“Rethinking Pictures: A Transatlantic Dialogue” at Terra Foundation Paris Center & Library and DFK Paris

May 19 & 20, 2016
Terra Foundation Paris Center & Library (May 19)
DFK Paris (May 20)

To celebrate the launch of Picturing, the first volume of the Terra Foundation Essays, a new publication series exploring themes of critical importance to the history of arts and visual culture of the United States, the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte Paris (DFK Paris) and the Terra Foundation for American Art  jointly organized a conference furthering the transatlantic dialogue about what pictures are and what they do.

Since the 1980s, theories of visual studies in Anglo-American scholarship and of Bildwissenschaft in German art history have expanded the field of potential subjects for study, building an extensive body of literature and introducing innovative methodologies and approaches. Developed nearly contemporaneously, these theories about the nature and reception of images have largely run parallel. Are there ways to think about pictures anew by bringing these models more closely together? Does the move away from visuality towards the material offer possibilities for overcoming early differences between these two approaches? To consider these questions, this international conference reflects on the differences and convergences between the intellectual traditions of visual studies and Bildwissenschaft.

Day 1 welcome by John Davis, Executive Director for Europe and Global Academic Programs, Terra Foundation for American Art


Session 1: Propositions

“Striking Images: Body Politics on the Streets” by Maxime Boidy, Université Paris 8 Vincennes—Saint Denis, and Stéphane Roth, Cité de la musique


Questions for Maxime Boidy


“Belting and Summers on Substitution” by Jakub Stejskal, Freie Universität Berlin


Questions for Jakub Stejskal


Round table discussion with Rachael Z. Delue, Princeton University; Beate Fricke, University of California, Berkeley; Antonio Somaini, Université Paris 3—Sorbonne Nouvelle; and Ralph Ubl, Universität Basel


Day 2 welcome by Thomas Kirchner, German Center for Art History Paris


Session 2: Ways of Picturing

“Built Images: The Mark of Japan and the Terms of the Picture” by Kristopher Kersey, University of Richmond


Questions for Kristopher Kersey


“Matisse with Husserl: Rethinking the Picture in 1906” by Sebastian Zeidler, Yale University


Session 3: Picturing and Paint

“Tactile: Ad Reinhardt and Black Paintings” by Lauren Kroiz, University of California, Berkeley


Session 4: Visual Environments

“The Forrest and the Trees: Locating Images in Early Modern ‘Abundant Exhibitions’” by Elsje Van Kessel, University of St Andrews


Questions for Elsje Van Kessel


“How Did Pictures Become Image Culture?” by Michael Leja University of Pennsylvania


Questions for Michael Leja


Session 5: Picturing and the Lens

“Still/Moving: The Photographic Image in the Post-Medium Condition” by Temenuga Trifonova, York University, Toronto


“The Silent Revolutions of Digital Images” by André Gunthert, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales


Questions for André Gunthert



“Unresolved Issues in the Conceptualization of the Image” by James Elkins, School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Questions for James Elkins