Session Title

Sonorous and Brilliant Emptiness: Visual Approaches to White, Empty, and Silent in Medieval Art

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Art-Hist - Researches on History and Theory of Artistic Creation from Antiquity to Modern Times

Organizer Name

Vincent Debiais

Organizer Affiliation

Centre d'études supérieures de civilisation médiévale

Presider Name

Meredith Raucher

Presider Affiliation

Johns Hopkins Univ.

Paper Title 1

Talking Empty Scroll: Zechariah's Images in the _Rationale divinorum officiorum_

Presenter 1 Name

Pamela Nourrigeon

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Centre d'études supérieures de civilisation médiévale

Paper Title 2

The Iconography, Semiotics, and Phenomenology of the Bare Church Wall

Presenter 2 Name

Doron Bauer

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Florida State Univ.

Paper Title 3

Bare Skin: Blank Parchment as Conveyer of Meaning in Medieval Manuscripts

Presenter 3 Name

Lynley Anne Herbert

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Walters Art Museum

Paper Title 4

Brilliant Blankness: Polychromy in the Ulrichskapelle in Müstair

Presenter 4 Name

Rachel Danford

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Johns Hopkins Univ.

Start Date

8-5-2014 7:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1355

Description

The platform ART-HIST is designed as a structure of "virtual symposium" in which an original paper is proposed as support of discussions and exchanges between the members of a community of researchers invited to exchange on artistic creation from Antiquity to Modern times. A moderator assures the flow of exchanges between the participants to the virtual symposium, leads the debate and writes the synthesis of discussions. As a conclusion, the diptych article-synthesis is published on-line and becomes accessible to Internet users.

New questions regarding the ability of inscribed, engraved, sculpted or painted signs to depict absence or emptiness. This topic can be explored in even the more anachronistic connotations through three terms: whiteness, emptiness, and silence. This broad theme of research encompasses both the intellectual conception of blankness and its use in the material and artistic culture.

By ascribing blankness a real value, this session do not intend to understand the terms “whiteness, emptiness, and silence” within the strict sense of their opposition (black, fullness, and the voice), as if blankness were simply a null presence, whether auditory, visual, or gestural. Instead, it returns the material status to blankness that the concept held in the Middle Ages when it was understood as a substance with numerous tangible qualities and a complex, symbolic background.

Blankness, as it is envisioned here, is above all a malleable material, invoked in order to represent things that are unrepresentable by the traditional semiotic methods of artistic creation, of literary and theological exegesis, or of material culture. The topic proposed by the Art-Hist collective will endeavor to find traces of the use and the characterization of this elusive material.

Vincent Debiais

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May 8th, 7:30 PM

Sonorous and Brilliant Emptiness: Visual Approaches to White, Empty, and Silent in Medieval Art

Schneider 1355

The platform ART-HIST is designed as a structure of "virtual symposium" in which an original paper is proposed as support of discussions and exchanges between the members of a community of researchers invited to exchange on artistic creation from Antiquity to Modern times. A moderator assures the flow of exchanges between the participants to the virtual symposium, leads the debate and writes the synthesis of discussions. As a conclusion, the diptych article-synthesis is published on-line and becomes accessible to Internet users.

New questions regarding the ability of inscribed, engraved, sculpted or painted signs to depict absence or emptiness. This topic can be explored in even the more anachronistic connotations through three terms: whiteness, emptiness, and silence. This broad theme of research encompasses both the intellectual conception of blankness and its use in the material and artistic culture.

By ascribing blankness a real value, this session do not intend to understand the terms “whiteness, emptiness, and silence” within the strict sense of their opposition (black, fullness, and the voice), as if blankness were simply a null presence, whether auditory, visual, or gestural. Instead, it returns the material status to blankness that the concept held in the Middle Ages when it was understood as a substance with numerous tangible qualities and a complex, symbolic background.

Blankness, as it is envisioned here, is above all a malleable material, invoked in order to represent things that are unrepresentable by the traditional semiotic methods of artistic creation, of literary and theological exegesis, or of material culture. The topic proposed by the Art-Hist collective will endeavor to find traces of the use and the characterization of this elusive material.

Vincent Debiais