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Bruno Munari

The Lightness of Art

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Edited by Pierpaolo Antonello, Matilde Nardelli and Margherita Zanoletti

Bruno Munari was one of the most important and eclectic twentieth-century European artists. Dubbed the «Leonardo and Peter Pan» of contemporary art, he pioneered what would later be labelled kinetic art, playing a key role in the constitution and definition of the aesthetic programmes of groups such as Movimento Arte Concreta and Programmed Art. He became an internationally recognized name in the field of industrial design, winning the prestigious «Compasso d’Oro» prize four times, while also being a prominent figure in Italian graphic design, working for magazines such as Tempo and Domus, as well as renowned publishing companies such as Einaudi and Bompiani. He left an indelible mark as an art pedagogue and popularizer with his famous 1970s artistic laboratories for children and was the author of numerous books, ranging from essays on art and design to experimental books.

Capturing a resurgent interest in Munari at the international level, the exceptional array of critical voices in this volume constitutes an academic study of Munari of a depth and range that is unprecedented in any language, offering a unique analysis of Munari’s seven-decade-long career. Through original archival research, and illuminating and generative comparisons with other artists and movements both within and outside Italy, the essays gathered here offer novel readings of more familiar aspects of Munari’s career while also addressing those aspects that have received scant or no attention to date.

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Les modernes d’Egypte

Une renaissance transnationale des Beaux-Arts et des Arts appliqués

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Nadia Radwan

Cet ouvrage explore un moment clef du développement de l’art moderne égyptien, lorsque sont définis les fondements d’une nouvelle pratique artistique au début du 20ème siècle. Basé sur un important travail de terrain mené en Egypte et sur des documents d’archives jusqu’ici inexplorés, il se centre sur une génération de peintres et de sculpteurs appelés les pionniers (al-ruwwad). Formés dans des institutions telles que l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts du Caire, leur production s’inscrit dans un mouvement de renaissance artistique et reflète les multiples interactions transculturelles entre l’Egypte et l’Europe. Cette étude offre ainsi un regard nouveau sur ces artistes qui ont posé les jalons du modernisme égyptien et met en lumière une production jusqu’ici peu étudiée. Tandis que l’on aborde aujourd’hui l’histoire de l’art dans une perspective globale à la lumière de circulations, d’échanges et de réseaux, elle offre un point d’ancrage permettant de mieux appréhender les dynamiques et les enjeux actuels de l’art contemporain au Moyen-Orient.

In this book, Nadia Radwan explores a key moment of the development of modern Egyptian art, when the foundations of a new artistic practice are defined in the early 20th century. Based on field work and unexplored archival material, this work focuses on a generation of painters and sculptors commonly referred to as the pioneers (al-ruwwad). Trained in institutions, such as the School of Fine Arts in Cairo, their production is inscribed in a project of artistic renaissance and reflects multiple transcultural interactions between Egypt and Europe. This publication thus re-evaluates these artists that opened the path to Egyptian modernism and sheds light their yet understudied production. While art history is now approached in the perspective of circulations, exchange and networks, this book offers a background to a better comprehend the dynamics and stakes of contemporary art in the Middle East and intends to contribute to the cartographic constellation of a world art history.

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'Hear My Song'

Irish Theatre and Popular Song in the 1950s and 1960s

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Joseph Greenwood

A major obstacle for the scholar of theatre is the ephemerality of a dramatic performance. How can we know the specifics of an event that has been and gone, an occurrence that can never be repeated? This book proposes that by considering the use of songs within a dramatic production we can gain a deeper understanding of past performances, especially with regard to their communal reception. Why did a playwright employ a certain song? How might it have affected an audience? Arguing that certain song types constitute forms of collective memory, the author explores Irish theatre from the 1950s and 1960s to show that songs are a valuable means by which we can gauge changes in the popular consciousness. By necessity, songs mutate so that they can continue to express and affirm collective memories and therefore fit the zeitgeist of their socio-cultural contexts.

Through its detailed research, this book demonstrates that retrospectively analysing the dramatic employment of well-known songs not only helps us better understand the performances and reception of a selection of Irish plays, but also challenges orthodox narratives of Éamon de Valera’s Ireland.

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Delphine Vincent

Les lettres de Charles Gounod à la duchesse Colonna, sculptrice de renom sous le pseudonyme de Marcello, sont d’un immense intérêt. De caractère intime, elles offrent également des informations sur les projets du compositeur (dont un opéra inachevé d’après l’histoire de Francesca da Rimini), les détails matériels de son activité, son manque d’inspiration, ainsi que sur ses conceptions esthétiques et philosophiques. Entre la création de Roméo et Juliette en 1867 et la fuite de Gounod en Angleterre en 1870, les deux amis partagent leurs joies et leurs préoccupations tant artistiques que personnelles. Cet échange épistolaire enrichit considérablement la compréhension de la personnalité humaine et créatrice de Gounod, ainsi que de son milieu culturel.

