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Arts, Volume 8, Issue 4 (December 2019) – 45 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Part of a Special Issue on animals in ancient material cultures, this article examines the place of [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
The Question of Appropriateness. Museums Established in Synagogues in Communist Poland: The Cases of Łańcut and Włodawa
Arts 2019, 8(4), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040167 - 17 Dec 2019
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Abstract
World War II and the subsequent period of communist rule severely diminished the amount of historic Jewish architecture in Poland. It is estimated that in the mid-1990s there were about 321 synagogues and prayer houses in the country, all in various states of [...] Read more.
World War II and the subsequent period of communist rule severely diminished the amount of historic Jewish architecture in Poland. It is estimated that in the mid-1990s there were about 321 synagogues and prayer houses in the country, all in various states of preservation. This article examines two case studies of synagogues that were salvaged by being transformed into Judaica museums. The first of these is the synagogue in Łańcut and the second concerns the complex of two synagogues and one prayer house in Włodawa. The article contains an analysis of both examples from the perspective of the following factors: the circumstances under which the institution was established, the place that the history and culture of Jews took in the Museum’s activity, the way that Judaica collections and exhibitions were constructed, the substantive, educational, and research activities that were undertaken, as well as the issue of what place these monuments occupy in the town’s landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Cultural Ecology and Cultural Critique
Arts 2019, 8(4), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040166 - 17 Dec 2019
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Abstract
In 2015, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) commissioned John Holden, visiting professor at City University, London, and associate at the think-tank Demos, to write a report on culture as part of its Cultural Value Project. The claim within the report was [...] Read more.
In 2015, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) commissioned John Holden, visiting professor at City University, London, and associate at the think-tank Demos, to write a report on culture as part of its Cultural Value Project. The claim within the report was to redirect culture away from economic prescriptions and to focus on ecological approaches to ‘value’. Holden considers the application and use of ecological tropes to re-situate culture as ‘non-hierarchical’ and as part of symbiotic social processes. By embracing metaphors of ‘emergence,’ ‘interdependence,’ ‘networks,’ and ‘convergence,’ he suggests we can “gain new understandings about how culture works, and these understandings in turn help with policy information and implementation”. This article addresses the role of ‘cultural critique’ in the live environments and ecologies of place-making. It will consider, with examples, how cultural production, cultural practices, and cultural forms generate mixed ecologies of relations between aesthetic, psychic, economic, political, and ethical materialisms. With reference to a body of situated knowledges, derived from place studies to eco-regionalisms, urban to art criticisms, we will consider ecological thinking as a new mode of cultural critique for initiating arts and cultural policy change. Primarily, the operant concept of ‘environing’ will be considered as the condition of possibility for the space of critique. This includes necessary and strategic actions, where mixed ecologies of cultural activity work against the disciplinary policing of space with new assemblages of distributed power Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reconsidering the State(s) of Criticism)
Open AccessArticle
On the Interpretation of Watercraft in Ancient Art
Arts 2019, 8(4), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040165 - 11 Dec 2019
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Abstract
In the past six decades since its inception, nautical archaeologists have excavated and studied the hulls, cargoes, and other remains of ancient watercraft. However, shipwrecks themselves only tell part of the story. The archaeological record is replete with examples of known shipwrecks from [...] Read more.
In the past six decades since its inception, nautical archaeologists have excavated and studied the hulls, cargoes, and other remains of ancient watercraft. However, shipwrecks themselves only tell part of the story. The archaeological record is replete with examples of known shipwrecks from some cultures and periods, but, for others, no hulls exist in the known archaeological record. Vagaries of preservation generally prevent the upper parts and rigging of a vessel to survive in all but the most remarkable of cases. This paper reviews the role of iconographic representations in understanding ancient vessels and seafaring by presenting the issues, examining the limitations, proposing interpretative methods for, and finally by supplying specific examples of, ancient nautical depictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Visual Arts)
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Open AccessArticle
Art and Identity in Late Antique Synagogues of the Roman-Byzantine Diaspora
Arts 2019, 8(4), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040164 - 10 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Late antiquity witnessed the increased construction of synagogues in the Jewish diaspora of the Roman-Byzantine world. Although not large in number, these synagogues were impressive and magnificent structures that were certainly conspicuous in the urban landscape, especially when constructed within a central location. [...] Read more.
Late antiquity witnessed the increased construction of synagogues in the Jewish diaspora of the Roman-Byzantine world. Although not large in number, these synagogues were impressive and magnificent structures that were certainly conspicuous in the urban landscape, especially when constructed within a central location. This paper focuses on mosaic carpets discovered at these synagogues, to discern their distinguishing features through a comparative perspective. Two focal points are examined: on the one hand, local Roman-Byzantine mosaics in civic and religious buildings, and on the other hand, Jewish mosaics carpets in Palestinian synagogues. This comparison reveals several clear distinctions between the Jewish diasporic mosaic carpets and the other two groups of mosaics, that broaden our understanding of the unique nature of Jewish art in the Roman-Byzantine diaspora in particular, and of Jewish diasporic identity in late antiquity in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Manuel Amaru Cholango: Decolonizing Technologies and the Construction of Indigenous Futures
Arts 2019, 8(4), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040163 - 07 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Recent art history studies have delved into notions of futurity as it relates to indigenous approaches to environmental destruction in the face of ongoing colonial oppression. Building on the concept of indigenous futures, the present investigation focuses on the Kichwa artist Manuel Amaru [...] Read more.
