Aesthetic Seminar. The Medieval Religious Icon as Body – Spatial and Temporal Proximity as Foundation for an Alternative Ontology
Ane Petrea Danielsen. PhD student in Art History at Aarhus University in Denmark. Her Ph.D. project titled The Medieval Icon as Body studies the conceptualization of the religious icon as an acting bodily prosthesis for the divinity.
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Over the past few years a focus on the religious image’s matter and agency has emerged in fields such as ArtHistory, Anthropology and History. Scholars such as Hans Belting, Caroline Walker Bynum and BisseraPentcheva have all been pioneers in articulating the religious icon as an active entity not only passively beingobserved by a viewer, but interacting with him or her. In this context they have all more specifically initiatedthe idea of the icon as an entity sizzling on the edge of dead matter and living body. It is exactly this idea thepresentation builds on and attempts to further nuance and expand by suggesting an alternative ontology ofthe medieval icon as body. Danielsen will thus demonstrate the tender birth of a perception of the icon as abody, which reaches its full potential in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. More specifically, she will arguethat the medieval icon seeks the legitimization and proximity related to relics in early Middle Ages and hasin the later Middle Ages obtained this and heightened or even overridden it at times by being described asand acting like the actual body of the divine.
The lecture is open to the public.
Speaker: Ane Petrea Danielsen