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Arts and a Nation

The Role of Visual Arts and Artists in the Making of the Latvian Identity, 1905-1940

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Suzanne Pourchier-Plasseraud

Focusing on the role of arts in the construction of national identity, Suzanne Pourchier-Plasseraud has chosen to study the case of a country lacking an ancient state history of its own, Latvia. This book analyses the part played by the visual arts in transmuting the cultural concept of a nation, advocated by a small intelligentsia, into a widespread claim for independence. By the end of the 19th century, fretting under Russian political domination and German economic and cultural supremacy, the Latvians turned back to their own language, culture and folklore, with a special interest for their dainas, their timeless common heritage rooted into a mythical golden age. Latvian artists thus found themselves entrusted with the mission of creating a national iconographic representation and a specifically Latvian art, freed from Russian and German influences. The author shows how the links between the cultural and political spheres evolved between 1905 and 1940, including during the period of authoritarian government preceding WWII. An enlightening contribution to understanding how art and history can be turned into social and political instruments, this book reaches far beyond the Latvian case to a European and even global scope.

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Edited by Charmian Brinson and Richard Dove

This volume focuses on the contribution of German-speaking refugees from Nazism to the performing arts in Britain, evaluating their role in broadcasting, theatre, film and dance from 1933 to the present. It contains essays evaluating the role of refugee artists in the BBC German Service, including the actor Martin Miller, the writer Bruno Adler and the journalist Edmund Wolf. Miller also made a career in the English theatre transcending the barrier of language, as did the actor Gerhard Hinze, whose transition to the English stage is an instructive example of adaptation to a new theatre culture. In film, language problems were mitigated by the technical possibilities of the medium, although stars like Anton Walbrook received coaching in English. Certainly, technicians from Central Europe, like the cameraman Wolf Suschitzky, helped establish the character of British film in the 1950s and 1960s. In dance theatre, language played little role, facilitating the influence in Britain of dance practitioners like Kurt Jooss and Sigurd Leeder. Finally, evaluating the reverse influence of émigrés on Germany, two essays discuss Erich Fried’s translations of Shakespeare and Peter Zadek’s early theatre career in Germany.

Jesus Incognito

The Hidden Christ in Western Art since 1960

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Martien E. Brinkman

In this book Martien Brinkman explores the Jesus incognito as found in Western film, literature, and the visual arts since 1960. His interest here is focused primarily on indirect references to the Jesus figure. To his surprise, he found an abundance of allusions to Jesus in key figures in modern art. This confirmed his view that film, literature, and the visual arts make a substantial contribution, even in secular Western culture, to continuing reflection on Jesus’ significance.
Brinkman finds important characteristics of a hidden Christ in films by Gabriel Axel, Ingmar Bergman, Krzysztof Kieslowski, and Lars von Trier, novels by Peter De Vries, J.M. Coetzee, and Arnon Grunberg, poems by Les Murray and Czeslaw Milosz, and paintings by Andy Warhol, Harald Duwe, and Frans Franciscus. He defines a hidden Christ as a fictional human individual who can be seen as a new embodiment of the meaning that can be attributed in the present to the biblical figure of Jesus. The hidden Christ is therefore a contemporized Jesus figure.
This book will be of interest for everyone who shares Brinkman’s quest for this Jesus incognito.

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Edited by Aline Remael, Pilar Orero and Mary Carroll

This third volume in the Media for All series offers a diverse selection of articles which bear testimony to the vigour and versatility of research and developments in audiovisual translation and media accessibility. The collection reflects the critical impact of new technologies on AVT, media accessibility and consumer behaviour and shows the significant increase in collaborative and interdisciplinary research targeting changing consumer perceptions as well as quality issues. Complementing newcomers such as crowdsourcing and potentially universal emoticons, classical themes of AVT studies such as linguistic analyses and corpus-based research are featured. Prevalent throughout the volume is the impact of technology on both methodologies and content. The book will be of interest to researchers from a wide range of disciplines as well as audiovisual translators, lecturers, trainers and students, producers and developers working in the field of language and media accessibility.

Relational Designs in Literature and the Arts

Page and Stage, Canvas and Screen

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Edited by Rui Carvalho Homem

This collection focuses on texts that address the other arts – from painting to photography, from the stage to the screen, and from avant-garde experiments to mass culture. Despite their diversity of object and approach, the essays in Relational Designs coalesce around the argument that representations are defined by relations and dynamics, rather than intrinsic features. This rationale is supported by the discourses and methodologies favoured by the book’s contributors: their approaches offer a cross section of the intellectual and critical environment of our time. The book illustrates the critical possibilities that derive from the broad range of modes of inquiry - poststructuralist criticism, gender studies, postcolonial studies, new historicism – that the book’s four sections bring to bear on a wealth of intermedial practices. But Relational Designs compounds such critical emphases with the voice of the practitioner: the book is rounded off by an interview in which a contemporary novelist discusses her attraction to the other arts in terms that extend the book’s insights and bridge the gap between academic discourse and artistic practice.

