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The Art of Devotion. The Agency of Sculpture
9th Annual ARDS Colloquium on Current Research in Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture
Leuven (B), M Leuven*, 7-8 November 2022
Introduction to the Conference Theme
The 9th ARDS Annual Colloquium, which promotes and celebrates new research in the field of medieval and renaissance sculpture, will focus on the agency of works of sculpture in the medieval and early modern periods. The 2018 ARDS conference ‘The function of medieval sculpture’ focused on the correlation between the function and the materiality of sculpture from the late gothic and early modern era, and only briefly touched upon the devotional aspect of religious sculpture. The 2020 conference ‘The afterlife of medieval sculpture’ also featured a few contributions touching upon the topic
As the past decade has seen a considerable amount of research centred on the agency of objects, during the 2022 ARDS Annual Conference, we wish to explore the subject more thoroughly in the context of sculpture, specifically.
Books such as The Saturated Sensorium (Laugerud, Jorgensen, & Skinnebach, 2015) and The Agency of Art Objects in Northern Europe, 1380-1520 (Ziemba, 2021) or Ornamenta Sacra. Late Medieval and Early Modern Liturgical Objects in a European Context (eds. Dekoninck, Claes & Baert, forthcoming 2022), for instance, cover a wide range of topics regarding the ways in which art objects activate the human beholder. Dictating cognitive perspective, modes of visual perception and experiences in space and scale, sometimes multi-sensory, thus stimulating specific behaviours and conditioning people and communities with the active power they contain. To understand the agency of medieval art we mustn’t limit ourselves to a strictly art-historical methodology, and rather than look at these sculptures as works of art, consider them as functional objects within the visual and religious culture of their respective era’s.
The colloquium will combine seven selected paper presentations with two keynote speakers, for which ARDS launched a call for papers in the Spring of 2022.
> Download the call for papers here
Apart from the conference sessions, participants will have the opportunity to visit the current exhibitions ‘Moved’ at M Leuven, 'Between Heaven and Earth - Experience The Last Supper by Bouts' at Saint Peter’s Church, and an in-situ visit in Park Abbey Leuven.
> Discover the full programme here
Programme and timetable may be subject to change.
Conference papers will be published in the ARDS acta colloquia postprint series in collaboration with Brepols Publishers.
Participation to the ARDS conference, excursions (incl. entrance to M Leuven, Park Abbey, Saint Peter’s Church), and coffee and tea breaks are free of charge for all registered chairs, speakers and participants. However, registration beforehand is obligatory. At your official registration, you will be able to choose your preferred afternoon excursions.
The organizers cannot contribute towards transport and/or accommodation costs of speakers or attendees.
Lunch on Monday 7 November and Tuesday 8 November will be served at M Leuven. Participants can take part at their own expense after registration and payment beforehand (price approx. €15/day, or €25 if you register for two days). If you have indicated on the registration form that you would like to join us, you will receive an invitation and payment instructions after your official registration.
The conference dinner will be organized on Monday 7 November. Participants can take part at their own expense after registration and payment beforehand (price approx. € 75 all-in) . If you have indicated on the registration form that you would like to join us, you will receive an invitation and payment instructions after your official registration.
Registration is closed.
Please note that the CODARTfocus meeting is not part of the 9th Annual ARDS Conference and that you have to register separately.
Questions or more information?
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*Disclaimer: Should new travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic arise, the 2022 ARDS Annual Conference will be held online via webinar presentations.