Potters’ Sensory Experiences and the Firing of Red, Black and Purple Greek Vases
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 25 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
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Abstract
The study of Athenian black-figure and red-figure ceramics is haunted by nearly a thousand “hands” of the artisans thought to be responsible for their painted images. But what of the bodies attached to those hands? Who were they? Given the limited archaeological and [...] Read more.
The study of Athenian black-figure and red-figure ceramics is haunted by nearly a thousand “hands” of the artisans thought to be responsible for their painted images. But what of the bodies attached to those hands? Who were they? Given the limited archaeological and epigraphic evidence for these ancient makers, this study attempts to recover their physical bodies through the ceramics production process—specifically the firing of vessels—as a communal activity potentially including a large cast of participants including craftsmen and craftswomen, metics, freed people and slaves. Using an experimental archaeology approach, I argue that we can begin to approach the sensory experiences of ancient potters and painters as they produced all the colored surfaces (and not only images) that endure on Greek vases. I propose a four-stage sensory firing in combination with the three-stage chemical firing process known for the production of Athenian ceramics, suggesting that each stage—and the colors produced at each stage—had their own “sensory signatures.” Examining extant vases with this awareness of the bodily experience of their ancient makers has the potential to bring back these ancient bodies, moving us beyond the limiting narrative of a single hand wielding a paint brush. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 1))
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Open AccessEditorial
An Interview with Frieder Nake
Received: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 26 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
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Abstract
In this interview, mathematician and computer art pioneer Frieder Nake addresses the emergence of the algorithm as central to our understanding of art: just as the craft of computer programming has been irreplaceable for us in appreciating the marvels of the DNA genetic [...] Read more.
In this interview, mathematician and computer art pioneer Frieder Nake addresses the emergence of the algorithm as central to our understanding of art: just as the craft of computer programming has been irreplaceable for us in appreciating the marvels of the DNA genetic code, so too has computer-generated art—and with the algorithm as its operative principle—forever illuminated its practice by traditional artists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Machine as Artist (for the 21st Century))
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Dimensions in Roman Wall Painting and the Interplay of Enclosing and Enclosed Space: A New Perspective on Second Style
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 13 May 2019 / Accepted: 20 May 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
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Abstract
This article engages with the interplay of two-dimensional and three-dimensional wall decoration in Roman wall decoration of the so-called four Pompeian styles. Instead of describing the rapid changes in the use (or non-use) of techniques for creating perspectival depth in August Mau’s four [...] Read more.
This article engages with the interplay of two-dimensional and three-dimensional wall decoration in Roman wall decoration of the so-called four Pompeian styles. Instead of describing the rapid changes in the use (or non-use) of techniques for creating perspectival depth in August Mau’s four styles within an autonomous development of decorative principles, either favoring surface over depth, or vice versa, this article will discuss the imaginary space/surface on the walls in relation to the ‘real’ space enclosed by the decorated walls and—foremost—their inhabitants as the actual referent of the decoration. The discussion will focus on second-style wall decoration, with glimpses on the earlier first and later third and fourth styles in a final section. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 2))
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Open AccessArticle
Ideal Mechanization: Exploring the Machine Metaphor through Theory and Performance
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
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Abstract
Models of machines, including the increasingly miniaturized, digitally controlled machines of modern computers, inform models of human and animal behavior. What are the impacts of this exchange? This paper builds on theoretical discussion to produce an artistic exploration around this idea. The paper [...] Read more.
Models of machines, including the increasingly miniaturized, digitally controlled machines of modern computers, inform models of human and animal behavior. What are the impacts of this exchange? This paper builds on theoretical discussion to produce an artistic exploration around this idea. The paper uses known limits on computation, previously proved by Turing, to model the process of mechanization, machines interacting with an environment. This idea was used to inform a live performance that leveraged a theatrical setting emulating an ideal mechanization machine, audience participation with their bodies as well as their personal cell phones, and readings of academic papers, which is also presented. The results of this work is a shared exploration of when human experience fits machine-based metaphors and, when it does not, highlighting distinct strengths and questioning how to measure the capacities of natural and artificial behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Machine as Artist (for the 21st Century))
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Open AccessArticle
Cultural Tourism: Imagery of Arnhem Land Bark Paintings Informs Australian Messaging to the Post-War USA
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 28 April 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
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Abstract
This paper explores how the appeal of the imagery of the Arnhem Land bark painting and its powerful connection to land provided critical, though subtle messaging, during the post-war Australian government’s tourism promotions in the USA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Australian Indigenous Art and Cultural Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle
Caliphs, Elites, and Servants in the Qaṣr of Madīnat Al-Zahrā’ in the Light of Its Residential Architecture
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
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Abstract
Based on an archaeological analysis of part of the buildings that make up the “private” sector of the Qaṣr of Madinat al-Zahra, we offer you an overview of the people who lived and worked there on a daily basis. We conclude that it [...] Read more.
