MODOS – Art History: Ways of Seeing, Exhibiting and Understanding

Marize Malta, leader
Ana Cavalcanti, assistant

The research group, Art history: ways of seeing, exhibiting and understanding, is registered with CNPq, Brazil’s National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development. The group’s core brings together teaching staff from three different Brazilian universities: Unicamp, UFRJ and UnB who are active in their respective graduate programs in the arts, namely: Ana Maria Tavares Cavalcanti (UFRJ), Emerson Dionísio de Oliveira (UnB), Maria de Fátima Morethy Couto (Unicamp) (leader 1) and Marize Malta (UFRJ) (leader 2). The aim is to think about art, art history and the art object in its various dimensions and (im)materiality, using multidisciplinary approaches.

The way of seeing the object is intimately interwoven with its place of display and how it is positioned in the space, to be observed in the most ideal way. In this geography, time also becomes a determining factor in the understanding of the artistic object, primarily in its historical dimension and in the layers of memories. The viewer, in turn, is here understood not only as an observer but as the creator of meanings, as one who is actively involved in the conditions which allow the work become visible.

Through collating distinct views, the MODOS group is interested in discussing the art object inserted in living practices, in the actions and reactions of its production, circulation, reception and disappearance. From a detailed analysis of its movement between various physical, cultural and symbolic environments, the desire is to reflect on the conditions and transformations of aesthetic perception of the object, as well as on its re-signification and the re-writing of its history.

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