Information on Sessions

Information on Sessions

Nature / Environment / Health – Monday, July 12

1. Water, Knowledge, and Agency in Scientific and Technical Illustration from the Age of the Industrial Revolution

Water, Knowledge, and Agency in Scientific and Technical Illustration from the Age of the Industrial Revolution

Chairs: Christina Ionescu (Mount Allison University, Canada) & Ann Lewis (Birkbeck University of London, United Kingdom)

======As humans grappled with mechanisation and modernisation in the Age of the Industrial Revolution (1760s to 1840s), water emerged from the background to become a key element in scientific and technical illustration. Technological innovations relying on the use of water, such as the stationary steam engine and the spinning frame, were prominently displayed and meticulously explained in encyclopedias, periodicals, and specialised treatises. Through empirical observation, both professional and amateur scientists lavished attention on natural phenomena such as geysers, waterfalls, and stalagmites and stalactites, often documenting their findings not only by conventional textual means but also inventive pictorial ones. At a time when the lack of water facilitated the spread of death and disease in overcrowded cities such as Hogarth’s London, bathing in thermal pools or exposure to seawater, which were strongly advocated in medical literature, were perceived by the wealthy as beneficial to health and healing. And, not surprisingly, prints depicting the age-old cult of water, “watering-places,” and structures designed to contain or manipulate the flow of mineral water proliferated throughout Europe.
======This session seeks to offer a fresh, wide-ranging perspective on the agency of water in relation to knowledge, innovation, and collective identity during the Age of the Industrial Revolution by investigating parallel and interconnected representations of this fundamental element in text and illustration. Examples of verbal and visual engagements with water – its materiality, depiction, use, and value – during this transformative historical period are selected from a diverse range of scientific and technical fields, including angling, architecture, botany, garden design, geology, horticulture, hydraulics, natural history, and medicine. Word and image interaction will be addressed through some of the following topics: architecture and landscape design as a nexus of water, space, place, and identity; connections through water between humans and the environment; and water as a healing agent, source of life, and force of nature


Monday – Room 1 –14:00-15:30

1. Kevin L. Cope (Louisiana State University, United States of America): When Watercolor Meets Waterfall – Or Geyser: Illustrating (and Occasionally Explaining) Extreme Aqueous Environments

======Excerpting, abbreviating, indexing, explaining: all are fundamental to illustration. When “Phiz” illustrates Charles Dickens’s lengthy tales, he sketches incidents at close range; when William Hogarth unveils the “progress” of rakes, he breaks this sad tale into a series of scenes; when an anonymous eighteenth-century illustrator etches the “history” of “Louisa,” a mysterious amnesiac woman who inexplicably appeared under a haystack in rural England, the artist offers a single panel showing a hay bale, a shabbily dressed woman, and a few members of the gentry with astonished looks on their privileged faces. This segmenting approach to big stories contrasts with the strategies of prestigious genres such as history painting. Daubers such as Benjamin West or David communicate long and complex stories in one grand canvas.
======The minimizing, condensing, and selective habits of illustration are pronounced in and pertinent to late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century encounters with the extreme manifestations of water: geysers; stalagmites and stalactites; icebergs; glaciers; underground seas and rivers; “intermittent lakes” such as Slovenia’s Lake Cerknica; globally extended tidal rhythms; freak inundations and “monster waves”; transoceanic currents; volcanic ejections of steam; waterfalls; rainbows; imagined extraterrestrial oceans; and more. During a period in which travel narratives, scientific reports, amateur research, and adventure tales readily flowed together, the market for and demands on illustration intensified. Book and print sellers looked for ways to make new ideas and startling discoveries accessible to a lay audience. Artists and researchers relied on illustration to grapple with an expanding body of scientific knowledge while wondering how mimetic, representational art might deal with a surprisingly vast nature.
======Scientists, travelers, and storytellers of the late Enlightenment relied on water as a test case for the seemingly easy representation of an immense, allegedly systematic world that could not be shown all at once: that was both rationally ordered and yet sublime, that pleased but also frightened, and that entertained while lending itself to industrial uses. Illustrations of Icelandic geysers in mass-produced octavos, for example, freeze eruptions in a single instant while assorted scientific facts are explained in the accompanying travel tale; pictorial accounts of tidal waves in Lima and Jamaica snip out the frenetic moment just after the inundation while the attached texts combine religious instruction with hard science, suggestions for recovery and improvement, and colorful tales of looting Caribbean pirates; reports of boat journeys on underground lakes include passages from John Milton by way of painting luminous pictures of a dark environment that is at once sublime and yet also rich in mineral resources. Of special interest in this study will be the Yorkshire cave illustrations of William Westall, a commercial artist and adventurer who, after an abortive voyage to Australia, applied his talents to pictorial travel books, volumes that imaged the many uses of the English landscape, including English harbors. Drawing on Westall and many other illustrators, we will see how modern movements such as ecocriticism (and its inevitable if opposing counterpart, industrialization) emerge from late Enlightenment attempts to serialize the system of nature into a series of instructive panels.

2. Leigh G. Dillard (University of North Georgia, United States of America): The Contemplative Man’s Recreation: Illustrating the Human Element in The Compleat Angler

======Since its first publication in 1653, Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler, expanded in 1676 with Part II by Charles Cotton, has charmed critics and practitioners alike. The Platonic dialog between Piscator, the angler/teacher, and his fellow outdoorsman, Venator, the hunter, features conversations wherein both claim the merits of their chosen sport; the argument quickly swings in favour of the “honest, ingenuous, quiet, and harmless art of Angling” (31). While the text has drawn longstanding attention as both an instructive guide to the particular habits of fish and a not-so-coded discourse on Walton’s own political and religious leanings, this essay focuses on the visual elements of this long-popular work – from the illustrations of the fish present in its first edition to the addition of anglers in the contemplative action added in the eighteenth century.
======The corpus of illustrations associated with The Compleat Angler experienced a decided turn in the eighteenth century, when editors supplemented the familiar fish portraits with illustrations of anglers at the water’s edge, in town, and along the road. Indeed, a flurry of visual interest appears from the 1750s to the 1830s – culminating with the highly anticipated illustrations by Thomas Stothard, published in 1836 by William Pickering in a two-volume quarto edition. In each, designers grapple with new representations of the fish portraits while also considering how best to represent the angler himself. With this added visual content, the book becomes a site where technical illustrations meet fictionalized representations of humans in commune with nature.
======Expanding this visual perspective to encompass not just the fish but those engaged in the act of angling highlights concepts of sustainability, responsibility, and community. For, as Piscator notes, most anglers are “fitted for contemplation and quietnesse”; they are “men of mild, and sweet, and peaceable spirits” (37). In short, they are good environmental citizens. It is largely through these eighteenth-century illustrations that the subtitle, “the Contemplative Man’s Recreation,” is visually realized.

3. Laurence Roussillon-Constanty (University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour, France): Spas, Watering-Places and Health in the 19th Century Visual Imagination: Voyage aux Eaux des Pyrénées

======In his influential 1845 manual entitled On the Curative Influence of the Climate of Pau, and the Mineral Waters of the Pyrenees, on Diseases, Doctor Alexander Taylor not only advertises the virtues of Pau’s climate, but also describes the many ways in which water can be beneficial to both mind and body: “to the invalid the waters of the neighbouring mountains, judiciously used, are of surpassing efficacy in the treatment of membranous disease, and a variety of symptoms which follow in its train, the Pyrenees themselves, an almost unexplored country by the English tourist, afford ample field for recreating the mind and invigorating the body.” In his book as in many literary and visual productions of the mid-nineteenth century ranging from book illustrations to advertising posters through to poems and novels, the many aspects of water are used and sometimes fused to create a romantic and distorted view that conflates folklore, medicine, leisure and imagination, building a strangely sublime and mythical vision of the Pyrenees that functions for the British community as an alternative to the Grand Tour and its crossing of the Alps.
======How did this iconic vision of the Pyrenees rely on holistic beliefs in the curative power of specific watering-places? What medical advances and gendered approaches to health prevailed at the same time to justify the significant number of women that came to the Pyrenees on the promise that the place’s regenerative water would rejuvenate their body and refresh their mind.
======These are the questions my presentation will seek to address by cross-examining the representation of several Pyrenean spa places in medical discourse and in the popular visual and literary culture of the time.

Monday –Room 1 – 16:00-17:30

1. Lauren Beck (Mount Allison University, Canada): Water in Seals and Coats of Arms of the Industrial Age and the Politics of Identity and Place in the Americas

======Some of the earliest emblems depicting the transatlantic reaches of European imperial authorities feature water in ways that underline the importance of the Atlantic Ocean in the relationship between the colony and the metropole. By the eighteenth century, however, both colonies and Indigenous peoples increasingly expressed their alienation from authorities in England, France, and Spain, and the representation of water grew political, as much as a factor that had seeped into the identities of people born in the Americas, and literally materialized as a form of eastern border separating the colonized from their imperial overlords. By the dawn of the Industrial Age, moreover, colonies began to seek their independence from Europe in ways that resulted in new visual identities that also foregrounded water. This paper will study emblems ranging from treaty belts and medals to coats of arms as technologies of nation- and peoplehood while trying to understand how the representation of water significantly changes in a seemingly post-colonial milieu associated with these nascent nation states and with Indigenous peoples. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, these groups collectively had or attempted to negotiate their independence and borders in ways that either severed or maintained a safe maritime distance between the Americas and Europe. By studying this phenomenon across the Americas, where countries and peoples experienced the Industrial Revolution at different phases and in distinct ways, we will also expose how industrialization itself comingles with the representation of water and the forward propulsion of collective identity in these identity-driven emblems.

2. Jeanne Britton (University of South Carolina, United States of America): Visualizing Historical Knowledge: Giovanni Piranesi’s Layered Images of Roman Aqueducts

======The Roman aqueduct remains a spectacle of classical aesthetics and engineering. As a subject of visual representation in eighteenth-century technical illustration, the Roman aqueduct and related hydraulic systems prompt design strategies of particular complexity in the work of Giovanni Piranesi (1720-1778). In the great age of the encyclopedia and the illustrated book, Piranesi produced lavish, labyrinthine, and visually-layered works whose graphical and bibliographical features seem to foreshadow elements of digital design in striking ways. Piranesi’s measured architectural views and his excessive referential networks require complex interactions with the spaces of the printed, illustrated book, and these processes of interaction with print media have much to reveal about historical conceptions of knowledge, objectivity, and the imagination. In ways rarely seen outside of rare book rooms, connections between word and image permeate his individual images and his complete corpus through keys, indices, and notes.
======Architectural historian John Pinto has remarked that Piranesi’s layered images—in which multiple illusionistic “pages” appear layered atop stone, air, and other pages—seem to foreshadow the digital environments of hypertext and windows while they echo and extend the patterns of technical illustration in Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie. Piranesi produced roughly 100 layered images, some with as many as 13 individual “pages” within a visual frame, and many of which depict hydraulic systems. This paper focuses on some of Piranesi’s most complex layered images in order to consider the nature and potential of graphical representations of knowledge, or what Johanna Drucker has called “visual epistemology.”

3. Catherine J. Lewis Theobald (Brandeis University, United States of America): Picturing Canals, Arteries of a Changing Body Politic in 18th Century France and England

======The frequent presence of sea monsters and swirling maelstroms on medieval and renaissance maps indicates a healthy fear of the world’s waterways. Storms, navigational hazards, and piracy made the movement of trade goods by sea difficult, and tides and congestion problematized river travel. Certain technological advances facilitated the construction of canals in early modern Europe, which culminated in an eighteenth-century “canal craze,” particularly in England. Canals were stable, controllable waterways that, despite their immense construction hurdles, “paved” the way for the manufacturing boom of the Industrial Revolution.
======This paper will trace the visual documentation of canal-building in a series of paintings and engravings from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, beginning with images and maps celebrating the grand achievement of the Canal royal de Languedoc under Louis XIV that essentially connected the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic. It will then examine the cataloguing of canal technology in Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie (and English analogs) before finishing with prints devoted to the Bridgewater canal system in Manchester.
======A close reading of the iconography in prints featuring early canals reveals first a desired connection to political power, as indicated by their association with figures of the nobility in portraits and maps. In a similar visual vein, bird’s-eye views present canal locks as the jewels on a necklace, an ornament of a powerful state. Diagrams in eighteenth-century encyclopedias highlight the canals’ capacity to tame nature by offering images of calm, orderly systems of locks. Indeed, such pictures flip the visual model of early ocean maps by opposing the clean lines of the canal waters and the turbulent waves of surrounding landforms. This persuasive iconic vocabulary, coupled with effusive and/or technical verbal descriptions, packages canals and the industrialization that they facilitate as powerful, positive forces—the “canaux” (arteries) of a changing body politic.

2. Re-Viewing, Re-Imagining Regional Waters in Word and Image (Northern Atlantic Arc)

Re-Viewing, Re-Imagining Regional Waters in Word and Image (Northern Atlantic Arc)

Chairs: Camille Manfredi (Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France) & Kimberley Page-Jones (University of Brest, France)

======In a context marked by the revival of European regionalisms, this panel will examine the emergence of local sea imaginaries and discourses as well as the part these play in constructing or reconstructing regional maritime identities in the Northern regions of the Atlantic Arc. It will focus on the verbovisual strategies developed by artists, local authorities and activists from the peripheral maritime regions of the Northern Atlantic Arc (Brittany, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the West Fjords of Iceland…) in order to re-view, re-claim and de-idealize their coastal landscapes and maritime cultural heritage. Of special interest will be the representation of regional waters as a means of re-empowering local communities and re-imagining a sensus communis gathered around the need for a reconfiguration of both traditional and non-traditional, local and global paradigms of identity.
======The panel welcomes contributions that tackle the modus operandi of intermedial apparatuses and cross-media practices such as photo-texts, film-poems, video-literature and promotional posters, focusing on how the constant negotiation between images, texts and contexts can help us rethink our relationship to the sea as local resource and cultural practice. Some of the following issues will be addressed:

– regional waters in photo-texts, film-poems and promotional apparatuses;

– the sea, its currents, waves and tides in words and images as a means of rethinking our experience and sense of place, reviving regional cultures and reconfiguring the relationship between national and subnational identities;

– the re-aestheticization of traditional fishing techniques in word and image;

– anthropocentric vs. ecocentric representations of regional waters in word and image;

– writing and imaging regional waters, coastal areas and beaches as aesthetic and political process, as a means of challenging binary oppositions such as nature/culture, land/sea, landscape/architecture, localism/globalization…

– the regional waters in word and image as reinvention of “the permanent present” (Hartog, 2003).


