Conference „Hybrid Creations: Trade Between Europe, the Americas and Asia and Its Transcontinental Impact on Art in the Early Modern Age of Globalization“

Conference at the University of Bern, September 24 and 25, 2015

Organization and conception: Linda Báez Rubí (Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM/Project Bilderfahrzeuge, Warbung Institute, London) and Raphaèle Preisinger (Institute for Art History, University of Bern)

The emergence of maritime trade routes between Europe, the American continent and
Asia in the 16th century heralded a new era of economic relations that was characterized
by a vital exchange of cultural goods. Images of all kinds may be reinvestigated against
the background of trade between Europe, the Americas and Asia in the early modern
period. Two important trade routes linked all three continents during this era, the route of
the Portuguese India fleet (Carreira da Índia), which circulated between Lisbon and Goa,
Malacca and Macau and halted in the ports of Salvador und Rio de Janeiro, and the
maritime route proceeding from Spain to Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico (Carrera de las
Indias) and from Acapulco on the Pacific coast to Manila (Galeón de Manila or Nao de la
China) and eventually to China or Japan. The documentation and analysis of the spatial
movements of artifacts and their transformation along these ‚European-American-Asian
trails‘ allow for a new iconological investigation in a transcultural perspective. The time
frame for this endeavor is provided by the Iberoamerican colonial era. In 1815, just a few
years before almost all colonial territories became independent, maritime trade between
Acapulco and Manila ceased.

During this conference, the hitherto often overlooked objects circulating between
continents shall be analyzed according to the diverse locally determined conceptions and
perceptions of images. Special attention will be paid to those objects that emerged from
transoceanic trade as culturally hybrid creations. The introduction of new media and
materials gave rise to novel image functions and aesthetic qualities. Questions to be
considered include: How do the imported objects create iconic meaning in their new
cultural surroundings? How do the newly introduced materials shape the imagination and
perception of the recipient? How do the ‚foreign‘ images and those that emerged from the
transcontinental encounter contribute to shaping cultural identities?


Thursday, September 24 (Hauptgebäude der Universität Bern, Hochschulstrasse 4, HS 101)

18:30–18:45 Address of welcome
18:45–20:00 Keynote Lecture:
Jens Baumgarten (Universidade Federal de São Paulo):
Circulation, Materiality and the Discourse of Authenticity in Brazilian Colonial Arts and Their Relations to Asia

Friday, September 25 (Universität Bern, Hallerstrasse 6, Raum 205)
10:00–10:30 Linda Báez Rubí (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México/Warbung Institute) and Raphaèle Preisinger (Universität Bern):

10:30–11:15 Astrid Windus (Universität Hamburg):
Trading Concepts. The Circulation and Adaption of Architectural Prototypes Between Early Modern Europe, the Americas, and Asia

11:15–11:45 Coffee break

11:45–12:30 Franziska Neff (Universität Heidelberg):
Forms of Appearance a la chinesca in Viceregal Sculpture of the 18th Century

12:30–14:00 Lunch break

14:00–14:45 Emilie Carreón Blaine (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México):
Gleaming Creases and Furrowed Shadows in a New Hispanic Folding Screen: From Brooklyn to Tepoztlan and Beyond

14:45–15:30 Sonia Ocaña (Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco):
New Spanish Domestication of Asia. The Case of Enconchados

15:30–16:00 Coffee break

16:00–16:45 Marco Musillo (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut):
Material Consecrations in Early Modern Transfers: Surfaces and Sacred Bodies between China and Christianity

16:45–17:30 Final discussion and concluding remarks

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