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ABSTRACTS
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Silent Story-Telling: Typologies of Iconic Narratives

Andrea Pinotti
, Dipartimento di Filosofia, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy

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In his Laokoon, Lessing notoriously divided the field of art into two (very problematic) areas: the distinction between the arts of time (poetry and music) and the arts of space (architecture, sculpture, painting) was destined to a great fortune in both history and theory of art. However, if we take into consideration narrative images, it soon appears that such figures are space-time structures or chrono-topical events hardly fit Lessing’s classification: in iconic narration, static, motionless images or set of images aim at rendering movement in space (translation) and movement in time (change, metamorphosis). The narration of a story, as it unravels in time through actions and passions, implies both modifications: the characters of the story move from one place to another, and become themselves different personae, both in their bodily appearance and in their psychological features.

This variety of time-space images was investigated in the late 19th century by two scholars who (apparently independently from each other) laid down the foundation for their first basic categorization, working at a typological description of the possible modes of iconic narration throughout the history of visual arts. Carl Robert (1850-1922),  philologist and archaeologist at the University of Halle stated his results in the volumes Bild und Lied (1881) and Archäologische Hermeneutik (1919); while Franz Wickhoff (1853-1909), historian of art the University of Vienna,  approached the question in his main work, Die Wiener Genesis (1895), ultimately distinguishing three main narrative schemes, respectively named “isolating”, “continuous” and “complementary” methods.

In the steps of these two pioneering minds, confirmation came with Kurt Weitzmann’s investigations: although he chose a different definition reflecting a distinct categorial interpretation of iconic narratology (monoscenic, cyclic, simultaneous methods), Weitzmann’s studies of ancient illustration built on the typological tripartition. More recently, Pao-chen Chen tried to apply the same distinction to Chinese narrative painting, establishing a substantial analogy between Western and non-Western iconic narration.

In my paper I will take into consideration some significant case-studies, chosen from different periods of the history of art, in order to verify the methodology mentioned above.

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Image technologies, virtual sciences and the ludic cyber-world

Hermínio Martins
, Emeritus Fellow, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford, UK

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Not available


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