AiS - Objects of Art and Architecture: Hylonoetic Space & Ethics of Mimesis
The ICOG research centre Arts in Society organises a new session of The Objects of Art & Architecture seminar on Tuesday 12 December 2017. During this seminar, prof. Ann-Sophie Lehmann (RUG) and dr. Joost Keizer (RUG) will discuss their latest research:
Prof. Ann-Sophie Lehmann (RUG), Beurs’ Brushes: Inside the Hylonoetic Space of Painting
Building on earlier work on the metaphorical potential of painters’ nomenclature for art theory and poetry, this research aims to understand the explicit and implicit description of painterly processes within how-to texts that have a pedagogical ambition to transmit practical knowledge about painting with oil (Willem Beurs; The excellency of the Pen & Pencil; Bouvier). What exactly happens in the mental- physical space of making (“hylonoetic space”, Lambros Malafouris), where hand, brush, paint and painting meet and how is the complex moment in which paint is applied to depict something described – or isn’t it? The analysis of some terms used to describe paint application with a brush shows that while there are not many distinct terms, those that are used, can carry meaning across the hylonoetic space by combining somatic, pictorial, and material connotations. In other cases, distinct terms are missing, and practices must be deduced by connecting the description of a tool with the descriptions of what is to be depicted. While terminology is more implicit in early-modern texts, some writers are better at describing processes than others, indicating different cultures of technical writing. By the late nineteenth century, a clear practice-language has emerged, critical of prior, more encompassing terms.
Dr. Joost Keizer (RUG), Towards an Ethics of Mimesis
Mimesis is often referred to in terms of aesthetics, as either a (general) problem of representation or a formal quality of artworks and literary texts. But a whole range of pre-modern art theoretical and critical texts, from Cennino Cennini (1400) to Jan de Bisschop (1670), reveals that in Mimesis questions of aesthetic converged with those of ethics. The act of imitation not just shaped the form of art but also formed the person of the artist, his being and character. Artists somehow became what they imitated. A large part of early modern critical writing on art is concerned with controlling the artist's behavior and comportment by recommending alternative models for imitation. The hypothesis driving my lecture and the project it introduces is that the recalibration of the relationship between art and life in early modern art provoked a cascade of adjustments that is still unfolding today.