Appel à communication : « The Silence of Images » (Rome, décembre 2015)

falcon10The Silence of Images (Rome, 11-12 Dec 15) MAXXI – Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI secolo, Rome, December 11 – 12, 2015

Deadline: May 31, 2015 International Conference The silence of images. Theories and processes of artistic invention co-organized by the Sapienza University in Rome, the MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI secolo, and the Vatican Museums, in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut and the Gabinetto Disegni e stampe degli Uffizi, and under the patronage of Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA) Call for Papers The conference proposes a reflection on art and image focusing on their essential primary elements, which has informed the theoretical and critical debate of art history: from Leon Battista Alberti’s theories to the transformations and breaks with artistic languages in subsequent centuries, up to the most recent research of contemporary artists. In De Pictura Leon Battista Alberti identified the invention of painting in composition as a space defined by the outline drawn by the artist, observing the colours through variations in the light on the surface. The role of the composition of images, linked to the relationship between line and surface and the effects of colour through light variations, as well as the movement « of the body and the soul, » implies a spatial orientation within the picture plane or viewing screen as in the space of sculpture, architecture, installations or performances in order to infer the semantic value, in addition to what the image narrates, what the image expresses and what we reflect on today. The aim of this reflection is to develop, through key studies, the theoretical and historical-artistic aspects of the various image construction processes, based on artistic literature, historiography, writings by artists, production and artistic experimentation, the role of images and artistic languages according to the cultural modalities linked to the different contexts.

The conference aims to focus on the theoretical and procedural aspects through the following avenues:

– The role of the composition of images between representation and the search for new languages and new viewing modes (visual media) requires a reflection on the different outcomes of experimentation, production and artistic achievement in relation to the space-time dimension. From the origin of the modern conception of composition based on space in perspective and narrative sequencing to the break with spatiality and temporality in contemporary artistic research.

– Drawing-line-mark: literature on this topic is extensive and includes both the theoretical reflection on drawing and its different values in relation to design and invention, and the role of the line as the characterisation of style, as the definition of the image in artistic practice, as well as the sign/mark as an expression of thought, the action of the artist and calligram, between drawing, brushstroke and writing.

– Light-colour: from artistic studies on the rendering of light, chiaroscuro and colour in sixteenth-century treaties to scientific experimentations, the aim is to reflect on the role of colour as a subject, in terms of its significance (agency), even temporal, to be appreciated also through light effects, transparencies, and reflections, and to be verified in perceptual outcomes and symbolic values. The avenues set forth are all interrelated and therefore the aim is not only to analyse and verify them, possibly through specific cases focusing on their characteristics and historical-artistic, historiographic and theoretical developments, but also to get them to act on and interact with each other in order to investigate the ‘meanings’ reflecting on the present, and from the present on the past.

The conference aims to trace a common thread, or better still a voltaic arc that connects the two ends – the Campidoglio, the symbol of Roman and Renaissance classicism, where an exhibition will be held entitled: « Raphael Parmigianino Barocci. Dialectics of the gaze and metaphors of vision », and the MAXXI, Museum of the twenty-first century, in the heart of the new cultural centre of the city – between which cultural tension is produced due to the effect of contact.

Proposals concerning historiographic, theoretical and historical-artistic aspects, with reference to different temporal and geographic areas, works and individual artists, in order to reflect on and develop the theoretical potential of the conceptual avenues proposed, will be taken into consideration.

How to participate: To apply send the following documentation by and no later than 31 May 2015:

  1. A project of no more than 1000 words in one of the official languages of CIHA (French, English, Italian, Spanish, German).
  2. A summary of the project in English not exceeding 250 words.
  3. A selected curriculum vitae. These documents will be sent to the following address:


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