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Melis Taner

Caught in a Whirlwind: A Cultural History of Ottoman Baghdad as Reflected in its Illustrated Manuscripts focuses on a period of great artistic vitality in the region of Baghdad, a frontier area that was caught between the rival Ottoman and the Safavid empires. In the period following the peace treaty of 1590, a corpus of more than thirty illustrated manuscripts and several single page paintings were produced. In this book Melis Taner presents a contextual study of the vibrant late sixteenth-century and early seventeenth-century Baghdad art market, opening up further avenues of research on art production in provinces and border regions.

Artistic Mentoring as a Decolonizing Methodology

A Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists Pedro Rafael González Chavajay and Paula Nicho Cúmez

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Kryssi Staikidis

To expand the possibilities of “doing arts thinking” from a non-Eurocentric view, Artistic Mentoring as a Decolonizing Methodology: A Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists Pedro Rafael González Chavajay and Paula Nicho Cúmez is grounded in Indigenous perspectives on arts practice, arts research, and art education. Mentored in painting for eighteen years by two Guatemalan Maya artists, Kryssi Staikidis, a North American painter and art education professor, uses both Indigenous and decolonizing methodologies, which involve respectful collaboration, and continuously reexamines her positions as student, artist, and ethnographer searching to redefine and transform the roles of the artist as mentor, historian/activist, ethnographer, and teacher.

The primary purpose of the book is to illuminate the Maya artists as mentors, the collaborative and holistic processes underlying their painting, and the teaching and insights from their studios. These include Imagined Realism, a process excluding rendering from observation, and the fusion of pedagogy and curriculum into a holistic paradigm of decentralized teaching, negotiated curriculum, personal and cultural narrative as thematic content, and the surrounding visual culture and community as text.

The Maya artist as cultural historian creates paintings as platforms of protest and vehicles of cultural transmission, for example, genocide witnessed in paintings as historical evidence. The mentored artist as ethnographer cedes the traditional ethnographic authority of the colonizing stance to the Indigenous expert as partner and mentor, and under this mentorship analyzes its possibilities as decolonizing arts-based qualitative inquiry. For the teacher, Maya world views broaden and integrate arts practice and arts research, inaugurating possibilities to transform arts education.

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Edited by Christopher B. Barnett and Clark J. Elliston

Scorsese and Religion concerns the religious vision of the great American filmmaker Martin Scorsese. Not only will this volume explore the foundation of Scorsese’s interest in religion—namely, his relation to the Catholic Church—but it will also highlight the religious breadth of Scorsese’s corpus. Ultimately, this book demonstrates that Scorsese’s cinematic “re-presentation” of reality brings together various religious influences (Catholicism, existentialism, Buddhism, etc.) and topics such as violence, morality, nihilism, and so on. The overarching claim is that Scorsese, who indeed once claimed that his “whole life” had been “movies and religion,” cannot be properly understood without reflecting on the ways in which his religious interests are expressed in and through his art.

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Keren Zdafee

The Egyptian caricature is generally studied as part of Egyptian mass culture, and mainly discussed in the context of Egypt's anti-colonial resistance to British foreign rule, as part of the forging of a “national style". In Cartooning for a Modern Egypt, Keren Zdafee foregrounds the role that Egypt’s foreign-local entrepreneurs and caricaturists played in formulating and constructing the modern Egyptian caricature of the interwar years, that was designated for, and reflected, a colonial and cosmopolitan culture of a few. Keren Zdafee illustrates how Egyptian foreign-local caricaturists envisioned and evaluated the past, present, and future of Egyptian society, in the context of Cairo's colonial cosmopolitanism, by adopting a theoretical, semiotic, and historical approach.

Edited by Jinah Kim and Todd Lewis

Dharma and Puṇya: Buddhist Ritual Art of Nepal explores the centrality of ritual practices and the agency of people – patrons, ritual specialists, devotees – in creating and amplifying the efficacy of Buddhist art. Jinah Kim and Todd Lewis highlight the unparalleled contributions of Nepal’s artisans, patrons, and ritualists in engendering artistic heritage that is an endearing continuation of Indic Buddhist traditions. The publication presents paintings, illuminated texts, statues, and ritual implements from the Newar tradition in the Kathmandu Valley. Richly illustrated with photographs of contemporary rituals, religious observances, and historical examples, the essays provide cultural, historical and ritual contexts in which objects collected in art museums were used, and animate them. By recentering the historical imagination on communities, their rituals, and popular narrative traditions, Dharma and Puṇya challenges prevailing misconceptions about Buddhism in the West and expand our understanding of Buddhism as a lived world religion. Contributors include: Naresh Bajracharya, Louis Coppleston, Sonali Dhingra, James Giambrone, Jinah Kim, Todd Lewis, Bruce McCoy Owens, Alexander von Rospatt and Sumon Tuladhar.

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Urmila Mohan

In Clothing as Devotion in Contemporary Hinduism, Urmila Mohan explores the materiality and visuality of cloth and clothing as devotional media in contemporary Hinduism. Drawing upon ethnographic research into the global missionizing group “International Society for Krishna Consciousness” (ISKCON), she studies translocal spaces of worship, service, education, and daily life in the group’s headquarters in Mayapur and other parts of India. Focusing on the actions and values of deity dressmaking, devotee clothing and paraphernalia, Mohan shows how activities, such as embroidery and chanting, can be understood as techniques of spirituality, reverence, allegiance—and she proposes the new term “efficacious intimacy” to help understand these complex processes. The monograph brings theoretical advances in Anglo-European material culture and material religion studies into a conversation with South Asian anthropology, sociology, art history, and religion. Ultimately, it demonstrates how embodied interactions as well as representations shape ISKCON’s practitioners as devout subjects, while connecting them with the divine and the wider community.

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- Prof Dr Thomas Dreier

Law and images are generally not regarded as having much in common, since law is based on textual and images are based on visual information. The paper demonstrates that quite to the contrary, legal norms can be understood as models of intended moral behaviour and hence as images, in the same way as images can be said to have a normative and hence regulatory effect. Following an interdisciplinary approach along the lines of cultural research, the paper explains how images “function” to lawyers and how the law “works” to those trained in the visual sciences. In addition, laying the foundations for a research field “Law and Images” in parallel to the well-established “Law and Literature”, the paper describes the main avenues for future research in this field. Also, the paper contains a brief systematization of images in law, of law and for law.

Thinking Bodies – Shaping Hands

Handeling in Art and Theory of the Late Rembrandtists

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Yannis Hadjinicolaou

Thinking Bodies - Shaping Hands focuses on the critical as well as historical dimension of the handling of the brush and of the resulting appearance of colour on the painted surface in art and art theory from the middle of the 17th (above all from 1660) to the dawn of the 18th century in the Netherlands. More specifically, it deals with Rembrandt’s last pupils such as Arent de Gelder. „Handeling” describes an active, embodied process that is connected to the motion of the hand with the brush or with any other kind of tool. This term, up to now not sufficiently appreciated in scholarly literature, seems to be fruitful in this context. It is not so much connected with the term „style”, as with a prior step, which is equivalent to „manner”. At the same time, its meaning in Dutch till today is „action”. „Handeling” is an act that could be described as a „form-act”. It focuses on Formgestaltung, in which these actions themselves are understood as processes. Examining the „Rembrandtist ideology of painting”, this study attempts to reveal the embodied process of painting in the sense of a bodily articulation during the application of colour. This occurs within the productive tension between theory and practice.

An alphabet of colors

Valcooch’s Rules and the emergence of sense-based learning around 1600

Ann-Sophie Lehmann