Pressemitteilung:

(Please scroll further down for English version)

Bonn, den 21. Juni 2018

Zweite Laufzeit für internationalen Forschungsverbund
„Bilderfahrzeuge – Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology“

Seit 2013 fördert das deutsche Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) das internationale kunsthistorische und kulturwissenschaftliche Verbundprojekt „Bilderfahrzeuge – Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology“ mit Hauptsitz am Warburg Institute in London, getragen von der Max Weber Stiftung, der Universität Hamburg/Warburg-Haus, der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin sowie der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, in Zusammenarbeit mit der Universität Basel. Nach einer erfolgreichen ersten Laufzeit wird der Verbund jetzt für weitere fünf Jahre bis 2023 mit 6,3 Mio. Euro gefördert.

Der Forschungsverbund hat sich zum Ziel gesetzt, die Migration von Bildern, Objekten, Ideen und Texten in transkultureller und diachroner Perspektive zu untersuchen. Maßgeblich bleiben auch in der zweiten Förderlaufzeit die Impulse, die aus der Arbeit des deutsch-jüdischen Kulturwissenschaftlers Aby Warburg (1866-1929) und seiner Kulturwissenschaftlichen Bibliothek gewonnen werden. Dies betrifft vor allem den in den letzten Jahrzehnten zunehmend verfeinerten und angereicherten methodischen Zugriff einer Ikonologie, die sich als Wissenschaft vom Bilde versteht. Neue Akzente für die zweite Förderphase werden dabei über die Schwerpunkte „Politische Ikonologie – Bilder als Akteure des Politischen“, „Globale Bilderfahrzeuge und mobiles Gedächtnis“ sowie „Kunst und Nation. Bilderfahrzeuge und Staatskultur“ gesetzt. Nach einer positiven Begutachtung der Forschungsarbeit der ersten Laufzeit im Herbst 2017 erhält der Verbund ab dem 1. Juli 2018 eine zweite Förderlaufzeit. Dafür stellt das BMBF für weitere fünf Jahre 6,3 Mio. Euro zur Verfügung.

Internationalisierung der Geisteswissenschaften

Mit der Förderung des Projekts „Bilderfahrzeuge“ unterstützt das BMBF junge Geisteswissenschaftlerinnen und -wissenschaftler sowohl auf nationaler als auch auf internationaler Ebene: Es fördert ihren Weg in internationale Forschungszusammenhänge, erhöht ihre Mobilität und verbessert die Zusammenarbeit von Forschungseinrichtungen. Diese Förderung internationaler Kooperationen steht auch im Zusammenhang mit der Strategie der Bundesregierung zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Forschung, speziell mit dem Kernziel der Internationalisierung, welches das BMBF im Rahmenprogramm Geistes-, Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften festgelegt hat. Es soll Deutschlands Rolle in der globalen Wissensgesellschaft stärken – durch weltweite Zusammenarbeit in der Forschung, Kooperationen von Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft und Politik und die gemeinsame Entwicklung von Hochschulbildung, Forschungs- und Innovationssystemen.

Besondere Verantwortung Deutschlands

Nicht zuletzt stärkt der Verbund die Beziehungen der deutschen und britischen Geisteswissenschaften unter den neuen politischen Gegebenheiten des bevorstehenden BREXIT. Das Engagement entspricht zudem der besonderen historischen Verantwortung Deutschlands gegenüber dem Erbe Aby Warburgs: Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg hat Deutschland 1933 verlassen müssen und in London eine neue Heimat gefunden.

Zum Forschungsprojekt

Das Projekt basiert auf der konzeptionellen Grundlage der Metapher der „Bilderfahrzeuge“ des deutsch-jüdischen Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaftlers Aby Warburg. Mit dieser Metapher beschrieb Warburg den Umstand, dass seit dem 15. Jahrhundert unter anderem mit Wandteppichen, Kupferstichen und Tarockkarten, später dann mit Fotografien und Bildtelegrammen, etc. Bildformeln vervielfältigt und an weit entfernte Orte verbreitet werden konnten. Im Verbund wird die Funktion solcher Migrationsprozesse von Bildern, Objekten, Texten und Ideen bei der Formation, Transformation und Interaktion von Kulturen untersucht. Die Forschungsarbeiten umfassen individuell abgefasste Monografien, regelmäßige Workshops, Jahreskongresse sowie eine kontinuierliche Vortragsreihe am Warburg Institute London.

