ANN Oct 12, 2021

Spatially Embedded Art (online, 8 Nov 21-7 Feb 22)

Online / Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nov 8, 2021–Feb 7, 2022

Christina Strunck, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Lecture Series and Publication "Spatially Embedded Art" (Bild-Raum-Wissenschaft)

The field of art history has traditionally been divided into two camps. While architectural historians focus primarily on buildings, art historians tend to concentrate on works of painting and sculpture. With Bildwissenschaft (visual studies) having held a dominant position at German universities for several decades, it is time to expand this concept by establishing a new Bild-Raum-Wissenschaft (literally image-space studies, better translated as the study of spatially embedded art) that investigates the interaction of images and spaces. This method seeks to overcome the traditional divide between historians of art and architecture and draws inspiration from both the spatial and pictorial turns. It needs to be developed by examining works of art and architecture from many different regions, epochs, and cultures.

Shortly after the turn of the millennium, Oliver Grau and Felix Burda-Stengel observed parallels between the Baroque and the immersive phenomena of contemporary art. Research on Baroque art has itself long thematized the relationship between images and architectural space. For this reason, the terms “Baroque Gesamtkunstwerk” and “bel composto” are frequently used, both of which have undergone intensive methodological critique. However, the usual disciplinary separation between image and architecture has resulted in relatively little study of the engagement between and interdependence of these elements.

A new study of spatially embedded art must go far beyond considering only the phenomena of immersivity. A systematic look at the various types of image-spatial relationships in the Baroque era demonstrates that they do not merely serve to elevate the emotional or religious response of the viewer through refined reception-aesthetic strategies. Rather, the positioning of images in space also presents opportunities of reception at the highest intellectual level, for example through commentary or even the use of irony. A new study of spatially embedded art must investigate relevant ensembles systematically and elaborate the various means and functions of image-space relationships. It should bring together the methods of architectural history and image studies, make use of the new technical possibilities of 3D visualization and spatial simulation, and link this with methodological approaches that have been developed, for example, in the fields of spatial sociology, cultural transfer, semiotics, reception aesthetics, exhibition analysis, and conflict research. In this context, it is also useful to include the spatially bound presentation of music and literature.

Above all, however, it is important to focus not only on the Baroque era, but also on earlier and later periods up to and including the present. Since people only gain knowledge and experience within space, the special design of cult and living spaces is a basic anthropological concern that must be researched in a cross-cultural, global perspective. Last but not least, it would be desirable to combine the described studies of interiors with a macro perspective on exterior spaces. In this respect, there are many points of contact with research on urban and public spaces, as well as with transcultural approaches that analyze the design of spaces in non-European cultures.

These topics will be discussed in a series of lectures held on Zoom on Mondays at 18:15 Central European Time (registration: A subsequent publication of the contributions is planned. It will be edited by Christina Strunck (contact:


8.11.2021 Images Have Always Been Spatial
Dr. Ian Verstegen (University of Pennsylvania)
Respondent: Heike Schlie

15.11.2021 Interaktionen: Architektur und Bauskulptur in S. Domingo de Silos
Dr. Heike Schlie (Paris Lodron-Universität Salzburg)
Respondent: Ian Verstegen

22.11.2021 Bilder und ihre Orte im mittelalterlichen Kirchenraum: Methodische und wissenschaftsgeschichtliche Überlegungen – und St. Wolfgang am Wolfgangsee als Fallstudie
Prof. Dr. Ute Engel (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
Respondent: Susanne Müller-Bechtel

29.11.2021 Wand Bild Raum: Scheinarchitektur in der Wandmalerei der italienischen Renaissance
Dr. habil. Susanne Müller-Bechtel (Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Junges Forum)
Respondent: Ute Engel

6.12.2021 Studioli as Liminal Spaces: Negotiations between Sound and the Visual
Prof. Dr. Christine Fischer (Universität Wien)
Respondent: Christian Janecke

13.12.2021 "Gesamtkunstwerk", Bel composto, oder wie sonst? Ein Topos der Barockforschung auf dem Prüfstand
PD Dr. Meinrad von Engelberg (Technische Universität Darmstadt)
Respondent: Christina Strunck

20.12.2021 Neogotische Kontextarchitekturen und das Zeigen antiker Kunst: Sammlungspräsentationen in den Gothic Revival Häusern Strawberry Hill und Arbury Hall (1750-1770)
Dr. Daniela Roberts (Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg)
Respondent: Meinrad von Engelberg

10.1.2022 Architektur, Bild, Raum und Musik: Theoretische Diskurse innerhalb des Neuen Bauens
Prof. Dr. Christian Freigang (Freie Universität Berlin)
Respondent: Christine Fischer

17.1.2022 Towards a Spatial Art History: Constructivism in 1930s Britain
Dr. Dr. Jutta Vinzent (University of Birmingham)
Respondent: Christian Freigang

24.1.2022 Ein ungeliebtes Vorbild jüngerer Kunst: Das Bühnenbild zwischen Raum und Bild
Prof. Dr. Christian Janecke (Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main)
Respondent: Jutta Vinzent

31.1.2022 Dressing Up Spaces: Exhibiting Hybridization Between Display and Design
Prof. Dr. Pamela Bianchi (École Supérieure d‘Art et de Design, Toulon)
Respondent: Daniela Roberts

7.2.2022 How Anselm Kiefer Deconstructs French Nationalism: His Recent Works on World War I as a Response to the Architecture and Decoration of the Pantheon in Paris
Prof. Dr. Christina Strunck (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Respondent: Pamela Bianchi

ANN: Spatially Embedded Art (online, 8 Nov 21-7 Feb 22). In:, Oct 12, 2021 (accessed Dec 2, 2022), <>.