Session Title

Medieval Art and Failure (A Roundtable)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Gerry Guest

Organizer Affiliation

John Carroll Univ.

Presider Name

Gerry Guest

Paper Title 1

The Failures of Perceiving Failures in Medieval Art

Presenter 1 Name

Roland Betancourt

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Institute for Advanced Study/Univ. of California-Irvine

Paper Title 2

"Shapelessness" in the Middle English Romance

Presenter 2 Name

Hannah M. Christensen

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Chicago

Paper Title 3

Erased Faces: Vandalizing Images in Hagiographic Manuscripts

Presenter 3 Name

Kyunghee Pyun

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Fashion Institute of Technology

Paper Title 4

Failure to Transmit

Presenter 4 Name

Alexa Sand

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Utah State Univ.

Start Date

11-5-2017 7:30 PM

Session Location

Fetzer 2020

Description

Medieval Art & Failure (A Roundtable)

What might it mean to describe a work of medieval art as a failure or as a partial failure? This roundtable seeks answers to that question, which has largely been unexplored by scholars in the field. One way that we might begin to theorize the issue is by considering temporality. Medieval objects and medieval images, by and large, were made to serve specific purposes with an eye toward use into the near or even distant future. Taken in this sense, works of art might “fail” for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons might involve communicative and/or ideological efficacy. Medieval images were often created, in part, for rhetorical purposes. If the rhetoric of the image is found to be unpersuasive, an image might be deemed a failure. Alternatively, an artwork’s perceived failure might be rooted in aesthetics; works judged to be out of style might get taken down or re-made. In other cases, medieval objects might be neglected due to material or functional failings. Finally, gifts might re-gifted, pawned, or neglected rather than kept or used. Other conceptualizations of failure in relation to the history of medieval art are certainly possible and welcome.

Gerry Guest

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 11th, 7:30 PM

Medieval Art and Failure (A Roundtable)

Fetzer 2020

Medieval Art & Failure (A Roundtable)

What might it mean to describe a work of medieval art as a failure or as a partial failure? This roundtable seeks answers to that question, which has largely been unexplored by scholars in the field. One way that we might begin to theorize the issue is by considering temporality. Medieval objects and medieval images, by and large, were made to serve specific purposes with an eye toward use into the near or even distant future. Taken in this sense, works of art might “fail” for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons might involve communicative and/or ideological efficacy. Medieval images were often created, in part, for rhetorical purposes. If the rhetoric of the image is found to be unpersuasive, an image might be deemed a failure. Alternatively, an artwork’s perceived failure might be rooted in aesthetics; works judged to be out of style might get taken down or re-made. In other cases, medieval objects might be neglected due to material or functional failings. Finally, gifts might re-gifted, pawned, or neglected rather than kept or used. Other conceptualizations of failure in relation to the history of medieval art are certainly possible and welcome.

Gerry Guest