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Arts, Volume 9, Issue 1 (March 2020) – 40 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): One of a series of essays exploring the role of the artist’s book as primary medium in contemporary art practice, this interview with internationally renowned artist and publisher Helen Douglas explores a genre which has grown exponentially since its modest beginnings in the early 1960s with the pivotal works of Ed Ruscha and Dieter Roth. In spite of the accessibility and freedom of current digital technologies and mass production, the discussion reassesses the significance of the handmade and the artist/audience relationship through the haptic, intimate and often conceptually complex experiences of the book, its formats and materiality. View this paper.
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Editorial
Women Architects on the Road to an Egalitarian Profession—The Portuguese and Spanish Cases
Arts 2020, 9(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010040 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
The 1970s was a key decade in the path towards democracy in the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal and Spain suffered deep social, cultural and political changes, with Salazar’s and Franco’s Totalitarian Regimes ending in 1974 and 1975 respectively. In both countries, located side-by-side in [...] Read more.
The 1970s was a key decade in the path towards democracy in the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal and Spain suffered deep social, cultural and political changes, with Salazar’s and Franco’s Totalitarian Regimes ending in 1974 and 1975 respectively. In both countries, located side-by-side in the Western end of Southern Europe, democracy was finally established, marking a turning point in the liberties of all Iberian citizens, but especially in regard to women’s life and work. As the Editorial of the Special Issue ‘Becoming a Gender Equity Democracy: Women and Architecture Practice in Spain and Portugal’, this text aims to briefly present this panorama to appreciate the particularities of Portugal and Spain in relation with the delay incorporation of women to the architecture profession. It explains the gender stereotypes of Salazar’s and Franco’s Regime in order to understand the discrimination against women that they produced and how it maintained women far from the architecture profession. Therefore, it provides useful data on the incorporation of women into architectural studies in order to understand the feminization of this gendered profession in both countries. This Special Issue aims to create an opportunity for researchers and scholars to present discussions and ongoing research on how democracy affected women that wanted to practice architecture as well as architectural analysis of women architects. Full article
Article
“I Can’t Be What You Expect of Me”: Power, Palatability, and Shame in Frozen: The Broadway Musical
Arts 2020, 9(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010039 - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1555
Abstract
This article combines critical, cultural, and musical analysis to situate Frozen: The Broadway Musical as a distinct work within Disney’s wider franchise. In this article, I consider the evolution of Elsa’s character on stage and the role of additional songs in the Frozen [...] Read more.
This article combines critical, cultural, and musical analysis to situate Frozen: The Broadway Musical as a distinct work within Disney’s wider franchise. In this article, I consider the evolution of Elsa’s character on stage and the role of additional songs in the Frozen score. In so doing, I demonstrate how the stage adaptation distances itself from the feminist potential in the original animation. Using the lenses of palatability and gendered shame, I argue that Frozen: The Broadway Musical forces patriarchal modes of behaviour onto its heroines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Broadway Then and Now: Musicals in the 21st Century)
Article
“Jewish Building” in the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic after the Holocaust. Possibilities, Limits, Spaces
Arts 2020, 9(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010038 - 12 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1175
Abstract
As early as the first months after the Second World War had ended, newly founded Jewish communities were beginning to form in Germany. These communities were established further in the years to follow, in the course of which new synagogues and community centers [...] Read more.
As early as the first months after the Second World War had ended, newly founded Jewish communities were beginning to form in Germany. These communities were established further in the years to follow, in the course of which new synagogues and community centers were erected. In today’s perceptions, these building projects are often seen in the context of the efforts of gentile society to make reparations (Wiedergutmachung). This article examines the possibilities and conditions under which non-Jewish post-Nazi society was operating in regard to enabling “Jewish building (Jüdisches Bauen)”, and highlights the tremendous influence that political action has had on the projects of the Jewish communities. The synagogue projects in Mannheim and Würzburg are used as examples to illustrate this issue as it reflects in the Federal Republic of Germany. This article brings forth, for the first time, a description of the situation in the German Democratic Republic providing an overview on the extent of the construction activity. Subsequently, observations over the use of the term and the concept of “Jewish building (Jüdisches Bauen)” are outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
Article
The Artist as Soldier: Howard Cook’s Self-Portrait in a Foxhole
Arts 2020, 9(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010037 - 10 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1263
Abstract
In the summer of 1943, Taos artist Howard Cook (1901–1980) traveled to the South Pacific to serve as a correspondent in the U.S. Army’s short-lived War Art Unit. During his assignment, Cook produced hundreds of sketches documenting the daily lives of Allied soldiers [...] Read more.
