24 March 2014
Alison Locke Perchuk, Assistant Professor of Art History, California State University, Channel Islands.
Co-presented with the Power Institute at the University of Sydney.
Recent scholarship recognizes that image-text connections exceed the merely iconographic. Within ecclesiastical environments, the performance, sound, and meaning of words pronounced before images affect the perceived content of those images and their relevance to persons engaged in liturgical activities. Spatial organization undergirds this process, determining visual and physical access and structuring relations among images, altars, and bodies. This works-in-progress talk, part of a larger book project entitled The Monastery of Elijah: A History in Paint and Stone, examines how these processes intersected with the creation and use of the Basilica of S. Elia, a twelfth-century monastic church located outside of Rome. Collectively, it argues that the church’s architecture, furnishings, and frescoes constituted a flexible site for complex recollective processes that operated differently during daily liturgy, on feast days of specific saints, and at the death and annual commemorations of the monastery’s abbots.
Alison Locke Perchuk is Assistant Professor of Art History at California State University, Channel Islands. As an art historian, she specialises in the study of the art and architecture of medieval Europe and the Mediterranean basin, with a particular emphasis on twelfth-century Rome and central Italy. Her current book project, The Monastery of Elijah: A History in Paint and Stone, examines the intersecting roles of the visual arts, architecture, ritual and landscape in the creation of communal identity and offers a case study for the writing of history in the absence of texts. Other interests include 'antipapal' patronage in twelfth-century Rome. Dr Perchuk holds a BA from Williams College, an MA from the Catholic University of America, and a PhD from Yale University. Currently. Alison serves as treasurer for the Italian Art Society.
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