Based on an archaeological analysis of part of the buildings that make up the “private” sector of the Qaṣr of Madinat al-Zahra, we offer you an overview of the people who lived and worked there on a daily basis. We conclude that it is possible to identify four types of resident: the caliph and the heir, the high functionaries of the state, the functionaries who supervised the domestic maintenance tasks and, finally, the servants who carried them out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
On the Relationship between Documentary Films and Magic Lanterns in 1950s Japan
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 10 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, I explore three cases from postwar Japanese media history where a single topic inspired the production of both documentary films and magic lanterns. The first example documents the creation of Maruki and Akamatsu’s famed painting Pictures of the Atomic Bomb [...] Read more.
In this paper, I explore three cases from postwar Japanese media history where a single topic inspired the production of both documentary films and magic lanterns. The first example documents the creation of Maruki and Akamatsu’s famed painting Pictures of the Atomic Bomb. A documentary and two magic lantern productions explore this topic through different stylistic and aesthetic approaches. The second example is School of Echoes, a film and magic lantern about children’s education in rural Japan. The documentary film blurs distinctions between the narrative film and documentary film genres by utilizing paid actors and a prewritten script. By contrast, the original subjects of the documentary film appear as themselves in the magic lantern film. Finally, the documentary film Tsukinowa Tomb depicts an archeological excavation at the site named in the title. Unlike the monochrome documentary film, the magic lantern version was made on color film. Aesthetic and material histories of other magic lanterns include carefully hand-painted monochrome films. Monochrome documentary films in 1950s Japan tended to emphasize narrative and political ideology, while magic lantern films projected color images in the vein of realism. Through these examples of media history, we can begin to understand the entangled histories of documentary film and magic lanterns in 1950s Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developments in Japanese Documentary Film)
Open AccessArticle
The Most Advanced Hydraulic Techniques for Water Supply at the Fortresses in the Last Period of Al-Andalus (Thirteenth to Fifteenth Century)
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 5 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
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Abstract
Due to the conflicts that existed among the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, the territories of al-Andalus were protected with defensive architecture that played an influential role on the landscape. The development of these fortresses was necessarily linked to [...] Read more.
Due to the conflicts that existed among the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, the territories of al-Andalus were protected with defensive architecture that played an influential role on the landscape. The development of these fortresses was necessarily linked to water, either because of the strategic control of a hydraulic resource or because of the need to provide to inaccessible places, as it is often the case of the emplacement of these constructions. The study of their implantation in the territory and the hydraulic elements that they preserve has revealed quite diverse systems of water supply. This paper presents the comprehensive overview that emerged after verifying that many of the existing cisterns, rather than being autonomous and isolated elements, as has often been considered, are strongly related to the organization and development of the fortresses, sometimes located at the end of complex and advanced hydraulic networks, closely linked to the topography of each place. This study is devoted to the water supply systems of some of the most significant fortresses in the last territories of al-Andalus, corresponding to the Nasrid kingdom of Granada (1238–1492). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
Mixed-Media Domestic Ensembles in Roman Sicily: The House of Leda at Soluntum
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 14 April 2019 / Accepted: 26 April 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
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Abstract
Built in the second to early-first century BCE, the House of Leda at Soluntum, a city on the northwest coast of Sicily, was renovated in the first century CE. The most prominent change to the residence was the inclusion of figural Fourth-Style wall [...] Read more.