Hauptsitz des von der Max Weber Stiftung partnerschaftlich getragenen Projekts ist das Warburg Institute in London, wo die Mehrzahl der insgesamt fünfzehn Research Associates tätig ist; die Arbeitsplätze der Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter in Deutschland werden am Warburg-Haus der Universität Hamburg und dem Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin angesiedelt. Die verantwortlichen Direktoren des Verbunds sind die Professoren Andreas Beyer (Universität Basel, der zugleich als Sprecher fungiert), Horst Bredekamp (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Uwe Fleckner (Universität Hamburg/Warburg-Haus), Bill Sherman (The Warburg Institute, London) sowie Gerhard Wolf (Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz/Max-Planck-Institut). Ständige Gäste des Direktoriums sind die Professorinnen Charlotte Klonk und Michaela Marek (beide Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) sowie Professor Hubert Locher (Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg)

Webseiten

https://www.bmbf.de/de/geistes-und-sozialwissenschaften-weltweit-744.html

http://iconology.hypotheses.org/

Weitere Informationen und Kontakt:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Beyer (Sprecher)
E-Mail: bilderfahrzeuge@unibas.ch

Prof. Dr. Bill Sherman (Director of the Warburg Institute)
E-Mail: Bill.Sherman@sas.ac.uk

Hanna Pletziger
Referent/in für Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland
Rheinallee 6, 53173 Bonn
Tel.: +49 (0)228 377 86 38
E-Mail: pletziger@maxweberstiftung.de

www.maxweberstiftung.de

 

PRESS RELEASE

Bonn, 21st June 2018

Second funding period for the international research project
“Bilderfahrzeuge – Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology”

Since 2013, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung – BMBF) has generously funded the international research project “Bilderfahrzeuge – Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology.” The project is dedicated to art historical and cultural historical research. Its central hub is situated at the Warburg Institute in London in collaboration with the Max Weber Stiftung, the Universität Hamburg / Warburg-Haus, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft and the Universität Basel. Following on from a highly successful first period of the project, the BMBF will provide a further round of funding for another five years until 2023 with a total of 6.3 million Euros.

The project’s central aim is to investigate the migration of images, objects, texts and ideas across geographical and chronological borders. The work of the German-Jewish cultural and art historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929) and his Library of Cultural Studies (Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg – KBW) remains at the heart of the further period of research. Particularly with regard to the methodological approach of an iconology in the sense of a science of images, as it has been increasingly expanded and refined over the last few decades. New emphases will be set for the second period by the following key aspects: “Political iconology – images as agents in the political sphere,” “Global image vehicles and migrating memories” and “Art and Nation.” Following an evaluation and positive appraisal in autumn 2017 of the work undertaken during the first period of research, a second research period will commence from the 1st of July 2018. For this, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will provide 6.3 million Euros for a further five years.

Internationalisation of the humanities

With their generous support of the “Bilderfahrzeuge” project, the BMBF supports young academics both on a national and international level: facilitating pathways into international research, increasing their mobility and improving the cooperation between European research organisations and institutions.

Particular responsibility of Germany

At a time when the Brexit process is redefining political realities, the project and its members strengthen the interrelations between the German and British humanities and sciences. The support the project mainly based at the Warburg Institute receives by the German government through the BMBF also corresponds to Germany’s particular responsibility towards the legacy of Aby Warburg: The KBW was forced to leave Germany in 1933, finding a new home at the University of London.

The project

The project is based on the conceptual foundation of the term “Bilderfahrzeuge” (literally ‘image vehicle’). This metaphor was conceived by the German-Jewish cultural and art historian Aby Warburg. In doing so, Warburg attempted to describe the way in which image formulas have been multiplied and disseminated through time and to distant places. Within the project, the function of such processes of the migration of images, objects, texts and ideas is examined within the formation, transformation, and interaction of cultures. The research undertaken is conceived in the form of individual monographs, regular workshops and annual conferences, as well as a continuous lecture series which takes place at the Warburg Institute in London.

The majority of the 15 Research Associates, supported in partnership with the Max Weber Stiftung are situated at the central hub of the project at the Warburg Institute in London. In Germany, Research Associates of the project will be placed within the Warburg-Haus of the Universität Hamburg and the Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The directors responsible for the project are Professors Andreas Beyer (Universität Basel, who also functions as the Speaker of the project), Horst Bredekamp (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Uwe Fleckner (Universität Hamburg, Warburg-Haus), Bill Sherman (The Warburg Institute, London) and Gerhard Wolf (Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz/ Max-Planck-Institut). Permanent Guests on the directorial board are Professors Charlotte Klonk and Michaela Marek (both Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Professor Hubert Locher (Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg).

