A Vision for Europe: Academic Action and Responsibility in Times of Crises
The international research project “Bilderfahrzeuge. Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology” is pleased to announce its partnership with the research network A Vision for Europe: Academic Action and Responsibility in Times of Crises, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The network brings together The Warburg Institute, Central Saint Martins UAL, and the Bilderfahrzeuge project to examine the scholarly use of image-led practices to comment and shape political reality through a unique engagement with the material archive of a photographic exhibition mounted in 1941 by the Warburg Institute in London.
The photographic exhibition, English Art and the Mediterranean, elucidated the Mediterranean influences on British art through the ages, asserting Britain’s European identity and countering nationalistic conceptions of art and cultural histories in a time of crisis. Thus, the exhibition holds a particular pertinence in Britain’s current political landscape and its faltering relationship with Europe. As Kenneth Clark reminded his audience at the opening of the exhibition on 2 December 1941,
“(…) as this exhibition shows we are not only materially part of the Continent, but we are spiritually dependent upon it too.”
But the historical case-study also speaks to the more widespread and rising issue of nationalism and populism Europe-wide that threatens the notion of a common European culture. As such the network makes a stance about the value of the humanities and the science of culture in public life.
The first stage of the research undertaken in the context of the network will be presented in the exhibition, Bilder auf Wanderschaft. Das Warburg Institute und eine britische Kunstgeschichte, held at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich, 29 May – 26 June 2019. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication, Image Journeys: the Warburg Institute and a British Art History (Passau: Klinger Verlag, 2019), including essays and catalogue entries by members of the Bilderfahrzeuge project.
The network will run until June 2020.