Portraiture: representations and ways of being
6 – 7 NOVEMBER | BIG AUDITORIUM
The National Museum of Contemporary Art – Museu do Chiado (MNAC-MC), the Institute of Art History of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the NOVA University of Lisbon (IHA-FCSH/NOVA), the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon (FBAUL), the Centro de Estudos Humanísticos da Universidade do Minho (CEHUM) and the group of Amigos do Museu do Chiado invite the scientific and academic community to propose paper and panels on the general topic of the conference: Portraiture. Papers should last 20 minutes and should focus on the general conference tracks (please, see below).
The representation of the other(s) — or of the same/self, in self-portrait — has been constant in art. A powerful document of the desire for the perennial, personal, social and artistic status, and of the way we aspire to be seen in life and posterity, portraiture has been extensively studied and revisited. In 2018, National Museum of Ancient Art (MNAA) will host a major exhibition on portraits, mainly its nucleus of nineteenth-century portrait, and theses timeless representations always foster new (ways to) dialogue.
From the romantic sensibility to the observation of the natural and the psychological register, portraiture spans over the nineteenth century analyzing and registering different ways of being, in a range that covers and mirrors individual affirmation, and the reflection of social, political and economic environments of several generations. Oscillating also between multiple registers, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, portraiture has broadened its polysemy by re-examining social, decorative or artistic aspects, or capturing social tensions and inequalities, and by pursuing an oneiric incursion, multiplying and fragmenting or reconfirming itself through the experience of simulacrum, of self-reflection or of allegory.
We invite all interested researchers to propose papers and panels analyzing the many modes of portraiture, from the social and political portrait (approaching gender issues, supporting status, power and empowering or structuring collective memory and historical myths), to the weaving of intimacy, and the elaboration of normative concepts of beauty/ugliness, either in the representation of the other (or in ways of making the other absent) or in self-representation. We invite researchers to reflect and problematize the many aspects of portraiture in contemporary times, taken in broad terms, including historical and artistic antecedents that may illuminate the present context and the reception phenomenon. At a time when sciences intersect, we welcome studies on the various artistic media (painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving, photography, video, installation), including the use of scientific drawing in forensic science, as well as interviews, documentaries, philosophical thinking and literary creation.
General conference tracks:
Genealogy of portraiture | Who represents who and why/who is represented and why | Expression and its paradigms | Observation and ‘registration’ of the face/body | The science of the face/body | The times of the face/body | Policies of expression | Physiognomy, garments and beauty | Self-observation, self-image | Selfies and ussies: Portraits in social media | Image and status | Totality and fragment | The individual, family and group portrait | The animal portrait | What do faces/bodies communicate | The power of the mask | Between intimacy and politics | The sexualized/genderized portrait | Under the skin | The literary portrait | Truth and likelihood |The construction of history