Special issue: Image and narrative: “(Neo-)Baroque today: baroque as dispositive”
Call for Papers Date:
This special issue will investigate the question whether ‘baroque’ manifests itself in another guise — as neo-baroque — in contemporary culture and entertainment media, both in contemporary arts (time-based and visual) and in popular culture (the theme park attractions, the illusionistic displays of digital media, television series and cinema with its special effects spectacles or computer games). Is the concept of neobaroque an adequate term to rethink our contemporary culture or is it just another word for postmodernism adding to the confusion? What are the stakes and consequences of these and other transhistorical approaches in which the permanent reiteration of specific historical regimes and their circumstances are transmitted to other historical periods and fields of study? Is their a link to be made between the rhetorical devices of the historical baroque and, hence, its performative impact on the one hand, and cultural phenomena that have today been described as “neo-baroque” on the other hand? In what sense could baroque – both historical and contemporary – be described as a “dispositive” (Giorgio Agamben), as a complex whole of textual but also material strategies that conditions our cultural experience on its profoundest level?
The central question is thus whether we can use the baroque artistic regime, with its foregrounding of the spectacular, excentricity, poly-interpretability, multi-perspectivism, theatricality, transformations, or processes of degeneration as a heuristic, theoretical and historiographical category to analyze contemporary artistic developments within their specific scientific, intellectual and foremost technological context. A related question is whether the traditional opposition between Baroque and Classicism is still a viable option in our modern (entertainment) culture? Aren’t many neo-baroque phenomena actually expressions of a mannerist sensibility and is accordingly the opposition between Baroque and Mannerism not heuristically more pertinent and fruitful – especially when we look at how (neo)baroque in comparison to mannerism addresses its public explicitly with the help of often complex and elaborated dispositives.
In very general terms, contributors are asked to explore (1) the possible interference (and tension) between (neo)baroque artistic practices and its epistemological, scientific and technological contexts, (2) the heuristic potentialities of the opposition between baroque and mannerist artistic strategies and (3) the performativity of the baroque dispositive. Every contribution preferably should take a concrete case as its starting point.
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Department of Literature and Art
P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht,
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