- Date & Time
Wednesday, April 19, 2023 6:00pm to 7:30pm
FASHIONING RACIAL REVOLUTION: THE SIGNARES IN GORÉE AND SAINT-LOUIS
Anne Lafont, Directrice d’études, EHESS, l’Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris
Could it be that in the geographical conception of art developed in Enlightenment Europe, the primary role and the function of the so-called Black Continent was one of ornament? Or, on the contrary, did the aesthetic conception elaborated by the European Enlightenment deprive Africa of artistic potentiality? These two opposing hypotheses coexist in eighteenth-century artworks and texts. Lafont’s talk will focus on some objects whose material, form, argument, use, and reception invite us not only to historicize the notion of African art, but also to identify the registers of categorization specific to this pivotal eighteenth-century moment, when both anthropology and aesthetics were invented. African objects, as well as European objects inspired by the African presence in Europe, rub up against the emergence of these two disciplines, which intersected around the importance of the senses and sight, in particular.
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