Built in the second to early-first century BCE, the House of Leda at Soluntum, a city on the northwest coast of Sicily, was renovated in the first century CE. The most prominent change to the residence was the inclusion of figural Fourth-Style wall paintings in its dining room. The fresco ensemble reveals a particular interest in the painted depiction of stone, such as an image of Leda and the swan as a marble statue and trompe l’oeil blocks of colored marble and granite from around the Mediterranean. The house renovation was not wholesale since the owner also chose to preserve a number of decorative elements from the earlier, Hellenistic-era phase of the residence, including two sculptures, cut-limestone pavements, and an intricate mosaic of an astronomical instrument. In this article I argue that the tension created between the medium of paint, and its use to mimic marble and stone, resulted in a unified, mixed-media domestic ensemble. The viewer was encouraged to compare and contrast the faux marble and stone in the dining room’s Fourth-Style frescoes with the Hellenistic-era marble and stone artworks throughout the rest of the house. This juxtaposition of older and newer decorative elements reveals that the owner of the House of Leda positioned himself as both a member of the Roman provincial elite as well as a local benefactor and custodian of Sicily’s rich Hellenistic culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 2))
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Open AccessArticle
‘We Cover New York’: Protest, Neighborhood, and Street Photography in the (Workers Film and) Photo League
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 2 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
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Abstract
This article considers photographs of New York by two American radical groups, the revolutionary Workers Film and Photo League (WFPL) (1931–1936) and the ensuing Photo League (PL) (1936–1951), a less explicitly political concern, in relation to the adjacent historiographical contexts of street photography [...] Read more.
This article considers photographs of New York by two American radical groups, the revolutionary Workers Film and Photo League (WFPL) (1931–1936) and the ensuing Photo League (PL) (1936–1951), a less explicitly political concern, in relation to the adjacent historiographical contexts of street photography and documentary. I contest a historiographical tendency to invoke street photography as a recuperative model from the political basis of the groups, because such accounts tend to reduce WFPL’s work to ideologically motivated propaganda and obscure continuities between the two leagues. Using extensive primary sources, in particular the PL’s magazine Photo Notes, I propose that greater commonalities exist than the literature suggests. I argue that WFPL photographs are a specific form of street photography that engages with urban protest, and accordingly I examine the formal attributes of photographs by its principle photographer Leo Seltzer. Conversely, the PL’s ‘document’ projects, which examined areas such as Chelsea, the Lower East Side, and Harlem in depth, involved collaboration with community organizations that resulted in a form of neighborhood protest. I conclude that a museological framing of ‘street photography’ as the work of an individual artist does not satisfactorily encompass the radicalism of the PL’s complex documents about city neighborhoods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Street Photography Reframed)
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Open AccessArticle
‘Eye-Like Radiance’: The Depiction of Gemstones in Roman Wall Painting
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 26 April 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
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Abstract
The study of ornament in Greek and Roman art has been the focus of increasing scholarly interest over the last decade, with many publications shedding new light on the dynamics of ornatus in antiquity, and the discourses that shaped and situated it. Through [...] Read more.
The study of ornament in Greek and Roman art has been the focus of increasing scholarly interest over the last decade, with many publications shedding new light on the dynamics of ornatus in antiquity, and the discourses that shaped and situated it. Through an analysis of the depiction of gemstones in Roman wall painting, this article demonstrates the importance of ornamental details both to the mechanics of two-dimensional representation and to the interpretation of the images they adorned. I argue that by evoking the material qualities and sensual pleasures of real precious stones, painted gems served on the one hand to enhance the illusory reality of wall painting, and on the other to extol the delights of luxury and refinement—that is, of ornamentation itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 2))
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Open AccessArticle
From the Museum to the Street: Garry Winogrand’s Public Relations and the Actuality of Protest
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 3 May 2019
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Abstract
Focusing on Garry Winogrand’s Public Relations (1977), this article explores the problematic encounter between street photography and protest during the Vietnam War era. In doing so, it considers the extent to which Winogrand’s engagement with protest altered the formalist discourse that had surrounded [...] Read more.
