"Tablet of Being": Persian Painting and the Demiurgic Artist in Fifteenth-Century Iran and Central Asia
Berkeley Seminars in Art and Religion presents "Tablet of Being": Persian Painting and the Demiurgic Artist in Fifteenth-Century Iran and Central Asia by Professor Lamia Balafrej, Assistant Professor of Art, Wellesley College.
In the fifteenth century, Persian book painting becomes filled with extra-textual figures, deviating from and subverting the textual story they supposedly illustrate. Through a careful analysis of aspects of facture and composition, combined with an exploration of primary art historiographical sources, this talk suggests that this departure from illustration transformed the painting into a reflexive medium commenting on art itself, its function and its status, and above all, its relationship to God's creation. Through the proliferation of forms and its polished appearance, the painting becomes a catalog of ideal, primordial forms, paradoxically emphasizing both its unmade aspect and the Demiurgic talent of the painter.
Lamia Balafrej is an Assistant Professor of Art at Wellesley College working on the Islamic world. Her current book project examines the visual culture of late Timurid painting (c.1470-1500) and its intersection with shifting paradigms of authorship and issues of reception. She has degrees from the Sorbonne, the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and the University of Aix-Marseille, and held a number of research fellowships in France, Turkey and the United States.
Co-sponsored by the History of Art Department.
Digital Karnak is a 3D, immersive, interactive model of Egypt’s Karnak site, one of the largest temple complexes in the world, and one with a rich political, religious, and architectural history. At the core of the Digital Karnak project is a 3D reconstruction of the complex that illustrates the major phases of construction in the site’s 2,000 year history. While video of the model has been shared through the project website, scholars and the public have never been able to interact dynamically with the model themselves. The recent release of the VSim prototype, a new NEH- funded software to facilitate educational use of academically generated 3D content, now allows 3D projects like Karnak to be annotated, shared, and viewed in real-time by researchers and students. This workshop will present the Karnak model utilizing VSim and show participants how to "fly" and interact with the model on their own computers. Please RSVP if you you plan to attend.
Elaine Sullivan is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work focuses on applying new technologies to ancient cultural materials. She acts as the project coordinator of the Digital Karnak Project, a multi-phased 3D virtual reality model of the famous ancient Egyptian temple complex of Karnak. She is project director of 3D Saqqara, which harnesses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies and 3D modeling to explore the ritual and natural landscape of the famous cemetery of Saqqara through both space and time.
This workshop is sponsored by the UC Santa Cruz Department of History, Digital Humanities at Berkeley, and the UC Berkeley Department of Near Eastern Studies. Inquiries may be directed to Prof. Rita Lucarelli (email@example.com).
Professor Chirapravati will be presenting her research on the bronze images of female Buddhist devotees in the Thepthidaram temple in Bangkok. The temple was constructed in the 1830s by King Rama III for his favorite daughter, Princess Wirat, and was built in a hybrid Thai-Chinese style. The talk will address the role of women in Buddhist monastic literature and the role of women Buddhist practitioners in 1830s Bangkok. Prof. Chirapravati is a specialist in Southeast Asian art history. She earned her doctorate from Cornell University and now teaches at California State University, Sacramento.
Co-sponsored by the Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), UC Berkeley.
1:10: Welcome and Introductions – Dr. Todd Olson and Dr. Letha Ch'ien (University of California, Davis)
1:20: Dr. Luis Arciniega (University of Valencia, Spain)
Hankering for the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Visual manifestations in the Early Modern Western Mediterranean
2:00: Dr. Mercedes Gómez-Ferrer (University of Valencia, Spain)
Center and Periphery: The Perception of Renaissance Architecture in Early Modern Iberia
2:40: Response and Debate – Dr. Henrike Lange (University of California, Berkeley)
Organized by Dr. Todd Olson (University of California, Berkeley) and Dr. Borja Llopsis Franco (University of Valencia, Spain)
Financed by: VLC/CAMPUS, Valencia International Campus of Excellence – California Campus and sponsored by the Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies
Exhibition of Modern British Crafts toured North America from 1942 to 1945, opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Described by its British organizers and by American critics as a legacy of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement he inspired on both sides of the Atlantic, the exhibition reinforced the idea of a cultural heritage shared by Britain and the United States. It was also understood as a manifesto for modern craft. This lecture examines the contents, layout, and reception of the exhibition and compares it to related wartime exhibitions.
Imogen Hart is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of History of Art. Professor Hart works on modern art and material culture in Britain, especially the objects and interiors associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. She is the author of Arts and Crafts Objects (Manchester University Press, 2010) and co-editor, with Jason Edwards, of Rethinking the Interior, c. 1867-1896: Aestheticism and Arts and Crafts (Ashgate, 2010). She has published articles and book chapters on William Morris, the Arts and Crafts movement, and Victorian and Edwardian painting. Hart is currently working on a book, provisionally entitled Sculpture in the Age of Darwin, which explores the production and reception of modern sculpture in Britain and the United States in relation to evolutionary theory.
Organized by: Professor Todd Olson and Dr. Borja Franco Llopis
Financed by: VLC/CAMPUS. Valencia International Campus of Excellence, California Campus and sponsored by the Department of History of Art and the Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies
10.30: Welcome and presentation: Todd Olson and Borja Franco Llopis
Session 1: Chair: Beate Fricke (University of California, Berkeley)
10.40: Conference 1: Borja Franco Llopis (University of Valencia): Art to convert, Art to be destroyed? The problematic coexistence between Moriscos and Old Christians in Iberia and its visual representation (15-17th Centuries).