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Edited by Mariacruz Castro Ricalde, Mauricio Díaz Calderón and James Ramey

"It was a great night for Mexico, as usual." Donald Trump's words about Alejandro González Iñárritu on Oscars’ night 2014 were a preview of his now-notorious attitude toward Mexicans: "He´s walking away with all the gold? Was it that good? I don´t hear that. It was certainly a big night for them." Although the future president’s comments were offensive, for scholars interested in transnational film and literature, his words were themselves pure gold. For they raise questions about "nation" as a category of representation. When we invoke "Mexican cinema," for example, we imply that some kind of "national cinema" exists – but what is a national cinema? Is the cinema made in the US a national cinema in the same way as that of Mexico’s? And is a film made by a foreigner in Mexico part of Mexican cinema? What does it mean for a film or a literary work to cross a border? And are borders to be defined in geographical terms only, or can they also be cast in terms of gender, sexual orientation, race, or language itself? This book, in short, reflects on the implications of the term "transnational" in relation to film and literature conceived – in any way, shape, or form – as "Mexican."

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Musical Identities and European Perspective

An Interdisciplinary Approach

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Ivana Perković and Franco Fabbri

This book focuses on the relationship between identity and music in Europe from different angles. It takes two basic categories into account: identities in music and music in identities. The authors provide studies on identity construction in different historical and geographical contexts. They also evaluate the discourse of popular music in Europe and analyze various topics related to complex and changing concepts of identity, whether it is about an individual composer, issues of style or musical work itself.

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Bild, Affekt, Inventio

Zur «Johannespassion» Johann Sebastian Bachs

Benedikt Schubert

Auf Grundlage dreier Zentralbegriffe aus der Musikanschauung der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts (Bild, Affekt, Inventio) unternimmt der Autor eine Neuinterpretation der «Johannespassion» Johann Sebastian Bachs. Konsequent wird dafür zudem erstmalig versucht, eine Synthese aus Quellen der Musikästhetik und der Frömmigkeitspraxis der Zeit herzustellen. Dies führt in der Tat zu einer gänzlich neuen Sicht auf das exemplarisch untersuchte Werk und zur Rekonstruktion vieler jener Ideen, welche das Textverständnis der Zeit nahelegen.

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Re-Place

Irish Theatre Environments

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Lisa FitzGerald

What role does nature play in the cultural world of the theatre? Is the auditorium not a natural environment, and how can theatre and nature aesthetics co-exist in the productive expression of performance? Re-Place: Irish Theatre Environments proposes a new way of thinking about Irish theatre: one that challenges established boundaries between nature and culture and argues for theatre performances to be seen as conceptual ecological environments. Broadening the scope of theatre environments to encompass radiophonic and digital spaces, Re-Place is a timely interrogation of how we understand performance history. This book examines the work, both as text and in production, of three canonical Irish playwrights, J. M. Synge, Samuel Beckett and Brian Friel, and looks at how theatre documentation can further the idea of a natural performance environment. The questions under consideration extend Irish theatre history into the field of the environmental humanities and draw on new materialist discourse to offer exciting and innovative ways to approach performance.

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Emergency Noises

Sound Art and Gender

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Irene Noy

Art history traditionally concentrates on the visual. Sound has either been ignored or has been appreciated in a highly selective manner within a different discipline: music. This book is about recent attempts by artists trained in (West) Germany to provoke listening experiences to awaken the senses. Their work is revolutionary in artistic terms and in what it reveals about human relations, especially concerning issues of gender.

The main focus of the book is to explore a gendered reading of the unity between the visual and the aural, a strand most prominently expressed within sound art in the period from the beginning of the 1960s to the 1980s. The book juxtaposes sources that have not been considered in conjunction with each other before and questions sound art’s premise: is it a separate field or a novel way of understanding art? The study also opens up sound art to gender considerations, asking if the genre possesses the capacity to disrupt conventional, gendered role models and facilitate alternative possibilities of self-definition and agency across genders. Emergency Noises brings to light the work of underrepresented female artists and explores new intersections of sound, art and gender.

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Talking Shakespeare

Notes from a Journey

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Louis Fantasia

Talking Shakespeare is a collection of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and politics and their impact in the world today. Originally given as provocative talks on Shakespeare at some of the most prestigious universities, conferences, and theatres around the world, they reflect on the author’s more than thirty-year career as a producer, director and educator. The essays provide a unique and personal look into multiple aspects of Shakespeare’s world—and ours.