Monday – Room 2 – 14:00-15:30

1. Lindsay Blair (University of the Highlands and Islands, United Kingdom): The Ring Net: Angus Martin and Will Maclean

======I propose to look at the word-image responses of Angus Martin and Will Maclean to the subject of Ring Net Herring Fishing – a method of fishing which began in Loch Fyne in the 1840s and from there extended northwards to the Minches and then to the East Coast of Scotland. Martin and Maclean first collaborated on the subject with the far-reaching exhibition of The Ring Net at the Third Eye Centre in Glasgow in 1978. The research for the exhibition was not confined to the fishermen and their methods of fishing but with other associated industries: the design of the fishing boats, boatbuilding, engineering, sail-making, net making, curing, gutting and packing. In many ways the vast scale of the project was driven by a relentless drive for documentary accuracy. Maclean and Martin had worked as fishermen which directly influenced their methods of collecting information and their concerns about the reception of the exhibition by an informed audience of the fishing communities themselves. The fact, though, that this multi-media exhibition was mounted first of all at an influential centre for contemporary art, the Third Eye Centre (Glasgow), was clear indication of its radical signification as subject for aesthetic contemplation. Maclean and Martin have continued to collaborate in a number of literary and visual juxtapositions, especially in book form, innovating and enlarging the signifying potential of the subject far beyond its original commercial/industrial origins, evoking aspects of Conceptual Art and Surrealism alongside elements of the anthropological, the analogical, the haptic/material and the intertextual as well as the complex crossover areas of metaphor and symbol in word and image.

2. Philippe Laplace (University of Franche-Comté, France): Picturing St Kilda: Tourism and the Evolution of Visual Representation of the Archipelago from the 19th to the 21st Century

======The now uninhabited archipelago of St Kilda is the most remote territory in the British Isles. It was awarded the rare dual UNESCO World Heritage status (natural landscape, 1986, and cultural landscape, 2005). This paper will examine how the visual representations of the archipelago and its inhabitants have evolved from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, first from drawings by travel writers and naturalists, then photographs taken by amateur or professional photographers to a “sandbox” Minecraft video game in 2017. Through this multimedia approach we will see the various representations of the rugged environment and austere life on St Kilda and we will examine how these visual representations have participated, and contributed, to the fascination for the archipelago that was first developed by travel writers and became “postmemory” fragments after the 1930 evacuation.
======This analysis will also allow us to consider, as a conclusion, how the current tourist industry has now reclaimed the remote archipelago and the marketing strategy that have been developed in order to promote daily visits from the mainland.

3. Monika Szuba (University of Gdańsk, Poland): “Reimagining Marine Energy: Tidal Rhythms in Alec Finlay’s Collaborations”

======Inscribed in research on marine energy and introduced as “the world’s first poetic primer on marine renewable energy”, Ebban an’Flowan (2015), a book by Alec Finlay and Laura Watts, with photographs by Alistair Peebles, demonstrates an artistic engagement with tidal power. The book’s focus is regional, based in the Orkney Islands around the European Marine Energy Centre Billia Croo, yet the use of maritime dialect, with words from several Norse languages points to the connections between Scotland and the Nordic countries. The paper focuses on the ways in which, by combining poetry, myth and photography with technology, Ebban an’Flowan imagines a world beyond petrocultures.

3. Fluid Boundaries: Water as Metaphor and Material

Fluid Boundaries: Water as Metaphor and Material

Chair: Ila Nicole Sheren (Washington University St. Louis, United States of America)

======Water has been a pervasive metaphor for boundaries and paradoxically, their erasure altogether. Think of the aftereffects of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, which exacerbated structural inequalities and urban divisions rather than leveling them. Or consider the question of polluted sacred waters such as the Ganges, Yamuna, Jordan, or Nile: conceived of as inherently pure, while nonetheless choked by urban waste and industrial effluents. In those cases, water marks both a dividing line and point of contact between the spiritual and the profane. In Romantic art and literature, the sea is construed as a boundary between the human and a sublime, unforgiving nature. Yet we find that 21st century oceans are instead colonized by microplastics: that most banal of human detritus. Such examples speak to how water, whether in the form of ocean, sea, rivers, watersheds, or other bodies, is both materially and discursively constituted (or in Karen Barad’s term: entangled).
======This panel interrogates the ontological questions posed by water as boundary, not limited to the following: How can visual art account for and complicate these discursive frameworks? What would constitute a comprehensive depiction of the complexity of water, in word, image, or both? And how might water allow us to grasp the less tangible effects of coloniality, global inequity, or eco-critiques such as Rob Nixon’s “slow violence?”


Monday – Room 3 – 14:00-15:30

1. Ashley Mason (Newcastle University, United Kingdom): Drip/Drip/Intercede

======The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) is encased deep within a mountain. Inside, the world’s seeds await our demise, hidden away in an icy full-stop that seeks to freeze out the surrounding landscape. Its entryway, situated 130m above sea level and projecting outward from the permafrost, is intended to be protected from the predicted turbulent rise of our oceans. But it may not be safe from the surrounding permafrost. This permafrost, once viewed as a stable and protective boundary, is thawing in a changing, warming climate—the water is seeping in.
======In September 2016, a leak was found within the vault’s entrance. By February 2017 the leak was repaired, but still the permafrost continues to gradually disappear—a slow violence to this once secure boundary. Artist Dénes Farkas set this leak alongside An Unnecessary Woman (2015), a novel whose main protagonist translates a series of texts. These translations—unshared—are stored in a basement, until a leaking water pipe destroys them. Farkas’ exhibition, How to Calm Yourself after Seeing a Dead Body—Techniques (2017), combines quotations from this novel with photographs of the SGSV, conceding to the precarity of such vaults, despite their hope of perpetuity. The future is leaky.
======The devastation revealed by these leaks is, following Rob Nixon, incremental and accretive; it is a displacement from the centre—the force of floods and storms—to the periphery—the inconspicuousness of falling droplets. Water, here, is our trickling end. This paper reveals how such works raise seemingly inconsequential marginal phenomena such as water ingress from invisibility. Here, as both metaphor and material, water is found dripping, rupturing, interceding in our speculative futures, opening up the complexity of water (or, ice) as a shifting, fluid boundary, where buckets, or vessels, are always waiting.

2. Pierre-Emmanuel Perrier de La Bâthie (Institut Catholique de Paris, France): L’eau et le corps chez Bruce Nauman : la fontaine comme forme artistique contemporaine

======La fontaine revêt depuis longtemps un enjeu social majeur. L’importance vitale de l’eau, à laquelle elle donne accès, l’a investie d’une dimension symbolique – si ce n’est mystique ou religieuse –, tout autant dans l’espace physique urbain que dans la culture populaire. Sculpteurs et architectes de renom ont été convoqués pour mettre en scène ces environnements, adaptant compositions et décors aux sujets aquatiques. Laissant libre cours à leur créativité, les artistes contemporains se sont également emparés de cet objet sculptural/architectural, dont la fonction est devenue presque purement esthétique. La Fontaine Stravinski réalisée à Paris par Niki de Saint Phalle et Jean Tinguely ou les Nine Floating Fountains d’Isamu Noguchi à Osaka illustrent, entre autres exemples, ce propos.
======Dans l’esprit de ces sculpteurs, jouant des matériaux bruts, le défi semble être celui de se saisir du plus insaisissable d’entre eux, l’eau. Bruce Nauman (né en 1941, Fort Wayne), dont le travail difficilement classable tant par les sujets abordés que par les techniques utilisées, s’est intéressé́ au corps – humain et animal –, à ses fluides et à l’espace qui l’entoure. Ses fountains jouent justement sur le principe de circulation de l’eau, accordant une importance aux effets visuels et aux sons créés, au rapport à l’autre et à son environnement. Dans sa volonté de saisir la place de l’individu à la fois dans son intimité, mais aussi dans l’espace social, il fait intervenir ce jeu de correspondances entre mouvement et vie, travaillant notamment sur le concept de cycle.
======Cette intervention veut se pencher sur la fontaine comme objet artistique contemporain, dans lequel la perception de l’eau comme matériau est l’enjeu principal, symbolique tout autant qu’esthétique. Le travail de Bruce Nauman, dans son approche du corps, permettra de mettre en avant la dimension vitale du fluide.

4. Water Carrier of Images: How to Surpass the Uncatchable

Water Carrier of Images: How to Surpass the Uncatchable

Chair: Sébastian Thiltges (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)

======Representing water is indeed a demanding task: from the wave until the torrent, through its fractal relation to shores, beaches and meanders, water changes state, form, and behaviour. With water, the words change, but also the techniques and sensibilities that feature it. This entails a fundamental epistemological shift and an aesthetic challenge forcing creativity. Hence, water and sea, figured by texts, images and maps constitute also a phenomenal reflector of internal space, and bordering on territory, since it is specific to each of us. Instable, unknown and covered by all, romantic and comforting, source of tension or fixity, there is no unique metaphor of water.
======This interdisciplinary questioning aims at presenting epistemological thoughts of scholars in literature, geography and history.


Monday – Room 4 – 14:00-15:30

1. Marc Courtieu (University of Haute-Alsace, France): De la vague

======Si l’eau est déjà objet fuyant, rebelle à toute prise, que dire de la vague ? Toute contradiction, elle est à la fois insaisissable et d’une présence écrasante, doucement berçante ou violemment dévastatrice.
======À l’instar des peintres, nombre d’écrivains ont été fascinés par ces mouvements que la vague dessine, par cette eau qui prend ici la forme d’une onde. Pour tenter de la dire, ils ont usé d’innombrables métaphores – et cela commence avec les débuts de la littérature, dès le poème d’Hésiode qui décrit la naissance d’Aphrodite de l’écume de la mer ou la geste homérique jusqu’aux temps les plus contemporains – voir « Précisions sur les vagues », court texte de Marie Darrieusecq par exemple.
======Je partirai de ce langage métaphorique (les vagues sont « cheveux » (ode viking), « échardes » (Flaubert), « ventre amoureux d’une fille en rut » (Corbière), « gifles de lessive hystérique » (Césaire) dont « la longue pelle bleue » (Char) étire « un énorme do sur une immense corde de contrebasse » (Giono), etc.), cherchant à dire au plus près la vague, ses creux, ses pleins. Il y a d’abord ces textes où la vague est perçue comme le lieu d’oppositions spatiales : entre sa verticalité et la platitude à laquelle la mer ne cesse de la rappeler, entre sa proximité et l’éloignement de l’horizon. Point de vue temporel : la vague, qui dresse son instantanéité face au sentiment d’éternité suscité par la haute mer, est le parangon des phénomènes rythmiques. D’autres enfin, sensibles à son caractère frontalier, y voient la rencontre entre éléments : eau et terre (le rivage), eau et air (le vent et l’écume).
======Je propose donc une promenade sur ces grèves, plus ou moins escarpées, où la vague, inlassable, sollicite l’imaginaire des écrivains et des poètes.

2. Sofia Felopoulou (Université nationale et capodistrienne d’Athènes, Grèce) : Mots et images de l’eau et de la mer dans l’œuvre théâtrale de Samuel Beckett

======Bien que les exemples donnés se réfèrent au XVIIIe siècle et au romantisme, mon sujet se focalise sur un auteur du XXe siècle, car l’eau comme élément esthétique y est présent et j’y trouve les images de vie et de mort, de terre ferme et de la mer mouvante.
======L’œuvre théâtrale, ainsi que radiophonique et télévisuelle, de Samuel Beckett est profondément associée à l’eau, source d’anamnèses et porteuse d’images – surtout acoustiques – qui invitent à un voyage dans le passé et dans l’abîme de l’âme humaine. L’élément aquatique est présent sous tous ses aspects : mer, rivière, lac, galets, grève, barque, larmes, et il se marie avec les trois autres éléments, si bien qu’on pourrait soutenir que Beckett et plus proche d’Empédocle, qui parle de combinaison et association des éléments, que de Gaston Bachelard, selon qui chaque poète est dominé par la présence d’un seul élément, sauf s’il s’agit du mariage de deux.
======L’eau chez Beckett est chargée d’imaginaire et véhiculée par le récit d’un personnage « présent » ou d’une voix off qui se réfèrent à la mort dans les eaux (La dernière bande, Dis Joe, Cendres), au souvenir agréable d’un voyage de fiançailles près d’un lac, malgré le risque de noyade (Fin de partie), à la présence, plutôt rassurante et apaisante, de la mer, bien que lointaine (Fin de partie) ou de la pluie (Tous ceux qui tombent), à la rencontre dans les eaux d’une rivière du couple de Vladimir et Estragon (En attendant Godot). Le personnage beckettien est à la fois angoissé et rassuré par la présence aquatique, qui lui permet de rêver et, comme l’eau, il est voué à l’errance ou à la stagnation. Le langage poétique du dramaturge exprime ses états d’âme et peint l’ambiance, le topos et l’écoulement du temps.

