Evening lecture

Wolfram Pichler: How to enter Image-Space

within the Lecture Series "Theoria". From Perception to Art Historical Method I

The talk will be a contribution to the theory of images, a field of research situated at the common border of art history and philosophy. I shall ask very general questions about pictorial space or 'image-space', as I call it, and discuss two rivalling theories: Kendall Walton's theory of 'perceptual games of make-believe' on the one hand, Lambert Wiesing's theory of 'spaces free of physics' on the other. The first denies the existence of image-spaces and explains our talking about them in terms of fictionality, while the latter tries to rescue them by inventing a new concept. Using examples from everyday life as well as from art, I will explain why, on a systematic level, I clearly favour the former theory, while, historically, I nevertheless remain interested in the latter. The terminological and conceptual basis of my argument will be provided by a general theory of images which has been developed by Ralph Ubl (University of Basel) and myself.


Wolfram Pichler is Professor at the Department of Art history of the University of Vienna. He has studied art history and philosophy in Vienna and Munich and has been visiting fellow at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, senior fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie in Weimar, and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles as well as guest professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (ehess) in Paris. He has written on Tintoretto, Caravaggio and Goya as well as on the history of the line and the theory of images in general. His publications in English include On the Art History of Expression: The Example of Matisse's Notes of a Painter, in: Manuela Ammer, Achim Hochdörfer und David Joselit (eds.): Painting 2.0. Painting in the Information Age, Munich: Prestel/Random House, 2015; Afterword. Configurations of the Image, in: Jim Elkins und Maja Naef (eds), What is an Image?, University Park (Pennsylvania) 2011; Image and Imaging in Philosophy Science, and the Arts, 2 volumes, coedited with Richard Heinrich, Elisabeth Nemeth and David Wagner, Frankfurt/Paris/Lancaster/New Brunswick: Ontos, 2011.

21 October 2019, 6:00pm

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz

Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze


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