Artibus et Historiae no. 49 (XXV)

2004, ISSN 0391-9064

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MICHAEL VIKTOR SCHWARZ - On the Construction of Reality and Imagery in Jan van Eyck and Woody Allen

On what basis can we say that the History of Art is actually one history encompassing both painting and film, and to which both Jan van Eyck and Woody Allen belong? One possible answer would be that with all of their differences in uses and means, the concepts of art and of being an artist have remained more or less the same. The author thinks that misses the point. Rather it seems to him the other way around: With all the unbridgeable differences over what art is and what it means to be an artist, the uses and means of art are basically consistent. The shared nature of the uses can be defined in this way: Here as there, in late medieval painting as in film, it is a question of producing artificial reality. To be more precise, it is about the construction of a system of artificial realities related to one another and to the audience. That is a structure that does not add to the world's objective realities, but serves to communicate how we perceive these realities and what they mean to us. It is therefore about the production of visual media.

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