Websites

https://www.bmbf.de/de/geistes-und-sozialwissenschaften-weltweit-744.html

http://iconology.hypotheses.org/

Further information and enquiries:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Beyer (Sprecher)
E-Mail: bilderfahrzeuge@unibas.ch

Prof. Dr. Bill Sherman (Director of the Warburg Institute)
E-Mail: Bill.Sherman@sas.ac.uk

 

Invitation for applications

The International Research Group “Bilderfahrzeuge: Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology”, supported by the German Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung invites applications for several full-time research posts (in principle post-doctoral) based at the Warburg Institute in London, the Warburg-Haus in Hamburg and at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin for up to five years from July 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. A detailed description of the positions can be found below or, for a PDF version, please follow the link here.

The objective of this project is to explore the migration of images, objects, and ideas in a broad historical and geographical perspective. In particular, it seeks to provide a contribution to the history of images which is based on Aby Warburg’s approach and method, rethinking them in the light of new interdisciplinary, international scholarship. The project will reconstruct and develop a rich scholarly approach which addresses the distinctiveness of images while also studying the language in which ideas about transfers between cultures and ideas about images are expressed. A focus also lies on the political impact of global visual culture.

We are particularly interested in applicants with a high level of research skills in art history, transfer phenomena between Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, in anthropology, the history of science and comparative literature. Applicants will be expected to have a good knowledge of the languages relevant to their field of study and a good speaking and reading knowledge of English and a second language, preferably German.

All participating institutions are committed to increasing the number of women in academic posts and would therefore particularly welcome applications from women. Where there is a choice between equally qualified male and female applicants, a female applicant will be chosen.

Applications should indicate the alphabetic character of the respective post, include a letter of application with a specific research proposal and indicating candidates’ interests in and suitability for the projects of the research group, a curriculum vitae and publications list, the names of three referees and a writing sample of around 5,000 words of published or unpublished research. Completed applications (electronic submissions only) must be submitted by Monday 30th April 2018.

Interviews will be held in Berlin and London in June or July 2018.

Please send your application to:

Andreas Beyer, Speaker Forschungsverbund “Bilderfahrzeuge”

bilderfahrzeuge@unibas.ch

Cooperating partners:

The Warburg Institute, Max Weber-Stiftung, Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Kunstgeschichtliches Seminar/Warburg-Haus, Universität Hamburg, Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz/Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Kunsthistorisches Seminar Universität Basel.

The directors of the project are:

Andreas Beyer/Basel (Speaker), Horst Bredekamp/Berlin, Uwe Fleckner/Hamburg, Bill Shermann/London, Gerhard Wolf/Florence. Permanent members of the board : Charlotte Klonk/Berlin, Michaela Marek/Berlin and Hubert Locher/Marburg.

Positions:

A: Research position in art history/comparative literature: The formation of Aby Warburg’s language and its impact his sources and his neologisms. Workplace: London.

B: Research position in art history/history of science/anthropology: Warburgs interest in Psychology – investigating his writings and his library. Workplace: London.

C: Research position in pre-Columbian art history with a focus on the migration of images across time, space and across media in and between pre-Columbian cultures and up to the early colonial period. Workplace: Berlin.

D: Research position in Chinese or South East Asian art histories and languages with a focus on migration, transformation and relocation of images and artefacts across time, space and media. Workplace: Berlin.

E: Research position in comparative literature, ethnology or art history regarding mobile / transcultural dynamics of memory with a focus on narratives, material culture and / or images (for example photography). Workplace: London.

F: Research position in art history with a focus on Western or global political or religio-political iconology / agency of political images (early modern times to contemporary). Workplace: Hamburg.

G: Research position in art history with a focus on global migration/provenance of art objects (early modern times to contemporary). Workplace: Hamburg

H: Research position in art history with a focus on Western or global political or religio-political iconology / agency of political images (early modern times to contemporary). Workplace: London.

I: Research Position in art history with a focus on political iconology /
agency of political images in the contemporary context based on a
historical perspective. Workplace:  Berlin.

J: Research position in art history focusing on the question of the shaping of a British canon – Arts Council; British Council; Royal and Government Collections. Workplace: London.