Recent art history studies have delved into notions of futurity as it relates to indigenous approaches to environmental destruction in the face of ongoing colonial oppression. Building on the concept of indigenous futures, the present investigation focuses on the Kichwa artist Manuel Amaru Cholango’s decolonial critique of technology. Since the 1990s and in response to the quincentennial celebration of the “discovery” of America in 1992, Cholango has developed an oeuvre that criticizes the instrumentalization of modern technology for the exploitation of the earth and the perpetuation of colonialism. By advancing the notion of Andean technology, Cholango brings to bear other ways of relating to the environment that can help create, once again, the possibility of the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decolonizing Contemporary Latin American Art)
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Open AccessArticle
Indigenous Rock Art Tourism in Australia: Contexts, Trajectories, and Multifaceted Realities
Arts 2019, 8(4), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040162 - 06 Dec 2019
Viewed by 243
Abstract
This paper focuses on Australian Indigenous rock art tourism, a field that has received limited research attention. Our aim is to identify aspects which are invisible in tourism promotions. We note trends in rock art tourism and related research, survey the Australian situation, [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on Australian Indigenous rock art tourism, a field that has received limited research attention. Our aim is to identify aspects which are invisible in tourism promotions. We note trends in rock art tourism and related research, survey the Australian situation, and employ a case study approach to outline the development of Indigenous rock art tourism in Kakadu National Park (KNP) and parts of the Quinkan (Laura Cooktown) region. In both regions, Aboriginal communities inherited legacies of top down decision-making and bureaucratic methods. Although the Laura people transitioned to a community-based system and a successful ranger program, they face challenges in achieving their aspirations for sustainable rock art tourism. KNP communities, subsumed into an unwieldy joint management arrangement for the World Heritage listed National Park, are faced with competing values and perspectives of the dominant government system. A centerpiece of the Balnggarrawarra tourism initiative is the ranger/tour guide system of the type which operated for some years at Laura and was introduced briefly at KNP. The model incorporates key elements of sustainable Indigenous tourism–traditional owner control and jobs, land care, conservation, cultural preservation, partnerships, and public education. Notwithstanding contemporary challenges and realities, a unifying theme is caring for rock art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Australian Indigenous Art and Cultural Tourism)
Open AccessArticle
Inalienable Signs and Invited Guests: Australian Indigenous Art and Cultural Tourism
Arts 2019, 8(4), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040161 - 06 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Australian Indigenous people promote their culture and country in the context of tourism in a variety of ways but the specific impact of Indigenous fine art in tourism is seldom examined. Indigenous people in Australia run tourism businesses, act as cultural guides, and [...] Read more.
Australian Indigenous people promote their culture and country in the context of tourism in a variety of ways but the specific impact of Indigenous fine art in tourism is seldom examined. Indigenous people in Australia run tourism businesses, act as cultural guides, and publish literature that help disseminate Indigenous perspectives of place, homeland, and cultural knowledge. Governments and public and private arts organisations support these perspectives through exposure of Indigenous fine art events and activities. This exposure simultaneously advances Australia’s international cultural diplomacy, trade, and tourism interests. The quantitative impact of Indigenous fine arts (or any art) on tourism is difficult to assess beyond exhibition attendance and arts sales figures. Tourism surveys on the impact of fine arts are rare and often necessarily limited in scope. It is nevertheless useful to consider how the quite pervasive visual presence of Australian Indigenous art provides a framework of ideas for visitors about relationships between Australian Indigenous people and place. This research adopts a theoretical model of ‘performing cultural landscapes’ to examine how Australian Indigenous art might condition tourists towards Indigenous perspectives of people and place. This is quite different to traditional art historical hermeneutics that considers the meaning of artwork. I argue instead that in the context of cultural tourism, Australian Indigenous art does not convey specific meaning so much as it presents a relational model of cultural landscape that helps condition tourists towards a public realm of understanding Indigenous peoples’ relationship to place. This relational mode of seeing involves a complex psychological and semiotic framework of inalienable signification, visual storytelling, and reconciliation politics that situates tourists as ‘invited guests’. Particular contexts of seeing under discussion include the visibility of reconciliation politics, the remote art centre network, and Australia’s urban galleries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Australian Indigenous Art and Cultural Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle
Monsters of Military Might: Elephants in Hellenistic History and Art
Arts 2019, 8(4), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040160 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Elephants were first deployed in warfare by Indian and Persian armies. The Greco-Macedonian troops first encountered these fearsome creatures in battle during the campaign of Alexander the Great. Subsequently, the Successors and later Hellenistic rulers similarly used elephants in battle. From this time, [...] Read more.
