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Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja

Middle/ Advanced Seminar

Imaging the Sublime
(co-taught with Noura Dirani, M.A. and Jacob Birken, M.A.)

Capturing the forces of nature has been a challenge for visual artists across centuries and cultures. Images of disasters, majestic landscapes or weather effects also reflect the respective paradigms of 'nature and culture', and the role of humans ascribe to themselves within the world. Today, the web and television allow us to witness natural disasters almost in real time, while the entertainment industry provides us with corresponding synthetic images. Torn between fascination and fear, we cannot help being attracted to scenes showing the destructive potency of elemental forces, and to images of the victims' agony - usually, from a distant, unaffected viewpoint. The interest in recreating and experiencing the forces of nature through an image has its own traditions and historical dependencies: In Western Europe, the depiction of natural disaster in painting emerges around 1750 in conjunction with a re-phrased concept of 'landscape', and the philosophical notion of the 'sublime' as introduced by Edmund Burke and Immanuael Kant. These historical discussions and motives (can we talk of an 'iconography' of nature's forces, or corresponding 'styles' or 'genres'?) traverse time, and media: Contemporary disasterfilms like 2012 by Roland Emmerich make use of the repertoire of images established by romantic landscape painters, and, possibly, affect the ways in which we receive media footage of real disaster.
In this seminar, we will highlight specific moments in the visual arts since 1750, in which the depiction of the forces of nature appeared as a relevant paradigm both within artistic discourse and philosophy - starting with enlightenment painters as Joseph Wright or Pierre-Jaques Volaire, acrros the Romantic period with Caspar David Friedrich, J.M. William Turner, or John Martin, Symbolist landscape by Arnold Böcklin or Ferdinand Hodler, and up to the 'afterlives' of the sublime in 20th /21st century cinema or the discussion of 'nature as image' in the work of contemporary artists like Olafur Eliasson or Hiroshi Sugimoto. The discussion of specific works or genres will be supplemented by the reading of key texts from philosophy and art theory.

Mondays, April 14 and 28, May 19 and 26, June 16 and 30, July 7 and 21, 2014, 10am to 2pm, KJC 212

Middle/ Advanced Seminar

The Aesthetic and the Material - How to integrate Art History with Material Culture?
(co-taught with Jennifer Pochodzalla, M.A.)

The seminar will explore the uneasy relationship which exists between art history and material culture, stemming from the circumstance that much art historical practice valorizes optical semantic or iconographic approaches to the objects it studies, while marginalizing their materiality from within the discipline's  methodological apparatus. Taking a cue from contemporary art which blurs the boundary between a work of art and its making, we investigate ways in which the material, the visual and sensorial can be built into a plausible art historical interpretive framework. The seminar will be structured around the following themes and questions: How does the inclusion of material culture within art history disrupt many of the foundational  assumptions of the discipline? In what ways does "the brute intransigence of matter" (L. Daston) - the nature of substances such as wax, wood, stone, glass, gold, cloth, paint, lacquer, porcelain or paper - constitute meaning and semantic structures? Can we read encounters with peripatetic objects across cultural distances as a form of material engagement with alien worlds? Through individual case studies we will analyze the constitutive role of mobile materiality as it mediates transcultural relationships between makers, users, collectors, of objects as well as those who exhibit, sell or theorize about them. The seminar will include a day's excursion the the Schloss Schwetzingen.


Thursday, April 17, 2014, 9 to 11am, KJC 212
Saturday, June 7, 2014, 9am to 3pm, KJC 212
Friday, June 20, 2014, 9am to 3pm (excursion to Schwetzingen)
Saturday, June 21, 2014, 9am to 3pm, KJC 112
Saturday, July 12, 2014, 9am to 3pm, KJC 212
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 9am to 3pm, KJC 212