Focusing on Garry Winogrand’s Public Relations (1977), this article explores the problematic encounter between street photography and protest during the Vietnam War era. In doing so, it considers the extent to which Winogrand’s engagement with protest altered the formalist discourse that had surrounded his practice and the ‘genre’ of street photography more broadly since the 1950s. It is suggested that, although Winogrand never abandoned his debt to this framework, the logic of protest also intensified its internal contradictions, prompting a new attitude towards the crowd, art institution, street and mass media. By exploring this shift, this article seeks to demonstrate that, while the various leftist critiques of Winogrand’s practice remain valid, Public Relations had certain affinities with the progressive artistic and political movements of the period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Street Photography Reframed)
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Open AccessArticle
Ptolemaic Cavalrymen on Painted Alexandrian Funerary Monuments
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 28 April 2019
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Abstract
The multiethnic environment of Ptolemaic Alexandria resulted in cross-cultural transmission of funerary practices and associated material culture that introduced many traditions to Egypt from the Mediterranean world. Along with an influx of mercenaries serving in the Ptolemaic army came cultural and artistic knowledge [...] Read more.
The multiethnic environment of Ptolemaic Alexandria resulted in cross-cultural transmission of funerary practices and associated material culture that introduced many traditions to Egypt from the Mediterranean world. Along with an influx of mercenaries serving in the Ptolemaic army came cultural and artistic knowledge from their places of origin, which they (or their families) incorporated into their burials. One motif, which appears on late 4th–3rd-century painted funerary monuments from Alexandria, is that of a soldier on horseback, alluding to images of the heroic hunter or warrior on horseback found in tombs in the regions of northern Greece. These Alexandrian monuments commemorated members of the Ptolemaic cavalry, some of whom are identified as Macedonian or Thessalian by accompanying Greek inscriptions. The image of a soldier astride his rearing horse not only emphasized the deceased’s military status, but also established a link with Macedonian and Ptolemaic royal iconography. This type of self-representation served a number of purposes: to signal the deceased’s cultural and geographic origins, demonstrate his elite role in Ptolemaic society and imply connections to the Ptolemaic court, all of which were important to the immigrant inhabitants of early Alexandria as they sought to express their identity in a new geographical, cultural, and political setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 1))
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Open AccessEditorial
Looking into the “Anime Global Popular” and the “Manga Media”: Reflections on the Scholarship of a Transnational and Transmedia Industry
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 28 April 2019
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Abstract
This article introduces the special issue dedicated to global industries around anime, its theoretical commentary and its cross-cultural consumption. The concepts “anime” and “anime studies” are evaluated critically, involving current debates such as those presented in this volume. This discussion will employ the [...] Read more.
This article introduces the special issue dedicated to global industries around anime, its theoretical commentary and its cross-cultural consumption. The concepts “anime” and “anime studies” are evaluated critically, involving current debates such as those presented in this volume. This discussion will employ the concepts of “manga media” as well as the “popular global”, giving an account of the transmedia and transcultural character of these creative industries. The conclusion critiques the irregular presence of Cultural Studies in the study of Japanese visual culture and advocates for constructing an updated dialogue with this tradition in order to readdress the study of these media as a form of global popular culture. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The ‘Art World’ of the Auction Houses: The Role of Professional Experts
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Auction sales of unprovenanced, likely stolen, cultural objects continue to generate controversy. But while auction houses can appear to be relatively passive agents in the sales process, providing a platform for bringing together buyers and sellers, in reality their business practices are more [...] Read more.
Auction sales of unprovenanced, likely stolen, cultural objects continue to generate controversy. But while auction houses can appear to be relatively passive agents in the sales process, providing a platform for bringing together buyers and sellers, in reality their business practices are more complex. With reference to three recent disputed auctions of cultural objects, this paper explores in more detail the ‘art world’ of auction house business practices, exploring in particular the central role of professional experts in supporting auction sales and the legal and ethical implications of their involvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Art Crime Research (2018))
Open AccessArticle
Louder Than Films: Memory, Affect and the ‘Sublime Image’ in the Work of Joachim Trier
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
“We have to believe that new images are still possible”. This remark by Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier during a recent event in Oslo entitled ‘The Sublime Image’ speaks to the centrality in his work of images, often of trauma, that aspire to the [...] Read more.
