Current Issue: Vol. 6(2)

“Studies in Visual Arts and Communication –
an international journal”

Volume 6 – Nr 2, 2019

Table of Contents

December 2019; 6(2)


1. Nava Sevilla-Sadeh, Art History Department, Tel-Aviv University

Escapism and the Sublime: The Meanings of Illusionism in Livia’s Garden Paintings
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2019 6(2)

ABSTRACT
The wall paintings decorating the dining hall in the villa of Livia, Emperor Augustus’ wife, depict an abundant orchard with many species of trees, flowers, and birds in a quiet and peaceful setting. Although the style is very naturalistic and mimetic, what one sees is a combination of plants and fruit trees not normally in season together, endowing this orchard with a paradisiacal nature. The picturesque naturalism of the depictions has led scholars to interpret it as a reflection of calm and peace in relation both to the atmosphere under the reign of Emperor Augustus, and to his rehabilitation of the Republic and the spirit of moral renewal he established. Thus, this paradisiacal orchard has been perceived as a reflection of the Augustan Golden Age, the peace achieved after a terrible war, and a return to the traditional values and morals. Indeed, Augustus could well be proud of his achievements. However, a question arises regarding the true nature of the peace and prosperity claimed by Augustus, since it is well attested by researchers of Roman history that hunger and war were still present in many parts of the empire. Augustus employed both economic and social manipulation in order to control the people, and his approach led to an escapist state of mind by the people, as reflected in the concept panem et circenses coined by Juvenal. Such escapism was typical to the Roman disposition and was further nurtured and intensified by the Roman emperors. The present study focuses on a prominent picturesque feature in Livia’s “garden” paintings – illusionism, which is manifested in several aspects. This visual illusionism suggests a reflection of a mental illusionism: namely, the illusory and delusive atmosphere and the escapist spirit generated by Emperor Augustus.

Keywords: Illusionism, Augustan regime, Panem et Circenses, Religious experience, Escapism.

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2.
Ana Catarina Pereira, University of Beira Interior, Portugal
Begoña Gutiérrez San Miguel, University of Salamanca, Spain

Grace and Frankie: who’s afraid and who laughs with these two not-poor-and-even-less-old-ladies
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2019 6(2)

ABSTRACT
This article presents a narrative analysis of the series Grace and Frankie, produced and broadcast by the streaming channel Netflix, which was premiered in 2015, and awaits a new season for 2020. Featuring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, the series balances humorous moments and dramatic scenes in short episodes of about 30 minutes. In our analysis, we use different feminist film studies to identify the main mechanisms of deconstructing stereotypes related to femininity, gender, beauty and age, as well as their potential as far as the effects in the broad audiences reached are concerned.

Keywords: Sorority, feminism, series, stereotype, universality.

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3. Carolina Lio, Independent curator based in London

ON TRANSLATION. Antoni Muntadas and the Politics of Translation in Visual Arts (1995 – 2015)
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2019 6(2)

ABSTRACT
The essay starts with a reflection on the interpretative authority of curators and audience, sketching the progressive shift in visual arts from canonic criticism to context-sensitive and community- sensitive mediation and translation processes. From the 19th century, the nature of translation has gradually adopted a philosophical category and entered into the analysis of how we ‘understand’ a discourse, also providing a synapse for work in psychology, anthropology, sociology and in intermediary fields such as ethnolinguistics and sociolinguistics. In the visual arts field, the most extensive project developed so far on the topic is On Translation, that artist Antoni Muntadas initiated in 1995. On Translation consists of about 35 subprojects realised over more than 20 years, in which Muntadas engages with translation as an autonomous medium which occurs when a piece of information (either textual, visual or under other forms) shifts from context to context.
Muntadas is universally regarded as a pioneer media artist for the extensive usage of and reflection about technology potentiality and limits. He uses the notion of Media Landscape as the aggregate of communication media that transmits information. Their role in this transmission – or translation – is fundamental and has, according to Muntadas, a strength equal to human verbal translation in its capability to convey or transform a message. On Translation also highlights the audience’s responsibility in critically understanding the processes behind translation and committing to participate in the formation of meaning. One of the recurrent symbols of the project is, in fact, a red, bright sign stating Warning: Perception requires involvement. Muntadas’s warning points particularly to the easy manipulation of communication media by political and economic powers to create different narratives, attractive myths, and points of tension.

Keywords: media landscape, media artist, visual communication, contemporary art, translation.

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4. Edwin K. Bodjawah, Samuel Nortey, Kwaku Boafo Kissiedu, Faculty of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana

Traditional African Art Technologies and Contemporary Art Practice
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2019 6(2)

Abstract | Keywords | Full text PDF


5. Maurício Barros de Castro, Professor Adjunto / Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), Instituto de Artes (ART-UERJ), Programa de Pós-graduação em Artes (PPGArtes – UERJ), Programa de Pós-graduação em História da Arte (PPGHA-UERJ), Professor Visitante / Universidade da California – Berkeley

Eustáquio Neves: images and memory of slavery in Valongo: Letters to the Sea
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2019 6(2)

ABSTRACT
In this article I discuss the work of Eustáquio Neves on the memory of slavery in Brazil, focusing principally on his series Valongo: Letters to the Sea, inspired by the Valongo Wharf in Rio de Janeiro, considered the world’s largest port of entry for enslaved Africans and recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. As well as exploring the process of producing images through the manipulation of analogical photography, the text also analyses the concept of contemporary slavery formulated by the artist.

Keywords: Valongo: Letters to the Sea, Eustáquio Neves, Slavery, Brazil, photography.

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