Project Beyond Attribution! Style, Communication and Performance in Visual Media of the Late Bronze and Iron Age Near

Basic data

Title:
Beyond Attribution! Style, Communication and Performance in Visual Media of the Late Bronze and Iron Age Near
Duration:
12/10/2020 to 14/10/2020
Abstract / short description:
In the Near East and eastern Mediterranean, the transition from the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1600-1200 BC) to the Iron Age (ca. 1200-330 BC) was marked by both transformations and continuities. Late Bronze empires communicating through formalized gift exchange, tribute, and trade gave way to an array of small Iron Age states with new bases of authority and identity and a more independent exchange system. Yet many elements of the rich repertoire of visual media such as sculpture, ivories, metalwork, seals, and jewelry survived or were revived. Bronze Age images and their carriers were recontextualized in a new sociopolitical order, while new contacts and conditions brought about innovative new expressions.The prodigious mobility of images, objects, and ideas generated by imperialism and trade has created both great promise and great problems for the study of the visual cultures of these periods. Issues of attribution, origin, influence, and hybridity have dominated the field, and the work of disentanglement has often crowded out the search to understand the means and motives of the entanglement itself. This has been a particular problem for that most vexed and nebulous of analytical categories, style.
Stylistic analysis is an essential tool for the interpretation of the origins and date of artifacts and the contacts and relations across the ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean . However, in the broader disciplines of art history and archaeology, there has been a long-running debate about the concept of style that has challenged many of the assumptions underlying stylistic analysis. Recently, Near Eastern art history has also begun to wrestle with these important theoretical and methodological problems , questioning the methods of connoisseurship and attribution studies and the debatable equation of style with ethnicity or local identity. Emerging perspectives interpret stylistic similarities and differences as denoting historically contingent communities or networks of practice that could be dispersed, shifting, and overlapping, rather than discrete sociocultural groups. Shared stylistic practices are considered not as passive reflections of these communities, but as an active means of social boundary and identity construction and negotiation . The analytical separability of style (form), iconography (content), and medium (material) is also increasingly being challenged also for Near Eastern art. It is the goal of this conference to explore and define the emerging paradigm shift in ancient Near Eastern art history and archaeology in the treatment of style and stylistic analysis, with special reference to the highly interconnected visual cultures of the Late Bronze and Iron Ages.

Involved staff

Managers

Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES)
Department of Ancient Studies and Art History, Faculty of Humanities
Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES)
Department of Ancient Studies and Art History, Faculty of Humanities

Local organizational units

Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES)
Department of Ancient Studies and Art History
Faculty of Humanities

Funders

Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
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