Dr.-Ing. Mag. Michael Falser

Middle/ Advanced Seminar

Orientalist Architecture in Europe

The seminar will investigate the history of the 'Occidental' reception of 'the Orient' as it materialized in the medium of architecture from the 18th to the 21st centuries on the European continent. In the first part of the seminar theoretical readings will help us to reflect on terms such as the exotic, the picturesque and the oriental as aesthetic key categories which were used to integrate 'Asia' into the European mindset of art and architecture. In a second part, different case studies about concrete projects will give us the occasion to discuss how the 'Orient' from the Near and Middle East to India, China and Japan was transformed into hybrid architectures in Europe: from using 18th century pattern books for 'Chinoiserie' pavilions in landscape gardens to Mogul-style aristocratic residences and private villas, from places for religion and leisure, to ephemeral oriental structures during world and colonial exhibitions of the 19th and 20th centuries, and finally from modernist industrial buildings, to postmodernist interpellations and structures of today's globalist architectural language.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 4 to 6pm (sharp), KJC 002
Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 3 to 6pm (sharp), KJC 002
Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 4 to 6 (sharp), KJC 002
Wednesdays, June  4 and June 18, 2014, 3 to 6pm (sharp), KJC 002
Wednesdays, July 2 and July 16, 2014, 3 to 6pm (sharp), KJC 002
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 2 to 6pm (excursion to Schwetzingen)

Dr. Corinna Forberg

Introductory Seminar

Pathways of Artistic Transfer between India and Europe

There has always been an artistic exchange between Europe and extra-European countries. However, it was considerably facilitated by the opening of the overseas trade, especially in regard to distant areas as India and Europe. Only a short time after the arrival of the first Europeans on the soil of the Subcontinent, European artefacts arrived in India. On their way back to Europe, the travellers took Indian artefacts home welcomed, there, by a curious audience. The result was a continuing circulation of artefacts. Besides tradesmen and missionaries, artists too, travelled  to distant countries, either due to their curiosity or for economic reasons. Some of them are known to have been in the service of the Persian Shah or the Mughal emperor at the court in Agra or Delhi.
Our main focus is on artistic practices with which artists answered the new influences. The mutual artistic diaologue has been preferably described with terms like the copy, adaptation, replica, imitation, reproduction or inspiration - terms that partly have a negative connotation and have been, consequently, problematic. In a critical view, we scrutinize different practices in consideration of their describing terms by the aid of contemporary texts. The basis for our studies will be picture and text analyses. The period of investigation will range from the Early Modern Period to the 20th century.


Fridays, April 25, May 9 and 23, June 6 and 27, July 11 and 18, 2014, 9am to 1pm, KJC 002

Jennifer Pochodzalla, M.A.

Middle/ Advanced Seminar

The Aesthetic and the Material - How to integrate Art History with Material Culture?
(co-taught with Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja)

The seminar will explore the uneasy relationship which exists between art history and material culture, stemming from the circumstance that much art historical practice valorizes optical semantic or iconographic approaches to the objects it studies, while marginalizing their materiality from within the discipline's  methodological apparatus. Taking a cue from contemporary art which blurs the boundary between a work of art and its making, we investigate ways in which the material, the visual and sensorial can be built into a plausible art historical interpretive framework. The seminar will be structured around the following themes and questions: How does the inclusion of material culture within art history disrupt many of the foundational  assumptions of the discipline? In what ways does "the brute intransigence of matter" (L. Daston) - the nature of substances such as wax, wood, stone, glass, gold, cloth, paint, lacquer, porcelain or paper - constitute meaning and semantic structures? Can we read encounters with peripatetic objects across cultural distances as a form of material engagement with alien worlds? Through individual case studies we will analyze the constitutive role of mobile materiality as it mediates transcultural relationships between makers, users, collectors, of objects as well as those who exhibit, sell or theorize about them. The seminar will include a day's excursion the the Schloss Schwetzingen.

Thursday, April 17,  2014, 9 to 11am, KJC 212
Saturday, June 7, 2014, 9am to 3pm, KJC 212
Friday, June 20, 2014, 9am to 3pm (excursion to Schwetzingen)
Saturday, June 21, 2014, 9am to 3pm, KJC 112
Saturday, July 12, 2014, 9am to 3pm, KJC 212
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 9am to 3pm, KJC 212