The International Consortium on Art History

International Springtime Academie

The Original and the Multiple: Serialität und Reproducibility
Giverny, june 9 - 13 2008

Time Table (PDF file)

Call for papers

From Monet's series of Haystacks and Poplars at Giverny, or his multiple paintings of the Cathedral of Rouen,1 to Marcel Duchamp's Boîte-en-valise,2 the question of the original and the multiple has become central to modern and contemporary art. Strongly tied to Normandy,3 and to the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts of Rouen,4 the issues of seriality and reproducibility extend transatlantically: Monet collected Hokusaï's series, Roy Lichtenstein translated the Giverny master's strokes into the overblown Ben Day dots of photo etching, chromo-reproductions of Millet's Angelus became the "tragic myth" from which Dali deduced his method of "paranoia-critique".5

Reproducibility is essential to the graphic arts6 - from books of models to danses macabres7 - to prints, lithographic or photographic reproductions,8 bank notes, postal stamps and postcards, to the translation of black and white into color, all of which have proliferated in the era of industrial images, as Stephen Bann's research9 and the Musée Goupil's publications10 have shown. The internet image banks and virtual museums examined by technology and media-studies testify to the fact that reproducibility has become a defining characteristic of the global economy of images. Reproducibility nonetheless also belongs to a long-term history of art: witness the multiple handprints of prehistoric cave paintings, the images or symbols of power disseminated by coins and medals, and whose imprint is transformed with each stamping, or again, the case of sculpture, which relies on the reproduction to scale or in reduced format of molded or cast models. Finally, reproducibility runs the gamut of civilizations, from the ceramic tiles of Iznik to the terracotta warriors of Xi'an…

This phenomenon, which Flaubert both mocked and welcomed through his own use of clichés,11 has been theorized by Paul Valéry in his writings on sound,12 by Walter Benjamin in his work on photography, film and the notion of aura13 and by André Malraux with regards to the photographic image and the imaginary museum.14 Seriality, which plays on repetition and variation,15 challenges the traditional opposition between an original work of art and a world of images. By overcoming this dichotomy the notion of seriality throws light on the conjunction of two artistic modes, the original and the multiple,16 and what is traditionally perceived in antagonistic terms: the processes by which the original becomes multiple and multiples original. Seriality pertains to the history of book making and curating, as it does to the history of art as a whole, that is, the history of fine arts and images as well as the history of music and literature.17

The interaction of seriality and reproducibility - in other words, of the unique and the multiple - is the phenomenon to which the International Consortium on Art History, in partnership with the Terra Foundation, will devote its sixth annual Ecole internationale de printemps, or Springtime Academy, to be held June 9th to June 13th 2008 in Giverny (with a daytrip to Rouen on June 11th). The Springtime Academy seeks to enable a diverse pool of post-graduate students to confront topics, experiences and approaches with those of established academics. Past programs are available at Participation in a Springtime Academy constitutes a vital part of the complementary training offered by the Consortium's international art historical network.

Master's and Ph.D. students in art history, as well as recent graduates, are invited to propose paper topics related to their field of research; papers on any period, area and medium will be considered. Consortium professors may either moderate discussions or present their own work by responding to this call for papers. Proposals should not exceed 1800 characters or 300 words. They should be in German, English, French or Italian and should be submitted along with a brief curriculum vitae. Proposals are due February 20th 2008, at which time they will be sorted by country and forwarded, in no case later than March 7th, to Ségolène Le Men (, Veerle Thielemans ( and Henri Zerner (, and copied to Constance Moréteau ( ). The final program will be established by an international panel of Consortium representatives.

French proposals are due February 20th and must be sent to Thierry Dufrêne (, and copied to Sarah Linford (, as well as to the candidate's thesis advisor and director of graduate studies or école doctorale. French proposals will be reviewed by a committee composed of faculty from the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the Institut national d'histoire de l'art and the university of Paris X-Nanterre. Candidates will be ranked and participants will be notified of their acceptance as either speaker or auditor, with or without funding.

The esthetic, artistic, economic and social, legal and technological, editorial and industrial implications of this theme, whose very vocabulary is wide-ranging, are all suitable topics for paper proposals, as are the issues these raise for the history of forms and of vision, of style and of taste (or kitsch), in its uses and in its effects.

In addition to the Springtime Academy main program, June 9th to June 13th, two workshops are planned on the notion of "sequence": these will be held June 6th and 7th 2008 at the University of Paris X-Nanterre and at the INHA. These workshops will be run by Fabrice Flahutez and Panayota Volti, a separate call for papers will be issued for these sessions, destined primarily for Master's-level students.

