2018 Daphne Mayo Public Lecturer: What Time Is It in the History of Art

Professor Keith Moxey, Columbia University, New York

RSVP by 26 April 2018


This lecture criticizes the chronological system that has for so long dominated art history’s professional activities. Its orderly progression of periods from ancient, medieval, renaissance, to modern and contemporary, betrays a Eurocentric parochialism and fails to recognize that the world’s cultures do not organize their times according to a teleological chronology. Subscribing to a heterochonic view of time, the author argues that not only objects, works of art, but also subjects, the humans who create and treasure them, are constituted by many different forms of time. Works of art do not just belong to the historical horizon to which chronology would assign them but provoke aesthetic responses in a variety of different historical moments. This power to escape time is anachronic--it cannot be measured chronologically. The anachronic event that takes place when human subjects encounter these privileged objects is an aesthetic moment that cannot be predicted or defined. The argument is illustrated with objects from several different cultures that subscribe to distinct temporal systems that cannot be reduced to that adopted by Europe during the era of colonization. Keywords: Eurocentrism, Heterochrony, Anachrony, Chronology, Temporality.  

Presenter Bio:

Professor Keith Moxey is Barbara Novak Professor of Art History at Barnard College. He is the author of books on the historiography and philosophy of art history, as well as on sixteenth century painting and prints in Northern Europe. His publications include: Visual Time: The Image in History (2013); The Practice of Persuasion: Paradox and Power in Art History (2001); The Practice of Theory: Poststructuralism, Cultural Politics, and Art History (1994); Peasants, Warriors, and Wives: Popular Imagery in the Reformation (1989). He is also the co-editor of several anthologies: Art History, Aesthetics, Visual Culture (2002); The Subjects of Art History: Historical Objects in Contemporary Perspective (1998); Visual Culture: Images and Interpretations (1994); and Visual Theory: Painting and Interpretation (1991).

Professor Keith Moxey

For enquiries, please contact ea.commarts@uq.edu.au


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