“We have to believe that new images are still possible”. This remark by Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier during a recent event in Oslo entitled ‘The Sublime Image’ speaks to the centrality in his work of images, often of trauma, that aspire to the condition of photographic stills or paintings. A hand against a window, cheerleaders tumbling against an azure sky, an infant trapped under a lake’s icy surface: these can certainly be read as sublime images insofar as we might read the sublime as an affect—a sense of the ineffable or the shock of the new. However, for Trier, cinema is an art of memory and here too, this article argues, his films stage an encounter with the temporal sublime and the undecidability of memory. Offering readings of Trier’s four feature films to date which center on their refraction of memory through crystal-images, the article emphasizes the affective encounter with the films as having its own temporality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Memory, Affect, and Cinema)
Open AccessArticle
Metamorphosis as Origin—Koji Yamamura’s Short Animation Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
In the beginning was metamorphosis. This paradoxical thought, which the ancient Roman poet Ovidius and modern author Franz Kafka represented in their literary works, is visualized in Koji Yamamura’s short animation Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor. Diverse metamorphoses that do and do not [...] Read more.
In the beginning was metamorphosis. This paradoxical thought, which the ancient Roman poet Ovidius and modern author Franz Kafka represented in their literary works, is visualized in Koji Yamamura’s short animation Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor. Diverse metamorphoses that do and do not appear in the Kafka original are so elaborately and dynamically depicted in this animation that no live-action film could possibly represent them. In addition, the film itself can be seen as a metamorphosis, as it is an animation converted from a short story. Such a dominance of metamorphosis is also true for the transculturality and transnationalism of Yamamura’s animation. In a sense, the film results from a cultural integration of foreign language and image. However, this integration is also part of the swirl of metamorphosis. The traditional performance art Kyogen, which the director uses to voice the main characters in the animation, could not integrate foreign culture without its own diversification. Yamamura’s animation demonstrates that transculturality is another name for fundamental metamorphosis in which diversification and integration occur simultaneously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Japanese Transnational Cinema)
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Open AccessArticle
“The Man of the Hour”: Hawthorn(e), Nebraska and Haunting
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 7 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper provides a close reading and critical unfolding of central themes and motifs in Alexander Payne’s acclaimed 2013 comic ‘road movie’ Nebraska. It focuses on three key issues: (1) the symbolic significance of hawthorn as a threshold between different worlds (Hawthorne, [...] Read more.
This paper provides a close reading and critical unfolding of central themes and motifs in Alexander Payne’s acclaimed 2013 comic ‘road movie’ Nebraska. It focuses on three key issues: (1) the symbolic significance of hawthorn as a threshold between different worlds (Hawthorne, Nebraska being the former hometown to which father and son make a detour); (2) the notion of ‘haunting’ in relation both to ‘importuning’ memories besetting the central characters and to particular sites of remembrance to which they return; and, (3) how the film’s pervasive mood of melancholy is subject to repeated interruption and punctuation by comic utterances and put-downs. In presenting us with a reluctant ‘gathering of ghosts’, a veritable phantasmagoria, the film articulates a particular sense of nostalgia, of a ‘homesickness’ understood here not in the conventional meaning of a longing to return to a forsaken ‘home’, but rather as a weariness and wariness at the prospect of revisiting familiar haunts and reviving old spirits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Memory, Affect, and Cinema)
Open AccessArticle
Targeted Advertising for Women in Athenian Vase-Painting of the Fifth Century BCE
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper analyzes the trends in depictions of women in Athenian vase-painting during the 5th century BCE through an examination of approximately 88,000 vases in the Beazley Archive Pottery Database. It found a 15% increase in depictions of women during the 5th century [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the trends in depictions of women in Athenian vase-painting during the 5th century BCE through an examination of approximately 88,000 vases in the Beazley Archive Pottery Database. It found a 15% increase in depictions of women during the 5th century BCE and a diversification in subject matter in which women appear. By considering these trends within the historical context of the hegemonic position of Athens in the Delian League and its wars, this paper proposes that the changes in representations and subject matter denote an expanded marketability of vases to female viewers. As targeted imagery, the images give perceptible recognition to an increased valuation of women’s work and lives at a time when their roles in Athenian society were essential for the continued success of the city-state. This paper suggests that these changes also point to the fact that a greater share of the market was influenced by women, either directly or indirectly, and successful artists carefully crafted targeted advertisements on their wares to attract that group. This paper provides new insights into the relationships between vases and their intended audiences within the context of the cultural changes occurring in Athens itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 1))
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Open AccessArticle
Typographic Reification: Instantiations from the Lucy Lloyd Archive and Contemporary Typefaces from Southern Africa
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 23 March 2019 / Accepted: 31 March 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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This paper argues that we may read the images from the Lucy Lloyd archive of ancient Khoe and San symbols, drawings and pictograms in a special way that offers an intellectual seriousness to these collaborative picture-word creations that attempted to hold certain faunal [...] Read more.
