978-1-58046-044-6 / 1580460445

Picturing Performance: The Iconography of the Performing Arts in Concept and Practice

by Heck, Thomas F.

Publisher:University of Rochester Press



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About the book:

There has long been a need to introduce performing-arts enthusiasts and students to the fascinating field of iconography, both as manifested in art history and in its more pragmatic or applied forms. Yet relatively little systematic effort has been made to collect and interpret centuries of such visual evidence in the light of the best available art-historical information, combined with corroborating textual documentation and insights from the histories of performance disciplines. Aspiring iconographers of the performing arts need to be aware that there are often several levels of interpretation which great works of visual art will sustain. This book explores these levels of interpretation: a surface or literal reading, a deeper reading of the work which seeks to enter the mind of the artist and asks how and why he put a given work together, and the deepest reading of the work relating it to the artistic traditions and culture in which the artist lived. In expounding on these levels of iconographic interpretations four discourses by scholars active in the study of visual records are given in relation to traditions, techniques, and trends: performance in general (Katritzky), music (Heck), theatre (Erenstein), and dance (Smith). Effort is made to keep abreast of modern technology influencing iconographic representations as on the Internet and virtual reality.

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