Author: Yannis Hadjinicolaou
During the course of the exhibition “Bilderatlas Mnemosyne – Das Original” at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin questions, arose not only about the content, but also about the mediality and materiality of the atlas. The problematic concept of the original threatens to create a new cult of genius around Aby Warburg. But perhaps, considering that tattoos of his face are already traveling across the world, perhaps this has already happened. Beyond that, however, the term “original” is in danger of developing a new aura, that now even encompasses the selected reproductions of the master. One can only imagine what Walter Benjamin would say.
We have all experienced this situation with our smartphone: While opening the photo gallery or the camera, a photograph pops up that is not familiar to us. It may be blurred, or showing a strange detail from a peculiar angle: a pavement, a staircase – if the respective image is recognizable at all. But it can also be totally black, more like an Ad Reinhardt. The more frequently we are confronted with such images (even every day, depending on the time we spend on those devices), it becomes clear that the photographer could be the apparatus itself.
This blog post follows on from the previous post Modi and Metamorphoses (I). Based on only this one particular work, it is almost impossible to speak about Sedlmayr´s manner as such, since we do...
An aged man, wearing a hat and sporting an impressive moustache looks, somehow sceptical and at the same time absorbed, towards the beholder. The dark dominating tone of the painting is supported by the background and is challenged through the white-yellowish and in some cases green-redish flesh as well as the white thick brushstrokes in the area of the neck. These broad, parallel lines suggest the texture of a fabric and create a dazzling counterpoint to the dark coat.
The different modes that are brought together in this image may be summarized as “movement” and “stillness”, “tamed” and “untamed”, a central dialectic in the handling of falcons. On the one side, a hunting party is depicted with hooded and hence calm falcons, on the other a restless rider on horseback (note his garments, fluttering in motion), whose falcon almost flies away from his fist and is about to launch itself at the beholders of the artwork. Falcon and image are transformed here into a mirror of princes by shaping the courtiers’ actions and habitus.
Qal’At Al Bahrain is one of the most ancient places in the Gulf. The city’s beginnings date back to 2200 BC and it remained active up until the seventeenth century, when the site gradually started to lose in importance. It is a UNESCO world heritage site since 2005. The site is surrounded by palm groves, though the vicinity to the skyline of Manama (Bahrain’s capital) also provides a remarkable visual backdrop. Its strategic position, more or less in the middle of the Arabian Gulf, was quite important through the ages as a kind of economic trade hub. This becomes clear by visiting the site. In the context of the Bilderfahrzeuge project, those trade exchanges on the island through the centuries were intercultural interactions where the question of movement was a crucial one at the level of language and, most of all, at the level of the artefacts that were exchanged in the harbour or even remained there, no matter how low or high their value was.
Der Louvre Abu Dhabi ist zweifelsohne ein ungewöhnliches und einzigartiges Unterfangen. Nach jahrelanger Vorbereitung wurde er offiziell am 11. November 2017 auf der bis vor kurzem spärlich besiedelten Insel Saadiyat eröffnet. Er ist damit...