K: Research position in art history focusing on “The Englishness of English Art” through non-English eyes – Contributions to a national definition of British art by those coming to it from outside. Workplace: London.

L: Research position in art history, focusing on collections/reception of Western/European art in Non-Western countries. Workplace: Berlin.

This advertisement is subject to the definite approval of the project by the German Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung

Metadata: how we relate to images

Exhibition

Metadata: how we relate to images

The Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, Granary Square, London

10 January 2018 – 3 February 2018

Disentangled N°1, 2017 Nora Al-Badri and Nikolai Nelles, Ditone print, Courtesy: Nora Al-Badri, Nikolai Nelles | NOME Gallery Berlin

An exhibition curated by the International Research Project “Bilderfahrzeuge. Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology’ and presented in cooperation with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.

This exhibition arises out of a longstanding collaboration between artists and academics from Central Saint Martins and the Research Project Bilderfahrzeuge. It focuses on the role of metadata – data that provides information about other data – in art and art history. The show includes work by established and emerging artists, loans by the British Museum, NOME Gallery (Berlin), Herald Street Gallery (London) and private collections. They will stand alongside an imaginative reinvestigation of CSM’s own Museum and Study Collection, comprised of teaching objects relevant to the many arts disciplines taught at CSM as well as work by former students.

For all enquiries related to the exhibition, please contact: moss@bilderfahrzeuge.org

Events:

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of panel discussions and a workshop in which curators, artists and academics will discuss some of the overarching themes of Metadata: how we relate to images. Weiterlesen

Lecture: The Relic as Image: Prophetic Aura in an Age of Technological Reproducibility

Schematic of the sandal of the Prophet Muhammad

Professor Finbarr Barry Flood

William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the Humanities

Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences, New York University

London, 14 June 2017, 5:30 pm

Warburg Institute
Woburn Square
London WC1H 0AB

Admission free; please register for this event through the Events section of the School of Advanced Study (SAS) here.

Among the most celebrated relics of the Prophet Muhammad was his sandal. Tracings made from the most famous sandal relic, kept in Damascus, were believed to circulate the blessings (baraka) of the Prophet. These indexes of the relic as outline were often copied in their turn, generating an enchained series that enabled the sandal and its blessings to travel well beyond the site of the relic’s enshrinement. This tradition continued into modernity, when new print technologies were applied to the reproduction of the sandal image. Such images raise significant questions about mediation and the ontology of the devotional image in modernity.

Lecture: Return of Images: Chance Encounters in the Afterlives of Antiquity

Alberto Giacometti, Study after a Sumerian Sculpture, 1937, blue ball point pen and paper

Professor Zainab Bahrani

Edith Porada Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology

Columbia University

London, 10 May 2017, 5:30 pm

Warburg Institute
Woburn Square
London WC1H 0AB

Admission free; please register for this event through the Events section of the School of Advanced Study (SAS) here.

The chance encounter with images from the past can be understood as an aspect of the Nachleben der Antike, one of Aby Warburg’s scholarly preoccupations. In the ancient Near East, such encounters with images from a distant past had profound effects, both visual and theoretical.  Artworks transmitted historically specific forms and iconographies across time, but they were also forms of infinite presence without duration. This lecture addresses the status and influence of such rediscovered images beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries, and brings ancient art into the current theoretical debates surrounding art and time.

Leonardo Adrift. Propaganda as “Bilderfahrzeug”

Blog Post – Victor Claass February 2017

Leonardo Adrift. Propaganda as “Bilderfahrzeug

In the harbor of Genoa in early December, 1929, under the intimidating gaze of “steel helmeted fascist militiamen”, a team of art handlers carefully loaded 350 masterpieces of Italian art into the aptly named steamer Leonardo-da-Vinci. Among them were the t
hree sculptures of David by Donatello, Michelangelo and Verrocchio, as well as major paintings by Duccio, Masaccio, Piero della Francesca, Pietro Lorenzetti, Raphael and many other celebrated old masters. Borrowed – thanks to the personal involvement of Benito Mussolini – from the Italian public and private collections, theses artifacts were meticulously placed in the ship’s cargo hold, “lashed firmly and wedged with mattresses
and lifebelts, preventing the slightest movement” (Sheffield Independent, 1929) . Escorted by several tugs, the Leonardo began its journey towards London, where its priceless freight was to be displayed at the much awaited Royal Academy’s exhibit, Italian Art 1200-1900.

