IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 1514: Politics and Gesture

Thursday 13 July 2006, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Jill Farquhar, Department of History of Art, Queen's University Belfast
Paper 1514-aAverroes: Gesture in the Context of the Political (unconfirmed)
(Language: English)
Mostafa Younesie, Department of Political Sciences, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran
Index terms: Philosophy, Political Thought
Paper 1514-bSculpted Gesture and the Invocation of the Sacred Past
(Language: English)
Cheryl L. Kaufman, University of Texas
Index terms: Art History - Sculpture, Hagiography, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 1514-cReligion, Politics, and the Erotic in the Bayeux Tapestry
(Language: English)
Richard Koch, Hillyer College, University of Hartford, Connecticut
Index terms: Art History - Decorative Arts, Historiography - Medieval
Abstract

Abstract paper -a: In this paper I want to explore and examine the narration of Averroes about gesture. For doing this task I will focus exclusively on his commentary on Plato’s Republic. Apart from his reading of this writing or text it seems that we can concentrate on Averroes first treatise. In the broad context of the state of imitation in the polis, Averroes comments on Plato’s ideas about imitation and the state of gesture in this category in two places. In the first place he comments that there are two kinds of imitation: either of voice, gesture, and form; or imitation through imitative words. In the second place he comments that there are two kind of narrative statements: one consisting of non-imitative statements, and the other of statements in which the narrative is imitated through form gesture. Therefore Averroes wants to comment on gesture in the context of the political.

Abstract paper -b: The gestures of St Ursus are sculpted on two capitals in the cloister built circa 1133 to accommodate the communal life of a new college of Augustinian canons in Aosta, Italy. Through this material representation of gesture, the canons invoked the authority of their local patron saint as an apostle, as a prophet, and as a colleague of St Augustine. Ursus was imbued with power from the sacred past to establish the identity of this nascent community in the face of the conflict that accompanied the 12th-century reform in Aosta.

Abstract paper -c: The Bayeux Tapestry is both a work of art and a vital, visual chronicle for the events of 1064-1066. Gestures embroidered in the Tapestry were used as to indicate direct, narrative action. However, gestures also fall under three major categories, the religious, the political and the erotic. But, there is a profound ambiguity in the gestures and message of the Tapestry. The defeated English could read the Tapestry in their way and the Normans in another. An attempt, perhaps, to conciliate the warring sides. Created out of simple materials, wools and linen, the Tapestry nevertheless is rich in its associations with the Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, and Byzantine worlds.