Exhibition | Robert Polidori, Versailles

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 4, 2013

Robert Polidori’s Versailles series is currently on view at Galerie de Bellefeuille in Montréal with some images being exhibited for the first time. In 2008, the Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York mounted a similar show, and Polidori’s three-volume Parcours Muséologique Revisité appeared from Steidl in 2009.

Robert Polidori, Versailles
Galerie de Bellefeuille, Montréal, 1-25 June 2013


Robert Polidori, Marie Leszczinska en Junon,
MV 6595, by Guillaume Coustou, ca. 1731,
Grand Degré, Escalier Gabriel, 2007.

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Robert Polidori was born in Montréal, Canada, in 1951. At the age of ten he moved to the United States, where he has since remained. From 1970 to 1972 Polidori worked as an assistant to the filmmaker Jonas Mekas at the Anthology Film Archives producing a number of avant-garde films in the early 1970s. The time spent working under Mekas heavily influenced Polidori, helping to shape his unique approach to photography. In 1980 he received an M.A from the State University of New York in Buffalo, where he turned his attention to still photography.

Polidori’s career as a photographer began in earnest in the mid 1980s when he was given permission to document the historic restoration of the Château of Versailles. Since his first visit to Versailles Polidori has returned on a number of occasions, continuing a love affair that endures to this day. Working in opposition to Cartier-Bresson’s notion of the “decisive-moment,” that singular moment in which to capture a truth, Polidori prefers instead to work with the qualities of beauty and stillness of a space effected by its history and its present. As such, his conception of rooms as metaphors and vessels of memory is evident. He produces these interior shots by means of a single long exposure in natural lighting. His tonally rich and seductive photographs are the product of a view camera, long hours waiting for the right light, and careful contemplation of the camera angle. Polidori uses large-format sheet film, which he believes produces superior images to digital photography. While pursuing his career, Polidori also worked as a staff photographer with The New Yorker magazine from 1998 to 2007. (more…)

Call for Papers | Nun Artists in Early Modern Italy

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 4, 2013

Nun Artists in Early Modern Italy
Biblioteca Domenicana, Florence, 5 October 2013

Proposals due by 31 July 2013

Co-sponsored by the Medici Archive Project’s Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists and the Biblioteca Domenicana in Santa Maria Novella, this conference highlights new research on artistic production in female monastic communities since the early Renaissance until the Napoleonic suppression.

Demolishing older notions of enclosure as an absolute barrier between nuns and the world outside, recent research on social and religious aspects has begun to reinsert the convent within the wider networks of patronage and economic life in the early modern state, and to reposition it within larger civic and ecclesiastical discourses.
Presumably this model can also be applied to the study of nun artists. By framing research on nun artists and their activities within broader visions of society and material culture, we hope to arrive at a clearer understanding of the significance of nuns’ artistic production.

We welcome papers on a variety of topics regarding convents and their artistic production, from painting, to needlework, to carta pestata sculpture, to ephemera, to manuscript illumination. Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

• monographic studies on single artists
• studies of artistic practice in one or more female religious communities
• stylistic analysis and attributions of artworks
• studies of the visual culture of nun artists
• the role of art in the economic and patronage strategies of monastic communities
• the teaching of art in female religious communities
• comparisons between nuns’ artistic patronage their artistic production
• investigations of the relations and tensions between piety and artistic production
• historiographic studies of nun artists

Paper presentations, which must feature original research, may be given in Italian or English, and should be no longer than 20 minutes. A publication based on the conference papers is planned. Some support for travel expenses may be available. To apply, please send a one-page abstract and a brief c.v. to Dr. Sheila Barker (barker@medici.org) and Dr. Luciano Cinelli, O.P. (memorie.domenicane@gmail.com). The deadline for applications is July 31, 2013.

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