Elephants were first deployed in warfare by Indian and Persian armies. The Greco-Macedonian troops first encountered these fearsome creatures in battle during the campaign of Alexander the Great. Subsequently, the Successors and later Hellenistic rulers similarly used elephants in battle. From this time, the animal began to appear in Greco-Roman art. Tracing the appearance of the elephant in Hellenistic history and art, I suggest that the elephant not only continued to be associated with its Asian and African origins and came to symbolize military triumph over exotic foes, it retained religious and mythic proportions as a fearsome, fabulous monster connected with the martichora and unicorn, griffon and sphinx, dragon and hippocampus. In particular, I re-examined the posthumous portrait of Alexander the Great in which he wears an elephant scalp as a headdress, similar to Heracles’ lion scalp. This deified portraiture not only depicts Alexander as descendant of Heracles and Dionysus, both sons of Zeus, but also—through connections with Ammon and Indra—as the legitimate ruler of the three continents of the known world, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals in Ancient Material Cultures (vol. 1))
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Open AccessArticle
Israeli-Ness or Israeli-Less? How Israeli Women Artists from FSU Deal with the Place and Role of “Israeli-Ness” in the Era of Transnationalism
Arts 2019, 8(4), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040159 - 04 Dec 2019
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Abstract
The Israeli art field has been negotiating with the definition of Israeli-ness since its beginnings and more even today, as “transnationalism” has become not only a lived daily experience among migrants or an ideological approach toward identity but also a challenge to the [...] Read more.
The Israeli art field has been negotiating with the definition of Israeli-ness since its beginnings and more even today, as “transnationalism” has become not only a lived daily experience among migrants or an ideological approach toward identity but also a challenge to the Zionist-Hebrew identity that is imposed on “repatriated” Jews. Young artists who reached Israel from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) as children in the 1990s not only retained their mother tongue but also developed a hyphenated first-generation immigrant identity and a transnational state of mind that have found artistic expression in projects and exhibitions in recent years, such as Odessa–Tel Aviv (2017), Dreamland Never Found (2017), Pravda (2018), and others. Nicolas Bourriaud’s botanical metaphor of the radicant, which insinuates successive or even “simultaneous en-rooting”, seems to be close to the 1.5-generation experience. Following the transnational perspective and the intersectional approach (the “inter” being of ethnicity, gender, and class), the article examines, among others, photographic works of three women artists: Angelika Sher (born 1969 in Vilnius, Lithuania), Vera Vladimirsky (born 1984 in Kharkiv, Ukraine), and Sarah Kaminker (born 1987 in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine). All three reached Israel in the 1990s, attended Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, and currently live and work in Tel Aviv or (in Kaminker’s case) Haifa. The Zionist-oriented Israeli-ness of the Israeli art field is questioned in their works. Regardless of the different and peculiar themes and approaches that characterize each of these artists, their oeuvres touch on the senses of radicantity, strangeness, and displacement and show that, in the globalization discourse and routine transnational moving around, anonymous, generic, or hybrid likenesses become characteristics of what is called “home,” “national identity,” or “promised land.” Therefore, it seems that under the influence of this young generation, the local field of art is moving toward a re-framing of its Israeli national identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radicant Patterns in Israeli Art)
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Open AccessArticle
The American Flag and the Alaska Native Brotherhood
Arts 2019, 8(4), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040158 - 02 Dec 2019
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Abstract
The Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) (est. 1912) is one of the oldest Indigenous rights groups in the United States. Although critics have accused the ANB of endorsing assimilationist policies in its early years, recent scholarship has re-evaluated the strategies of the ANB to [...] Read more.
The Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) (est. 1912) is one of the oldest Indigenous rights groups in the United States. Although critics have accused the ANB of endorsing assimilationist policies in its early years, recent scholarship has re-evaluated the strategies of the ANB to advance Tlingit and Haida governance at the same time that they pursued a strategic commitment to the settler state. Contributing to this re-appraisal of the early ANB, this article examines photographic documentation of the use of the American flag in ANB Halls from the period 1914–1945. I argue that the pairing of the American flag with Indigenous imagery in ANB Halls communicated the ANB’s commitment to U.S. citizenship and to Tlingit and Haida sovereignty. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Aesthetic Pattern of Nonbelonging—Immigration and Identity in Contemporary Israeli Art
Arts 2019, 8(4), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040157 - 26 Nov 2019
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Abstract
This research pinpoints a local pattern of migratory aesthetics recurrently employed by four Israeli artists in the early years of the 21st century. I argue that works by artists Philip Rantzer, Gary Goldstein, Haim Maor, and David Wakstein showcase a hybrid migratory self-definition [...] Read more.
