Art History

Call for Papers: The Variety of the Duplicated. Imaging processes in modern art and their products

Thursday, 13 April 2023 until Saturday, 15 April 2023

Deadline: 01 August 2022

Concept: Magdalena Bushart, Livia Cárdenas, Andreas Huth

Printed images and moulded pictorial works have one thing in common: they go back to an "original form" to which they stand in a tense/ambivalent/complex relationship. Produced with the help of a (negative) image - a casting mould, a printing block or a printing plate - in a mechanical process, they assert a relationship of similarity both to a model and to each other. Nevertheless, they are not reproductions that are largely identical to the original. After all, the transfer of the original is done in a different technique than the original and usually in a different material than that of the 'original image' and with the help of a medium that influences the shaping with its technical specifications. From a technical, material and formal point of view, they represent variants rather than precise reproductions of the original. And even the reproduced works do not look at all the same. Although they are based on a common casting or impression mould, they are also subject to the conditions and contingencies of the production process. In addition, the products were often further processed, i.e. "varied". This is particularly true of the 15th and 16th centuries, the period in which the processes of moulding and casting were redefined through the innovative use of materials, the opening up of supra-regional markets and the development of a unique aesthetic: The three-dimensional objects - such as pictorial works made of terracotta or plaster - were reshaped in parts and individually polychromed, while the two-dimensional ones - mainly woodcuts and copper engravings - were coloured, trimmed or silhouetted. This raises the question of how the relation between the relationship and the individuality of the artefacts was received: Were the works perceived as individual pieces, as part of a series, as repetitions? Or did the attraction lie precisely in the knowledge of the singularity of the pieces despite their obvious similarities?

The seventh conference in the series "Interdependencies. The arts and their techniques". Instead of looking at the standardising effect of reproduced pictorial works and images (for example, through the establishment of certain types of images and the standardisation of knowledge), we asked about the variants and their variances that arise through imprinting and moulding processes or further processing. We were interested, on the one hand, in the differences between the originals and the repetitions, and on the other hand, in the leeway opened up by the respective production process, but also by the possibilities of further processing: How do the products relate to the respective starting point and how do they relate to each other? Where are variances the result of conscious interventions, where the result of the production process? What role do the transmission media play? What is the effect of the change in materiality? What forms of further processing can be observed? How can common and singular characteristics of the reproduced works be described? What connects two- and three-dimensional reproductions, how do they differ? And finally: How has the tension between similarity and deviation been received? Did it play a role in the perception of contemporaries or is it passed over in silence?

All those interested in the event are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 5,000 characters together with a short CV. Please send your proposal by 01 August 2022 to: Prof. Dr. Magdalena Bushart and Dr. Andreas Huth.