Under Shelling: Art Historical Revisions in the Light of the War in Ukraine (online/Berlin, 26 Oct 22-15 Feb 23)

Ekaterina Heath's picture

In the winter semester of 2022/23, the Institute of Art and Image History at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is organising a lecture series “Under Shelling. Art Historical Revisions in the Light of the War in Ukraine”. The present war in Europe – the Russian invasion of Ukraine – serves as an impetus to reflect on geographical, regional, media-related and historiographical approaches to art history that we believe were called into question with the war.

The lecture series gives insights into the complexity of the historical development of the artistic and cultural landscape of the country fighting for its sovereignty and the related art historiographical projections in the 20th century. At the same time, the focus is on the topicality of war as an experience and challenge for the history of art and images. On the one hand, the lecture series deals with the acute problem of the endangered cultural heritage, the fragility of which is once again palpable in a military conflict. On the other hand, in terms of political iconology and media criticism, the problem of the new visibility of war will be addressed: How can we understand images of extreme violence and its traces that can be retrieved in real-time by the (global) beholders? Should we think in analogies? How sustainable or deceptive are historical comparisons? To what extent do these images engage us in a new kind of eye-witnessing, and how emphatic or anaesthetic can the gaze be? The lectures will also show how circulating images and videos become effective iconic weapons in a conflict that is also an information war.

The case of Ukraine can thus be understood as a new starting point to analyse further dimensions of images in asymmetric conflicts of the 21st century. After the tragic experience of the diffuse proxy wars in Syria and Yemen and the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, has Russia’s full-scale military attack on Ukraine evoked new media, visual languages, forms and functions of the iconic? With those questions, the lecture series aims at an interdisciplinary, art- and image-historical, theoretical and philosophical reflection on the topic.


Mateusz Kapustka (Zürich/Berlin)
Regarding the Pain of Neighbours. War in Ukraine and the Contemporary Images of Violence

Burkhard Liebsch (Bochum)
Zwischen Indifferenz und Kapitulation: Unannehmbare Gewalt und deren Veröffentlichung in Bildern

Alisa Lozhkina (Kyjiw/San Francisco)
The Power of Images, the Weakness of Images. War in Ukrainian Art, from WWII to 2022

Mariana Levytska (Lwiw)
Visualizing a War: Contexts and Functions of Images in recent Ukrainian Graphic Arts

Anna Novikov (Greifswald)
Propaganda and Military Mobilization in Patriotic Apparel and Performance in 21st-Century Russia

Verena Straub (Dresden)
Die Memefication des Krieges. Visuelle Taktiken zwischen Protest, Propaganda und ironischer Subversion

Margarethe Pratschke (Berlin)
Visuelle Investigation. Verfahren digitaler Spurensuche im Ukrainekrieg und die Zukunft der politischen Ikonografie

Marina Dmitrieva (Leipzig)
Der Brunnen von Bağçasaray: Eroberungen der Krim in der imperialen Kulturpolitik

Katja Bernhardt (Lüneburg) und Antje Kempe (Greifswald)
Ein eigenes Erbe. Wissensordnungen in Sammlungen und Kunsthistoriografien in der Ukraine um 1900

Beate Störtkuhl (Oldenburg) und Robert Born (Oldenburg)
Kulturgüter in der Ukraine. Imperiale Konkurrenzen und nationale Selbstbehauptung (1914–1939)

Magdalena Kunińska (Krakau)
Entangled Histories – Shared Heritage – Divided Research. Polish Art Historical Investigation on So-Called Kresy Wschodnie (Eastern Borderlands)

Aleksandra Lipińska (Köln)
Die Boim-Kapelle in Lwiw. Eine Herausforderung des Hybriden

Yevheniia Moliar (Kyjiw/Rom)
Ukrainian Soviet monumental Art: Perspectives of Preservation

Paweł Leszkowicz (Posen/Berlin)
Ukraine’s Queer Art and Rights in the Times of War

Reference / Quellennachweis:
ANN: Ringvorlesung: Unter Beschuss (online/Berlin, 26 Oct 22-15 Feb 23). In: ArtHist.net, Oct 4, 2022. <https://arthist.net/archive/37585>.