POSTPONED - Will be rescheduled in 2020

Why Paintings Matter: Filming Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow (1565)​

Presented by Dr Andrea Bubenik

Date: Friday 25 October, 2019
Time: 3:00pm-4:00pm
Location: Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37) 

Abstract:

Hunters in the Snow (1565) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder is usually treated in art history as a traditional depiction of one of the ‘labours of the month’, well suited to its original context and contemporary taste. This seemingly quaint painting has experienced an intensive afterlife – replicated so often that we are almost numb to it, and featured on countless Christmas cards. What has thus far gone unremarked is the peculiar and intensive reception of the painting in film, and (I will argue) its resulting importance to ecocriticism. In Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972), Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (2011), and Abbas Kiarostami’s 24 Frames (2017), Bruegel’s painting has played pivotal roles: from acting as a mnemonic trigger and catalyst for levitation, to being obliterated and treated with violence, to an animation of its microscopic inhabitants as a narrative device. These contrasting interpretations raise the same question: what exactly do we see when a painting is filmed; how do we experience the painting differently? A clue seems to reside in the potentials of film and paint to enact different textures of time, or what George Kubler called “the interchronic pause”, the moment when seemingly nothing is happening. As Kubler would have it, these instants of actuality are “all we can ever know directly”. The pauses in these films, dictated by Bruegel’s painting, merit attention for the critical thinking they enable. Moreover (as I will argue in this paper) these films lend an urgent and timely ecocritical edge to Hunters in the Snow, in defiance of its usual early modern periodization and the useless classification of ‘western masterpiece’.

Presenter:

Andrea Bubenik is Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Queensland, Australia. In her research and teaching she focuses on Renaissance and Baroque art, and the afterlives and migrations of images. Her books include Reframing Albrecht Dürer (2013), Perspectives on Wenceslaus Hollar (co-edited with Anne Thackray, 2018) and The Persistence of Melancholia (editor, 2019). She was the curator of the exhibitions Five Centuries of Melancholia (2014) and Ecstasy: Baroque and Beyond (2017), both held at the University of Queensland Art Museum.

 

Image credit: Hunters in the Snow (1565) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder


 

About Research Seminar and Workshop Series

 


Writing and communicating about pandemics: 2020 School of Communication and Arts Research Seminar Series

The research seminar and workshop series occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

Semester 1, 2020 Seminars & Workshops

 

Friday, 13 March
12-1pm

Literature as Media: Chinese Online Literature—Storytellers, platforms and transmedia literary world

(Part of the Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Media Design EVENTS)

Dr Tony Xiang Ren, Western Sydney University, with A/Prof Kim Wilkins, Dr Helen Marshall & Emily Baulch

Friday, 27 March
12-1pm

(Cancelled)

TBC

Dr Cedric Courtois

Friday, 10 April
12-1pm

(Cancelled)

TBC Dr Beck Wise

Friday, 24 April
12-1pm

(Cancelled)

TBC

Dr Skye Doherty

Friday, 8 May
12-1pm

(Cancelled)

TBC Dr Andrea Bubenik

Friday, 22 May
12-1pm

(Cancelled)

TBC Dr Chris Hay

Friday, 5 June
12-1pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Imagining the End of the World: Writing the Apocalypse before Covid-19 Dr Helen Marshall

Friday, 3 July
12-1pm

Online via Zoom:

Research Seminar - Developing Disciplinary Literacies in Hybrid Classes

Dr Beck Wise

 

Venue

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)