1 Exp. Monet in the 90s, The Series Paintings, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago, London, Royal Academy, 1990. Pissaro (Joachim), Les Cathédrales de Monet, 1892-1894, Arcueil, Anthèse, 1994.
2Bonk (Ecke), Marcel Duchamp, The Portable Museum, The Making of the Boîte-en-Valise, Translated by David Britt, London, Thames and Hudson, 1989. Décimo (Marc), Marcel Duchamp mis à nu, A propos du processus créatif, Dijon, Les Presses du réel, 2004.
3Vgl. dazu die Voyages pittoresques von Taylor und Nodier, die in der Normandie beginnen und enden und dabei die Landschaftsbeschreibungen 1824-1825 mit Lithographien und 1878 mit Fotografien illustrieren; die Aquarelle von Turner, die er als Vorarbeiten für seine Stahlstiche über die Seine im Keepsake fertigte; oder noch das Werk der Schriftsteller-Graveure Hyacinthe Langlois (1777-1837) sowie Les Arts de reproduction vulgarisés [1894] von Jules Adeline (1845-1909).
4Exp. Les Duchamp, Rouen, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 1967. Exp. Les Cathédrales de Monet, Rouen, Ville de Rouen avec le concours de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1994. Exp. La boîte en valise de ou par Marcel Duchamp ou Rose Sélavy, Rouen, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 15 octobre 1998-15 janvier 1999.
5Dali (Salvador), Le mythe tragique de l'Angélus de Millet, Paris, 1963.
6Ivins (William, Jr.), Prints and Visual Communication, The M.I.T. Press, Massachusetts, 1985 (London, Routledge et Kegan Paul, 1953).
7Mouilleseaux (Jean-Pierre) u. Bernard Venot, L'aître Saint-Maclou de Rouen, Rouen, Lecerf, 1980. Langlois (Eustache-Hyacinthe), Essai historique, philosophique et pittoresque sur les danses des morts, Rouen 1851.
8Lambert (Suzan), Exp. The Image multiplied, Five Centuries of printed reproductions of paintings and drawings, London, Trefoil Publications Ltd., 1987.
9Bann (Stephen), Parallel Lines, Printmakers, Painters and Photographers in Nineteenth-Century France, New Haven, London, Yale University Press, 2001.
10Etat des lieux 1, Bordeaux, Musée Goupil, Conservatoire de l'image industrielle, 1994; Etat des lieux 2, Bordeaux, Musée Goupil, 2000. Lafont-Couturier (Hélène), " La maison Goupil ou la notion d'œuvre originale remise en question ", Revue de l'Art, no. 112, 1996-2, S. 59-69.
11" [ART.] Ça mène à l'hôpital. À quoi ça sert, puisqu'on le remplace par la mécanique qui fait mieux et plus promptement. Beaux-arts, arts industriels.] " " ARTS. Sont bien inutiles, puisqu'on les remplace par des machines, qui fabriquent même plus promptement ", Gustave Flaubert, Dictionnaire des idées reçues, verfaßt zwischen 1850 und 1880, postum veröffentlicht 1913.
12Valéry (Paul), " La conquête de l'ubiquité ", Œuvres, t. II, hg. Jean Hytier, Paris, Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1960, S. 1284-1287 (Anm. S. 1580-1581), Text von 1928. Erschienen in De la musique avant toute chose (Texte von Paul Valéry, Henri Massis, Camille Bellaigue etc.) Paris, Editions du Tambourinaire, 1928. Vgl. dazu auch De la musique encore et toujours (Texte von Paul Claudel, Jean Cocteau, etc., Vorwort von Paul Valéry), Editions du Tambourinaire, 1946.
13Benjamin (Walter), " L'œuvre d'art à l'ère de sa reproductibilité technique " [1935-1939]. L'homme, le langage et la culture, Paris, Denoël/Gonthier 1971, Kap. VI, S. 137-182. (Vgl. dazu auch Kap. 3 " Petite histoire de la photographie " , S. 57-80 und Kap. 4 " Problème de sociologie du langage ", S. 81-116). Eine on-line verfügbare englische Version unter dem Titel The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction :
14Malraux (André), Psychologie de l'art. Le Musée imaginaire, Paris, Gallimard, NRF, 1947. Zerner (Henri), " André Malraux ou les pouvoirs de l'image photographique ", Ecrire l'histoire de l'art, Figures d'une discipline, Paris, Gallimard, 1997, S. 145-156. " Les livres d'art de Malraux 1947-1977 ", in Exp. Roger Parry, Photographies, dessins, mises en pages, Paris, Gallimard/Jeu de Paume, 2007 (unter der Leitung von Mouna Mekouar).
15Exp. The Repeating Image: Multiples in French Art, Baltimore, The Walters Art Museum, 7. Oktober 2007-1. Januar 2008 und Phoenix Art Museum, 20. Januar-4.Mai 2008 (Kommissar Eik Kahng, Essais von Stephen Bann, Richard Shiff, Charles F. Stuckey, Jeffrey Weiss).
16Krauss (Rosalind), " Retaining the Original? The State of the Question. ", in Kathleen Preciado (Dir.), Retaining the Original: Multiple Originals, Copies, and Reproductions, S. 7-11. Studies in the History of Art, 20. Studies in the History of Art (Washington , D. C.) Symposium Papers, 7, Washington: National Gallery of Art; Hanover, NH: The University Press of New England, 1989 (Akten des Kollquiums , Baltimore, 8.-9, März 1985, Mitveranstalter: Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington und John Hopkins University, Baltimore.) Vgl. dazu auch den Beitrag von Richard Shiff.
17Reproductibilité et irréproductibilité de l'œuvre d'art, unter der Leitung von Véronique Gondinoux und Michel Weemans, Brüssel, La lettre volée, 2001. Philip (Robert), Early recordings and musical style : changing tastes in instrumental performances, 1900-1950, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992. Amossy (Ruth) und Anne Herschberg-Pierrot, Stéreotypes et clichés, Langue, discours, société, Paris, Nathan, 1997.