CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

About History Press Release Sessions Schedule Activities Participants Venue Discussion Registration Closed


FU Shen
Chinese Chair

TENG Yuning
Junior Chair

Eco-Action: Materialities and Territories as Mediators of Contemporary Landscapes

RANKIN, Elizabeth
Imperial violations: undermining the conventional tropes of landscape. Michael Shepherd's New Zealand landscapes.

GEE, Gabriel
The Late 20th Century Marine: "Forgotten Spaces" and Trans-industrial Visions.

TURAZZI, Maria Inez
Favelas in Rio de Janeiro: new approaches to a singular landscape

FRESCHI, Federico
From Volksargitektuur to Pretoria Regionalism: The Imagined Landscape of the Nation in Afrikaner Nationalist Architecture, 1936-1976

SUD, Shivani
In a Land of Death and Disease: Epidemiological Landscapes and Photography in Colonial Bombay

The Orientalist Sublime: Landscape, Self, and Spectator in the Work of Gérôme and his Contemporaries

KERN, Margit
Historical Landscape and Progress. Ecocritical Perspectives on “Cuadros Nacionales” (National Paintings) in 19th Century Mexico

SENG, Eva-Maria
Pall Mall. From the Sportsground to the Urban Pleasure Ground

LIU Lihong
The Wu Landscape: Eco-aesthetics in Chinese Paintings, 1450-1550

WENG Jianqing
Humanity, Nature and Pattern: the Meaning of the Space in Illustration of the Literature in Ming Dynasty

YAN Xiaojun
Dong Qichang And The Travel Landscape Painting : A Visual Reconstruction Of The Real Landscape In His Neo – Confucianism

JIANG Fangting
Wang Shizhen and the Landscape Sketches of the Grand Canal in the Shui Cheng Album

XU Tong
The Creation and Spread of the "Jiangnan" Famous-site Images in Qianlong period

Schedule of Session 11.pdf

Schedule of Session 11.jpg

“Landscape” is probably one of the most complex and interesting topics of art historical research. At present, given the increase in global hyperurbanization, the traditional distinction between “city” and “landscape” is dissolving. New hybrid forms of urban landscapes are arising creating different imaginaries which are difficult to understand. Experts have shown that “landscape” is one of the most attractive visual topics in contemporary culture. However, traditional descriptive patterns persist, opposing landscape to city. The notion of landscape isproduced by neurological processes that create overlaps between fact and fiction. Multiple visual representations serve as filters and framework for landscape perception and understanding. Images of landscapes synthesize the complex accumulation of natural and cultural elements. They constitute meaning, determined by the epistemological parameters of different cultures in different times.

Therefore, art historical research may provide important insights about long-term developments and cultural differentiation of landscape representation. How do we approach the construction of landscape in image and word? Which terms did the constructors of landscape invent and use for analysis and interpretation? What kind of spiritual sources do we have to revise defining historical and contemporary landscapes? And how do beholders deal with these terms when they try to understand the complex phenomena of landscape? What relation between society and reality appears in the process of “terming” the differente landscapes’ aesthetics?

To structure the session, I propose six categories, which include important facets of the topic “landscape and spectacle”.

1) The history and presence of landscape painting, one of the most influential genres in art history. This category examines how terms were invented and applied in order to convert land first into landscape and then into landscape painting. In this chapter, speakers may show how cultural interpretation discloses landscape and the visual schema of its representation in paintings – not only in Western art from the 17th century on, but also in the older Asian traditions and their pictorial and philosophical contexts. Also, papers may address how viewing landscapes generated mental and visual formulae which determined collective habits and environments.

2) Collective consciousness about the shape of landscapes is also produced in other visual media, such as land art installation, photography and film, as well as popular visual media (press, television, and internet). These are spheres of visual production that offer different conditions of reception. Apart from land art installations with their site-specific impact, the frameable possessions of landscape on photographic paper or on the video screen register different states of the metamorphosis of the landscape, and they are distributed in wide circulation, with enduring effects. Thus, in this category, the media history of landscape will be reviewed as an important aspect of art historical. The proposed expansion of analysis from art works to any kind of visual production also includes popular and commercial products as well as scientific images in cartography or ecology.

3) Studies on the designers and analysts of landscape; i.e. gardeners, landscape architects, and also cartographers, geographers, ecologists, and experts from other related natural sciences. Here, landscape appears as a manifold phenomenon described by a wide range of terms. For art historians, aware of their analytic tools, this revision may inspire more complex interpretations examining images of landscape as sources for knowledge production. Papers may also address how the visual schema of artistic and scientific register of landscape are closely interrelated, and how landscape views determine world views.

4) Eco-aesthetics and eco-criticism: The environmental debate concentrates on scientific contributions and political decisions, but also includes aesthetic aspects. Images and imaginations of landscape, their expressions and terms, widen the horizon of understanding. Landscape, with all its elements, including clouds, was one of the most intense breeding grounds for visual knowledge production. Papers may deal with the epistemological function of visual landscape representation in environmental processes. Ecological thinking also offers a different approach to (art) historiography, because our discipline frequently ignores the long-term evolution of the landscape as embodied in geological formations, botanic diversity, or even climate change. If we define landscape as the penetration of time in space, then the parameters of long-term evolution should be included in paintings which refer to certain historical moments. Even the built environment with the short-term impacts of urban development is part of the landscape with its evolutionary and aesthetic characteristics, configuring specific eco-systems.

5) Political iconography of landscape: Papers in this category may analyze the production and reception of landscape's visual formulae that serve political systems, including future visions of utopia. This can include the codification of landscape by national, regional, and local stereotypes. Landscape is included in the political theory of space, where every (infra)structural and visual element can claim political significance. Landscape is a political text, constituted by certain terms. Conceptually, it spans from open, democratic landscapes to the controlled landmarks of monarchy, the restricted territories of dictatorship and even the expanding character of imperialism. Recent studies of the political landscape have revealed the potential of this art historical field of research to bring new light into traditional politological debates.

6) City and landscape as spectacle, which has political, ecological, socio-psychological, and economic implications. Based on the old European notion of landscape as amenity, the so-called “society of spectacles” (Guy Debord) has converted cities and nature into isolated, simplified, often banalized elements of high efficiency in the popular entertainment business. Paradigmatic cases for late 20th century spectacular commercial landscapes are gambling cities like Las Vegas or Macao. But shopping malls and entertainment centers are also miniature landscapes of spectacle, where the locus amoenus is reproduced as an artificial ambience to stimulate shopping. This kind of domesticated commercial and spectacular landscape has become an essential part of the contemporary urban settings. Art historical inquiry of landscape and spectacle analyses the configuration of visual stereotypes and their impact on urban image, taking into account what terms are used for interpretation and critique.