In the summer of 1943, Taos artist Howard Cook (1901–1980) traveled to the South Pacific to serve as a correspondent in the U.S. Army’s short-lived War Art Unit. During his assignment, Cook produced hundreds of sketches documenting the daily lives of Allied soldiers working there; yet, one group stands out for its subject matter: the artist himself. Collectively titled Self-Portrait in a Foxhole, these works depict Cook taking shelter during an air raid and, together with his writings, offer an invaluable perspective into his interpretation of war through art. This essay explores Cook’s wartime oeuvre by examining the Self-Portrait group’s depiction of vulnerability. Through an expressionistic use of ink and paint and a compositional emphasis on his passivity, Cook offers a personalized interpretation of combat conditions that underscores his sense of exposure. Although his self-representation initially appears distinct from the more assertive soldiers in his other sketches, when viewed together, they collectively demonstrate Cook’s efforts to record a nuanced impression of the war, reflecting a broader tradition of exploring war’s deleterious effects on soldiers. More broadly, Cook’s oeuvre highlights the significance of the War Art Unit and the potential for more scholarship on this initiative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World War, Art, and Memory: 1914 to 1945)
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Article
Käthe Kollwitz: Memorialization as Anti-Militarist Weapon
Arts 2020, 9(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010036 - 10 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1896
Abstract
This essay explores Käthe Kollwitz’s antiwar graphic work in the context of the German, and later, international No More War movement from 1920 to 1925, where it played an important role in antimilitarist campaigns, exhibitions, and publications, both in Germany and internationally. Looking [...] Read more.
This essay explores Käthe Kollwitz’s antiwar graphic work in the context of the German, and later, international No More War movement from 1920 to 1925, where it played an important role in antimilitarist campaigns, exhibitions, and publications, both in Germany and internationally. Looking at Kollwitz’s production closely, we discover a deeply pragmatic artistic strategy, where the emotionality of Kollwitz’s famed prints was the result of tireless technical, formal, and compositional investigation, contrived to maximize emotional impact. By choosing the easily disseminated medium of printmaking as her main vehicle and using a deliberately spare but powerful graphic language in carefully chosen motifs, Kollwitz intended her art to reach as broad an audience as possible in engaging antiwar sentiment. In connection with the leading antiwar voices of the time, including French Nobel Prize-winning writer Romain Rolland and the founder of War Resisters’ International, Helene Stöcker, she deployed her work to reach beyond the confines of the art gallery, into internationally distributed posters, periodicals, and books. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World War, Art, and Memory: 1914 to 1945)
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Editorial
Books, Scrolls and Ripples: In Search of an Audience through the Printed Works of Helen Douglas
Arts 2020, 9(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010035 - 05 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
In this interview, artist and small press publisher Dr. Helen Douglas appraises the development of the artist’s book from its emergence in the 1950s and 1960s to seeking public recognition as a bone fide art form in the mid-1970s, through to the current [...] Read more.
In this interview, artist and small press publisher Dr. Helen Douglas appraises the development of the artist’s book from its emergence in the 1950s and 1960s to seeking public recognition as a bone fide art form in the mid-1970s, through to the current global attention that it now attracts. Notions of the mass-produced and the handmade are questioned and examined in light of the freedom, cheapness and accessibility of digital technologies versus the time and labour of the artist in search of the haptic, intimate and conceptually complex experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artists’ Books: Concept, Place, and a Quiet Revolution)
Editorial
Fence-Sitting and an Opportunity to Unsettle the Settled: Placing Critical Pressure on Creative Holography
Arts 2020, 9(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010034 - 05 Mar 2020
Viewed by 584
Abstract
The field of creative holography is not known for its critical introspection [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
Article
Galician Female Architects—A Critical Approach to Inequality in the Architectural Profession (1931–1986)
Arts 2020, 9(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010033 - 04 Mar 2020
Viewed by 2677
Abstract
The remoteness of Galicia, a cultural and linguistic bridge between Portugal and Spain, did not prevent it from playing a significant role in the history of female architects in the Iberian Peninsula. Nine Galician pioneers have carved the path since the first generation [...] Read more.