This paper argues that we may read the images from the Lucy Lloyd archive of ancient Khoe and San symbols, drawings and pictograms in a special way that offers an intellectual seriousness to these collaborative picture-word creations that attempted to hold certain faunal and floral knowledge and descriptions from the South African landscape on the transcriber’s page. By foregrounding moments of textual innovation as is evident in the Lloyd archive, I make a case for what that I term ‘typographic reification’. This ‘reification’ is the fulcrum of the ancient drive of the indigenous people of Southern Africa (the Khoe and the San) to offer an excess beyond the translation of their world into a Roman alphabet (the given form) by linguists that came with this aim in mind. Contemporary advances in New Media technology allow this very element of typographic reification (observed in textual and graphic elements recorded on pages of sketchbooks and notebooks from the Lloyd archive) to be offered anew to an international public through the digital typefaces of the South African designer Jan Erasmus who similarly draws his natural environment into the very fabric of his creations. The parallels visible between the innovative methods of transcription and picture-word creations of Lloyd and her Khoe and San collaborators on the one hand, and the digital creation of Erasmus on the other, serve to amplify a conceptual agility that must be celebrated in the South African social imagination as an intellectual bridge between different spaces and times that is a contribution to African philology and a critical history of the text. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media Art and the South African Social)
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Open AccessArticle
Australian Indigenous Art Innovation and Culturepreneurship in Practice: Insights for Cultural Tourism
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
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Abstract
Indigenous cultural tourism offers significant future opportunities for countries, cities and Indigenous communities, but the development of new offerings can be problematic. Addressing this challenge, this article examines contemporary Australian Indigenous art innovation and cultural entrepreneurship or culturepreneurship emanating from Australia’s remote Arnhem [...] Read more.
Indigenous cultural tourism offers significant future opportunities for countries, cities and Indigenous communities, but the development of new offerings can be problematic. Addressing this challenge, this article examines contemporary Australian Indigenous art innovation and cultural entrepreneurship or culturepreneurship emanating from Australia’s remote Arnhem Land art and culture centres and provides insight into the future development of Indigenous cultural tourism. Using art- and culture-focused field studies and recent literature from the diverse disciplines of art history, tourism, sociology and economics, this article investigates examples of successful Indigenous artistic innovation and culturepreneurship that operate within the context of cultural tourism events. From this investigation, this article introduces and defines the original concept of Indigenous culturepreneurship and provides six practical criteria for those interested in developing future Indigenous cultural tourism ventures. These findings not only challenge existing western definitions of both culture and culturepreneurship but also affirm the vital role of innovation in both contemporary Indigenous art and culturepreneurial practice. Equally importantly, this investigation illuminates Indigenous culturepreneurship as an important future-making socio-political and economic practice for the potential benefit of Indigenous communities concerned with maintaining and promoting their cultures as living, growing and relevant in the contemporary world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Australian Indigenous Art and Cultural Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle
Harnessing Visibility and Invisibility through Arts Practices: Ethnographic Case Studies with Migrant Performers in Belgium
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 April 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
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This paper endeavors to understand the role of arts in migration-related issues by offering insights into the different ways in which artistic practices can be used by migrants and investigating migrants’ differing objectives in participating in the arts. Through the exploration of the [...] Read more.
