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.
A new series of online events at the Warburg Institute. Convened and organised by Eckart Marchand.
It is now both a convention and also a joke to make the title of pieces about animals “Consider the __” where the blank is the name of the animal. This is because of a now famous essay that David Foster Wallace wrote called “Consider the Lobster”. So now: Consider the Pigeon. I would like to say that, in my exploration of English baroque in comparative context, that this was a deeply thought decision, to consider pigeons. I would like to say that I have brooded over Haraway and theories of the city in the Anthropocene and the now admittedly trendy idea of “animal studies”. This would be both a truth and a lie. A truth because I have been thinking about these things, but also haven’t had the ability to read them, not in any format other than in purloined pdf files. As we will tell our students someday, we’re all Auerbaching it now in academia; that is, if there is a someday and if I am in it, and if someday there are still students.
A review of the exhibition „Zwischen Kosmos und Pathos. Berliner Werke aus Aby Warburgs Bilderatlas Mnemosyne“ at the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 08.08.-01.11. 2020.
Derzeit zeigt das Haus der Kulturen der Welt die „originalen“ Photographien von Aby Warburgs Bilderatlas Mnemosyne aus der Photographischen Sammlung des Warburg Institute in London. In Ergänzung dieser Schau sind in der Gemäldegalerie diejenigen Objekte aus den Berliner Museen versammelt worden, deren Reproduktionen zum Repertoire des Atlasses zählen.
A review of the workshop ‘Blick Richtung Europa? 15 Perspektiven’ (8-9 July 2020, Berlin) by Anita Hosseini and Judith Rottenburg.
Stets richten und richteten sich Blicke aus Europa in alle Himmelsrichtungen und generierten Ideen und Bilder des ‚Anderen‘. Die dabei selbstverständlich in Anspruch genommene Position des beobachtenden und damit auch deutenden Subjekts kann mit politischen, wissenschaftlichen und kulturellen Machtansprüchen und Expansionsbestreben Hand in Hand gehen. Was passiert jedoch, wenn die Blickrichtung gewendet, wenn die Aufmerksamkeit auf die Tatsache gelenkt wird, dass diese Blicke immer schon gespiegelt wurden?
HKW Berlin and digital, 25. – 26.09.2020
Former and current Bilderfahrzeuge Project Associates will take part in a conference accompanying the exhibition Aby Warburg: Bilderatlas Mnemosyne at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) (4.09. – 30.11.2020) in Berlin.
Exhibition. In the 1920s, Aby Warburg created his so-called Bilderatlas Mnemosyne, tracing recurring visual themes and patterns across time, from antiquity to the Renaissance and beyond. His approach provides inspiration for today’s visually and digitally dominated world. For the first time ever, all 63 panels of the Atlas have been recovered from Warburg’s original images and will be available to view in a special display at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin.
Plaster casts are image vehicles par excellence. They can reproduce and multiply three-dimensional form, and serve the dissemination of visual ideas from one place to another; they can record lost stages of a work’s appearance, e.g. pre-completion, pre-damage, pre-destruction or pre-restauration. Often perceived as perfect one to one copies of the external form of a three-dimensional work, they can also accidentally or deliberately differ from what they reproduce, and with their white and even surface they can condition the perception of the works they represent. Thus, cast are also works in their own right, objects with their own history. Yet, for long, they proved rather evasive. Until recently, there have been few attempts to date them either through material or technical analysis. Given their status as copies, historicaly they were often not documented, and where archival references to casts exist, the objects under discussion are often either lost or impossible to identify beyond reasonable doubt. This situation is changing, as a recent exhibition at the Villa Medici in Rome (November 2019-March 2020) demonstrated
“On 1 August 1914, after all, the mobilisation was announced. Our Kaiser has proven himself so worthy that he could even lose the war without disgrace; what God may prevent.” Aby Warburg began his war journal of the years 1914–1918 with these words. He positions himself in line with the patriotism of the majority of his milieu of the bourgeoisie, supporting “our Kaiser”. In all the praise of the Kaiser, though, he underlines the uncertain outcome of the war, even the possibility of losing it— a notion present already in the very first sentence of this diary.
In Zeiten der SARS-CoV-2-Pandemie verlagert sich das öffentliche Leben weiter in die digitale Welt. Neben neuen Motiven entstehen auch andere Kommunikationsformen, von den leeren Plätzen bis zu digitalen Klima-Streiks. Diese Bilder erreichen einerseits eine große Öffentlichkeit, verschwinden aber teils ebenso rasch wieder. Die materiellen Ephemera der Pandemie werden längst von Museen weltweit gesammelt, aber auch für die digitalen Bilder stellen sich Fragen nach ihrer langfristigen Speicherung. In einem Beitrag zum Blog des Zentralinstituts für Kunstgeschichte, München, haben Ursula Ströbele (Studienzentrum zur Kunst der Moderne und Gegenwart, ZIKG) und Steffen Haug einige dieser Bilder kommentiert.
In the first half of this two-part blog about the Yates Family Archive I have introduced the parents of Frances Yates (b. 1899), her three siblings Hannah (b. 1885), Ruby (b. 1887) and James (b. 1889) as well as the house in Claygate from where after the scholar’s death in 1981 the Family Archive, an adjunct to Yates’ working papers, had been transferred to the Warburg Institute. I shall now turn to the collection itself.
In her “Autobiographical Fragments”, written in the year of her death, Frances Yates (1899-1981) refers to a photograph from her childhood. It relates to a period in 1912, when her family was briefly living on a farm in Ingleton in North-Yorkshire. The twelve-year old Frances had been told by her family to work through the books for the Junior Cambridge examination as to supplement her irregular teaching: “I think that this is why I was making an elaborate study of Macaulay’s ‘Lays of Ancient Rome,’ …. or passionately declaiming ‘Lars Porsena of Clusium By the nine gods he swore’ to the lamb in the field opposite. I have a snapshot of that lamb standing quite alone in the distance … and looking slightly worried.”
The cholera epidemic in Hamburg almost 130 years ago inspired Aby Warburg’s first ever published text. Turning to 15th century Florence, it tells the story of the matriarch of the Strozzi family who lost her husband and four of her children to illness. In an essay for ‘Mnemosyne. The Warburg Institute Blog’, Steffen Haug and Johannes von Müller discuss this early attempt by Warburg to respond by the means of historical comparison to a crisis of his time that was indeed a health crisis.