The remoteness of Galicia, a cultural and linguistic bridge between Portugal and Spain, did not prevent it from playing a significant role in the history of female architects in the Iberian Peninsula. Nine Galician pioneers have carved the path since the first generation of Spanish female architects outlined the precedents during the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939). They were also present in an initial period, even if housewifization theories were intensively fueled by the dictatorship (1939–1975); likewise during the continuity period in the transition to democracy (1975–1982), and the second wave of feminism. However, it would not be until progressive democratic institutionalization (1982–1986) that more women gained access to architectural studies in university (consolidation period); but what is the legacy of these pioneers? Are Galician female architects ‘in transition’ yet? Based on data primarily collected by research group MAGA and released publications, this piece explores how, despite their achievements, their recognition is still superficial. And even if the number of undergraduate students reached quantitative equality, female practitioners continue to leave architecture and these numbers are increasing. Towards a critical approach to inequality in the profession, this article researches the history—and stories—of Galician female architects to examine how far we are from effective equality in the Galician architectural world. Full article
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Article
“Fragile Possibilities”: The Role of the Artist’s Book in Public Art
Arts 2020, 9(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010032 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2003
Abstract
Writing during the millennium, not long after the installation of Antony Gormley’s The Angel of the North, artist and publisher Simon Cutts criticised the dominance of monumentalism within the field of public art. Decrying the lack of critical engagement offered by public [...] Read more.
Writing during the millennium, not long after the installation of Antony Gormley’s The Angel of the North, artist and publisher Simon Cutts criticised the dominance of monumentalism within the field of public art. Decrying the lack of critical engagement offered by public sculpture, he called for an alternative approach, focussed upon process rather than product. Almost two decades later, it could be argued that mainstream understandings of public art have expanded to incorporate more ephemeral approaches, such as performance, sound art and social interventions. Within this context, the artist’s book has come to occupy a significant role within the production, dissemination and interpretation of such work. This has been accompanied by a growing interest in the artist’s book as a public artwork in its own right. These two distinct yet interrelated approaches form the subject of our essay. Drawing on examples of artists’ books held in the Special Collections at Manchester Metropolitan University and the library collections at Henry Moore Institute as well as from our own curatorial practice, we argue that, far from ancillary artefacts, artists’ books play a pivotal role within the production of public art and provide an important space in which to critically engage with the complexities of place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artists’ Books: Concept, Place, and a Quiet Revolution)
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Editorial
Introduction: Layered Landscapes
Arts 2020, 9(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010031 - 27 Feb 2020
Viewed by 619
Abstract
This Special Issue of Arts investigates a series of creative projects focused upon and sited within certain peripheral landscapes of northern Britain [...] Full article
Book Review
Diverse Perspectives. A Review of Women Architects: Mode(s) of (R)existing. Reflections Based on a Cycle of Talks
Arts 2020, 9(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010030 - 26 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1192
Abstract
The book Women Architects: Mode(s) of (R)existing. Reflections Based on a Cycle of Talks (2018, edited by Patrícia Santos Pedrosa, Joana Pestana Lages, and Lia Gil Antunes, Lisbon, Women in Architecture Association, 100p), published as a bilingual collection (Portuguese and English), is structured [...] Read more.
The book Women Architects: Mode(s) of (R)existing. Reflections Based on a Cycle of Talks (2018, edited by Patrícia Santos Pedrosa, Joana Pestana Lages, and Lia Gil Antunes, Lisbon, Women in Architecture Association, 100p), published as a bilingual collection (Portuguese and English), is structured around thirteen narratives by women architects, from a cycle of talks which took place from September 2017 to March 2018 in Lisbon. The book presents a concise record of the event’s purpose, which was to initiate a debate that takes into account both the gender perspective and women architects’ invisibility, as well as their multiple implications in the creation of Portuguese architecture, cities and territories within a traditionally male profession. Full article
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Article
Filling History, Consolidating the Origins. The First Female Architects of the Barcelona School of Architecture (1964–1975)
Arts 2020, 9(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010029 - 25 Feb 2020
Viewed by 931
Abstract
After Francisco Franco’s death, the process of democratisation of public institutions was a key factor in the evolution of the architectural profession in Spain. The approval of the creation of neighbourhood associations, the first municipal governments, and the modernisation of Spanish universities are [...] Read more.
After Francisco Franco’s death, the process of democratisation of public institutions was a key factor in the evolution of the architectural profession in Spain. The approval of the creation of neighbourhood associations, the first municipal governments, and the modernisation of Spanish universities are some examples of this. Moreover, feminist and environmental activism from some parts of Spanish society was relevant for socio-political change that affected women in particular. The last decade of Franco’s Regime coincided with the first generation of women that graduated from the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB). From 1964 to 1975, 73 female students graduated as architects—the first one was Margarita Brender Rubira (1919–2000) who validated her degree obtained in Romania in 1962. Some of these women became pioneers in different fields of the architectural profession, such as Roser Amador in architectural design, Alrun Jimeno in building technologies, Anna Bofill in urban design and planning, Rosa Barba in landscape architecture or Pascuala Campos in architectural design, and teaching with gender perspective. This article presents the contributions of these women to the architecture profession in relation to these socio-political advances. It also seeks—through the life stories, personal experiences, and personal visions on professional practice—to highlight those ‘other stories’ that have been left out of the hegemonic historiography of Spanish architecture. Full article
Article
Art Criticism and the State of Feminist Art Criticism
Arts 2020, 9(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010028 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1989
Abstract
This essay is in four parts. The first offers a critique of James Elkins and Michael Newman’s book The State of Art Criticism (Routledge, 2008) for what it tells us about art criticism in academia and journalism and feminism; the second considers how [...] Read more.