3. Armand Erchadi (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg) : L’épopée de l’eau : à propos des Lusiades de Camões

======Gaston Bachelard montre que l’eau, élément essentiellement féminin, maternel et nourricier dans l’imaginaire, prend quelquefois des traits masculins, antagonistes et colériques : ce changement de sexe intervient notamment dans le genre épique – « pas d’épopée sans une scène de tempête » (L’Eau et les Rêves). Mircea Eliade oppose pareillement, dans son Traité d’histoire des religions, « l’ensemble Eau-Lune-Femme », qualifié de « circuit anthropocosmique de la fécondité », au « profil masculin accentué » de la mer furieuse, incarné dans la mythologie grecque par le dieu Poséidon.
======Dans l’épopée, l’eau serait donc moins aqua statique ou même unda coulante que fluctus agité et violent, pour emprunter une distinction lexicale au latin. L’idée que ce genre reposerait sur la lutte héroïque de l’homme et du fluctus semble être confirmée en parcourant quelques exemples, de l’épopée antique à ses avatars modernes, comme le détournement héroïcomique de Byron (Don Juan), les romans épiques de Hugo (Les Travailleurs de la mer) et de Giono (Batailles dans la montagne) ou encore certains films contemporains à grand spectacle.
======Pour vérifier et peut-être subvertir une telle vision, je propose de faire un détour par Les Lusiades (1572) de Luís Vaz de Camões : épopée de l’eau par excellence, l’œuvre a pour héros Vasco de Gama et pour sujet l’itinéraire que le grand navigateur mena en 1497-1498 jusqu’en Inde. Si le « forte Capitão » passe son temps à « fendre la mer », conformément à l’intuition bachelardienne selon laquelle l’épopée illustrerait « la joie mâle de perforer la réalité », on verra que le sens profond de cette épopée marine est ailleurs – comme dans ce moment vertigineux où le poète voyageur, en dernière instance héros véritable du poème, raconte le sauvetage du manuscrit qu’on est en train de lire, lorsqu’il tombe dans les eaux du Mékong.

5. The Seventh Art Explores the Seventh Continent: New Mirror of Our Future

The Seventh Art Explores the Seventh Continent: New Mirror of Our Future

Chair: Thierry Azzopardi (PhD Sorbonne, director, Nice, France)

======Cinema has largely addressed the imaginary of the aquatic element. Can’t we say that cinema itself draws its secret from the “mechanics of fluids”, a logical or mystic string of photograms? The abysses of the sea refer to the inscrutable mysteries of human soul. Others prefer thinking that water is a still unknown place populated by incredible monsters (the Loch Ness), or even cities (Atlantis). If we take a closer look, water and cinema have an intimate relation, as a societal game of mirrors. Water, necessary to Narcisse to admire himself, echoes often in the Seventh Art with our collective unconscious. Example of that is the crucial work by Éric Thouvenel about Water Images in French Cinema of the 1920s. An era, where the aquatic imaginary celebrates the senses and glorifies the moving image accounting for it.
======Today, water movies, if they maintain a sacred link with the beholder, are a big catalyser of his psychoses. The fear of water, the fear of lacking water, the fear of polluting. This liquid as important as our blood, triggers us. Guillermo Del Toro, in The Shape of Water (2017) turns it into a symbol of erasing differences. A creature emerging from the waters is condemned because coming from elsewhere. Water sometimes brings people together (dream bathing or sea bathing) but can also drive them away (territorial waters). The poor Bess of Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves takes (literally, symbolically) on water in a terrible boat which leads her to the supreme sacrifice. Today, the theme of water is also the topos of all our anxieties. According to Greenpeace, a million of sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals die every year due to plastic or chemical ingestion. Plastic is responsible for 1.5 million deaths every year. The sea is affected, since 75% of maritime waste seems to be related to plastic. Water is also the element where migration takes place with thousands of persons drowned while crossing the Mediterranean.
======This panel aims at linking the Seventh Art with what has been called in 1997 the Seventh Continent. An immense zone of floating plastic garbage, especially microplastic invisible to the naked eye. A continent six times bigger than France. This continent draws our attention and challenges the pacific relation between water and man. This name will keep on referring to a symbolic continent that epitomizes all our ecological worries in relation to waste. This panel thus considers the movies that discuss the relation between man and water in a sustainable perspective, but also in a fantasized one (science fiction movies, utopias, dystopias).


Monday – Room 2 – 16:00-17:30

1. Charlotte Bank (Independent art historian and curator based in Berlin, Germany): The Sea as a Metaphor for Critique in Contemporary Middle Eastern Art

======For numerous contemporary Middle Eastern artists, the sea, especially the Mediterranean, represents a powerful metaphor for the global divisions between North and South, rich and poor, privileged and marginalized, but also for dreams and aspirations. For example, in her work Middle Sea (2008), Algerian artist Zineb Sedira explores the sea as a territory of connection and location of travel memories, reflecting her own and her family’s journeys back and forth, between places of birth, work and reunions. Her Lighthouse in the Sea of Time (2011) reflects on the history of lighthouses built by the French colonizers in Algeria, symbols of modernity, progress and security, but also surveillance and loneliness of human existence. Referencing the classical myth of Icarus, who fell into the sea when his waxen wings melted, the installation Crossing Mediterranea (2009) by the Lebanese artist Salah Saouli reflects on the lost dreams of those who try to cross the sea in search of a better life and safety from war and conflict, a subject that still remains hauntingly topical. In Iranian artist Shirin Neshat’s film Rapture (1999), while basically a reflection on the separated social spaces of men and women and the rituals defining them, the sea can be read as a metaphorical space of escape or possibly spiritual exploration as a group of women move towards it.
======This paper discusses the works of several Middle Eastern artists from different countries, for whom the sea serves as a recurring motif to articulate critique of social conditions and/or global political issues. In their multilayered works, they make allusions to history, mythology and mystique as well as poetic traditions, and thus present works that move beyond simplistic readings.

2. Francesca Gallo (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy): Entre symbole et territoire : l’eau, les rivières et les mers dans l’art vidéo italien

======L’eau a longtemps été un thème de prédilection dans l’art vidéo : en Italie, par exemple, Fabrizio Plessi l’a choisie comme métaphore du support électronique depuis les années 1970 pour sa plasticité et son mouvement continu. Au cours des décennies suivantes, l’eau dans ce domaine artistique prit différentes significations: Ottonella Mocellin et Grazia Toderi en explorèrent les aspects autobiographiques, avec des références également au genre. Dans les mêmes années 1990, Federica Marangoni et surtout Silvia Stucky l’ont abordée avec une nouvelle sensibilité écologique. Et au cours de la dernière décennie, Martina Melilli, par exemple, s’est concentrée sur la mer Méditerranée au quotidien mise au défi des migrants, cimetière invisible d’une guerre silencieuse et cruelle.
======L’intervention a pour but de retracer les significations et les voies par lesquelles l’eau entre dans le travail vidéo d’artistes italiens des années 1970 à nos jours, en soulignant soit l’émergence d’une sensibilité environnementale particulièrement intéressante dans un art fondé sur les nouvelles technologies, soit l’actualité politique croissante des crises migratoires. De la symbolique abstraite de l’eau, nous passons maintenant à la prise en compte de bassins hydrographiques spécifiques, des rivières polluées à la lagune de Venise, jusqu’au mare nostrum ; cette augmentation de la localisation historique et géographique correspond également à la croissance de l’engagement civil.

3. Astrid Zenkert (University of Stuttgart, Germany)Ocean without a Shore: Water as Fluid Border and Zone of Transformation in Bill Viola’s Video Installations

======Water often plays a central role in the art of Bill Viola. In some of his video installations, water serves to represent the sphere in which transcendental meditation and medial self-reflection intersect. In Ocean without a Shore, created for the 2007 Biennale, this artistic function of the liquid element is condensed in an emblematic way.
======On three video screens, originally installed above the altars of the San Gallo Chapel in Venice, water initially remains invisible. It is present, however, in the form of a completely transparent curtain of water that separates the viewer’s space from the space depicted in the video. It becomes visible only when individual human figures, slowly approaching from an opaque background, solemnly cross it. Now the water acts like lightning bolts hitting the figures, reshaping their form as their appearance transforms from a blurry black and white to a colorful, high-definition image quality. The water curtain thus reveals itself as an energetic zone of transformation that forges shades into bodies.
======Viola clearly suggests a transcendent meaning of the water curtain as a fluid, permeable border zone that separates and mediates different spheres of being: Life and death, the tangible and the numinous. At the same time, the transparent water curtain functions as a metaphor for the video screen, the material surface of Viola’s artistic medium. To understand the full meaning of these intertwined connotations, the paper analyses Viola’s way of using the various visual as well as the acoustic effects produced by the water curtain and examines their interaction with the enigmatic title, which refers to the great earth-spanning river Oceanus. Thus, this exemplary analysis can contribute to a better understanding of the characteristic entanglement of motivic and medial meaning that characterizes the use of water in contemporary video art.

6. Picturing the End of the World: It’s Time to Pay Attention

Picturing the End of the World: It’s Time to Pay Attention

Chair: Julien Jeusette (University of Milan, Italy)

======Artists have, for centuries, tried to visualize what the forces of nature unleashed upon the world with full existential fury would look like. Leonardo da Vinci famously did so in a series of drawings c. 1517-18 executed in the last years of his life in France. Similarly, Albrecht Dürer explored cataclysmic visions in his Apocalypse series (1498) but also in an enigmatic watercolor image from 1525 picturing a dreamed deluge. This session will highlight some of the history of images of cataclysmic floods and other vast destruction—which picture the end of the world. And it will explore research that has led to a large body of historic and contemporary work: the visualization of the catastrophic alterations to our environment.
======How does one aestheticize disaster to compel and not repel the viewer? How does one manifest change that would normally occur over many years into a single coherent image or series of images? Overall, it seems we are unable as a species to see the long view, to conceptualize the forces of change at work in our daily life. We might notice the hot days, or even remark how little or much it rained over a season, but still fail to notice the more subtle shifts of temperature and seasons that can have devastating effects on ecosystems.
======The visual arts allow artists the liberty to explore communal and personal anxieties about the end of the world. For many contemporary artists that anxiety is about climate change. Can artists make visual that which cannot usually be seen and to do so without having to illustrate the vast complexities of the physical science involved? The question this session will seek to answer is: Can the inventions of art in any media convey the gravity of worlds on the cusp of disaster?


Monday – Room 3 – 16:00-17:30

1. Pamela Krause (Paris-Sorbonne University / Paris IV, France): Ode à l’amertume du monde chez Saint-John Perse

======L’éloge se définit comme une célébration née d’une vigoureuse admiration. Savourer et célébrer pleinement une circonstance impliquent une pleine compréhension de sa portée, d’en cerner la situation : un évènement baigne dans une atmosphère et occupe une place dans le tissu du monde— lequel s’organise de sorte à permettre le surgissement d’un contexte célébratif. Ainsi, outre la circonstance (politique, amoureuse ou athlétique), l’élan encomiastique présuppose à notre sens une raison essentielle, porté par une Weltanschauung qui en constitue la condition de possibilité : le sentiment d’adhésion à un « cosmos » en vertu d’un accord harmonieux qui sous-tend la totalité de l’être et qui en relie les niveaux. Le monde est donc doté d’une bonté ontologique, rendu cohérent par une instance divine et spirituelle, rejaillissant en beauté sur chaque élément chanté. Saint-John Perse reprend l’héritage grec (notamment pindarique) et judéo-chrétien de l’éloge, rapporté à la mer dans son recueil Amers. La mer est en effet l’objet d’un éloge, renvoyant à la beauté d’un cosmos ordonné et rassurant. Amer signifie en effet d’abord un objet fixe et visible servant de point de repère pour la navigation ; le poème se fait donc véritable voyage maritime, plongée heureuse et sensible dans le corps liquide du monde. La navigation du poète dans le monde est donc conduite par un sens—par une direction et une signification. Toutefois, Amers ne laisse-t-il pas entendre une amertume, une angoisse secrète suscitée par l’immensité sublime de la mer ?

2. Laurence Petit (Paul Valéry University / Montpellier III, France): From the “Shipwreck of Knowledge” to the Necessity of “Being-in-the-World”: John Banville’s Ghosts

======Irish writer John Banville’s 1993 novel Ghosts – the second in a trilogy composed of The Book of Evidence, Ghosts, and Athena – opens in rather opaque fashion with a group of grumbling pleasure-boaters whose watercraft has run aground on a sandbank off the shore of an island, and who are making their way up the dunes in search of help. The final pages of the novel stage the same castaways walking back down to their boat after being stranded on the island for just one day. An anonymous, omniscient narrator, introducing himself as “Little god”, describes their arrival and abruptly shifts the perspective to present the story as a tale of creation, befittingly set on a spring morning in late May. The creation of the textual island in the incipit is thus duplicated by the creation of a diegetic “little world” which itself resonates with the arrival of other characters, pictorial ones this time, to the island of “Cythera” in the two eponymous paintings by 18th-century French painter Antoine Watteau, Pilgrimage to Cythera and Embarkation to Cythera. Many critics have deftly commented upon the highly parodic aspect of Banville’s iconotextual prose, which places these paintings as arch referents in a text laden with pictorial and literary echoes, and constantly blurring the limits between truth and lies, reality and fiction. Drawing from Tony E. Jackson’s “Science, Art, and the Shipwreck of Knowledge: The Novels of John Banville”, as well as philosophers Nietzsche and Heidegger, I wish to show how Banville, through a deliberate aesthetics of opacity and indeterminacy, re-appropriates the literary motif of the shipwreck and the topos of the island, as well as the pictorial genre of the seascape – or “islandscape” – to produce a complex, both ludic and profound tale which goes beyond a mere postmodern recycling experiment to promote what we might be tempted to see as a new, vital form of “Being-in-the World”.

3. Silvia Riccardi (University of Freiburg, Germany):

‘To the curst strand:’ Water and Punishment in Blake’s Illustrations of Dante’s Inferno

======At the crossroads of myth and reality, Dante’s journey in the otherworld is articulated in the crossing of five rivers. Water flows in streams, stagnates in swamps, evaporates in fumes, and freezes in lakes. In its various states, water becomes a means of punishment against the damned, an element which substantiates the consequences of the divine judgement. Four centuries after Dante, the topographic reality of the Commedia was iconically illustrated in pencil and watercolor by the London poet, painter, and engraver William Blake. While overall following the text closely, the artist still challenges it. Water appears as a hostile element turned into ice, mud, and blood, but how does it pictorially foreshadow the apocalyptic scenarios presented in the Commedia? This study will explore Blake’s rendering of waters in Inferno with a comparative approach to Dante’s poem. In light of the mythical and religious quality of water in Dante, the present discussion will focus on Blake’s methods of representations as a means of manifesting his own views on the function of water and apocalypse in the Dantesque underworld.

