28-29 June 2019
Workshop: Message, Messenger, or False Friend? Early Modern Print as Intermediary
Erin Giffin, Dr. (SACRIMA, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität); Antonia Putzger, Dr. des. (Universität Bielefeld)
With the financial support of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the SACRIMA team and workshop participants engaged with questions regarding the intermediary function of early modern print culture in new compositions and contexts. Designed by Erin Giffin and Antonia Putzger (Universität Bielefeld), and supported by the SACRIMA program and the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, this workshop brought together art historians of multiple material studies to discuss and develop approaches to print culture. The medial constitution of print fosters an often undervalued phenomenon of reinterpretation, by channeling traits of artistry and subject matter from the printed medium back into individually produced objects, including paintings, sculptures, and architecture. The workshop engaged with the intermediary quality of print and the effective “translation” of information and imagery into situated, singular artefacts.
“Message, Messenger, or False Friend? Early Modern Print as Intermediary” considered print culture simultaneously for its materiality, as a conveyor of ideas and information tempered by physical and visual constraints, as well as a conceptual conduit extending between cultures and communities. Presentations for this discussion-oriented workshop addressed the material oscillations of printed imagery and the normative structures emergent through print, as well as the intersections between printed text and pictorial cues, authoritative information dissemination, and the potential for ‘false friends’ in interpretations of printed media. Through a series of material and theoretical questions, this workshop problematized long-standing assumptions of print culture and its engagement with other representational art forms.