Collective Creativity

Collaborative Work in the Sciences, Literature and the Arts

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Edited by Gerhard Fischer and Florian Vassen

Collective Creativity combines complex and ambivalent concepts. While ‘creativity’ is currently experiencing an inflationary boom in popularity, the term ‘collective’ appeared, until recently, rather controversial due to its ideological implications in twentieth-century politics. In a world defined by global cultural practice, the notion of collectivity has gained new relevance. This publication discusses a number of concepts of creativity and shows that, in opposition to the traditional ideal of the individual as creative genius, cultural theorists today emphasize the collaborative nature of creativity; they show that ‘creativity makes alterity, discontinuity and difference attractive’. Not the Romantic Originalgenie, but rather the agents of the ‘creative economy’ appear as the new avant-garde of aesthetic innovation: teams, groups and collectives in business and science, in art and digital media who work together in networking clusters to develop innovative products and processes.
In this book, scholars in the social sciences and in cultural and media studies, in literature, theatre and visual arts present for the first time a comprehensive, inter- and transdisciplinary account of collective creativity in its multifaceted applications. They investigate the intersections of artistic, scientific and cultural practice where the individual and the collective merge, come together or confront each other.

The Dancing Word

An Embodied Approach to the Preparation of Performers and the Composition of Performances

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Daniel Mroz

The product of over eighteen years of embodied research by the author, The Dancing Word presents a systemic and phenomenological description of a contemporary intercultural theatre practice. This volume offers a blueprint for both training and collaborative performance creation that integrates the best of western laboratory theatre with the practice and ontological underpinnings of Chinese martial ( Wushu) and healing/self care ( Qigong) arts. This is a book for theatre practitioners, students, scholars, and those interested in exploring transcultural methodologies.

Efficacité / Efficacy

How To Do Things With Words and Images?

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Edited by Véronique Plesch, Catriona MacLeod and Jan Baetens

This book aims at offering a broad survey of the encounter between word and image studies and anthropology and to demonstrate the mutual benefits of this dialogue for both disciplines in the three fields of the image (Marin), the social history of writing (Petrucci), and memory (Yates). The themes discussed by the contributors to this volume, all specialists in their field, highlight each in their specific field one or more aspects of the agency of both text and image. Bridging the gap between the Anglo-Saxon and the Latin research traditions, this bilingual volume focuses on three major questions: What do we do with texts and images? How do texts and images become active cultural agents? And what do texts and images help us do? Contributions cover a wide range of topics and disciplines (from visual poetry to garden theory and from ekphrasis to new media art), and represent therefore the best possible overview of what cutting-edge analysis in word and image studies stands for today.

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Lisa Marie Anderson

This book reads messianic expectation as the defining characteristic of German culture in the first decades of the twentieth century. It has long been accepted that the Expressionist movement in Germany was infused with a thoroughly messianic strain. Here, with unprecedented detail and focus, that strain is traced through the work of four important Expressionist playwrights: Ernst Barlach, Georg Kaiser, Ernst Toller and Franz Werfel. Moreover, these dramatists are brought into new and sustained dialogues with the theorists and philosophers of messianism who were their contemporaries: Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Martin Buber, Hermann Cohen, Gershom Scholem. In arguing, for example, that concepts like Bloch’s utopian self-encounter ( Selbstbegegnung) and Benjamin’s messianic now-time ( Jetztzeit) reappear as the framework for Expressionism’s staging of collective redemption in a new age, Anderson forges a previously underappreciated link in the study of Central European thought in the early twentieth century.

The Mobile Audience

Media Art and Mobile Technologies

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Edited by Martin Rieser

The convergence of mobile technologies and ubiquitous computing is creating a world where information-rich environments may be mapped directly onto urban topologies. This book tracks the history and genesis of locative and wearable media and the ground-breaking work of pioneer artists in the field. It examines changing concepts of space and place for a wide range of traditional disciplines ranging from Anthropology, Sociology, Fine Art and Architecture to Cultural and Media Studies, Fashion and Graphic design.
Mobile and Pervasive media are beginning to proliferate in the landscape of computer mediated interaction in public space through the emergence of smartphone technologies such as the iPhone, cloud computing extended wifi services and the semantic web in cities. These dispersed forms of interaction raise a whole series of questions on the nature of narrative and communication, particularly in relation to an audience’s new modes of mobile participation and reception.
These issues are explored through a series of focused essays by leading theorists, seminal case studies and practitioner interviews with artists at the cutting edge of these technologies, who are extending the potential of the medium to enhance and critique technological culture.
By emphasizing the role of the audience in this nomadic environment, the collection traces the history and development of ‘ambulant’ artistic practice in this new domain, creating an essential handbook for those wishing to understand the dominant global technology of the 21st Century and its implications for Art, Culture and Audience.