Simons Center ArtSci Lecture Series: Speaker Valerie Gonzalez

ArtSci Lecture Series Programmed by Lorraine Walsh
Discovering Where Art, Science & the Humanities Meet
Lecture by Valerie Gonzalez
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 4:30PM, SCGP 102

The West and East’s ongoing encounter with global consumer culture through which different worlds collide has changed our perception of the Middle East and East Asia. By extension, the practices of these arts’ display in world-class museums has changed, feeding debates about cultural heritage representation and museum philosophy. In this context, the question of how to show the arts of the past has become more than ever relevant as they fashion national identities and participate in the current global multicultural construct. With the support of a gripping visual material, Dr. Gonzalez will compare installations of Islamic and Korean ceramic art in the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, the University of Oxford, UK, and the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul.

Dr. Valerie Gonzalez is a specialist of Islamic art history, aesthetics and visual culture. She obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Provence Aix-Marseille in Islamic Studies, and a Master of Fine Arts from the School of Fine Arts, Marseille-Luminy. Her research addresses key issues in Islamic artistic creation of the past and present such as figurality, abstraction, pictorial metaphysics or the philosophy of ornament. Her work relies on an interdisciplinary methodology ranging from art criticism and theory, aesthetic phenomenology and philosophy to linguistics, as well as the comparison with other arts. She also writes critical texts for contemporary artists of Muslim heritage and/or interested in Islamic aesthetics. She was awarded scholarships from institutions such as The Getty Research Institute, in Los Angeles, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Her book list includes among others: Aesthetic Hybridity in Mughal Painting, 1526-1658, Ashgate 2015; Le piège de Salomon, La pensée de l’art dans le Coran, Albin Michel, 2002, and Beauty and Islam, Aesthetics of Islamic Art and Architecture IBTauris, 2001. Her article “The Comares Hall in the Alhambra and James Turrell’s Space that Sees: A comparison of Aesthetic Phenomenology” (Muqarnas, 20, 2004) won the Eisenstein Prize.