This paper endeavors to understand the role of arts in migration-related issues by offering insights into the different ways in which artistic practices can be used by migrants and investigating migrants’ differing objectives in participating in the arts. Through the exploration of the initiatives of undocumented and refugee migrants involved in artistic groups in Belgium, this paper compares the motivations of the performers and concludes that art can operate as an empowering tool for migrants as it constitutes a space for agency, notwithstanding the specific scope of which it is contextually charged. It allows migrants to render themselves visible or invisible, depending on their contrasting motivations. The creative productions of the first group, composed by members of “La Voix des sans papiers de Liège”, a collective of undocumented migrants, corresponds to an explicit effort of political engagement in the local context. The other examples are of undocumented and refugee artists joining musical groups with no specific aim of promoting the cause of undocumented and refugee persons. The choice to be involved in such groups highlights their desire to be, in some ways, invisible and anonymous while participating in this collective of artists. Through these examples, we see that art offers opportunities for migrants to actively participate in the socio-cultural and political environment in which they reside and to claim various forms of official and unofficial belonging whether it occurs through visibility or invisibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arts and Refugees: Multidisciplinary Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle
Patterns of Style, Diversity, and Similarity in Middle Orinoco Rock Art Assemblages
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
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Abstract
The area encompassed by the Orinoco river basin is home to some of the largest and most diverse rock art sites in lowland South America. In this paper, we aim to formally describe the spatial distribution and stylistic attributes of rock engravings and [...] Read more.
The area encompassed by the Orinoco river basin is home to some of the largest and most diverse rock art sites in lowland South America. In this paper, we aim to formally describe the spatial distribution and stylistic attributes of rock engravings and paintings on both banks of the Orinoco, centred on the Átures Rapids. Drawing on an exhaustive literature review and four years of field survey, we identify salient aspects of this corpus by investigating patterns of diversity and similarity. Based on a stylistic classification of Middle Orinoco rock art, this permits us to discuss potential links, as well as notable discontinuities, within the assemblage and possibly further afield. We consider the theoretical implications of our work for the study of pre-Columbian art and conclude with some suggestions for advances in methods for achieving the goal of deriving broader syntheses. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection World Rock Art)
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Open AccessArticle
The Pederastic Gaze in Attic Vase-Painting
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
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Abstract
An image on an Attic red-figure kylix attributed to the Antiphon Painter, showing a single youth wrapped tightly in a mantle, represents a type of figure often found in pederastic courting scenes and scenes set in the gymnasium, where male bodies were on [...] Read more.
An image on an Attic red-figure kylix attributed to the Antiphon Painter, showing a single youth wrapped tightly in a mantle, represents a type of figure often found in pederastic courting scenes and scenes set in the gymnasium, where male bodies were on display. Subject to the gaze of older men, these youths hide their bodies in their cloaks and exhibit the modesty expected of a boy being courted. While many courting scenes show an erastês approaching a tightly-wrapped erômenos, in this scene, the boy stands alone with no source of modesty-inducing gaze within the image. Combined with the intimate manner in which the user of this cup would experience the image as he held it close to his face to drink, it would appear to the drinker that it is his own gaze that provokes the boy’s modesty. This vase is one of several in which we may see figures within an image reacting to the eroticizing gaze of the user of the vessel. As the drinker drains his cup and sees the boy, the image responds with resistance to the drinker’s gaze. Though seemingly unassuming, these pictures look deliberately outward and declare themselves to an anticipated viewer. The viewer’s interaction with the image is as important to its function as any element within the picture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 1))
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Open AccessArticle
And Shift! A Review of Approaches That Support Transition from A-Level Art and Design to Fine Art Undergraduate Study
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
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Abstract
The profile of students applying to BA Fine Art undergraduate programs has shifted in the United Kingdom (UK). Until recently the usual academic pathway was to proceed after A-level to a one-year Art Foundation program; this route is increasingly challenged by a sense [...] Read more.
The profile of students applying to BA Fine Art undergraduate programs has shifted in the United Kingdom (UK). Until recently the usual academic pathway was to proceed after A-level to a one-year Art Foundation program; this route is increasingly challenged by a sense of urgency to enter university earlier. Students more frequently enter straight from school. To accommodate the recruitment of younger applicants there are significant implications for Higher Education Fine Art pedagogy. This article reports on some of the approaches implemented at Northumbria University to support positive transition and learning within the BA Fine Art program. Using the Year 1–Level 4 Fine Art as a case study this reflects on how one university fine arts team has responded to the challenge of induction. Full article
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