Text versus a piece of art / Tekst a dzieło sztuki

Place Łódź, University of Lodz, POLAND
Organizer Department of Art History, University of Lodz et al.
More info http://www.historiasztuki.uni.lodz.pl/

Conference date: 18-20 May 2015

The aim of the Conference is to exchange interdisciplinary views within the scope of the suggested topic. Despite numerous attempts to describe the topic, we have decided to take the challenge once again. We are intrigued by a question to what extent unity, closeness of meaning of textum/ τέχνη, characteristic of the ancient culture, is significant for describing art and text at the begining of the 21st century.
We are curious whether relationships between an image and text, remaining in the centre of attention for a long time, are universal or, being on the boundaries, peripheries, in areas between cultures, they achieve different specificity and intensiveness. That is where the idea of the conference situated on the peripheries of the West came from. Closeness of the orthodoxy is an incentive to raise a range of detailed problems resulting from disparate approach to an image and text in the Orthodox Church (e.g. Imiaslavie). Even further area, which is of equal interest to us, is otherness of approach to this problem developed by the cultures of the New World of America. Only in comparison with such perspectives, still exotic to some, we are able to discern the outlines of Western identity.
History of art, understood broadly as visual arts (paintings, sculptures, graphic and architectural pieces), literary arts (lyric, narrative and dramaturgical pieces) as well as multimedial ones (video installations, films, computer games, etc) has often involved a theoretical thought, different forms of recording, and, above all, various forms of word presence. The problem is perceived in both a historical dimension and a modern one. While in the past a relationship between text and a piece of art was shaped according to regulations and treatises, the last century introduced a manifesto as a new form of language, which dominated almost all avant-garde trends in the 20th century. Letters, words and the whole inscriptions or scores happen to be an equivalent component of iconographic/dramatic depictions/performances, lending them numerous additional semantic references. In such an extensive research field, we want to analyse relationships between text and art. We suggest dividing sessions thematically into three basic groups of problems: text and a manifesto, ecphrasis and hypotyposis, a letter and an inscription. What we find interesting within each of them is both theoretical discussions and analyses devoted to particular pieces.
• A treatise and a manifesto
"Producing" a piece of art was often associated with particular technical, aesthetical or ideological regulations. Treatises defining a process of creation functioned from the antiquity to the 19th century, when they were replaced by templates. Pauperisation of art resulted in appearance of yet another form of communication with a viewer/buyer, raising artistic acts to the rank of uniqueness/dissimilarity. Manifestos provided creative act with unique power, which at the same time had educational value, explaining ideas contained in a piece of art.
• Ecphrasis and hypotyposis
Ecphrasis (gr. ékphrasis) or "precise description" was originally regarded only as a rhetorical figure; over time it developed into a separate literary trend. The term refers to a description of pieces of art in literary works (religious texts, prose, poetry, drama). It infrequently plays a role of a psychological, rhetorical or ontological element in a literary piece. We are particularly interested in ecphrases concerning particular pieces of art, but also in evocative hypotyposes (gr. hypotyposis "sketch, outline"), creating almost tangible paintings, which (although unexisting) may be placed in the context of research into visual depictions within the field of both history of literature and history of art. A separate category, created above mentioned terms, is undoubtedly "recording of a theatre performance" existing in both film and literary forms, like scores, shooting scripts, created at various stages of shaping a theatre or film piece.
• A letter and an inscription
Single letters, whole words, longer inscriptions are elements of visual arts. Dialogues explaining depictions have accompanied scenes from the times of ancient Egypt until modern cartoon or city murals, like single letters which appear as elements of composition, playing an important formal, symbolic and semantic role. What seems interesting is both objects in which inscriptions are treated ornamentally, those in which text is an equivalent component of a picture and those in which illustrations serve as an addition to the text. Particular attention should be paid to the text introduced as a picture/object into a theatre or film piece; meticulous attention should be also paid to titles of art pieces.

We would like to invite art historians, art critics, literature historians and theoreticians, culture anthropologists, culture experts, theatrology experts, film experts and other people undertaking research into abovementioned fieldd to take part in the discussion.

Paper proposals (a title and an abstract 250-300 words) should be sent by March 22, 2015 to: conference2015lodz@gmail.com
Conference fee: full payment 250 PLN/ or 60 EUR
reduced payment 150 PLN/ or 35 EUR

Conference languages are: Polish, Ukrainian and Congress Languages
Coordinators: Dominika Łarionow PhD, Julia Sowińska-Heim PhD