Movement, Embodiment, Emotion

Workshop with David Freedberg

The relationship between vision and embodiment has still not been adequately discussed. Even less attention has been paid to the anthropological and art historical significance of embodied responses to movement, and the implications for the understanding of both imitation and emotion. In this paper I suggest that we should be less sceptical about the differences in epistemological regimes between science and art, and pay more attention to the neural bases of simulation, embodiment and emotion. I will point to some of the parallels between responses to artworks, to other images, and to the sight of the actual processes of work and play in diverse cultures.

Text to be discussed online:

David Freedberg is Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art at Columbia University and Director of The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America in New York. He is best known for his work on psychological responses to art, and particularly for his studies on iconoclasm and censorship (see, inter alia, Iconoclasts and their Motives, 1984, and The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response, 1989). His art historical writing originally centered on the fields of Dutch and Flemish art. Within these fields he specialized in the history of Dutch printmaking, and in the paintings and drawings of Bruegel and Rubens. Following a series of important discoveries in Windsor Castle, the Institut de France and the archives of the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, he has for some time been concerned with the intersection of art and science in the age of Galileo (see The Eye of the Lynx: Galileo, his Friends, and the Beginnings of Modern Natural History, 2002). His recent work concentrates on the history of science and on the importance of the new cognitive neurosciences for the study of art and its history. He is now devoting a substantial portion of his attention to collaborations with neuroscientists working in fields of vision, movement and emotion.

Professor Freedberg is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society, as well as of the Accademia Nazionale di Agricultura and the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti.

Participation is only possible after registration. For registration please write until Friday, 16 November, 4pm to Mandy Richter:

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut
Casa Zuccari - Sala terrena
Via Giuseppe Giusti
50121 Firenze
Dr. des. Carolin Behrmann  

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