This research pinpoints a local pattern of migratory aesthetics recurrently employed by four Israeli artists in the early years of the 21st century. I argue that works by artists Philip Rantzer, Gary Goldstein, Haim Maor, and David Wakstein showcase a hybrid migratory self-definition that is embedded in the artistic language itself. By harnessing a collagistic language of juxtaposition and fragmentation, they frame Israeli identity as uncanny, reflecting a cultural mindset of being neither “here” nor “there”. I contend that this pattern is used by a particular generation of artists, born in the early 1950s, and reflects a reaction, in hindsight, to the Zionist ethos of collective local identity. Employing old photographs from their family albums that they transform into framed detached figures, these artists draw upon childhood memories of immigration. Their art marks an identity clash between two homelands, which is the result of intertwined aesthetic and socio-cultural characteristics. The first is evident in the prevalent use of collage in local art—in itself a language of oppositions. The second is the negation of the diaspora in the Israeli socio-cultural mentality, which constructs identity through binary thinking. To date, no other study has acknowledged this aesthetic pattern nor the common ground these artists share in their works. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radicant Patterns in Israeli Art)
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Open AccessArticle
Trusting You Will See This as We Do: The Hidatsa Water Buster (Midi Badi) Clan Negotiates the Return of a Medicine Bundle from the Museum of the American Indian in 1938
Arts 2019, 8(4), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040156 - 26 Nov 2019
Viewed by 307
Abstract
An often cited 1938 repatriation from the Museum of the American Indian in New York City to the members of the Water Buster or Midi Badi clan of the Hidatsa tribe in North Dakota is revisited. Rather than focusing on this event as [...] Read more.
An often cited 1938 repatriation from the Museum of the American Indian in New York City to the members of the Water Buster or Midi Badi clan of the Hidatsa tribe in North Dakota is revisited. Rather than focusing on this event as a “first” in repatriation history or using it as a character assessment of the director of the museum, this account highlights the clan’s agency and resistance through an examination of their negotiation for the return of a sacred bundle and the objects they selected to provide in exchange. Through this example, we see how tribes have had to make hard choices in hard times, and how repatriation is a form of resistance and redress that contributes to the future of a community’s wellbeing in the face of a history of religious and colonial oppression. Full article
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Open AccessEssay
Whose Streets? Police Violence and the Recorded Image
Arts 2019, 8(4), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040155 - 26 Nov 2019
Viewed by 276
Abstract
This essay reframes street photography in terms of the images and videos taken by bystanders who find themselves witness to egregious acts of state-sanctioned police violence against black and brown bodies in the United States. Along the way, it challenges the belief that [...] Read more.
This essay reframes street photography in terms of the images and videos taken by bystanders who find themselves witness to egregious acts of state-sanctioned police violence against black and brown bodies in the United States. Along the way, it challenges the belief that bystanders are “innocent” observers and investigates the meaning of “evidence” and the role of representation in order to argue for a model of seeing that can simultaneously reveal moments of ongoing racial debilitation and work to create new political subjects capable of transformative collective action. The goal is twofold: (1) to disrupt a history of photography—and more specifically a history of street photography—that emphasizes innovation, biography, and universal experience; and (2) to reorient what it means to discuss the politics of the image (in particular, the digital “documentary” image) away from a discourse that either privileges “uncertainty” or understands images as empty simulations, and toward one that acknowledges representation’s complexity but also its ongoing power. In the United States, we may never be able to tell a story in and about public space without replaying scenes of violence and targeted assault, but this essay argues that finding ways to let voices and images from the past—both tragic and redemptive—resonate in the present and speak to us in the future, may provide some way forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Street Photography Reframed)
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Open AccessArticle
A Pathway Home: Connecting Museum Collections with Native Communities
Arts 2019, 8(4), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040154 - 22 Nov 2019
Viewed by 3400
Abstract
In 2016, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and the Poeh Cultural Center, owned and operated by the Pueblo of Pojoaque in New Mexico, begin work on a loan of 100 ceramics in NMAI’s collections to the Poeh Cultural Center. [...] Read more.
In 2016, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and the Poeh Cultural Center, owned and operated by the Pueblo of Pojoaque in New Mexico, begin work on a loan of 100 ceramics in NMAI’s collections to the Poeh Cultural Center. Making loans to other institutions is regular practice for NMAI. In making loans to tribal museums and cultural centers, a loan can take on cultural and spiritual significance, which was the case for the Poeh Cultural Center and the community members it supports and represents. This article addresses the importance of connecting Native peoples with museum collections, which has the potential to contribute to community well-being, by featuring the partnership between NMAI and the Poeh Cultural Center. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gendering the Japanese Empire: Ri Kōran as ‘Transnational’ Star?
Arts 2019, 8(4), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040153 - 21 Nov 2019
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Abstract
This paper aims to assess how Ri Kōran came to represent the gender dichotomies of the Japanese Empire. Looking at two propaganda films, Suzhou Nights (1941) and Sayon’s Bell (1943), I will work out how the roles she played are indicative of the [...] Read more.