7. Figuration of Water: Women and Aquatic Polymorphisms in the Arts

Figuration of Water: Women and Aquatic Polymorphisms in the Arts

Chair: Hélène Barthelmebs-Raguin (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)

======Of all the topoï traditionally attached to women, water is one of the most common. When we turn to symbolic archetypes, water is not only nourishing and watering, but also violent and deadly. This fact emphasizes its deeply complex feminine character, both maternal and fatal. “It is an element which is more feminine and more uniform than fire” says Gaston Bachelard in L’Eau et les Rêves. Essai sur l’imagination de la matière (1942). Let’s think about Guillermo del Toro’s recent film The Shape of Water (2017), Hayao Miazaki’s animated film Spirited Away (2001) or Sandro Botticelli’s painting La Naissance de Vénus (1484-1485): it is important to note the ambivalent nature of water. The mermaids, naiads and other nymphs that inhabit the imaginations of Rimbaud or Man Ray also reverse the criteria of good and bad, strength and weakness, seduction and dangerousness.
======Based on multidisciplinary analyzes of feminine aquatic speeches and images, this session aims to question the artistic productions that, seizing these mythological figures, (re)construct feminine gender and gender relations. If art history teaches us that these figures appear frequently in a negative light, they have nonetheless been the object of poetic re-appropriations, both visual and scriptural, which aim to construct a feminine gender that escapes from stereotypes and prescribed roles.


Monday – Room 4  – 16:00-17:30

1. Timothy Erwin (University of Nevada Las Vegas, United States of America): Jane Austen’s Oceans

======The sea makes several appearances in the fiction of Jane Austen, from Thomas Parker’s plan to develop a bathing resort in the unfinished novel Sanditon to the return of naval officer Frederick Wentworth to Bath in Persuasion. In both novels the sea features at first as a profitable venture led by men. With the help of Lady Denham, Parker hopes to make his fortune from the new tourist industry of sea bathing. Frederick Wentworth has made a fortune at sea by capturing French vessels and taking a scaled portion of the prize money. His success is contrasted to the declining fortunes of the Elliot family, a part of the landed gentry. We meet the Elliots with the opening of the narrative contemplating the necessity of retrenchment. By the close we understand that Anne Elliot has made a wager with the sea, throwing caution to the winds by casting her lot with Frederick to live aboard the vessel he commands. Land and sea are thus placed in sharp binary opposition, one linked to tradition and custom, the other to enterprise and innovation, one expressed in the fickleness of vision and the other in the steadfastness of language.
======Austen was herself a fan of sea bathing, once telling her sister Cassandra that the waters were so delightful “that I believe I staid in rather too long.” Her brothers Francis and Charles were naval officers, and glimpses of the sea often occur in the fiction, often from the perspective of women. From the actual oceans traversed to the ‘oceanic feeling’ that Freud borrows from Romain Rolland to name the deliverance of the self to the sublime, and using the sublime seascape of John Martin and other period painters as a visual counterpoint, I propose a broad maritime survey of the ocean in Jane Austen.

2. Béatrice Laurent (Bordeaux Montaigne University / Bordeaux III, France): The Woman-in-a-shell Motif in 19th Century Western Art

======Since Antiquity, Woman has been associated with water in art and mythology. The legendary Venus, born out of the sea-foam, embodies the elemental link between femininity and fluidity. One of the most potent representations of the goddess is undoubtedly Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (1484-1485). Yet, the universal fame that the painting enjoys now is relatively new. Indeed, Botticelli’s Venus was kept away from public attention for over three centuries, and only resurfaced as a significant masterpiece in the mid-nineteenth century, after Alexis-François Rio’s La Poésie chrétienne (1836), was translated into many European languages. This rediscovery was timely as it corresponded to contemporary interests in the sea, in mythology, and in the redefinition of femininity.
======Botticelli’s Venus provided the blueprint for the woman-in-a-shell motif, so popular in the second half of the nineteenth century that it almost became a sub-genre of mythological subjects. In Britain Henry Courtney Selous (1803-1890), in France Henri-Pierre Picou (1824-1895) painted hosts of Venuses in their shells.
======Of course, Venus as a subject in art was alluring in the second half of the century, as it had been at other periods, because it offered the erotic visual gratification of naked female flesh under the respectable pretext of mythology and high art. But the success of the woman-in-the-shell motif came about, I will argue, because it was at the intersection of various contemporary concerns, and Venus became a convenient and readily understandable crystallization object for diverse but impinging concepts. These concepts included the precedence of water over land in the geological construction of the planet, the delicacy of the feminine constitution (viewed as a pearl) according to the medical profession, and the inexhaustible sexual drive of the water-woman.

3. Catriona MacLeod (University of Chicago, United States of America): Women Underwater in Nazi Cinema

======Nazi cinema makes something of a fetish of drowning or aquatic women. From Nazi star Kristina Söderbaum, who drowned in so many films that she was known as the “Reichswasserleiche” (drowned corpse of the Reich), to director Leni Riefenstahl’s postwar career as a diver and documentarian of the underwater realm. In these two cases, going underwater serves in the first instance as a punishment for female desire, but, in the second, as a vector for female evasion. According to definitions of fascist aesthetics such as those of Friedländer, water and sacrificial death are common denominators. Yet the formlessness of water also seems to resist the drive to form that we expect of Nazi visual representation. My presentation examines several of the star vehicles of Söderbaum, from Jud Süss (1940) to Opfergang (The Great Sacrifice, 1944) and seeks to complicate her repeatedly enacted drowning by discussing how her final Nazi-era film, Kolberg (1945, the final film of the Nazi era), again directed by her director husband Veit Harlan, strategically removes her character, Maria, from watery peril. Indeed, Maria’s sexuality is neutralized at the edge of water as she is substituted in drowning by her homosexual brother, Klaus.

History / Philosophy / Religion – Tuesday, July 13

8. The Sea in the Hagiography and Iconography of the Christian Saints

The Sea in the Hagiography and Iconography of the Christian Saints

Chair: Massimo Leone (University of Turin, Italy & Shanghai University, China)

======The sea as a way of transportation and as a material resource has been and remains central to many human communities and their economic needs across the centuries and the ages. It is thus not surprising that so many Christian saints’ prodigies and mysteries are related to the sea, take place at sea, and often transform the sea into the pious ally of the saintly activity. From Pedro Nolasco using his mantle to cross the Mediterranean to Francis Xavier receiving from a holy crab a lost crucifix, hagiographic episodes involving the favorable presence of the sea abound. The iconography of these prodigious and miraculous anecdotes is also copious.
======The session will investigate the relation between words and images in the genesis and development of this specific tradition of Christian imagery.


Tuesday – Room 1 – 14:00-15:30

1. Vincent Grégoire (Berry College Georgia, United States of America): Marie de l’Incarnation ou l’iceberg miraculeusement évité

======Marie Guyart dite de l’Incarnation (1599-1672), mère, veuve, puis religieuse et missionnaire en Nouvelle-France où elle fonde le couvent des ursulines de Québec en 1639, raconte dans sa correspondance le naufrage évité in extremis avec un iceberg lors de sa traversée de l’Atlantique. Cette « glace », explique-t-elle, ressemble à une ville fortifiée de type médiéval : « elle étoit grande comme une Ville escarpée, & munie de ses deffences. Il y avoit des avances qui paroissoient comme des Tours […] qu’on eût pris de loin pour des Donjons » (Correspondance, G. Oury, Solesmes, 1971, 396). Le père jésuite Biard comparait, lui, en 1611, un iceberg à « Notre Dame de Paris avec une partie de son Isle, maisons, palais […] flottant dessus l’eau » (Jesuit Relations [Éd. de Thwaites], vol. 3, 180) tandis qu’un autre père jésuite, Paul Le Jeune, décrivait en 1632 des « Eglises ou plutost des montagnes de crystal » (ibid., vol. 5, 16). Ces descriptions inspirées dissimulent cependant le danger que représentent ces glaces qui provoquent des naufrages. Selon que l’on y survit ou non, elles sont perçues par les religieux comme une manifestation de la grandeur de Dieu ou un piège du Diable. Marie va en réchapper de justesse mais s’était déjà préparée au sacrifice. La mystique qu’elle est, toujours désireuse de « s’abîmer en Dieu » (cf. Relation de 1633 ; Écrits spirituels et historiques, A. Jamet, éditeur ; vol. 2, 154), était prête à s’abîmer avec le navire le Saint-Joseph au fond de l’océan si telle était la volonté de son divin Époux.
======Notre étude va développer cet épisode de l’iceberg miraculeusement évité le jour de la sainte Trinité et le vivant récit que l’ursuline en fait.

2. Cécile Michaud (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Peru): Entre le ciel et les eaux. La Vierge, la mer et la figure de la sirène dans la prédication, la poésie et l’iconographie au Vice-royaume du Pérou 

======Cette contribution explore la relation entre la Vierge, la mer et la figure de la sirène dans la prédication, la poésie et l’iconographie dans le sud andin au Vice-royaume du Pérou, aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles. Elle se concentrera sur les sermons du grand prédicateur cuzquénien Juan Espinosa de Medrano, dit El Lunarejo, le poème érudit dédié à Notre Dame de Copacabana de l’Augustin Fernando de Valverde, ainsi que sur l’iconographie de façades d’églises. À travers ces sources textuelles et visuelles, nous chercherons à montrer que la figure de la sirène, traditionnellement rattachée au péché et à la tentation, peut apparaître dans ce contexte comme une figure divine intimement unie à la Vierge et aux saints, tout en constituant par ailleurs un produit emblématique de la culture andine coloniale – une culture complexe où s’entremêlent la tradition classique, la défense du christianisme et, comme c’est sans doute le cas ici, des mythes d’origine préhispanique.

3. Celia Rubina (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Peru): L’univers aquatique en image et paroles: de la gravure européenne à la peinture coloniale des Amériques

======Les scènes miraculeuses de saints qui ont lieu en milieu aquatique (sur la mer ou sur les fleuves) font partie de l’art colonial des Amériques. Les belles illustrations picturales du XVIIe siècle se trouvent sur les murs des églises à Cuzco, Arequipa, Lima, Quito et Puebla et furent le produit du travail des artistes locaux qui ont utilisé comme source visuelle des estampes gravées d’origine européenne. La plupart de ces œuvres picturales contiennent une description textuelle de la scène illustrée.
======Le propos de cette communication est de mettre en valeur les rapports entre le texte et l’image : la polychromie des peintures – en particulier, celles de “la escuela cuzqueña” –, les moindres détails qui sont repris par le développement littéraire qui se manifeste sur l’espace pictural. On ne peut pas réduire le travail des peintres locaux à une simple copie de l’art occidental. Les adaptations des motifs de l’iconographie religieuse vont trouver des formes d’expression nouvelles dans le cadre de l’évangélisation et de la société coloniale péruvienne.
======Notre univers de discours appartient au site web PESCCA COLONIAL ART dans la section des Saints Individuels.

Tuesday – Room 1 – 16:00-17:30

1. Massimo Leone (University of Turin, Italy & Shanghai University, China): The Semiotics of Waves in Religious Cultures

======Waves are a fascinating topic in many disciplines, from physics to topology, from aesthetics to music, from art theory to semiotics. A general semiotic study of waves is still to be developed and promises to bring about a new framework for understanding not only this water configuration, but a whole range of meaning dynamics. The paper will introduce this perspective but concentrate, in particular, on how waves have been turned into meaningful objects within religious cultures, and specifically in the symbolical and visual culture of Catholicism. Waves often appear in the Christian iconography of Saints, sometimes with the value of anti-subject, but also, in other circumstances, with the role of helper or even of sender. The paper will present a small number of case studies from the early modern iconography of Catholic saints, seeking to decode and interpret the meaning of waves depicted therein.

2. Silvia Marin Barutcieff (University of Bucharest, Romania): From the River to the Sea. Swimming against the Stream in the Alpine Iconography of Saint Christopher (1350-1530)

======The present paper aims to analyze the aquatic representations of the medieval alpine iconography of Saint Christopher. Starting from the 13th century Golden Legend of Jacob de Voragine, this investigation will interrogate the symbolic power of water and the visual metamorphosis occurred from text to image in the notorious medieval hagiography. The examination will be focused on 125 representations from the religious mural painting, created in the period between 1350 and 1530, and collected in the course of the field research performed by the author in Eastern Alps.
======A meaningful element in the literary hagiography, water is also an essential attribute in the visual discourse of Saint Christopher. The presentation will explore the role of the aquatic bestiary encountered by the saint across his mystical journey, the aquatic ambiguity (river or sea) generated by the presence of certain creatures, as well as the relationship between water and other elements of the alpine landscape. When and in which context the medieval images acquired this liquid ingredient? How is the vagueness of the medium formulated in these mural paintings? What functions has this primordial element in the evolution of the giant Christ-bearer iconographic type
======Edified around these questions, the paper will also discuss the damaged images of Saint Christopher in which the water plays a fundamental role for identifying the hagiographic topic.

3. Mia Nakayama (Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, Germany & Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy): Reimagining Santa Maria della Strada through Kannon: Resonances of Buddhist Patroness of the Sea in Japan’s Christian Imagery

======Japan was recognised as one of the greatest successes of Jesuit missionary work when a Japanese youth delegation was presented to Pope Gregory XIII in 1585. Towards the end of the period of the Warring States in Japan, Jesuit missionaries were particularly active within the Kyūshū region. Catholicism took root in Japan, even reaching the upper-samurai classes. The success of Jesuits in travelling extraordinary distances by sea inspired many Japanese. The patron saint of the Society of Jesus – Santa Maria della Strada (Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Way) – became the centre of worship for new Japanese converts. During the Japanese isolationism period, the perseverance of ‘underground’ Christians to preserve their faith gave birth to a unique conflation of the image of Santa Maria della Strada and the Buddhist Kannon. The iconography of Kannon as a patroness of the sea, customarily presented alongside dragons and sea waves, successfully incorporated the image of Santa Maria della Strada. This ingenious integration of Christian and Buddhist imagery of a patron saint and a Bodhisattva is evidenced by the genesis and development of a range of hybrid religious icons such as devotional statuettes which resembled both characters. This paper will investigate how the patroness of the Jesuits has been reincarnated through the iconography of Buddhist Kannon. Subsequently, it will demonstrate how Japanese Catholicism used syncretic coexistence of multiple religious hagiographies to survive through Japanese isolationism.

