How can violence be represented and imagined? How can an artist document the violence of the times? What about the numerous ethical implications? When does a spectator become a voyeur? When does violence turn into spectacle? Can violence be aestheticized? Does an artist have a duty to document contemporary violence? These questions saturate modern art, from the horrors of War in Goya to the racial violence in Edward and Nancy Kienholz’s ‘Five Car Stud’. However, they are not new in themselves. The early modern period witnessed a true explosion of images on pain, suffering and violence across painting, print, theater, and public space. The public had plenty to choose from: sieges, executions, massacres: violence fascinated the early modern spectator, yet it simultaneously conjured up numerous questions, some of which are not unlike those posed today.
Together, historians and artists explore the early modern period, looking for new answers on the questions that concern us in the present by means of lectures, artistic presentations, and round table talks. Together, they will investigate how artists in the early modern period dealt with the violence of their time, and whether these age-old answers might shine a light on today’s ‘spectacle society’.
With artistic works by, amongst others, Stef Lernous van Abattoir Fermé, Simon Pummell, Doina Kraal, Jan Rosseel, Enkidu Khaled, e.a. and lectures by internationally renowned cultural historians such as Jonathan Davies, Katie Hornstein and Benjamin Schmidt.
For the Huizinga Institute masterclass by Benjamin Schmidt (currently fully booked, with waiting list), see: https://www.huizingainstituut.nl/masterclass-by-benjamin-schmidt-violent-images-in-the-in-early-modern-period/