This paper aims to assess how Ri Kōran came to represent the gender dichotomies of the Japanese Empire. Looking at two propaganda films, Suzhou Nights (1941) and Sayon’s Bell (1943), I will work out how the roles she played are indicative of the gender roles in the Japanese Empire, taking into account her transnational star persona. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Japanese Transnational Cinema)
Open AccessArticle
Exploring Appropriation as a Creative Practice
Arts 2019, 8(4), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040152 - 15 Nov 2019
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Abstract
During the 1960s and 1970s, Ed Ruscha produced a series of 16 small, self-published books that became a catalyst for how artists could approach the book form. This reputation has grown through the subsequent decades, and his influence on book artists remains strong [...] Read more.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Ed Ruscha produced a series of 16 small, self-published books that became a catalyst for how artists could approach the book form. This reputation has grown through the subsequent decades, and his influence on book artists remains strong to this day to the extent that his books have been, and continue to be, appropriated across the world by successive generations of artists. Writing from a practitioner perspective, I will begin by looking at how Ruscha has become so influential to generations of book artists. I will look at what influenced him, and how he may possibly have appropriated the work of others. I will then focus in on the community of book artists who reference Ruscha’s books in their practice. The research of Ruscha’s books is embodied in each of these individual outcomes, but I will show that it is through the collective act and the bringing together of all of these books, through the community, that the work/s gain currency, strengthening both the Ruscha books and those that have come after. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artists’ Books: Concept, Place, and a Quiet Revolution)
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Open AccessEssay
Visceral Language: A Phenomenological Approach to Contemporary Letterpress-Printed Artist’s Book Practice in the UK
Arts 2019, 8(4), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040151 - 15 Nov 2019
Viewed by 262
Abstract
The decline of commercial letterpress printing and technological advances in industry were major influential factors with respect to the establishment of independent small presses in the United Kingdom (UK). Although unlike work from commercial, private or fine press printers, utilisation of the letterpress [...] Read more.
The decline of commercial letterpress printing and technological advances in industry were major influential factors with respect to the establishment of independent small presses in the United Kingdom (UK). Although unlike work from commercial, private or fine press printers, utilisation of the letterpress process embedded a phenomenological approach to artist-led publishing where physicality and experience of using the letterpress process was reflected within the practice of making artists’ books and printed matter. Major concepts and inclusion of tools, equipment, technologies and studio methods used in historical small publishing practice can be considered in relation to today’s practitioners making letterpress-printed artists’ books to understand how skills are learnt and developed to support the evolution of a reflexive approach within contemporary practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artists’ Books: Concept, Place, and a Quiet Revolution)
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Open AccessArticle
Condition Verified: On Photography, Trans Visibility, and Legacies of the Clinic
Arts 2019, 8(4), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040150 - 13 Nov 2019
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Abstract
We approach this paper with a shared investment in historical and contemporary representations of trans and gender non-conforming people, and our individual research in the archives of early US Gender Clinics. Together, we consider what is at stake—or what might be possible—when we [...] Read more.
We approach this paper with a shared investment in historical and contemporary representations of trans and gender non-conforming people, and our individual research in the archives of early US Gender Clinics. Together, we consider what is at stake—or what might be possible—when we connect legacies of photography used as diagnostic tools in gender clinics with snapshots of early, community-based gatherings, and the presence of trans people in contemporary art. From the archives of Robert J. Stoller and photos of Casa Susanna, to the collaborative photography of Zackary Drucker and Amos Mac, and the biometric data art-theory experiments of Zach Blas, we engage a series of image-based projects, which animate underlying questions and socio-political debates about the politics of visuality, and visibility’s impact on trans and gender non-conforming people. Moreover, we argue that rhetorical strategies of proof—from conditions verified in clinics to shared existence through photography—are tethered to, and thus trapped by, the logics and discipline of legibility and re-institutionalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology and Mental Health in Contemporary Art)
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Open AccessArticle
Perceptions. The Unbuilt Synagogue in Buda through Controversial Architectural Tenders (1912–1914)
Arts 2019, 8(4), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040149 - 08 Nov 2019
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Abstract
The unbuilt synagogue in Buda is an almost forgotten chapter in Hungarian architectural history which drew great attention between 1911 and 1914. It was discussed extensively by the contemporary press in the early 20th century and by architects in the Hungarian capital of [...] Read more.
The unbuilt synagogue in Buda is an almost forgotten chapter in Hungarian architectural history which drew great attention between 1911 and 1914. It was discussed extensively by the contemporary press in the early 20th century and by architects in the Hungarian capital of Austria–Hungary. Between 1912 and 1914 three tenders for the design of the synagogue of Buda were announced, with the participation of well-known (synagogue) architects of Hungary, who represented the diverse architectural styles of the period. The efforts to build the synagogue, including the three failed tenders, the 30 competition designs and the opinions of contemporaries raised, and continue to raise, many provocative questions. The present study is based on the analysis of the designs submitted and criticisms published in official architecture magazines between 1912 and 1914, but not yet studied and published elsewhere. Through these, the study showcases the controversial architectural decisions that could have changed the appearance of a neighbourhood but failed to do so. The study puts the townscape of Széll Kálmán Square in Buda in a new context, revealing another layer of architecture, urban design and architectural-sociology and perception of the capital’s synagogue on the eve of World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Siyosapa: At the Edge of Art
Arts 2019, 8(4), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040148 - 05 Nov 2019
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Abstract
The art history of Native North America built its corpus through considerations of “art-by-appropriation,” referring to selections of historically produced objects reconsidered as art, due to their artful properties, in addition to “art-by-intention,” referring to the work by known artists intended for the [...] Read more.