9. The Biblical or Mythical Imaginary of Water and Sea

The Biblical or Mythical Imaginary of Water and Sea

Chair: Daniel Laliberté (Luxembourg School of Religion & Society, Luxembourg)

======From the Jewish cosmological narratives, where the divine creation comes to light through the separation of the waters, down to the Revelation narratives, where the Tree of life is embraced by the two arms of the great river… From the oldest ablution rituals, down to John’s baptism of conversion in the Jordan river… From the sacred spring of Zamzam in Mecca, down to the venerated Ganges of the Hindus… “Always and everywhere”, water appears to be one of the most widely spread religious symbols. This is not surprising, considering the very essential nature of this element for every form of life and, thus, the potential for symbolization it carries.
======Waters of life, waters of death, waters of passage. A symposium on “Sea and water in word and image” had to propose a section on The biblical or mythical imaginary of water and sea. The session will explore the following aspects (non-exhaustive proposals):

– developing a historical and philosophical dimension about the universality of this symbolic matter;

– exploring the unfolding of the symbolism of water in some major sacred texts;

– starting from this universal symbolism, questioning on the consequences of modernity and secularization on the use of symbolic language, especially when the codes underlying this language have become evanescent;

– considering the consequences of this “water symbolism” on some major ethical issues related to the management of this element (universal right to water, global warming, etc.).


Tuesday – Room 2 – 14:00-15:30

1. Jacques Athanase Gilbert (University of Nantes, France): L’immersion n’est pas une lustration : de la purification à la conversion

======Le baptême chrétien rompt avec les pratiques antérieures qui pourraient lui être comparées : bain rituel ou lustral par une dimension particulière, chargée d’une puissante forme symbolique. La dimension lustrale correspond le plus souvent à une pratique de purification. Le baptême chrétien s’inscrit dans un rapport à la nature renouvelé. Celle-ci en effet ne peut plus être réduite à ce qui apparaît et croît de manière spontanée comme chez les Grecs. La nature est désormais, avec le christianisme, une modalité de la Création, destinée à l’homme par le Créateur, lequel l’offre en spectacle à l’homme, comme le suggère Tertullien à la fin de son De Spectaculis. L’ordre de la Création est encore distinct de celui de la nature dans le Sur la résurrection des morts d’Athénagore d’Athènes, mais les deux fusionnent chez Tertullien, accomplissant ainsi « le grand partage » entre l’homme et la nature analysé par Philippe Descola dans son ouvrage Par-delà nature et culture. C’est précisément ce « grand partage » qui rend désormais impossible la lustration, d’où la fonction centrale du baptême chez Tertullien qui lui consacre un ouvrage, son De Baptismo. Il ne s’agit plus en effet de « nettoyer le monde » de l’impur ni de l’en préserver. Désormais le baptême indique un changement paradigmatique : le passage d’un monde antérieur à un monde postérieur ; il porte avec lui la force conversive du christianisme des premiers siècles, comme une « nouvelle naissance » et l’entrée dans le monde de Dieu. L’apnée provoquée par l’immersion indique ce moment quasi amniotique du passage d’un monde sans Dieu à un monde avec Dieu dont le déluge constituait une sorte de prémisse.

2. Alex Kiefer da Silva (Laval University, Canada): Oxum femme, mère et reine : le culte de la déesse de l’eau douce, de l’amour et de l’or dans les traditions religieuses afro-brésiliennes, symbole de l’autonomisation des femmes aujourd’hui

======Les eaux représentent, dans l’univers mythico-religieux, un domaine du sacré féminin, matérialisé dans le culte de la déesse, comme expression de fertilité et de génération de vie sur la face de la terre. Dans le symbolisme rituel de presque toutes les religions et dans les mythologies anciennes, l’eau, en plus d’être un symbole de vie, représente également la pureté, la santé et la guérison. C’est pourquoi les mers, les rivières et les sources où elle est abondante sont considérées comme sacrées dans de nombreuses cultures. Cette communication scientifique, alignée sur le thème de cette session, présente l’iconographie et le symbolisme mythico-religieux d’Oxum, déesse (orisha, orixá) des eaux douces, de l’or, de la beauté et de l’amour dans la tradition afro-brésilienne, depuis son origine en Afrique et la réinvention de son culte au Brésil, où il est arrivé au XVIᵉ siècle avec l’esclavage, jusqu’à nos jours. Ce travail montre que, dans le contexte de la modernité et de la sécularisation religieuse, le culte d’Oxum au Brésil s’est développé en raison de sa popularité généralisée en tant que promotrice de l’amour et du sexe, du bonheur conjugal et de la génération d’enfants, tout en favorisant la richesse et le prestige social des femmes et des hommes. En analysant son iconographie et en observant la nature de ses rites dans le Candomblé et l’Umbanda, en nous fondant sur les théories d’auteurs classiques et contemporains, nous cherchons à comprendre la fonction archétypale multiple d’Oxum en tant qu’épouse et mère aimante (raison de son syncrétisme avec Marie, Mère de Jésus) et en tant que représentante de la femme libre et émancipée.

3. Divya Kumar-Dumas (University of Pennsylvania, United States of America): Shapes of Water: Confronting Sculptural Reliefs at Mamallapuram

======The setting of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu, India, has been universally discussed as port city of Pallavas, ruling from the 7th to the 9th century. Evidence is a poem by the saint Tirumangai Alvar collected in the Nalayira Divya Prabhandam, an important Vaisnava religious text. Alvar wrote, “Heavy boats, carrying eye-catching heaps of gold, and elephant-loads of gems, cruise the shores of Kadalmallai….” I argue codes explaining this middle Tamil language were lost and therefore meanings misconstrued; neither the landform nor the site’s archaeological evidence effectively supports a port claim. Yet sculptural reliefs on site, preoccupied with an iconography of gods interacting with water, can be linked to primordial water stories from early Purana literature. Instead of a commercial landscape, I will offer the idea of sculpture as planned installation, employing both seawater and sculpted elements to create scenes, interpretable as embodied representations. The landscape that emerges when we confront images as they would have been experienced raises questions about the facticity of scene-setting elements, including the idea of a port and all textual supports for such claims. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht said objects are “present” when tangible to human hands and impacting human bodies. Presence is produced when such tangible effects are purposefully intensified. Through this lens, sculptural representations at Mamallapuram delineate shapes of water. As such, the stenciled descriptions of Kadalmallai in Alvar’s text become an embodied visitor record explaining what was produced by these landscape installations. Via their scene-setting tropes, the poems recontextualize Mamallapuram’s incredible evidence.

Tuesday – Room 2 – 16:00-17:30

1. Daniel Laliberté (Luxembourg School of Religion & Society, Luxembourg): « Faire parler le rite » – Tensions entre symbolisme universel, désirs de ritualité et tradition croyante particulière

======Célébrer avec de l’eau… Quoi de plus naturel ! Un élément matériel absolument vital, dont la symbolique multiple est universelle et, par là, assez facilement compréhensible. Mais en est-on si certain ?
======La question qui se profile ici est celle du rapport entre une symbolique intuitive, spontanément accessible, et la signification plus spécifique que peut lui conférer un groupe particulier, comme c’est notamment le cas avec le baptême chrétien. Comment accéder à la signification symbolique que confère à un rite son ancrage liturgique, dans une société sécularisée qui, pourtant, persiste à demander ce rite (et notamment le baptême) à l’Institution ?
======Autrement dit, comment « faire parler le rite » quand la connivence liturgique et son substrat croyant ne sont pas partagés par l’assemblée ? Quel rôle y joue ici la « parole qui accompagne » le geste symbolique ?
======Cela renvoie à la question plus fondamentale : y a-t-il des prérequis pour « entrer en liturgie », même quand on suppose que les symboles utilisés ont une signification universelle ?

2. Kathi Lentz (Luxembourg School of Religion & Society, Luxembourg): Métaphores de l’eau dans l’enseignement sapientiel de Ben Sira

======L’eau peut être considérée sous deux aspects dans la vie comme dans la Bible : elle peut être un élément nécessaire dans la vie courante, être rafraîchissante, vivifiante, être symbole de vie, servir à la purification, tout comme elle peut anéantir, représenter une menace, un danger mortel (voir Genèse, Psaumes), l’eau sous ses différentes dénominations peut symboliser les forces du mal qu’il s’agit de dompter (voir Psaume 104, 6-9 ; Job 26,12-13). Que représente l’eau dans le livre du Siracide ? A-t-il maintenu le double côté de cet élément que nous trouvons dans d’autres livres bibliques, le côté vivifiant et le côté mortifère ? La rédaction de l’original hébreu du livre de Ben Sira (appelé aussi « Siracide ») est généralement datée de nos jours autour de l’an 190 avant notre ère. La traduction grecque aurait été effectuée par le petit-fils de Ben Sira entre 132 et 116 avant notre ère. Cet écrit faisant partie de la littérature sapientielle dans la Bible, il n’est pas étonnant que les différentes images qui évoquent l’eau (en général) soient souvent incorporées dans un contexte sapientiel. Le chapitre 24 du livre du Siracide, souvent intitulé « l’éloge de la Sagesse », est un hymne où la Sagesse se présente elle-même. L’auteur y emploie des métaphores de l’eau (les fleuves, la mer, l’abîme) pour les associer à différents termes du domaine de la sagesse, métaphores que l’auteur prendra à son propre compte (canal, fleuve, cours d’eau, arroser, irriguer, mer). Nous examinons ces différentes métaphores afin de voir en quoi elles enrichissent le discours sapientiel du Siracide, surtout dans ce chapitre central de son œuvre.

3. Daphné Vignon (University of Nantes, France): La mer dans l’imaginaire politique ou la pensée d’une impossible frontière

======La mer, longtemps considérée en Occident comme un vestige coupable du Déluge, n’apparaît qu’en filigrane dans l’imaginaire français jusqu’à la parution en 1700 de l’épopée d’inspiration virgilo-homérique de Fénelon : Les Aventures de Télémaque. Pour reprendre Corbin, celui-ci est le premier à dépeindre, en littérature, « l’impression cinétique » de l’élément marin. Il est vrai que la mer, évoquée avec une étonnante modernité, n’est pas un perpétuel obstacle pour Télémaque comme elle a pu l’être pour Ulysse ou Énée. Elle est, au contraire, la promesse d’une libération face aux dangers qui menacent un héros à la recherche d’une vertu parfaite préalable à l’exercice du bon gouvernement. Ce geste narratif introduit la mer dans l’imaginaire politique sur fond d’une polémique aiguë qui oppose Fénelon et Bossuet autour du quiétisme. L’enjeu de la dispute consiste à qualifier l’étrange parole de Madame Guyon qui prône le pur amour, autrement dire le désintérêt radical, métaphorisé en torrents furieux et en mer totalisatrice. Fénelon est séduit, Bossuet outré par cette mystique qui érode entièrement les fondements de l’absolutisme. Rapidement marginalisé en France, l’univers quiétiste est largement réinvesti par le Sturm und Drang et le premier romantisme via les communautés protestantes suisses et allemandes. Précisément, les éléments liquides sont portés à une dimension mythique en ce qu’ils offrent aux chantres de l’Allemagne en devenir une réserve de métaphores éminemment plastiques utiles à la mise en images de la pensée de l’origine – ce terreau mouvant sur laquelle se fonde l’idée de nation. Répondant à la poétique de la source, l’omniprésence de la mer contribue à tracer les contours d’une pensée complexe d’un temps pris entre la fulgurance de l’instant et une certaine téléologie historique liant indissolublement ce qui fut, ce qui est et ce qui sera. Cette appréhension hautement symbolique, sur fond d’exégèse chrétienne, ne sera pas sans répercussions sur la perception de l’espace politique conçu comme un lieu aux frontières particulièrement troubles. C’est l’objet de cette communication que de proposer une généalogie de l’ambiguïté fondamentale que la mer a introduite dans l’imaginaire politique européen.

10. At the Whim of Water: Texts and Images

At the Whim of Water: Texts and Images

Chair: Sanda Badescu (University of Prince Edward Island, Canada)

======In creating the image of the noisy and stormy stream compared to the peaceful river, Jean de la Fontaine proves to be a subtle observer of the human character: the appearance opposes or even denies essence as the fabulist seems to suggest. Still water, whether it is the serene sea or the unruffled lake that invites you to a physical, imaginary or spiritual journey, becomes the metaphor not only of a real or virtual danger that would stand in opposition to the journey – all the more treacherous because invisible – but also the depth of the human soul or the unconscious whose signs we can try to read but can never fully grasp. The depth of water inspiring fear is present in a multitude of texts and we have only to skim the surface of Jung’s works to discover that the water of a dark lake gives rise to a menacing atmosphere (unheimlich in Freud’s terms) and is one of the most powerful symbols of our imagination. The imaginary that digs and lives in the hidden face of water finds its echo in the art of an ingenious painter, Elstir, a character of In Search of the Lost Time by Marcel Proust, for whom the space occupied by the earth and by the sea blurs into a metamorphosis, revealing the arduous and nebulous task of the artist. To depart at the discretion of water is to respond to the invitation of the voyage and to sail both on the surface and in the depths of the human soul.
======This session welcomes talks that highlight the image of water (torrent, river, lake or sea) related to the mystery and the unknown worlds of the human mind in various fields such as literature, philosophy, religion, psychology and visual arts.


Tuesday – Room 3 – 14:00-15:30

1. Sanda Badescu (University of Prince Edward Island, Canada): Image de la mer comme mystère humain chez Proust

======Je me propose d’explorer le processus qui nous « transporte » dans le monde du rêve dans l’œuvre de Marcel Proust, À la recherche du temps perdu. Marcel Proust, dont l’œuvre est marquée par la pensée schopenhauerienne, remarque que cette transgression vers l’état de sommeil ou de rêve n’a pas uniquement un rôle de repos mais ouvre notre esprit en lui donnant accès à un état plus essentiel, l’état de réflexion, dans lequel l’écrivain doit nécessairement se transposer avant d’écrire. Le sommeil est important aussi dans l’approche proustienne, car il est souvent le seul capable de nous ressusciter un souvenir fragile de quelqu’un ou d’un moment passé, un souvenir qui nous pousse vers une certaine conscientisation de notre mort graduelle et perpétuelle engendrée par la faiblesse de notre mémoire. Le moi est toujours en changement et ainsi est-il remplacé, tout le temps, par le moi d’aujourd’hui, d’un aujourd’hui qui est un autre chaque jour, et qui ne se rappelle plus l’autre que très vaguement et par intermittences : « Notre émerveillement d’être devenu un autre, un autre pour qui la souffrance de son prédécesseur n’est plus que souffrance d’autrui, celle dont on peut parler avec apitoiement parce qu’on ne la ressent pas. »
======Le sommeil chez Proust, thème analysé par de nombreux ouvrages de critique, s’avère être essentiel parce qu’il pose les références de sa façon de travailler : À la recherche du temps perdu débute par une description du sommeil, puis, dans La Prisonnière, le narrateur associe le sommeil à la mer, espace vaste, profond et inconnu qui nous donne accès à un peu de « vie véritable » et qui symbolise le fondement de la création artistique selon Proust.

