The Nomos of Images. Manifestation and Iconology of Law

Minerva Research Group
Carolin Behrmann

Images visualise, constitute and ground the Law. Visual media, architecture and design belong to a multiple normative dimension of visuality that render the Law perceptible. The Minerva Research Project investigates in these multiple normative dimensions of visibility, materiality and aesthetics in visual history and juridical practice.

Dedicated to the study of such manifestations the Minerva Research Project is concerned with formulating an analytical framework for an iconology of law. Taking a transcultural and diachronic perspective, it explores specific dimensions of legal history that bear a relation to materiality. Such juridical manifestations defy the disciplinary boundaries of Art History and Visual Culture in how they relate to form, content and style as well as tradition.

The focus of the research project seeks to bring within its purview the European civil law as well as the codification and materialization of juridical norms. Taking as its point of departure the mobility of images, signs and objects and their application in and adaptation to different cultural and social contexts, the research project aspires to a transcultural comparative analysis of the link between image, or artifact, and legal acts. Alongside this historical perspective, the juridical practice of the present day also comes under iconographical analysis. Fictions of evidence, styles of judgement or aesthetics of resistance revolve around a legal culture in which society's political, economic, religious and moral conflict zones are negotiated.

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