The art history of Native North America built its corpus through considerations of “art-by-appropriation,” referring to selections of historically produced objects reconsidered as art, due to their artful properties, in addition to “art-by-intention,” referring to the work by known artists intended for the art market. The work of Siyosapa, a Hunkpapa/Yanktonai holy man active at Fort Peck, Montana during the 1880s and 1890s, troubles these distinctions with his painted drums and muslin paintings featuring the Sun Dance sold to figures of colonial authority: Military officers, agency officials, and others. This essay reassembles the corpus of his work through the analysis of documentary and collections records. In their unattributed state, some of his creations proved very influential during early attempts by art museums to define American Indian art within a modernist, twentieth century sense of world art history. However, after reestablishing Siyosapa’s agency in the creation and deployment of his drums and paintings, a far more complicated story emerges. While seemly offering “tourist art” or “market art,” his works also resemble diplomatic presentations, and represent material representations of his spiritual powers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reviewing the Inclusion of Artists’ Holograms in the Permanent Collections of Fine Art Museums
Arts 2019, 8(4), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040147 - 04 Nov 2019
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Abstract
Opening in 1976 with the exhibition, “Through the Looking Glass”, the Museum of Holography (MOH) emphasized from the beginning the importance of artistic holography with the inclusion of several holograms by artists whose primary practice was holography, articulating for the first time a [...] Read more.
Opening in 1976 with the exhibition, “Through the Looking Glass”, the Museum of Holography (MOH) emphasized from the beginning the importance of artistic holography with the inclusion of several holograms by artists whose primary practice was holography, articulating for the first time a distinction between artists, scientists and technicians. While the scientific and engineering principles underlying the technology could educate a public, holograms made by artists provided the visual syntax for the creative possibilities holography could offer. The MOH continued to encourage and support artists’ work throughout its history, amassing a large collection of holograms representative of the most prolific period of artistic activity from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum (MIT Museum) in Boston acquired the entire archive including artistic and technical holograms as well as all related materials when the MOH closed in 1992. This paper will seek to explore whether the medium of holography within the visual arts has led to fine art museum acquisitions in the intervening decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
Open AccessArticle
Circulating Regalia and Lakȟóta Survivance, c. 1900
Arts 2019, 8(4), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040146 - 31 Oct 2019
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Abstract
This essay offers object biographies of two examples of Lakȟóta beaded regalia that traveled with Wild West performers to France in 1889 and in 1911, respectively, as exemplars of Gerald Vizenor’s concept of survivance. By examining the production of the objects by women [...] Read more.
This essay offers object biographies of two examples of Lakȟóta beaded regalia that traveled with Wild West performers to France in 1889 and in 1911, respectively, as exemplars of Gerald Vizenor’s concept of survivance. By examining the production of the objects by women artists within the Lakȟóta community and visually analyzing their designs, this article highlights the regalia as an opposition to both settler colonial political suppression and enforced attempts of cultural assimilation. The article stresses that the beadwork’s materiality bears traces of its intended circulation and public display that are enacted when Lakȟóta individuals wore the regalia in the context of Wild West performance in France. Both when rooted in the Lakȟóta community and when circulating through Wild West shows, the objects evince Lakȟóta survivance. When the regalia was acquired by non-Native individuals in France, who projected new meanings onto the objects, the function of the regalia as a public statement of Lakȟóta survivance subtly continued to operate through generated revenue for the community and through the visibility of Lakȟóta culture through continued circulation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Australian Indigenous Art Centres Online: A Multi-Purpose Cultural Tourism Framework
Arts 2019, 8(4), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040145 - 26 Oct 2019
Viewed by 269
Abstract
In early 2019, Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) government announced the $106 million funding and promotion of a new state-wide Territory Arts Trail featuring Indigenous art and culture under the banner “The World’s biggest art gallery is the NT.” Some of the destinations on [...] Read more.
In early 2019, Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) government announced the $106 million funding and promotion of a new state-wide Territory Arts Trail featuring Indigenous art and culture under the banner “The World’s biggest art gallery is the NT.” Some of the destinations on the Arts Trail are Indigenous art centres, each one a nexus of contemporary creativity and cultural revitalisation, community activity and economic endeavour. Many of these art centres are extremely remote and contend with resourcing difficulties and a lack of visitor awareness. Tourists, both independent and organised, make their travelling decisions based upon a range of factors and today, the availability of accessible and engaging online information is vital. This makes the quality of the digital presence of remote art centres, particularly their website content, a critical determinant in visitor itineraries. This digital content also has untapped potential to contribute significant localised depth and texture to broader Indigenous arts education and comprehension. This article examines the context-based website content which supports remote Indigenous art centre tourism and suggests a strategic framework to improve website potential in further advancing commercial activities and Indigenous arts education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Australian Indigenous Art and Cultural Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle
Three Women Sharing a Mantle in 6th Century BCE Greek Vase-Painting: Plurality, Unity, Family, and Social Bond
Arts 2019, 8(4), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040144 - 26 Oct 2019
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Abstract
The motif of three women sharing the same mantle is pictured on about a dozen vases dating from the first half of the sixth century BCE. Among these vases, the so-called “François Vase” and a dinos signed by Sophilos (now in London, British [...] Read more.