2. Carlo Lavoie (University of Prince Edward Island, Canada): La rivière et l’appel de la région : appartenance acadienne et poésie du Madawaska

======Le jeune poète du Madawaska, Sébastien Bérubé, clame son appartenance à sa région de la province du Nouveau-Brunswick dans ses deux premiers recueils de poèmes, soit Sous la boucane du moulin (2015) et Là où les chemins de terre finissent (2017). Malgré les titres de ces deux recueils, ce n’est pas la verticalité de la fumée d’une usine qui s’érige en symbole d’un système capitaliste au-dessus d’une région ou encore la verticalité des arbres qui viennent mettre un terme aux chemins de campagne en pleine forêt qui viennent définir l’identité madawaskayenne.
======Une rivière, qui a donné son nom à la région, la rivière Madawaska, traverse cette dernière, prenant sa source à la décharge du lac Témiscouata, au Québec, pour se jeter dans le fleuve Saint-Jean, à la hauteur de la frontière du Canada et des États-Unis. Comment cette rivière, qualifiée de Styx par Bérubé, ne serait-elle pas appelée à jouer un rôle prépondérant dans la définition de l’identité régionale ? Après tout, cette rivière servait déjà de truchement bien avant l’arrivée des premiers colons d’origine acadienne et canadienne-française sur le territoire au XVIIIe siècle. Les Amérindiens, les Malécites, y voyaient une vallée fertile pour la pêche en eaux douces, la chasse et la cueillette. C’est la rivière qui aurait donc, dès l’origine, dicté le rapport à l’espace et qui entrerait en jeu de nos jours dans la distinction Acadiens/Québécois et Canadiens/États-Uniens.
======Pour cette communication, nous postulons que remonter le cours de la rivière Madawaska par la poésie de Bérubé devrait nous permettre de convoquer les fantômes qui ont arpenté ses berges afin de voir la mouvance d’une appartenance régionale qui oscille entre culture, histoire et économie.

3. Corina Sandu (King’s University College at Western University, Canada): Images de la mer dans la conscience troublée d’un opiomane amoureux

======En 1886, le roman L’Opium de Paul Bonnetain ranimait la passion des milieux artistes pour l’opium et la recherche d’un dépaysement raffiné. Correspondant du Figaro au Tonkin, ayant une connaissance intime de la mer, de l’amour malheureux et de l’opium, Bonnetain transmet une large partie de ses expériences à son héros, Marcel Deschamps. Condamné à un amour qui se refuse implacablement, Deschamps plonge dans le gouffre de l’opium grâce auquel sa passion vécue sur mer, seule époque de joie amoureuse, peut être revécue, invoquée presque à volonté, voire réinventée.
======Dans notre communication, nous étudierons les mécanismes de l’écriture qui exprime l’introspection du héros, le souvenir extirpé de la nuit de la mémoire par l’expérience de l’amour et de l’opium. L’expérience de la drogue brouille les frontières du rationnel et la compréhension du monde extérieur. Par conséquent, nous examinerons la manière dont les descriptions de la mer et de l’élément aquatique réussissent à rendre cette rupture de vision par un mode d’expression dual, qui différencie état de lucidité et état de transe. Il s’agira donc de voir comment les images de la mer sont modelées par le discours de la fiction dans son effort de traduire les égarements de la conscience du héros. Par les outils de l’analyse stylistique, nous analyserons l’image de la mer, métaphore vive et motif majeur dans L’Opium. Ainsi configurée, la métaphore marine chez Bonnetain déploie un réseau complexe d’images, actualisations d’une mer-organisme vivant, phosphorescent et caméléonesque. Dans le roman de Bonnetain, la mer traduit, anticipe ou amplifie les sensations et surtout les images nées de la mémoire du héros – un héros qui se reconnaît à ses heures de lucidité « poète, artiste, hypertrophié du cerveau ».

11. Waves That Makes Us Enjoy and Teach Us How to Desire

Waves that makes us enjoy and teach us how to desire

Chair: Jean-Marie Weber (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)

======Since its early days, cinema seems the most appropriate art to scrutinize the unfamiliar, the unsayable, and the unconscious. It is the “couch of the poor”, claims Félix Guattari. Anyway, cinema seems to be as subversive as psychoanalysis. According to Slavoj Žižek, it constitutes a device that makes us enjoy and a pedagogical tool to teach us how to desire.
======Our purpose is to study through film excerpts, such as Bergman’s Persona, Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves, Scorsese’s Silence, and Truffaut’s Les Quatre Cents Coups, how the artist confronts us with the real and with the fact that there is no Great Other anymore.
======Such scenes take place on the seashore, at the rim of strangeness, and finally at the edge of trauma. Touched by the violence of the waves and the drive, we are confronted with our gaze, our pleasure and our desire. It is as « parlêtre » (Lacan), and more specifically as an instinctual being, that we recognize ourselves in such scenes. It is finally our implication in the movie that this panel will question.


Tuesday – Room 4 – 14:00-15:30

1. Kathleen Maxymuk (Duke University, United States of America): Water: Mirror and Mediator in the Films of Jean-Luc Godard and Éric Rohmer

======In my paper, I interpret the role of water as, respectively, mirror and mediator in a selection of films by Jean-Luc Godard and Éric Rohmer. Godard and Rohmer formed a part of the Nouvelle Vague film movement, which is largely associated with its favored urban settings during the late 1950s and early 1960s. However, both directors turned to water over the years as a force of thought in their filmmaking. Beyond functioning as a physical location where their characters ruminate, bodies of water infiltrate the aesthetic of their films. The lake has been an important site of development in Godard’s films since the 1990s, as Jacques Aumont and Antoine de Baecque have affirmed. In these melancholy films often shot around Lake Geneva, water acts as a mirror for the characters. Godard accordingly evokes the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, an aesthetic that, Jean Starobinski argues, strongly associates the mirror with melancholy. Rohmer instead diversified his aquatic settings, and the water in his films acts less as a source of reflection than as a metaphorical mediation between the characters. My exploration of water’s presence in the films of these two directors ultimately will illustrate how water in moving images can be articulated as a revelatory philosophical tool.

2. Palmireno Neto (University of Campinas, Brazil & University of Sorbonne Nouvelle / Paris III, France):  In Search of the Ultimate Soul: the Sea in Mário Peixoto’s Cinema and Poetry

======First film directed by the Brazilian filmmaker and writer Mário Peixoto (1908-1922), and his only concluded cinematographic project, Limite (1931) is a landmark in the history of the world silent cinema. Weaving different narratives about characters which endure humiliation and anguish, the film expresses the tensions between the transitory human condition and the perennial forces of nature. To compose this long-standing battle, it uses the scenery of the Brazilian coast in the state of Rio de Janeiro and evokes constantly the image of the sea as a paradigm of the characters’ inner conflicts.
======Aesthetically close to the avant-garde films produced in the 1920s (even though Mário Peixoto denied having any connections with the cinematographic avant-garde movements of the period), Limite still resonates nowadays as a very powerful and creative attempt of utilizing the moving image to achieve a sound understanding of the psychological and philosophical dilemmas involving human beings confronting their irrevocable destiny.
======Having a central role in the construction of the film, the sea is also a recurrent theme in Mário Peixoto’s poetry, much less known than his cinematographic work. In his poems, the Brazilian critic Constança Hertz discovers poetic images which “reveal an oscillating reality, emerging and ready to disappear again.” This notion of instability of the real can be directly connected to one of the most prominent manifestations of the sea in Limite: the waves breaking on the shore. In Peixoto’s works, the water (and particularly the waves), far from being a mere element of the artistic composition, brings to the conscious mind the potentiality and limitation of desire.
======Considering the specificities of Mário Peixoto’s literary and cinematographic works, the representation of the sea in his cinema and poetry and the different effects achieved by him through word and image will be discussed.

3. Jean-Marie Weber (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg): Se jeter à l’eau, même si on ne sait pas nager

======D’entrée de jeu, Alfonso Cuarón nous présente un plan sublime dans son film Roma (2018). Une marée d’eau recouvre la dalle centrale. Quelqu’un nettoie le sol. Les vagues d’eau symbolisent les flux et les reflux de l’existence et anticipent le danger des différents déferlements que les protagonistes rencontreront. Quand l’eau s’arrête de couler, elle reflète le ciel et révèle un avion qui passe : élan mystique, symbole d’un ailleurs.
======Film autobiographique, le régisseur nous raconte sa vie, à travers le parcours de Cleo, sa bonne mixtèque. Comme les vagues d’eau dans la première scène, la vie se caractérise par des tensions entre fixité et mouvement, vie et mort, arrivées et départs, intimité et politique, hommes et femmes, enfants et adultes.
======Cuarón nous fait découvrir la faiblesse, les fuites des mâles, des malins, et la force des femmes, de Cleo pour assurer le fonctionnement de la vie familiale, de l’univers des enfants. Les femmes savent faire avec la perte de leurs compagnons et de la sécurité. Cleo assume sous douleurs la perte d’eaux et d’un enfant dont son compagnon ne voulait rien savoir.
======Nous admirons en général la plage comme lieu de retrait et de rêve, mais aussi de risque. Bien qu’elle ne puisse pas nager, Cleo se risque et se jette à l’eau pour sauver la cadette des enfants sous sa garde.
======C’est à travers les signifiants, tels qu’eau, ondes savonneuses, nettoyage des crottes, larmes, perte des eaux, lessive, toilette, mer, que nous allons interpréter ce parcours de vie de Cleo. Nous allons découvrir ainsi une façon de faire avec le réel, l’Autre. C’est l’articulation entre les pulsions de la vie et les pulsions de mort qui nous intéresse dans notre présentation, ainsi que le désir.
======Nous discernerons l’eau comme réel, mais aussi comme symbole majeur du don comme de la perte de la vie, de la transmission.

12. Liquidity Incorporated: Early Capitalism on the High Seas in Contemporary Text and Image

Liquidity Incorporated: Early Capitalism on the High Seas in Contemporary Text and Image

Chair: Matthijs Engelberts (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)

======Herman Melville’s classic Moby-Dick, a novel that is over a century and a half old, is on many artists’ and writers’ minds these days. Melville’s tale of hubris and greed aboard a whaling ship is both a strong metaphor for the present and a way of understanding how we got here. As data flows at the speed of light around the planet, it seems apt to reflect on a time when capital flowed over water at a much slower but no less ruthless pace. The world order that haunts the present day was produced during this time through the dogged pursuit of wealth on the high seas. It was an era of colonialism, exploitation, slavery, industry, and technological acceleration. As high-frequency and algorithmically-modulated trading increasingly de-centers the human body in regimes of global finance, so too did the colonial period reduce the natural world to insurance figures and subjugated people to commodities. Allan Sekula’s Fish Story (1995) was a foundational work in this area, and a recent example can be found in Hito Steyerl’s Liquidity Inc. (2014), where the fluidity of financial markets is entangled with the messiness of corporal reality. The primordial elements are no more stable than these automated flows. Another example can be found in Return of the Obra Dinn (2018), an indie game designed by Lucas Pope, the creator of Papers, Please (2013). In the game, the protagonist is an insurance investigator, rather than an adventurer or a sea captain, who is tasked with determining how an East India Company vessel ended up with all of its crew either dead or missing. The operations of finance, greed, and instability are placed at the center of the narrative.
======This panel will explore recent art, literature, and text that deal with the sea-based trade in the past and investigate why and how this theme is so relevant to the present moment.


Tuesday – Room 3 – 16:00-17:30 

1. Holger Kuhn (Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany): The Forgotten Space and 4 Waters: Deep Implicancy: Liquidity and Flows in Contemporary Video and Film

======The paper discusses two recent films that deal with capital flows and their relation to the High Seas: The Forgotten Space from 2010 (by Allan Sekula and Noël Burch) and 4 Waters: Deep Implicancy from 2018 (by Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira da Silva).
======The Forgotten Space is a documentary essay film that continues Allan Sekula’s seminal Fish Story (1995) project. It focuses on the shipping container, on modal logistics, and on the changes that the containerization of the world economy has inflicted on the sea, on the harbor infrastructure, on seafarers, on labor, and on the conditions for a collective resistance against capitalist oppression. The film analyzes how capital has turned the oceans into a friction-free space that serves as an abstracted, smooth surface for the seamless and predictable movements of goods. The film is rather successful in providing the viewer with apt evidence that consumers at the end of the supply-chain usually forget the social (and logistical) relations that have contributed to the production and distribution of any commodity. The geographer Philip Steinberg nevertheless argues that the film “reproduces a dematerialization of the sea that is frequently found in narratives of globalization”, resulting from a problem of representation: in order to represent the capitalist world, the filmmakers have to subscribe to the abstraction of capital, and by doing so, they tend to forget the concrete frictions that the oceans and the deep sea might cause.
======The paper discusses this problematic constellation by turning to another recent video, 4 Waters: Deep Implicancythat stems from a collaboration between the artist Arjuna Neuman and the philosopher Denise Ferreira da Silva. This immersive film installation works on a completely different level. It alludes to urgent global issues that have been caused by capitalism (or as one might put it: by the liquidity of the value-form), including migration, legacies of colonialism and ecological devastation. However, this context remains rather latent in the video’s images. Instead of dealing with the question of value as a question of content (e.g. by showing containers, ports, financial or logistical hubs) the filmmakers chose to experiment with the formal constitution of video and film. Furthermore, it is their explicit aim to use formal devices in order to produce an understanding of ecologies, of relations between human and the non-human that strips ethical thinking of value and of the value-form which is deeply imbricated into Western metaphysical thinking. They present a “reimagined cosmos“, a “primordial moment of entanglement“ (Neuman/da Silva). In their view, the world can be imagined as a complicated entanglement without fixed points, lines, or planes. The 4 Waters (the Mediterranean, the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean) to which the title alludes can be envisioned in a way that would not remain bound to capitalist abstraction. It establishes an alternative thinking of the world and the oceans without which any critique of capitalist globalization remains invested into the processes which it seeks to criticize.
======By discussing both films in a dialectical way the paper asks how films can put forward a critique of capitalism that takes into account the necessity to imagine the oceans as contested space of global flows and liquid entanglements.