The arrival of the Leonardo-da-Vinci in London. Upper left corner: Lady Chamberlain greeting Ettore Modigliani. Sheffield Independent, December 13, 1929.

Weiterlesen

Congratulations #20: Pablo Schneider (Ed.): Edgar Wind – Die Bildsprache Michelangelos

Edgar Wind – Die Bildsprache Michelangelos (Berlin 2017)

Pablo Schneider (Hrsg.)/(Ed.)

Research Associate, Bilderfahrzeuge Project

1936 stellte der Kunsthistoriker und Philosoph Edgar Wind sein Manuskript zu Michelangelos Deckenfresken der Sixtinischen Kapelle fertig. Wind begriff den christlichen Erlösungsgedanken als fundamentales Thema des gesamten Raumes und erkannte ein polares Beziehungsgeflecht, welches ihm das Bildprogramm vollständig erschloss. Methodische Ansätze Aby Warburgs aufnehmend, dessen Mitarbeiter Wind in Hamburg war, analysierte er die Themenwahl Michelangelos. Obwohl fertiggestellt, wurde das Werk nie veröffentlicht. Es liegt nun erstmals in gedruckter Fassung vor, begleitet von einem ausführlichen Nachwort des Herausgebers.

Congratulations #19: Andreas Beyer: „Thinking in Pictures: What Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky have in common with Aby Warburg“

“Thinking in Pictures: What Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky have in common with Aby Warburg” in „Kandinsky, Marc & Der Blaue Reiter“, Fondation Beyeler Basel/Riehen 2016, Hajte Dantz Verlag, Berlin 2016, S. 18-23.

Andreas Beyer

Speaker of the Bilderfahrzeuge Project

In this essay, Bilderfahrzeuge Speaker Professor Andreas Beyer traces the origins of an integral element of contemporary art theory – the possibility of an intellectual and theoretical discourse based entirely on images – ‘art speaking for itself’.

Weiterlesen

‚Ghost Objects‘ – 19th century paper mould techniques and the portability of antiquities

Blog Post – Anna McSweeney July 2016

Among the members of the Bilderfahrzeuge group, we have been thinking recently about  ‚immutable mobiles‘ and the object-oriented theories of Bruno Latour in relation to our work on image vehicles, the movement of images. In his essay ‚Visualisation and Cognition‘, Latour casts inscriptions as the explanatory principle of modern scientific culture. He uses the term ‚immutable mobiles‘ to describe objects which are characterized by the properties of mobility, immutability, presentability, readibility and combinability with each other. He claims that the history of these objects is the history of scholarship in visualisation and cognition.

It seemed to me that paper moulds are a good example of an immutable mobile. Using layers of wet paper to make a negative impression of a building or object, from which a positive could be cast in plaster, paper moulds were used by archaeologists and antiquarians in the mid-nineteenth century to copy the façades of monuments that were far away, at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Palenque in Mexico or the Alhambra in Spain, for example. Described as ‚facsimiles‘ by the inventor of the technique, Lottin de Laval (1810-1903), paper moulds allowed explorers to transport a version of a building or sculpture with all its details back to the museum in the age before both digital reproduction and cheap and reliable photography. Weiterlesen

Warburg on Tapestries

by Isabella Woldt

My research project in the Bilderfahrzeuge group focuses on tapestries as mobile vehicles. The main investigation concerns the reflecting of Petrarch’s “Trionfi” in tapestries and discusses the textile as an instrument of the transfer of ideas and cultural contexts by the manufacture of elaborate materials like gold thread into the tapestry, for instance. The project arises from many years of study on the works of the Hamburg art and cultural historian Aby Warburg. Moreover, the term “Bilderfahrzeuge” has its roots in Aby Warburg’s research on tapestries. The essay below should encompass Warburg’s main discourse on that topic.

The term “Bilderfahrzeuge”, meaning ‚image vehicle‘, refers to Aby Warburg’s research on the “afterlife of antiquity”. Warburg investigated the process of the migration of cultural elements as a material embodiment of the function of human memory. He observed how these cultural objects implement expressions that are the result of the human process of memorising, and how through perception these objects evoke a creative process in the human brain, which produces new thoughts. Warburg asked and investigated how that process was organised and which elements were the most influential in that practice of creation, and he called those elements the “pathos formula”. Weiterlesen