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Multisensory production and reception of artefacts in historic perspective

Wednesday, 2024/05/22, 10:00


Event organizer: Dr. Zuzanna Sarnecka (University of Bern ) / Dr. Irina Dudar (University of Bern)
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Zuleika Murat (University of Padua), Dr. David Zagoury (University of Fribourg), Dr. Tom Young (Courtauld Institute of Art, London), Capucine Gros (artist, Bucharest)
Date: 2024/05/22
Time: 10:00 - 17:45
Venue: Room 216
Mittelstrasse
Mittelstrasse 43
3012 Bern
Characteristics: open to the public
free of charge

Multisensory production and reception of artefacts in historic perspective

with Prof. Dr. Zuleika Murat (University of Padua), Dr. David Zagoury (University of Fribourg), Dr. Tom Young (Courtauld Institute of Art, London), Capucine Gros (artist, Bucharest)

Moderation/organisation: Moderated and organized by Dr. Zuzanna Sarnecka (University of Bern ) / Dr. Irina Dudar (University of Bern)

Date/time: 22 May 2024 | Optional museum visit: 10.00am–12.00pm / Workshop 2.15pm–5.45pm

Venue: Museum visit: Bernisches Historisches Museum, Helvetiaplatz 5, 3005 Bern / workshop: Mittelstrasse 43, room 216

ECTS: 1 (Wahlpflichtbereich GSAH) 

Language: English

Registration: via KSL und E-Mail to michael.toggweiler@unibe.ch

Artifacts are part of production steps and conditions, which are closely tied to the cooperation of communities as well as individuals. The creation of objects by makers was equally linked to the recipients (to whom they themselves also belonged) and their expectations. Motifs were recognized, even though they were not always implemented true to text templates but could be composed synthetically from a number of sources: recognition depended not only on the viewing habits of large social groups and religious communities, but also on their knowledge of the meaning and content of what was depicted. This makes art and craftsmanship a communicative media interface between recipients and producers, who can follow, renew/reinvent, or willfully reject/resist iconographies, patterns or ornaments in part or in whole and thus create something new.

Responding to dissatisfaction with the persistent portrayal of artistic production in terms of the final, visible product, the workshop advocates the need to shift our focus towards discussions of the multisensory strategies involved in the production process as well as the reception of such processes by others. We aim for a nuanced reconstruction of the sensory impact of the employed procedures, as described in written sources or as reconstructed through analysis of surviving works, using medium- and time-specific approaches. Papers by our invited speakers reflect on issues of uniqueness and repeatability of the artistic processes, on the sensory-driven curiosity of the maker as a generative force in production, and on accountability in terms of who was trained to do what; the notion of the versatile genius able to control the entire process is not universally valid. In the short individual presentations and during the panel discussion, we hope to reflect on the multisensory engagement in the production process and to maintain the broad chronological scope warranted by the diverse areas of expertise of our guests.

The workshop will start at 10am with an optional visit to the Historical Museum in Bern with the curator of the collection and our invited speakers, to engage with specific artworks and to get us ready for the afternoon's presentations and the roundtable discussion.

Please find more information in the programme below.