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Valerie Gonzalez, Islamic Aesthetics and the Experience of Art in Islam

From: 2019-11-27 To:2019-11-27

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  • Thematic Line

    Medieval & Early Modern Philosophy
  • Research Group

    Reason, Politics & Society
  • Project From data to Wisdom

    27th November, 15h00
    Sala de Reuniões 2 - FLUP

    Valerie Gonzalez (SOAS, University of London)

    Islamic Aesthetics and the Experience of Art in Islam

    This seminar will present and explain the main characteristics of what can be called generically ‘the Islamic aesthetic experience’. These characteristics are based on the logocentric metaphysics produced by the Qur’an that informs the Islamic aesthetic consciousness governing both art making and consumption. Will be examined the artistic phenomena that translated this consciousness and responds to its needs and expectations. These phenomena consist of the Islamic positioning of figurative representation, the development of calligraphy and aniconic art forms, and the unprecedented rise of geometry as visual expression. As the result of the intersection between religion, aesthetics and science, the latter will be given special attention. An introduction to Islamic metaphysics and its main concepts, such the abstraction of God and logocentrism, will support the presentation. The audience will be invited to participate by asking questions and making comments if desired.


    Valérie Gonzalez is Research Associate at SOAS, University of London. She is a specialist of Islamic art history, aesthetics and visual culture. She obtained a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies, University of Provence Aix-Marseille, and a Master of Fine Arts, School of Fine Arts, Marseille-Luminy. Her research addresses fundamental conceptual issues and creative processes in the Islamic artistic practices past and present such as figurality, abstraction, pictorial metaphysics or the philosophy of ornament. Her books include: 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. In 2004, her article “The Comares Hall in the Alhambra and James Turrell’s Space that Sees: A comparison of Aesthetic Phenomenology”, (Muqarnas, 20) won the Eisenstein Prize.


    This conference is part of the Seminário informal de Filosofia Medieval 2019

    Instituto de Filosofia da Universidade do Porto - FIL/00502

    Project From Data to Wisdom. Philosophizing Data Visualizations in the Middle Ages and Early Modernity (13th-17th Century) - FDTW (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029717)

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