Art History and Sound Lecture Series

The Sound Makes the Difference or Sound in Visual Art. Another History of Modern and Contemporary Art


Thursday, 14 November 2013
18.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 0RN

L'Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Galerie des Beaux Arts, Paris 1938, Courtesy: VG Bild BonnL'Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Galerie des Beaux Arts, Paris 1938, Courtesy: VG Bild Bonn

Speaker(s): Claudia Tittel (Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena)
Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission
Organised by: Irene Noy and Michaela Zoschg (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

For a long time, the history of art has been purely described as a history of the visual, where the sound had no part to play in the reception of artworks. Especially the modern and contemporary art is inconceivable without cross-border tendencies – Wassily Kandinsky, Marcel Duchamp, the futurists and the surrealists are only some examples. Hence, the history of modern and contemporary art is one of aural experience as well, intimately connected with aural aspects.

Especially after the Second World War, critical voices were being raised contesting occularcentrism by cross-border artworks whose use of not only the visual but also spatial, temporal and tonal qualities shape and determine the viewing experience. Starting from material aesthetic features of the art of the 20th century, the lecture tries to describe the history of modern and contemporary art as a story which includes not only visual but also aural aspects. A general assessment of the visual primacy will be included in the talk embracing a critique of prevailing patriarchal power structures.

Claudia Tittel is Assistant Professor for Cultural Studies of Digital Media, Media theory and Intermedia Art at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena. Aside from her research which focuses on contemporary (media) art, architecture, sound art and intermedia art, she is also engaged in curiatorial practice, most recently in Editing Spaces. Reconsidering the Public (Vilnius, 2011) and Imaginary Landscape. Hommage to John Cage (Gera, 2012).



About Art History and Sound Lecture Series: Following the workshop series Art History and Sound: The Listening Art Historian, this lecture series sets out to continue exploring the aural in art history. In three lectures to be held at The Courtauld Institute of Art during the autumn term 2013, art historians working in different areas and media will discuss the topic of sound and art history from a methodological point of view and engage the audience via a relevant expertise they have gained in their particular research field. The lectures will address topics related to both historical and contemporary instances of sound in art history, and present theoretical and methodological inquiries arising from this preoccupation.


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