Old is New: Classical Reception and Temporalities in Art 1800-Today

Nicole Cochrane, University of Hull, N.Cochrane@hull.ac.uk, @tinyhistorian

Melissa Gustin, University of York, melissa.gustin@york.ac.uk, @Hosmeriana

If antique art, and modern work modelled after the antique, is often understood (problematically) as ‘timeless,’ ‘universal,’ or ‘classic,’ how does this shape or shift an understanding or experience of modern art (1800-today) made in relation to antiquity? Recognising this in primarily Western art and scholarship invites us to challenge perceptions, depictions, and interpretations of time and temporalities in classically informed or classicing art. Drawing especially on the critical frameworks of continuity, change, and temporality from Aby Warburg’s Bilderatlas to Alexander Nagel and Christopher Wood’s Anachronic Renaissance, this panel seeks to address critical questions around how ‘classicism’ shapes the temporality of art making, art writing, art viewing, and art collecting across periods. How can artists and scholars speak to contemporaneity and historicity, either in the Western canon or in the increasingly global and instantaneous digital worlds, where temporal and geographical distances can be collapsed through databases even as physical access is delayed or restricted? Are classically informed art objects old-fashioned, anachronic or anachronistic, backward looking and reactionary, or does the modern age flatten the perception of time and timeliness that makes the old new again and again?

This session invites papers on art (and its makers, display, and commodification) after 1800 that engages with classical material and temporalities, broadly conceived. We are especially keen to include work on non-canonical objects and artists from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and from global perspectives, contemporary work which plays with historicity, temporality, and intermediality, display (especially artists speaking about their own practice), displacement (physical and chronological), and popular media beyond the museum or fine arts collection.

Call for Papers deadline 1 November 2021. Please submit your paper proposal to the convenor.



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