This essay is in four parts. The first offers a critique of James Elkins and Michael Newman’s book The State of Art Criticism (Routledge, 2008) for what it tells us about art criticism in academia and journalism and feminism; the second considers how a gendered analysis measures the “state” of art and art criticism as a feminist intervention; and the third, how neo-liberal mis-readings of Linda Nochlin and Laura Mulvey in the art world represent feminism in ideas about “greatness” and the “gaze”, whilst avoiding feminist arguments about women artists or their work, particularly on “motherhood”. In the fourth part, against the limits of the first three, the state of feminist art criticism across the last fifty years is reconsidered by highlighting the plurality of feminisms in transnational, transgenerational and progressive alliances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reconsidering the State(s) of Criticism)
Article
Staging Proto-Zionism. Jewish Quarter of Zemun, Serbia: Historical Evidence, Structure, Meaning
Arts 2020, 9(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010027 - 25 Feb 2020
Viewed by 755
Abstract
Zemun is an old Central European town on the right bank of the Danube River, today one of the boroughs of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. There has been a small Jewish community in Zemun dating back to the mid-18th century. Some of [...] Read more.
Zemun is an old Central European town on the right bank of the Danube River, today one of the boroughs of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. There has been a small Jewish community in Zemun dating back to the mid-18th century. Some of the Jews who lived in Zemun in the 19th century contributed to the emergence of Zionism. This paper presents new archival information about Zemun’s Jewish quarter including an analysis of the Zemun synagogue as well as various hermeneutic explanations of its urban and architectural development. Previous analyses of this area of Zemun have focused on external and morphological characteristics of its religious architecture but failed to explain its conceptual, historical, socio-political and religious context. This paper will cover these new elements as well as establish a basis for understanding this part of the old urban core of Zemun in relation to the significant personalities who lived there and the important ideas they developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Article
Women Architects outside the Spanish Borders: Patriarchal Models at International Congresses (1939–1975)
Arts 2020, 9(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010026 - 20 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1583
Abstract
In the complex political scene surrounding the death of Francisco Franco, Spanish female architects were crossing borders to try and understand what was happening abroad. This article provides unpublished data on the various experiences of female graduates in Spain when they shared their [...] Read more.
In the complex political scene surrounding the death of Francisco Franco, Spanish female architects were crossing borders to try and understand what was happening abroad. This article provides unpublished data on the various experiences of female graduates in Spain when they shared their enthusiasm, concerns and energy with colleagues from other countries at international conferences that took place before the arrival of democracy. For almost four decades, between 1939 and 1975, Spanish female architects were limited by the patriarchal system’s own barriers and by the political barriers imposed by Franco’s regime. This paper aims to organise and articulate women’s memories, proving the implicit acceptance of patriarchal ideas and models at the start of the 20th century, the timidity of the congress resolutions in the sixties and the later awakening provided by UIFA (Union Internationale des Femmes Architectes) congresses. Finally, it is worth examining the metamorphosis that occurred in free western societies in the 20th century, with respect to the role played by women as a user and as a professional, through the attentive gaze of women architects from a nondemocratic country. Full article
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Article
De Modo Qualiter Reges Aragonum Coronabuntur. Visual, Material and Textual Evidence during the Middle Ages
Arts 2020, 9(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010025 - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 682
Abstract
The aim of this study is to analyze the coronation ceremonies carried out in the Crown of Aragon throughout the Middle Ages. Although the pope granted most Western monarchies the right to hold these ceremonies in their own kingdoms in 1204, our study [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to analyze the coronation ceremonies carried out in the Crown of Aragon throughout the Middle Ages. Although the pope granted most Western monarchies the right to hold these ceremonies in their own kingdoms in 1204, our study will address the mechanisms used to appoint kings both before and after the consolidation of these ceremonies, mechanisms which reflected the power struggles between the parties involved, that is, the prince and the Church. We will examine the elements that remained constant throughout this period but we will also pay particular attention to the alterations that were made and how these had important consequences that went beyond politics and entered religious terrain. Among the changes were the kings’ efforts to participate in priestly orders, the promotion and consolidation of new liturgy with content intended to legitimize the kings, and the use of new iconographies with sacred references. As will be seen, these are only a small example of the mechanisms used by the sovereigns of the Crown of Aragon to re-emphasize their links with God, which had been weakened by the transformations to the anointing and coronation ceremonials and the resulting tensions with Rome, particularly during the times of Peter IV (1336–1387). Full article
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Article
When the Image Takes over the Real: Holography and Its Potential within Acts of Visual Documentation
Arts 2020, 9(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010024 - 15 Feb 2020
Viewed by 819
Abstract
In Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes discusses the capacity of the photographic image to represent “flat death”. Documentation of an event, happening, or time is traditionally reliant on the photographic to determine its ephemeral existence and to secure its legacy within history. However, [...] Read more.
In Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes discusses the capacity of the photographic image to represent “flat death”. Documentation of an event, happening, or time is traditionally reliant on the photographic to determine its ephemeral existence and to secure its legacy within history. However, the traditional photographic document is often unsuitable to capture the real essence and experience of the artwork in situ. The hologram, with its potential to offer a three-dimensional viewpoint, suggests a desirable solution. However, there are issues concerning how this type of photographic document successfully functions within an art context. Attitudes to methods necessary for artistic production, and holography’s place within the process, are responsible for this problem. The seductive qualities of holography may be attributable to any failure that ensues, but, if used precisely, the process can be effective to create a document for ephemeral art. The failures and successes of the hologram to be reliable as a document of experience are discussed in this article, together with a suggestion of how it might undergo a transformation and reactivation to become an artwork itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
Article
Dance That “Suggested Nothing but Itself”: Josephine Baker and Abstraction
Arts 2020, 9(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010023 - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1206
Abstract
This article reconsiders Josephine Baker’s legacy for the field of dance by emphasizing the principles of abstraction that she developed through performance. Although she is considered to be a modernist, Baker is rarely discussed as an abstractionist. Doing so requires a rethinking of [...] Read more.
This article reconsiders Josephine Baker’s legacy for the field of dance by emphasizing the principles of abstraction that she developed through performance. Although she is considered to be a modernist, Baker is rarely discussed as an abstractionist. Doing so requires a rethinking of the relationship between race and abstraction, a conversation revived by choreographer Miguel Gutierrez in 2018. Audiences in 1920s Paris described how Baker confounded identity categories to produce something new for the stage, but critics and scholars since have continued to define her by those very categories. Baker’s dancing prioritized the expression of kinesthetic energy over representation or narrative, clearly fitting within the purview of abstract dance. In building upon the work of Brenda Dixon Gottschild, I argue that Baker demonstrates how abstraction is not in opposition to Africanist dance aesthetics, but rather is a constitutive part of it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dance and Abstraction)
Article
The Construction of the Great Synagogue in Stockholm, 1860–1870: A Space for Jewish and Swedish-Christian Dialogues
Arts 2020, 9(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010022 - 13 Feb 2020
Viewed by 757
Abstract
The construction of the Great Synagogue in Stockholm during the 1860s initiated Jewish communal debates on the position and public presence of Jews in the Swedish pre-emancipatory society. An investigation into the construction process not only reveals various Jewish opinions on the sacred [...] Read more.
The construction of the Great Synagogue in Stockholm during the 1860s initiated Jewish communal debates on the position and public presence of Jews in the Swedish pre-emancipatory society. An investigation into the construction process not only reveals various Jewish opinions on the sacred building, but also the pivotal role of Swedish-Christian actors in shaping the synagogue’s location, architecture, and the way it was presented in the public narrative. The Jewish community’s conceptualization and the Swedish society’s reception of the new synagogue turned it into a space on the ‘frontier.’ Conceptually situated in-between the Jewish community and the Swedish-Christian society, it encouraged cross-border interactions and became a physical product of the Jewish and Swedish-Christian entangled relationship. Non-Jewish architect Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander, historical figures prominent in the Swedish national narrative, and local and national newspapers were incorporated by the Jewish lay leadership into the creative process, and they influenced and circulated the community’s self-understanding as both Swedish citizens and Jews of a modern religion. The construction process and final product strategically communicated Jewish belonging to the Swedish nation during the last decade of social and legal inequality, thus adding to the contemporary political debate on Jewish emancipation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
Article
Exceptionally Jewish: Israeli Synagogue Architecture in the 1960s and 1970s
Arts 2020, 9(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010021 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1245
Abstract
This article examines three exceptional synagogues designed in Israel in the 1960s and 1970s. It aims to explore the tension between these iconic structures and the artworks integrated into them. The investigation of each case study is comprised of a survey of the [...] Read more.