2. Elisabetta Rattalino (Free University of Bolzano, Italy): Sizing the Blueness of the Italian Sea: The hydraulic practice of Pino Pascali in 32 mq di mare circa

======In 1967, Italian artist Pino Pascali conceived his floor piece 32mq di mare circa (Approximatively 32 Square Meters of Sea). It was an installation consisting of 30 aluminium tanks filled with aniline-coloured water of different shades, and it was first displayed at the exhibition Lo Spazio dell’immagine (Foligno, 1967). A long-distance response to the Primary Structures exhibition (New York, 1966), Lo Spazio dell’immagine included Italian artists following the legacy of Lucio Fontana’s Concetti Spaziali, thus moving beyond the self-contained physical boundaries of the picture plane or sculpture, and into society. Within this critical framework, Pascali’s installation raised questions about the relationship between the art object itself, the viewers’ perceptions and their cultural imagination of nature.
======This paper specifically explores the representations of the sea in Pascali’s practice, one that developed within the emerging TV advertisement industry and in relation to Germano Celant’s Arte Povera, and in the context of 1960s Italy. Similarly to others of Pascali’s works, interpretations of 32 mq di mare circa relied on the beholders’ experiences of the piece. As the country was rapidly facing the effects of new forms of mass tourism on the coast, Pascali’s works appear to invite a critical reflection on the discontinuities between vision, cultural imagination, natural elements in their physical form, and the contemporary consumption and transformations of the topography of the country.

Literature / Myths / Arts / Heritage – Wednesday, July 14 

Young Scholars – Wednesday, July 14

Young Scholars Round Tables

Room 1 – DIGITAL / COMICS / FILM / ART – Chair: Gian Maria Tore (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)

Wednesday – 11:00-13:00

1. Florian Breitkopf (University of Pennsylvania, United States): Polyphonic Critical Ekphrasis: Clemens Brentano’s Dialogs on Caspar David Friedrich’s The Monk by the Sea (1810)

======When it was first exhibited in 1810, Caspar David Friedrich’s oil painting known as The Monk by the Seacaused reactions ranging from praise to dismay. Friedrich’s work depicts a lonely figure on the shore before a vast seascape under a dark sky. Due to its lack of internal framing elements, the painting challenges traditional notions of landscape painting. The fascination evoked by Friedrich’s innovative approach to the genre has been portrayed vividly by Clemens Brentano: written in 1810 and published in 1826, Brentano’s dialogs in Verschiedene Empfindungen vor einer Seelandschaft von Friedrich present various sentiments and aesthetic judgments expressed by the exhibition visitors.
======In this paper, I argue that Brentano’s engagement with Friedrich’s painting illustrates a shift toward polyphonic art criticism in German literature and culture around 1800. The gradual establishment of the German bourgeoisie led to an increased self-confidence and a trust in individual aesthetic judgment. The cultural and social developments of the time suggest that the choral of individual voices as presented in Brentano’s dialogs represents a trend that challenges the established tradition of connoisseurship. Polyphonic art criticism as practiced by the dilettante strives to become an aesthetic paradigm in the early nineteenth century. The validity of aesthetic judgment is no longer exclusively dependent on the expertise of an artwork’s beholder; rather, valid aesthetic judgment corresponds with the individual opinions and sentiments of the crowd. Evidently, The Monk by the Sea is an ideal artwork for discussing the emergence of polyphonic art criticism; it prompts the beholders to fill its perceived void through individual sentiments and associations, thus celebrating the turn towards polyvocal approaches to art.

2. Dominika Bugno-Narecka (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland): Neobaroque Image of Water in A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters and The House that Jack Built

======The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the way water is represented in Julian Barnes’s novel, A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters, and Lars von Trier’s film, The House that Jack Built. In order to analyse the two works I will use the elements of contemporary cultural theory of neobaroque, including the decentralisation of the major biblical/mythological motif, the tension between major/dominant/universal and minor/local/individual, the constructing or staging of the self and art, or the folding of word and image.
======At first glance, it may seem that Barnes’s 1989 novel and von Trier’s latest movie have very little in common: each work tells a different story (or rather stories/incidents), focuses on different sets of problems, and uses different medium or media to convey the ideas. However, it is the use of water and water-related concepts (such as the flood myth, Noah’s Ark, ships, boats, rafts, sailing, passage across the rivers) that binds the two works together. Although the representation of water and water-related references may not be the key element in each work, they provide an interesting interpretative context for the more general understanding of each work.
======Another common feature of the novel and the film to be explored in the presentation entails numerous intertextual, verbal and visual references to the works of art and literature (including, among others, Géricault’s painting, or Dante’s narrative poem), their functions and meaning within the neobaroque framework.

3. Polina Pavlikova (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg): How the Film Industry Made “Water City“ a Key-Image of Joseph Brodsky’s Identity Myth: Saint-Petersburg – New York – Venice

======The understanding of any artist may start from his/her geography. In the case of Joseph Brodsky’s story, the landscape picture is going to change several times. Saint-Petersburg, New York, and Venice significantly alternated in his life and are noticed in literary works quite often. By examples of poems and essays, we are going to examine how a symbol of “water city” appeared in Brodsky’s writing and how it was used later by the film industry to construct the identity myth of the artist itself.
======Because of political reasons, Brodsky had to abandon Saint-Petersburg, however, it was reminded in his texts till death. After earning the first money in the USA, Brodsky fulfilled his childhood dream and went to Venice. He came back every Christmas and the essay Watermark became a result of this experience. According to his will, the writer was buried in Venice and returned in his hometown, “The Northern Venice”, metaphorically.
======In his writing, Brodsky used the symbol of water quite often. For example, in his essay Watermark water became a measure of time and an equivalent of God. Moreover, in his poems a water-city is a place from nowhere: shores and embankment are unidentified locations.
======This context made filmmakers use an image of water as a connection between Saint-Petersburg, Venice, and New-York in the movies about the writer. That is how water-city became a usual decoration to Brodsky’s visual portrait.

4. David Pinho Barros (Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal): The Swimming Pool Graphic Novel: Developments of an Intimist Subgenre in Franco-Belgian Comics

======Although swimming pools have existed since the 3rd millennium BC and are a recurring motif in literature and other narrative arts, they have been surprisingly neglected in the field of literary and interartistic studies, which have, however, consecrated much attention to seas and rivers as topics, spaces, and metaphors.
======In this paper, I suggest that what could be considered a shy but varied subgenre of Franco-Belgian comics — the swimming pool graphic novel — is in urgent demand of critical debate. In fact, since Peeters and Baltus published Calypso, authors writing on and drawing swimming pools have developed certain patterns of depiction which rhyme with the ontological characteristics of these spaces. Swimming pools are, in a way, the opposite of seas, of which they have neither the immensity nor the agitation, and an antithesis of rivers, with which they share neither the flow nor the sense of direction. They are spaces of contention and geometry, eminently human and artificial, where relaxation, calm, and silence are as important as effort, movement, and noise. Besides, they are gregarious spaces, which require living up to a social etiquette, but can also be, and frequently are, places of isolation, reflection, and intimacy.
======I intend to trace the boundaries and discuss the evolution of the Franco-Belgian swimming pool graphic novel, and to propose an exegesis of this subgenre according to its most predominant aesthetic and narrative features. In all cases I aim to analyse, from Le Goût du chlore to Piscine Molitor and L’Aimant, how comics artists tend, according to Judith Schlanger’s scales of literary density, to experiences of sparsity, laconism, and fragmentariness, proving that the swimming pool is prime material for the development of certain stylistic trends, but also for the intimist depiction of specific human psychological phenomena, namely timidity, fascination, and nostalgia.

Room 2 – TRAVEL LITERATURE / MIGRATION / GEOGRAPHY/ ENVIRONMENT – Chair: Alex Demeulenaere (University of Trier, Germany)

Wednesday – 11:00-13:00

1.  Célia Jerjini (University Grenoble Alpes, France): La mer Méditerranée comme puissance créatrice chez Jean-Daniel Pollet

======Que ce soit dans Méditerranée, Tu imagines Robinson, L’Ordre ou Trois jours en Grèce, la mer Méditerranée est ambivalente. Elle incarne une puissance mythique ; elle est aussi cet élément qui sépare et isole les terres grecques inhabitées et/ou oubliées de ces films de sorte à les déterritorialiser.
======Cette communication s’intéressera à la particularité de l’espace dessiné par la mer Méditerranée dans les réalisations dites « méditerranéennes » du cinéaste. À la fois constitutive de l’espace méditerranéen et de son non-lieu, elle participe à l’émergence d’un point de vue îlien. Mi-figurative mi-abstraite, la mer Méditerranée devient en particulier dans Méditerranée, selon la formule de Gilles Deleuze et Felix Guattari, « ligne mutante sans dehors ni dedans, sans forme ni fond, sans commencement ni fin, aussi vivante qu’une variation continue ». En tant que ligne abstraite et élément dynamique répétitif, elle se révèle puissance créatrice vitale, faisant advenir, sous l’impulsion de la pensée nomade deleuzienne, de nouveaux possibles.
======La réflexion initiée autour d’espaces îliens conçus comme laboratoires esthétiques sera prolongée par l’étude d’un devenir-mer pour les spectateurs et spectatrices du film essai Méditerranée. À travers l’étude de cette rêverie matérialisante et les réflexions initiées par Éric Thouvenel autour de la matière et des images, il s’agira in fined’interroger le possible cinématographique né des connexions à cette matière-flux.
======En tant que matière donnée à voir, étendue d’eau mouvante haptique au moyen de laquelle nous sommes immergé.e.s dans le film, la mer Méditerranée apparaît aussi comme le lieu-fusion de la rêverie spectatorielle et de la matérialité de l’image cinématographique.

2. Nicolas Piedade (University of Limoges, France): Espaces anthropophages : une archéologie culturelle fluviale ? Assimilation et restitution identitaire dans Macunaíma de Mário de Andrade (1928) et Joaquim Pedro de Andrade (1969)

======Vaste mouvement de rénovation culturelle apparu dans les années 1920 au Brésil, l’anthropophagie culturelle émerge sous l’impulsion des avant-gardes modernistes afin de porter une réflexion de fond sur la nature de l’art national. À la fois métaphore de l’assimilation de données culturelles et de leur restitution transformée, l’anthropophagie joue de la réactivation de tout un patrimoine traditionnel et folklorique latent. C’est dans ce contexte qu’il faut comprendre l’itinéraire du personnage de Mário de Andrade, Macunaíma (1928), sorte de tricksterallégorique de l’essence brésilienne, lancé au contact de la modernité dans un itinéraire grotesque et fragmentaire. Réalisée en 1969, l’adaptation cinématographique du roman par Joaquim Pedro de Andrade s’inscrit dans un large mouvement de relecture du Modernismo. Confrontés à l’échec politique que représente le coup d’État de 1964, les cinéastes du Cinema Novo trouvent dans l’adaptation une ressource permettant de développer des modes d’expression à la fois indirects et opérants, tant d’un point de vue culturel qu’idéologique.
======Liant l’histoire coloniale avec la quête d’une brasilidade saisie au cœur de l’actualité d’une civilisation tropicale émergente, le fleuve, et à travers lui l’élément aqueux dans son ensemble, se révèle omniprésent sur le chemin de Macunaíma. Il constitue un véritable embrayeur symbolique, révélant les contradictions d’un espace paradoxal, désiré à la fois comme moderne et archaïque. Espace par nature labile, le fleuve se fait alors l’agent d’une archéologie culturelle qui donne sens à tout un imaginaire national et à sa relecture par le biais du récit mythique. La surface explorée par l’itinéraire de Macunaíma laisse dès lors apparaître toutes les ambiguïtés d’un territoire submergé par le sens nouvellement libéré des profondeurs de la fiction. Nous nous demanderons alors en quoi l’archéologie culturelle fluviale des deux Macunaíma permet de fournir une relecture des imaginaires nationaux brésiliens, mettant ainsi en perspective leur importance civilisationnelle.

3. Wassim Seddik (CERILAC Paris Diderot University / Paris VII, France): Le navigateur carthaginois dans la bande dessinée, le cinéma et la littérature

======Le Carthaginois Hannon a organisé une expédition qui a indiscutablement franchi les colonnes de Melqart (l’actuel détroit de Gibraltar) et qui, selon certains interprètes, serait descendue jusqu’à l’équateur. D’autres, plus prudents, supposent qu’elle s’est arrêtée dans le sud du Maroc. Ces divergences sont notamment dues à la disparition de la relation du périple d’Hannon qui se trouvait dans le temple de Baal Hammon à Carthage et qui, de facto, jusqu’à la destruction totale de la ville à l’issue de la troisième guerre punique, était accessible à tout le monde. Mais une traduction en grec du fameux périple a été découverte dans un manuscrit d’Heidelberg datant du XIsiècle. Tout en prouvant l’existence du périple, celle-ci, par les libertés prises vis-à-vis du texte original dont bon nombre d’incohérences rend compte, incite aux extrapolations romanesques. Ainsi, tout en entraînant historiens et archéologues à se perdre en conjectures, la version hellénisée de l’équipée a constitué une manne inespérée pour bédéistes (Hergé) et romanciers (Léon Cahun) : ils ont succombé aux charmes inouïs d’un périple remontant au VIsiècle av. J.-C et dont l’intrigue avait lieu par-delà les limites du monde connu.

