Special Topics: The Moving Image in the Middle Images
Byzantine art has been both condemned and praised for its static nature and flat surfaces. This course examines contexts in which the Byzantine icon disproves the traditional notion of stillness imposed upon it. These contexts range from the public arena of processions in which icons were the center of visual attention, to the walls of Byzantine churches and palaces where they performed, to the miracles in which they supposedly came "alive". The responses of Byzantine viewers also reveal modes in which the viewing process shook icons out of their boundaries, transforming, even distorting them. By examining these issues, we may begin to understand the nuanced nature of the icon other than as an epitome of stillness. We shall also examine instances of moving images from Western Europe as counterparts (and sometimes, rivals) to our Byzantine examples. The readings for this course include primary sources (all translated) in the form of deliciously evocative poems, epigrams and sermons.
Estimated cost of materials: less than $50.
Category for Concentration Distributions: A. The Middle East (includes Western and Central Asia, and North Africa), D. Europe and the U.S., 2. Medieval, 3. Early Modern