Category: research spotlights

Reports from Researchers Working in the Field, in Archives, and on the Ground

Fabricated Faces: Obscured Self-Portraiture in the Works of Jo Spence and Mary Sibande

by Michaela Peine While the self-portrait occupies a unique liminal space on the spectrum of affectation and reality, the “hidden” or “obscured” self-portrait pushes farther, using the selfhood of the artist as a medium to be objectified, concealed, or symbolically transformed. However, as is demonstrated in the work of Jo Spence and Mary Sibande, this use […]

Following Institutional Critique Inside the Library

by Levi Sherman When artists in the 1960s began challenging systemic authority, it seemed any cultural heritage institution—library, archive, or museum—could be a target of what would become known as Institutional Critique.1 The same period heard the first rumblings of today’s “digital convergence,”2 or the collapse of libraries, archives, and museums into repositories of information, […]

From Léon Spilliaert’s Vertigo to…?

by Jin Wang A few years ago, I stepped onto a train in Brussels and accidentally ended up in Ostend, where I first encountered works by the Belgian painter and graphic artist Léon Spilliaert. Wandering in the city’s museum, the Mu.ZEE, I was immediately intrigued by Spilliaert’s Vertigo (fig. 1, 1908). Similarly enthralled, a group […]

Collections in Catastrophe: A Study of Disaster Preparedness in New Orleans Art Museums

by Heather Burich United States art museums located in geographically hazardous zones should be well-informed about the considerable risks posed to their collections at any given time. As the impact of climate change intensifies, public institutions need to review their collection management policies in response to the growing frequency of natural disasters. After the devastation […]

Wohnseiten: The Interior(s) of Home Journals

by Rosanna Umbach and Amelie Ochs Initiated by Irene Nierhaus and Kathrin Heinz in 2015, Wohnseiten is a research project based at the Mariann Steegmann Institute Art & Gender in cooperation with the University of Bremen, Germany. It has been developed in the Institute’s main research field wohnen+/-ausstellen (“dwelling+/-exhibiting”), which addresses the visualization of the […]

The Occupation of the Natural by the UnNatural: About the Operation of the Superimposition in Augmented Reality and Trompe-l’œil

by Manuel van der Veen This brief research report concentrates on the operation of visual superimposition, which today attains an unexpected topicality through the technology of augmented reality (AR). My doctoral research project relates the art-historical procedure of trompe-l’œil to AR.1 Both techniques want to embed images naturally into the real environment, and subtly make the […]

Living Inside the White Box: Dweller-arranged Interiors in the Earliest Modern Mass-housing Developments

Known collectively by the name of their lead planner and architect, the eighteen Ernst-May-Settlements are residential developments containing almost 15,000 houses and apartments around Frankfurt, Germany (fig. 1). Constructed mainly between 1925 and 1930, they were a response by the recently-elected socialist government of the city to a housing crisis triggered by rapid population growth […]