The motif of three women sharing the same mantle is pictured on about a dozen vases dating from the first half of the sixth century BCE. Among these vases, the so-called “François Vase” and a dinos signed by Sophilos (now in London, British Museum) are of particular interest. The wedding of Thetis and Peleus is pictured on both vases. This theme is well-adapted to the representation of a procession of deities in which the Charites, Horai, Moirai, and Muses take part. The main feature of these deities is a shared mantle, which covers and assembles them, emphasizing that these deities are plural by definition. The main study on this iconographical theme remains that by Buchholz, who documented most of the depictions of the “shared-mantle” in ancient Greek vase-painting and small terracottas. The shared-mantle motif has been interpreted successively as a reference to the sacred peplos (in relation to the wedding), a simplification from the painter to avoid painting all the mantles, a sign of emotional/sexual union, a religious gesture, and a depiction of choruses. The present study aims to consider in more detail the “shared-mantle” as an iconographic sign that involves the idea of community, shared identity, and emotional bond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 1))
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Open AccessArticle
A Search for the Hidden King: Messianism, Prophecies and Royal Epiphanies of the Kings of Aragon (circa 1250–1520)
Arts 2019, 8(4), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040143 - 25 Oct 2019
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Abstract
Modern historiography has studied the influence of messianic and millennialist ideas in the Crown of Aragon extensively and, more particularly, how they were linked to the Aragonese monarchy. To date, research in the field of art history has mainly considered royal iconography from [...] Read more.
Modern historiography has studied the influence of messianic and millennialist ideas in the Crown of Aragon extensively and, more particularly, how they were linked to the Aragonese monarchy. To date, research in the field of art history has mainly considered royal iconography from a different point of view: through coronation, historical or dynastic images. This article will explore the connections, if any, between millennialist prophetic visions and royal iconography in the Crown of Aragon using both texts and the figurative arts, bearing in mind that sermons, books and images shared a common space in late medieval audiovisual culture, where royal epiphanies took place. The point of departure will be the hypothesis that some royal images and apparently conventional religious images are compatible with readings based on sources of prophetic and apocalyptic thought, which help us to understand the intentions and values behind unique figurative and performative epiphanies of the dynasty that ruled the Crown of Aragon between 1250 and 1516. With this purpose in mind, images will be analysed in their specific context, which is often possible to reconstruct thanks to the abundance and diversity of the written sources available on the subject, with a view to identifying their promoters’ intentions, the function they fulfilled and the reception of these images in the visual culture of this time and place. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ghosts in the Closet: Catastrophizing and Spectral Disability in Anne Charlotte Robertson’s Apologies
Arts 2019, 8(4), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040142 - 24 Oct 2019
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Anne Charlotte Robertson, who died in 2012, was a Super 8 experimental filmmaker whose primarily diaristic films record her experience with a diagnosis of manic depression and the corresponding nervous breakdowns. This article specifically addresses Robertson’s film Apologies (1983–1990), which features 17 min [...] Read more.
Anne Charlotte Robertson, who died in 2012, was a Super 8 experimental filmmaker whose primarily diaristic films record her experience with a diagnosis of manic depression and the corresponding nervous breakdowns. This article specifically addresses Robertson’s film Apologies (1983–1990), which features 17 min of the filmmaker apologizing to the camera for everything from drinking non-organic coffee to returning her camera a day late to her eventual nervous breakdown in the final scene of the film. Beginning with the psychological concept of catastrophizing, this paper shows how Robertson’s film engages with larger contemporaneous philosophical conceptions of disaster, or apocalypse, and its corresponding temporality. Drawing upon Jacques Derrida and Maurice Blanchot, mental disability is shown to be more thoroughly understood through shifting and multiple temporalities, termed as ‘spectral disability’ within this paper. Apologies not only reveals the personally specific details of Robertson’s experience and identity, but also responds to a larger history of representing madness in photography and film. Robertson’s engagement with the moving image is not only related to philosophy and history, but predates similar techniques devised in psychology as well. Ultimately, through disability theorist Rosemarie Garland-Thomson’s concept of misfitting, this paper explores how Apologies exposes the creative possibilities of mental disability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology and Mental Health in Contemporary Art)
Open AccessArticle
Corona Angelica Pannoniae: ‘...ecce Angelus Domini’
Arts 2019, 8(4), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040141 - 23 Oct 2019
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Abstract
The article examines the Hungarian corona angelica tradition, according to which the Holy Crown of Hungary was delivered to the country by an angel. In order to embed Hungarian results into international scholarship, it provides an English language summary of previous research and [...] Read more.