11.20: Conference 2: Todd Olson (University of California, Berkeley): Ribera, Bartholomew and the Terror of Resemblance
Session 2: Chair: Lisa Trever (University of California, Berkeley)
14.30: Conference 2: Thadeus Dowad (University of California, Berkeley): “Collodion & Ink: Writing Race into Mexican Antiquity with Charnay and Viollet-le-Duc”
15.10: Conference 3: Dr. Cristina Vidal Lorenzo (University of Valencia): "Tikal revisited. Post-abandonment cultural process and the perception of the ruins in Colonial and Contemporary times"
15.50: Debate and conclusions
"Imaginary Activism: The Role of the Artist Beyond the Art World" -- A Spoken Word Monologue by Guillermo Gómez-Peña
Presented by the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies in collaboration with the Center for Race and Gender and UC Berkeley’s Arts Research Center. Organized by Marco A. Flores and Stephanie Sherman. Please see this page for more information.
Colin Bailey, Director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will address the 2015 graduates at this year's Commencement Exercises. This is a ticketed event; please get in touch with us if you are interested in attending.
Scholarship in African American art history has flourished between 2000 and 2015, yet this was also when "post-black" gained currency to suggest race no longer matters in culture and society. Arguing that "Afromodernism," a term Robert Farris Thompson coined in 1991, offers a more flexible analytical tool for diaspora-based research, this paper argues that conceptual resources for such an undertaking are nothing new but have been waiting for us in the picture book Alain Locke published in 1940, The Negro in Art.
Kobena Mercer is a Professor in History of Art and African American Studies at Yale University. His teaching and research focusses on the visual arts of the black diaspora, examining African American, Caribbean, and Black British artists in modern and contemporary art, with a focus on cross-cultural aesthetics in transnational contexts where issues of race, sexuality, and identity converge.
His first book, Welcome to the Jungle (1994), introduced new lines of inquiry in art, photography, and film, and his work features in several interdisciplinary anthologies including Art and Its Histories (1998), The Visual Culture Reader (2001) and Theorizing Diaspora (2003). He initiated and edited the Annotating Art’s Histories series, published by MIT and INIVA, bringing a global perspective to modernist art history and the titles are Cosmopolitan Modernisms (2005), Discrepant Abstraction (2006), Pop Art and Vernacular Cultures (2007), and Exiles, Diasporas and Strangers (2008).
Professor Mercer is an inaugural recipient of the 2006 Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing awarded by the Sterling and Francise Clark Art Institute in Massachussetts. His next book, Travel and See: Black Diaspora Art Practices since the 1980s, is a collection of essays forthcoming from Duke University Press, and also published in 2014 is, "New Practices, New Identities: Hybridity and Globalization," the closing chapter in The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume V, The Twentieth Century (Harvard University Press).
About the other sponsors:
AHMA Noon Colloquium
Assistant Professor of Rhetoric Winnie Wong specializes in the history and present of artistic authorship, with a focus on interactions between China and the West. Her book, Van Gogh on Demand: China and the Readymade (University of Chicago Press, 2014), explores contemporary art in the world's largest production center for oil-on-canvas painting, Dafen village, China.
Van Gogh on Demand argues that the global contemporary art world is shaped by two powerful ideas: the postmodern assertion of "the death of the author" and the universalist notion that "everybody is an artist." Wong focuses on an unlikely case of global art production, China's Dafen Oil Painting Village, a production center of eight thousand Chinese painters who produce five million oil paintings per year, sourced from the Western art canon and made for the world's retail and wholesale markets. Based on five years of fieldwork in this transnational trade, Wong’s study offers a comprehensive account of this "readymade" art. Her narrative centers on two unique sets of "authors": internationally-active artists who made Dafen village into a source of appropriated paintings and a subject of conceptual art; and the Chinese party-state which turned Dafen village into a model cultural industry and the subject of extensive propaganda spanning television and the World Expo. Wong examines the encounter between contemporary artists and the Dafen painters whose labor they appropriate, tracing critical issues of artistic authorship and assessing their deployment at a site of anonymous production.
After an introduction by Michael Mascuch (Rhetoric), Wong will speak briefly about her work and then open the floor for discussion.
Diliana Angelova and Beate Fricke
Student participants in this year's Travel Seminar to Istanbul, Turkey will present their research papers at a symposium in honor of the Seminar's benefactor, Judith Stronach.
- Kristen Kido, "Light, Liturgy and Byzantine Aesthetics in the Hagia Sophia Deësis Mosaic"
- Andrew Sears, "From Constantinople to St. Louis"
- Christopher Bonura, "The Scribe John Malaxos, Post Byzantine Greek Manuscripts, and the Prophetic Topography of Constantinople"
- Grace Harpster, "Efficacy of Monumental Sculpture between Byzantine, Constantinople and Counter Reformation Italy"
- Jon Soriano, "Bloody Mary of the Mongols"
- Shivani Sud, "At the Juncture of East and West: Istanbul's Sireci and Haydarpasa Terminals"
- Thadeus Dowad, "Excavating under the Sultan's Eye: Photography at Ancient Sidon"