Eighth Graduate Workshop

The Problem of Religious Art in Modernity: Uses and Abuses of the Icon in Russia

This was our first digital Graduate Workshop with an interesting program!

The talks are now available on the YouTube channel of the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM).

Due to the unforeseeable travelling restrictions, we needed to decide to hold our workshop remotely via Zoom on October 14 to 16, 2020.

Together with our colleagues of the “Eurasia in Global Dialogue” Program at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), we welcomed our speakers and guests during these days from around 2 to 5 pm, Bremen and Vienna time (UTC + 2 hours)!

The workshop focused on the role of the icon in Russian modernism.

We are delighted and thankful that our keynote speaker, Prof. George Pattison, and the other speakers, were so flexible regarding the changing venues.

In Human, All Too Human, Nietzsche wrote: “that species of art can never flourish again which—like the Divine Comedy, the paintings by Raphael, the frescoes of Michelangelo, Gothic cathedrals—presupposes not only a cosmic but a metaphysical significance in the objects of art.” In his usual provocative manner, Nietzsche attracted attention to the problem of religious art in a secular modernity. This issue was already implicit in Kant’s notion of the viewer of the work of art as “indifferent to the real existence of the object of representation.”

The workshop of the Russian Art and Culture Group considered the deep implications posed by the problem of religious art by examining the various ways in which the icon was adapted in modern Russia to serve different artistic, philosophical, and political agendas.

See program, detailed program or the workshop’s booklet for more information. Or just enjoy some visual impressions in our gallery.