This article examines three exceptional synagogues designed in Israel in the 1960s and 1970s. It aims to explore the tension between these iconic structures and the artworks integrated into them. The investigation of each case study is comprised of a survey of the architecture and interior design, and of ceremonial objects and Jewish art pieces. Against the backdrop of contemporary international trends, the article distinguishes between adopted styles and genuine (i.e., originally conceived) design processes. The case studies reveal a shared tendency to abstract religious symbolism while formulating a new Jewish-national visual canon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Article
Greek Geometric Animal Figurines and the Origins of the Ancient Olympic Games
Arts 2020, 9(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010020 - 11 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1130
Abstract
According to the prevailing scholarly opinion, Geometric bronze animal figurines found at Olympia represent cattle and horses which were put under the protection of the divinity in this form. This view is challenged here for various reasons including literary testimony and comparisons with [...] Read more.
According to the prevailing scholarly opinion, Geometric bronze animal figurines found at Olympia represent cattle and horses which were put under the protection of the divinity in this form. This view is challenged here for various reasons including literary testimony and comparisons with contemporary shrines containing similar dedications (especially Kato Syme on Crete). This paper argues that the bovines depicted were feral, and the figurines were offered by foreign aristocrats visiting the sanctuary especially for the sake of hunting these animals. Similarly, the horse figurines are interpreted as depicting feral equines, which were presumably captured and taken away by the visitors. After examining the cultic regulations related to the Olympic Games (timing, crowns, exclusion of married women and the penteteric periodicity), it is suggested that excessive hunting led to the extinction of some game animals and thus to a radical shift in the cult practice and ultimately resulted in the introduction of athletic events, i.e., in the Olympic Games. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals in Ancient Material Cultures (vol. 1))
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Article
It’s All in the Reading
Arts 2020, 9(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010019 - 10 Feb 2020
Viewed by 867
Abstract
It seems inherent in the nature of contemporary artist’s book production to continue to question the context for the genre in contemporary art practice, notwithstanding the medium’s potential for dissemination via mass production and an unquestionable advantage of portability for distribution. Artists, curators [...] Read more.
It seems inherent in the nature of contemporary artist’s book production to continue to question the context for the genre in contemporary art practice, notwithstanding the medium’s potential for dissemination via mass production and an unquestionable advantage of portability for distribution. Artists, curators and editors operating in this sector look to create contexts for books in a variety of imaginative ways, through exhibition, commission, installations, performance and, of course as documentation. Broadening the discussion of the idea of the book within contemporary art practice, this paper examines the presence and role of book works within the context of the art biennale, in particular the Venice Art Biennale of which the 58th iteration (2019) is entitled ‘May You Live In Interesting Times’ and curated by Ralph Rugoff, with an overview of the independent International cultural offerings and the function of the ‘Book Pavilion’. Venetian museums and institutions continue to present vibrant diverse works within the arena of large-scale exhibitions, recognising the position that the book occupies in the history of the city. This year, the appearance for the first time, of ‘Book Biennale’, opens up a new and interesting dialogue, taking the measure of how the book is being promoted and its particular function for visual communication within the arts in Venice and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artists’ Books: Concept, Place, and a Quiet Revolution)
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Article
Imagination, Indigeneity, and Computation: The SIGGRAPH 2018 Art Gallery
Arts 2020, 9(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010018 - 10 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1447
Abstract
This report addresses the SIGGRAPH 2018 Art Gallery (Vancouver, 2018), its curatorial process, the conceptual guidelines, the methodological approaches, and the sources behind it. The gallery has emphasized a transdisciplinary perspective combining creative and critical projects coming from art, science, and technology. The [...] Read more.
This report addresses the SIGGRAPH 2018 Art Gallery (Vancouver, 2018), its curatorial process, the conceptual guidelines, the methodological approaches, and the sources behind it. The gallery has emphasized a transdisciplinary perspective combining creative and critical projects coming from art, science, and technology. The exhibition was one component of the SIGGRAPH conference, and it was built upon five conceptual nodes, in this text, particular attention is paid to the historical node. The SIGGRAPH Art Gallery is an international show that in 2018 included the work of artists, engineers, and scientists from more than twelve countries participating in the exhibition in situ and from other ten countries participating in the online exhibition. In general terms, the dialog between a diverse set of projects is one of the most compelling aspects of the exposition, the participation of Indigenous artists working with digital media represented one of the most challenging and positive elements of the gallery. The theoretical reflections of Friedrich Kittler about the museums and their relationship with computation and information were a permanent source of inspiration. This text is located halfway between a report and a paper. Therefore, some sections are written in the first person. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Art Curation: Challenges in the Digital Age)
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Article
Asserting the Vernacular: Contested Musealities and Contemporary Art in Lima, Peru
Arts 2020, 9(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010017 - 07 Feb 2020
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Abstract
This essay examines three museums of contemporary art in Lima, Peru: MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art), MALI (Lima Art Museum), and MASM (San Marcos Art Museum). As framed through curatorial studies and cultural politics, we argue that the curatorial practices of these institutions [...] Read more.
