Aesthetic Practices and Spatial Descriptions
By Philip Geisler and Lucy Jarman
Configurations of Micro, Macro, Meso: Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices Workshop in Florence, 6th – 8th June 2014
The concluding workshop for the 2013/14 fellows of Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices followed up on one of the central themes of the year’s program which was describing spaces. Taking a closer look at the interconnections of the spatial categories micro and macro – and meso as the mediator between these two poles, Florence seemed an ideal city space which negotiates these categories and which would provide the fellows with the opportunity to connect with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, the institution which initiated the fellowship program.
The workshop included a city walk with Hannah Baader and Gerhard Wolf, a welcome at the KHI and an introduction to its library and photo library. Visits of the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, the Galleria degli Uffizi and the Museo degli Argenti served as the framework within which to discuss spatial configurations and their implications. The Pietre Dure for instance, an elaborate technique with semi-precious stone inlaid, illustrated how micro and macro are interwoven by displaying whole landscapes and seascapes, naturally grown in finest crystalline structures.
On Monday evening the fellows of Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices as well as the CAHIM fellows (Connecting Art Histories in the Museum) presented an aspect of their own research, focusing on a configuration between micro, macro and meso within their own work. The event was generously hosted by the KHI and followed by a lively discussion joined by fellows of the KHI as well as external guests.
The final activity and probable highlight of the workshop’s schedule was the visit of the Castello di Sammezzano, a palazzo and former hotel about an hour from Florence. The castello, erected in the early 17th century, was redecorated in the second half of the 19th century in an opulent and eclectic Orientalist style, becoming a space in which ornamental micro forms are freely combined, creating a macro space of the fantasized other, the Orient. Accompanied by Gerhard Wolf, Hannah Baader, Avinoam Shalem and Eva-Maria Troelenberg, the participants used this event concluding the workshop with a discussion in the castello’s sunny garden facing an imposing indo-saracenic façade –somewhere in the middle of Tuscany.
Philip Geisler studied media studies at the Medienakademie Berlin, as well as art history, Islamic studies and political science at the Free University Berlin. He is Student Assistant of the research program Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices.
Lucy Jarman studies European art history, East Asian art history and Korean studies at the Free University Berlin since 2008. She is Student Assistant of the research program Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices.
This text was produced in the context of the Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices Workshop in Florence: “Aesthetic Practices and Spatial Descriptions. Configurations of Micro, Macro, Meso”
Citation: Philip Geisler/ Lucy Jarman, Aesthetic Practices and Spatial Descriptions, in: TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, 18.08.2014 https://trafo.hypotheses.org/1220.