Tableaux Vivants and Attitudes: Image-Circulation in Goethe’s ‘Elective Affinities’ and in Lady Hamilton’s Poses

Tableaux Vivants and Attitudes: Image-Circulation in Goethe’s ‘Elective Affinities’ and in Lady Hamilton’s Poses
Date
10 December 2018, 5.30pm - 7.00pm
Type
Lecture
Venue
Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB
Description

Presented by Dr Philipp Ekardt (NOMIS-Fellow (eikones), University of Basel). 

Aby Warburg’s concept of the Bilderfahrzeug implies a theory of image-transmission which relies on the notion of a displacement of material ‘carriers’ (a palpable medial support) on which such images ‘travel’. This lecture focuses on the period around 1800, and in particular the works of Goethe – primarily his novel ‘Elective Affinities’ (1809), as well as Lady Hamilton’s ‘attitudes’ – offering a perspective on the mechanisms of image-circulation at that historical and cultural moment. Investigating Goethe and Hamilton also allows us to differentiate our general understanding of image-transmissions.

Looking at Goethe’s literary accounts of so-called ‘tableaux vivants’ (living images), and Hamilton’s art of theatrical poses and their mediation, it becomes clear that the activity of building assemblages and the aesthetic and artistic concept of composition are of central importance here. Both form part of a constellation in which images are less seen as ‘traveling’ on concrete carriers than as appearing, disappearing and reappearing in fortuitous material configurations which have been composed. The tableaux vivants and the attitudes form part of a system in which also magical and aesthetic moments of resemblance, or the creation of vistas in parks have their place.

 

The Bilderfahrzeuge Project

The research project ‘Bilderfahrzeuge. Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology’ is dedicated to the study of the migration of images and ideas, objects and texts. They are explored from a political perspective and in a broad historical and geographical context. The project, which was initiated in 2014, is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education. For more information please visit our website at: https://iconology.hypotheses.org

 

Contact

Warburg Events
moss@bilderfahrzeuge.org
020 7862 8741