This essay examines three museums of contemporary art in Lima, Peru: MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art), MALI (Lima Art Museum), and MASM (San Marcos Art Museum). As framed through curatorial studies and cultural politics, we argue that the curatorial practices of these institutions are embedded with tensions linked to the negotiation of regional, national, and international identities, coloniality, and alternate modernities between Western paradigms of contemporary art and contemporary vernacular art in Peru. Peruvian national institutions have not engaged in the collection of contemporary art, leaving these practices to private entities such as the MAC, MALI, and MASM. However, these three institutions have not, until recently, actively collected contemporary vernacular Peruvian art and its by-products, thus inscribing this work as “non-Western” through curatorial practices and creating competing conceptions of the contemporary. The curatorial practices of the MAC, MALI, and MASM reflect the complex and contested musealities and conceptions of the contemporary that co-exist in Lima. This essay will address this environment and the emergence of alternative forms of museality, curatorial practices, and indigenous artist’s strategies that continually construct and disrupt different modernities and create spaces for questioning constructs of contemporary art and Peruvian cultural identities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decolonizing Contemporary Latin American Art)
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Article
Radicant Israeli Art: From Past to Future
Arts 2020, 9(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010016 - 06 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Mieke Bal’s concept of “migratory aesthetics” and the observation by Saloni Mathur and Anne Ring Peterson that “traditional notions of location, origin and authenticity seem obsolete and in urgent need of reconsideration” perfectly encompass the phrase “Jewish art”, and within that difficult-to-define subject, [...] Read more.
Mieke Bal’s concept of “migratory aesthetics” and the observation by Saloni Mathur and Anne Ring Peterson that “traditional notions of location, origin and authenticity seem obsolete and in urgent need of reconsideration” perfectly encompass the phrase “Jewish art”, and within that difficult-to-define subject, Israeli art (which, among other things, is not always “Jewish”). As Hava Aldouby has noted, Israeli art presents a unique inflection of the global condition of mobility—which in fact contributes to the problem of easily defining the category of “Israeli art”. Nothing could be more appropriate to the discussion of Israeli art, or to the larger definitional problem of “Jewish art” than to explore it through Nicolas Bourriaud’s botanical metaphor of the “radicant”, and thus the notion of “radicant art”. The important distinction that Bourriaud offers between radical and radicant plants—whereby the former type depends upon a central root, deep-seated in a single nourishing soil site, whereas the latter is an “organism that grows its roots and adds new ones as it advances…” with “…a multitude of simultaneous or successive enrootings”—is a condition that may be understood for both Israeli and Jewish art, past and present: Aldouby’s notion that the image of the Wandering Jew offers the archetypal radicant, informs both the “altermodernity” concept and Israeli art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radicant Patterns in Israeli Art)
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Article
On a Curious Chance Resemblance: Rudolf von Laban’s Kinetography and the Geometric Abstractions of Sophie Taeuber-Arp
Arts 2020, 9(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010015 - 04 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1294
Abstract
This paper investigates a case of historical co-emergence between a modern system of dance notation and the rise of geometric abstraction in the applied arts during the first decades of the 20th century. It does so by bringing together the artistic careers of [...] Read more.
This paper investigates a case of historical co-emergence between a modern system of dance notation and the rise of geometric abstraction in the applied arts during the first decades of the 20th century. It does so by bringing together the artistic careers of the choreographer Rudolf von Laban and the visual artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Comparing their pedagogical agendas and visual aesthetics, this paper argues that the resemblances between Laban’s Kinetography and Taeuber-Arp’s early geometric compositions cannot be a matter of pure coincidence. The paper therefore presents and supports the hypothesis of a co-constitutive relationship between visual abstraction and the dancing body in the European avant-garde. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dance and Abstraction)
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Article
Seeing the Dog: Naturalistic Canine Representations from Greek Art
Arts 2020, 9(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010014 - 30 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1754
Abstract
This study attempts to demonstrate that ancient Greek authors and vase painters (mostly of the late sixth and early fifth centuries) were well attuned to the many bodily gestures and positions exhibited by dogs in real life and utilized this knowledge in producing [...] Read more.