The article examines the Hungarian corona angelica tradition, according to which the Holy Crown of Hungary was delivered to the country by an angel. In order to embed Hungarian results into international scholarship, it provides an English language summary of previous research and combines in one study how St. Stephen I (997–1038), St. Ladislaus I (1074–1095), and King Matthias Corvinus (1458–1490) came to be associated with the tradition, examining both written and visual sources. The article moves forward previous research by posing the question whether the angel delivering the Crown to Hungary could have been identified as the Angelus Domini at some point throughout history. This possibility is suggested by Hungary’s Chronici Hungarici compositio saeculi XIV and an unusually popular Early Modern modification of the Hartvik Legend, both of which use this expression to denote the angel delivering the Crown. While the article leaves the question open until further research sheds more light on the history of early Hungarian spirituality; it also points out how this identification of the angel would harmonize the Byzantine and the Hungarian iconography of the corona angelica, and provides insight into the current state of the Angelus Domini debate in angelology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stolen Voices Is a Slowly Unfolding Eavesdrop on the East Coast of the UK
Arts 2019, 8(4), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040140 - 23 Oct 2019
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Stolen Voices is a research enquiry that uses listening as both methodology and material. Stolen Voices develops techniques for ‘listening in’ and eavesdropping to help articulate an epistemology of place through sonic frameworks. A core motivation for the listening is a semi-fictional story [...] Read more.
Stolen Voices is a research enquiry that uses listening as both methodology and material. Stolen Voices develops techniques for ‘listening in’ and eavesdropping to help articulate an epistemology of place through sonic frameworks. A core motivation for the listening is a semi-fictional story we tell ourselves (and anyone else who is listening): an ‘event’ has taken place along the East Coast of the United Kingdom (UK), and we have been tasked with figuring out what has happened. While the specifics of the event might be difficult to pin down, the urgency of the investigation is fuelled by concrete concerns found in the UK edgelands, at the border/margin of the country: the uncertain future of the UK’s relationship with Europe; the effects of climate change on coastal landscapes; the waning of industries like manufacturing and coal extraction; the oil industry in crisis; the rise of global shipping infrastructures. By using a semi-fictional framework, we move away from mapping techniques like data-sonification towards a methodology that embraces gaps and inventive excesses while insisting on the importance of making an account. Through listening, we foster attention to contingencies and indeterminacies and their relationships to prevailing structures and knowledge hierarchies. Stolen Voices asks: what is the relationship between a listener and what is heard? How can listening attune us to the complexities of contemporary political, economic, ecological and social processes? How did we get to where we are now, and how, through listening, can we seek out levers for change? What do the rhythms and atmospheres of specific geographic locations inform or reveal about history? Evolving over several years, in response to what we hear, the investigation necessarily proceeds slowly. In this article, we unfold our methodological processes for the detection of sound, voices, atmosphere and affect. We use creative-critical writing to evidence the construction of a research investigation focused on the act of listening as a spatial practice and necessarily collective endeavour. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Royal Divine Coronation Iconography. Preliminary Considerations
Arts 2019, 8(4), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040139 - 23 Oct 2019
Viewed by 237
Abstract
In recent decades, art historians have stressed the benefits of analysing medieval images and their contents within their specific context and, in particular, have underlined the importance of their visual impact on contemporary beholders to determine their functions and specific meanings. In other [...] Read more.
In recent decades, art historians have stressed the benefits of analysing medieval images and their contents within their specific context and, in particular, have underlined the importance of their visual impact on contemporary beholders to determine their functions and specific meanings. In other words, in the analysis of a medieval image, it has become fundamental to verify where it was collocated and whom it was aimed at, and which practical reasons it was made for (its visibility, fruition, and usability). As a result, new perspectives have been opened, creating an active historiographical debate about one of the most fascinating and studied iconographic themes of the Middle Ages: the royal divine coronation. Hence, there has been a complete rethinking of the function and meaning of this iconographic theme. For instance, the divine coronation of the king might not symbolically allude to his earthly power but to the devotional hope of receiving the crown of eternal life in the afterworld. Moreover, in the specific case of some Ottonian and Salian illuminations, historiographers have proposed that their function was not only celebrative (a manifesto of the political ideologies that legitimized power), but also liturgical and religious. This paper places this topic in a historiographical framework and provides some preliminary methodological considerations in order to stimulate new research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Artist’s Book in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Walter Benjamin and the Artist’s Book
Arts 2019, 8(4), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040138 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 316
Abstract
Walter Benjamin, who was familiar with the pre-Second World War avant-garde, argued that mechanization threatens the aura of art objects. The digital revolution has been seen as reconfirming Benjamin’s thesis, but the digital can be seen to reaffirm the value of the actual, [...] Read more.
Walter Benjamin, who was familiar with the pre-Second World War avant-garde, argued that mechanization threatens the aura of art objects. The digital revolution has been seen as reconfirming Benjamin’s thesis, but the digital can be seen to reaffirm the value of the actual, physical artist’s book, and moreover, artists have exploited the digital—as technologies and subject matter—to make artists’ books. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artists’ Books: Concept, Place, and a Quiet Revolution)
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