The Space of Display

International Workshop

26.-27. September 2014

SIK-ISEA, Zollikerstrasse 32, 8032 Zürich


The international workshop The Space of Display seeks to explore the complex interdependencies between the display of objects and their spatial containers. Concepts of framing and displaying are pivotal to the history of western painting, but how do these concepts extend to the architectural space surrounding the objects on display? On the one hand, our inquiry sets off from the assumption that architecture has served as an apparatus of display throughout history, and that this aspect has indeed been a crucial aspect of architectural thinking and design in various epochs and building typologies. On the other hand, we aim to explore the meaning of “display” not only in terms of the presentation of images and works of art, but also address the demonstrative functions of pictures and artifacts themselves. Our objective is to investigate visual display with particular regard to its spatial dimension, and to theorize different forms of spatial display in terms of both aesthetic efficacy and their specific historical conditions. Six international scholars from art and architectural history will discuss spatial and architectural devices of display in a historical perspective, parergonal aspects of framing and the display of visual artifacts, and motifs of framing and transgression in the work of art. The guiding questions of our discussion are: What is architectural about the cultural technique of display? What is the architectural language of display, and how has it been developed and adapted under changing historical conditions?

FRIDAY, September 26

9:30 Welcome and Introduction Prof. Martino Stierli, Prof. Tristan Weddigen (Universität Zürich, Switzerland)

9:45 Wallis Miller (University of Kentucky,Lexington, USA) Points of View. Architecture Displays and the Audience in the early Twentieth Century

10:30 Prof. Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen (Yale School of Architecture, New Haven, USA) Architecture`s humanist Turn, Milan 1951: Proportional Systems vs. Measure of Man

11:15 Coffee and Tea

11.45 Prof. Gerd Blum (Kunstakademie Münster,Germany) The Window and the World: Architecturally framed views. From Statius to Palladio (cancelled)

Mag. Daphne Jung (Universität Zürich, Switzerland) Comparative Viewing and early Modern Collections: Georges de La Tour's Paintings in Context

12:30 Lunch Break

14:00 Prof. Caroline van Eck (Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands) The Musée Charles X at the Louvre and its Staircase: Spatiality, Temporality, Instruction and Immersion

14:45 Dr. Gail Feigenbaum (Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, USA) A Moment of Disequilibrium: Paintings Rejected and Collected

15:30 Coffee and Tea

16:00 Prof. Andreas Beyer (Universität Basel, Switzerland) The Facade as Image

16:45 Discussion

SATURDAY, September 28

10:00 M.A.Emma Letizia Jones (Universität Zürich) The Art of Siting in the Drawings of Karl Friedrich Schinkel: Museum am Lustgarten

10:45 M.A. Nadine Helm (Universität Zürich) Peripheral Modernism. Frederick Kiesler's Exhibition Displays, Elastic Architecture and the New Social Body

11:30 M.A. Teresa Frankhänel (Universität Zürich) Theodore Conrad's first Job: the Models for the Metropolitan Life North Building in New York City

12:15 Discussion and closing Remarks