This study attempts to demonstrate that ancient Greek authors and vase painters (mostly of the late sixth and early fifth centuries) were well attuned to the many bodily gestures and positions exhibited by dogs in real life and utilized this knowledge in producing their works. Once this is clear, it becomes evident that the Greek public at large was equally aware of such canine bodily gestures and positions. This extends the seminal work on gestures of Boegehold and Lateiner to the animal world and seeks also to serve as a call for further study of similar animals throughout ancient Greek times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals in Ancient Material Cultures (vol. 1))
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Article
Writing with Music: Self-Reflexivity in the Screenplays of Walter Reisch
Arts 2020, 9(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010013 - 28 Jan 2020
Viewed by 1231
Abstract
Self-reflexivity is a significant characteristic of Austro-German cinema during the early sound film period, particular in films that revolve around musical topics. Many examples of self-reflexive cinematic instances are connected to music in one way or another. The various ways in which music [...] Read more.
Self-reflexivity is a significant characteristic of Austro-German cinema during the early sound film period, particular in films that revolve around musical topics. Many examples of self-reflexive cinematic instances are connected to music in one way or another. The various ways in which music is integrated in films can produce instances of intertextuality, inter- and transmediality, and self-referentiality. However, instead of relying solely on the analysis of the films in order to interrogate the conception of such scenes, this article examines several screenplays. They include musical instructions and motivations for diegetic musical performances. However, not only music itself, but also music as a subject matter can be found in these screenplays, as part of the dialogue or instructions for the mis-en-scène. The work of Austrian screenwriter and director Walter Reisch (1903–1983) will serve as a case study to discuss various forms of self-reflexivity in the context of genre studies, screenwriting studies and the early sound film. Different forms and categories of self-referential uses of music in Reisch’s work will be examined and contextualized within early sound cinema in Austria and Germany in the 1930s. The results of this investigation suggest that Reisch’s early screenplays demonstrate that the amount of self-reflexivity in early Austro-German music films is closely connected to music. Self-referential devices were closely connected to generic conventions during the formative years and particularly highlight characteristics of Reisch’s writing style. The relatively early emergence of self-reflexive and “self-conscious” moments of music in film already during the silent period provides a perfect starting point to advance discussions about the musical discourse in film, as well as the role and functions of screenplays and screenwriters in this context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Film Music and Self-Reflexivity)
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Article
Weaving Forms of Resistance: The Museo de la Solidaridad and The Museo Internacional de la Resistencia Salvador Allende
Arts 2020, 9(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010012 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1019
Abstract
From the starting point of a 1975 artwork made by Norwegian artist Kjartan Slettemark in Sweden to stop a tennis match in resistance to the Chilean military dictatorship, this article reframes the linear image of networks of solidarity and resistance through the gaps [...] Read more.
From the starting point of a 1975 artwork made by Norwegian artist Kjartan Slettemark in Sweden to stop a tennis match in resistance to the Chilean military dictatorship, this article reframes the linear image of networks of solidarity and resistance through the gaps and connectivity of a mesh. It expands the figure of the mesh taken from critical materialism into the affective realm of art, historiography, and art institutions by exploring the cases of the museums Museo de la Solidaridad (1971–1974) and Museo Internacional de la Resistencia “Salvador Allende” (1975–1990). As this article delves into various knots and lacunas of the meshes of solidarity and resistance partaking in these museums, and analyzing the relations they wove, it also aims to reflect on the capacity of resilience of arpilleras, as well as on the generative possibilities of the incomplete labor of art history and its ethical and political responsibilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decolonizing Contemporary Latin American Art)
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Article
Machine Bodies: Performing Abstraction and Brazilian Art
Arts 2020, 9(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010011 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 758
Abstract
In 1973, Analívia Cordeiro produced the videodance M3x3. Filmed in a Brazilian television studio and choreographed by Cordeiro with a computer, the work explores the limits of the human body through abstraction and its inhabitation of a new media landscape. Tracing the [...] Read more.
In 1973, Analívia Cordeiro produced the videodance M3x3. Filmed in a Brazilian television studio and choreographed by Cordeiro with a computer, the work explores the limits of the human body through abstraction and its inhabitation of a new media landscape. Tracing the genealogy of M3x3 to the history of videodance, German and Brazilian art, and Brazilian politics, the article spotlights the media central for its conceptualization, production, and circulation to argue for how the video theorizes the posthuman as the inextricable entanglement of the body and technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dance and Abstraction)
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