4. Amanda Tavares (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom): (Re-)Mapping Mediterranean Crossings: Migrant Stories and Systems of Visibility in the Work of Bouchra Khalili

======Drawing on Édouard Glissant’s concepts of archipelagic thinking and relationality, this paper proposes a detailed examination of The Mapping Journey Project (2008-2011), an eight-screen video installation with sound about migrant journeys designed by contemporary artist Bouchra Khalili. The analysis starts with a discussion of Glissant’s idea of archipelagic thinking and its relevance in a Mediterranean context, focusing particularly on the potentialities of the sea in opposition to continental, generalising thought. This framework is then used to challenge the idea of the map as a universal image and to point to the ways through which maps gloss over a fluid geography. I argue that, through the drawings and narrations of their Mediterranean crossings, Khalili’s collaborators perform an act of defiance of the map’s geopolitical constraints. I also show how these migrant stories are articulated to expand on the historical elements that contextualise them. I follow up with an analysis of off-frame elements in Mapping Journeys, focusing mainly on ideas of (in)visibility and (dis-)articulation of content and form. I show how the discrepancy between the visual and the spoken generates an interpretative ambiguity and how the artwork challenges systems of visibility so as to invoke audiences’ own capacities of visualisation and remembering. I argue that the combination of text and image, as well as the installation space itself, prompts a responsible experience of relationality that complicates notions of memory, universalism and lack of agency, as well as our own understandings of the Mediterranean Sea.

Room 3 – POETRY / LITERATURE – Chair: Sylvie Freyermuth (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)

Wednesday – 11:00-13:00

1. Camille Adnot (Paris Diderot University / Paris VII, France): Where Monsters Wander in the Foamy Paths’: The Chaotic Waterscape of Blake’s The Four Zoas

======Among William Blake’s major works, The Four Zoas (composed 1796-1807) is famous for being an abandoned project. Left in manuscript form, the poem was never engraved, but remained a collection of unevenly completed 145 unbound plates, filled with lines with many corrections, surrounded by or written over elusive sketches and watercolours. What is seldom linked to this loose, unfinished quality is how prevalent water is in the narrative, through the titan-like figure of Tharmas. Inspired by Oceanus, Tharmas embodies water, the ocean, and chaos. Unlike in other works by Blake, Tharmas looms large in The Four Zoas, and his watery realm is abundantly illustrated. Indeed, the narrative unfolds within “the World of Tharmas, where in ceaseless torrents/ His billows roll”, and the reader is faced with a hostile waterscape referred to as “the sea of Time & Space”. This aquatic world is a threat to the characters in the poem, including Tharmas who keeps on drowning and dissolving. However, water threatens more than the characters; the narrative itself is shifting and hard to construct, and the very manuscript is flooded, overloaded with sketches of sea monsters and figures melting in a waterlike substance, superimposed over poetry lines whose metre keeps changing. In its very aspect and materiality, the manuscript becomes akin to the watery world it depicts and brought on the brink of dissolution. I would like to explore the many ways in which the poem is shaped by water, be it textually, visually, or materially. Through this, I want to argue that the poem being left in manuscript form is a consequence of its focus on water, and is a powerful take on mythological and biblical flood narratives.

2. Simon-Gabriel Bonnot (Poet based in Metz, France): Les mots aiment bien faire trempette

======Simon-Gabriel Bonnot, né à l’automne 1999, se consacre à la poésie depuis plusieurs années. Son premier recueil, Courir dans la chair des murs (L’Harmattan, 2016), a été publié à la veille de ses dix-sept ans. Bien que la poésie soit son mode d’expression privilégié, Simon-Gabriel Bonnot écrit également du théâtre et des histoires pour les enfants. Enfin, sa sensibilité artistique se manifeste dans la peinture et le graphisme numériques et dans la photographie. Il propose pour l’occasion une lecture de certains de ses poèmes en rapport avec l’eau.

3. Astrid Fizyczak (University of Sorbonne Nouvelle / Paris III, France): La mer et le dépassement du stade du miroir

======Dans les poèmes d’Elizabeth Bishop, l’océan constitue un véritable miroir dans lequel les personnages se mirent. Par ailleurs, la mer offre un contrepoint aux identités flottantes des enfants dépourvus de mère qui recherchent dans l’élément liquide un substitut à l’absence de modèle parental.
======Cette communication a pour objectif de considérer la mer comme une illustration du même et de l’autre comme image de soi.
======Dans un premier temps, la mer permet à l’enfant de dépasser le stade du miroir. En effet, l’enfant, engloutie par les vagues, relie l’eau au déferlement du lait maternel qu’elle redoute. Elle se reconnaît dans l’autre suprême et lointain. En outre, le jeune Balthazar revendique le fait d’exister, en provoquant la mer, et cela le jour de son anniversaire. Ainsi, la mer donne naissance à de nouvelles identités en quête de reconnaissance dans l’image de l’autre.
======Ensuite, cet entremêlement du connu et du surprenant met en scène l’ici et l’ailleurs comme sources de rêveries. Ainsi, l’eau contribue à effacer les frontières entre le réel et le fantasme puisque le réel et le fantasme renvoient à l’image de soi.
======Enfin les poèmes étudiés imitent le mouvement de l’eau, car le texte, mis en scène par le va-et-vient des vers libres, reflète les marées qui ponctuent les poèmes. La typographie dessine l’émergence d’une identité : le pronom personnel « I », souligné par les italiques, contribue à la dimension profondément déictique du texte qui se fait alors image, représentation du passage du temps qui se comprend dans les formes médiévales. Vouloir s’identifier à la mer, c’est vouloir faire corps avec une instabilité inhérente à l’élément maritime mais c’est aussi aspirer à trouver des rituels cycliques.

Room 4 – LITERATURE / PHILOSOPHY – Chair: Tonia Raus (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)

Wednesday – 11:00-13:00

1. Rebekah Cochell (Liberty University, United States of America): Rivers and Lakes in Medieval Folklore as Presented Through the Medium of Illustrated Books with Disfluent Fonts

======This presentation will examine the visual aspects of graphic novels and illustrated books and how they affect the comprehension and retention of material by the reader. Illustrated books and graphic novels are gaining recognition as complex, multimodal texts that are useful in bringing deeper meaning to literature analysis in high school literature classrooms. The graphic design of a book affects the way the reader receives and processes information. However, design is often focused on aesthetic principles and traditional wisdom, not considering how design aspects affect cognitive processes and educational outcomes. The traditional wisdom of typography has maintained that the faster the human eye can read a text, the more suited it is for reading materials. I will draw upon the research within my MFA Thesis, presenting evidence that medieval inspiration combined with difficult-to-read fonts and multi-modal design can enhance educational outcomes, specifically in the high school literature classroom. While focusing on my illustrated medieval legends (The Pied Piper of Hamelin and King Arthur), I will discuss how these texts bring forth often overlooked symbolic themes of the importance of water in medieval culture.

2. Diana Requena Romero (University of Picardie Jules Verne, France): L’étanchement de l’eau et la fin de la vie dans Les Poissons morts de Boris Vian

======Le propos de cette communication est de montrer la représentation de l’eau dans la nouvelle Les Poissons morts de Boris Vian. En effet, cet auteur éclectique modèle la nouvelle dans une atmosphère noire et macabre où l’eau semble être le soutien alimentaire du personnage principal dans un premier moment. Néanmoins, les apparitions intermittentes de l’eau avancent peu à peu la présence incontournable de la mort, si fréquente dans les récits de l’auteur français. L’eau, qui semble a priori jouer un rôle à l’arrière-plan de l’intrigue, est le scénario d’actions violentes et subites et, finalement, du suicide du personnage principal. Bien que l’union de l’eau et de la mort puisse symboliser la fin de la vie, Boris Vian les utilise ironiquement. L’eau, légèrement fluide au début de la nouvelle, symbolise la vie maltraitée du protagoniste, laquelle s’épuise et se fane peu à peu, jusqu’à devenir de l’eau stagnante. Même si elle semble un élément subtil, elle marque la trajectoire et le rythme de vie du protagoniste. Lorsque le léger mouvement de l’eau s’arrête, l’espoir et, en conséquence, la vie du personnage principal s’arrêtent aussi. C’est ainsi que l’auteur a le pouvoir de construire et déconstruire ce monde très particulier, à travers la changeante et imprévisible frontière de l’eau qui se manifeste d’une manière cachée, mais qui reste le fondement de l’intrigue des Poissons morts. En définitive, le cycle de l’eau symbolise le parcours fermé et angoissant de la vie du personnage principal. D’une certaine façon, l’eau est l’écrivaine du destin du personnage.

3. Rym Sellami (Bordeaux Montaigne University / Bordeaux III, France): L’eau, signe d’une conscience malade ou d’un processus de guérison ? Le cas de Jérôme de Jean-Pierre Martinet

======Jérôme est une fiction autobiographique. Le titre du roman, tel qu’il apparaît dans l’édition de 1978, est accompagné d’un énoncé indicateur : Jérôme (L’enfance de Jérôme Bauche). Le lecteur sait, donc, d’emblée qu’il s’agit d’un récit de souvenirs, se rapportant à l’enfance du personnage éponyme. En effet, le caractère mnémonique du texte révèle une grande fluidité stylistique, se traduisant à travers un imaginaire lié à l’eau. Le processus de la remémoration, analogue au rêve à plusieurs niveaux, pourrait être comparé à une plongée dans un passé troublant. Dans ce roman, l’eau trouble n’est pas une simple métaphore pour désigner son caractère sombre. Le texte est placé sous le signe de l’eau : Jérôme Bauche est représenté comme un fœtus de quarante-deux ans, une créature à l’état embryonnaire, baignant dans son environnement amniotique. Le texte est semblable à la poche des eaux maternelle, où se développe un être non clairement identifié.
======Jérôme Bauche déclare qu’il est mort au moment où il écrit ces événements biographiques. Il laisse entendre que sa vie se résume à une enfance perpétuelle, à laquelle succède directement la mort. Or cette vie, telle qu’elle se présente dans le texte, à l’état imparfait, confus, renvoie à une intériorité fluctuante. L’analyse sera guidée par l’ensemble de ces idées. Il s’agit, tout d’abord, de montrer que la mimésis du stade fœtal du personnage est étroitement liée à des eaux sales, menaçantes, dans un contexte horrifique. Il sera question de larmes, de sperme, d’urine, de sang et de vin.
======Ensuite, dans une deuxième partie, le travail aura pour fil conducteur l’écriture autobiographique comme signe de maturation. Le recours à l’imaginaire de l’eau, à ce niveau du récit, la transforme en élément solide et lumineux, puisqu’il s’agit essentiellement de la neige, à un moment où on ne l’attend plus : le mois d’avril.
======L’enfance, pendant un certain avril, et la neige qui, comme l’écriture, survient tard, sauveront-elle le monde et le personnage de son enfance ?

4. Ágnes Tóth (Catholic University Pázmány Péter Budapest, Hungary): La Mer du Nord sous la plume de Maurice Carême et l’esquisse de Henri-Victor Wolvens

======Henri-Victor Wolvens et Maurice Carême prennent contact en 1965 ; le premier des deux propose un travail à réaliser en commun sur la mer du Nord. Le peintre et le poète créent un ouvrage d’art, un album de grand luxe intitulé Mer du Nord (1968) comportant 30 poèmes et 30 dessins gravés. À la suite de ce travail, Maurice Carême édite un recueil de 161 poèmes et 10 dessins du peintre sous le même titre Mer du Nord (1971), dont les poèmes sont dédiés « À mon cher ami, Henri-Victor Wolvens, dont l’amour pour la mer du Nord m’a incité à écrire ces poèmes ».
======L’analyse de ces œuvres constitue une sorte d’enquête sur l’interférence entre la poésie et le dessin, sur l’expérience verbale et visuelle simultanée, sur la possibilité d’une fusion des différents champs d’expression. L’amour pour la mer et la puissance d’observation de l’artiste – qui s’exprime en toute sincérité en un langage direct et expressif – œuvrent ensemble. Les rapports entre dessins et textes ne sont pas ceux d’une imitation ou d’une reproduction, mais plutôt ceux d’un dialogue sur une même intention : capter la mer insaisissable, constamment en mouvement et se renouvelant sans cesse. La mer apparaît comme un paysage indocile à toute hypothèse de stabilité, elle constitue une manifestation de remodelage incessant et offre des représentations diverses : une mer anthropomorphisée, interpellée, une mer animée d’effets sensoriels variés, une mer immense, sans limites, fusionnant avec le ciel et la terre, une mer solennelle, transcendante, une mer profane avec tant d’espèces de sujets dans son voisinage immédiat : les cités balnéaires, leurs agglomérations où les gestes, les objets les plus communs et les moindres spectacles de la vie s’inscrivent en une image grandiose.

13. Sensible Perception of Water – Poetics of Movement and of the Infinite

Sensible Perception of Water – Poetics of Movement and of the Infinite

Chair: Anikó Ádám (Catholic University Pázmány Péter Budapest, Hungary)

======Water is not just one of the four elements with physical and chemical features, an essential source of biologicallife, a stable and reactive substance, a medium that is both familiar and alien to humans. Due to its shifting, changing,elusive nature, water encompasses all possible states of the material and its being in transition and transformation.The image of water is often associated with the passage of time. Contemplating ebb and flow engages thesensitive perception of movement; the vision of extended water gives the illusion of the external and inner infinity. Thevisual perception of transparent and fleeing water makes transcendence visible and generates a poetic language.Accessing reality through objective description both triggers the production of the figurative that reflects thesubjectivity, and explores the singularity of Water as an element transforming it into a singular discourse. Through the presentation and interpretation of various literary texts, this workshop seeks to follow the flows from sensitive perception to the poetic form, from experience to the hydric imaginary, almost omnipresent in the literary works.
======The interventions will cover real, mythological, and imaginary geographical and topographical places, literarylandscapes of the sea and rivers, linked to personal or biographical reminiscences of the writers. Fostering reflection,the symbolic and metaphorical presence of water in the works, leads to the dissolution of the generic frameworks oftexts and literary history engendering an alternative art history, something like a natural art history.
Water, as a natural and intangible heritage of humanity, also inspires bridges, recurring poetic topos, bothmaterial and virtual, ensuring connections between layers of words and images of borders. 


Wednesday – Room 1 – 16:00-17:30

1. Stefano Maria Casella, Università IULM (Milan/Italy): “Where All the Waters Meet”: Seas Lakes Rivers in T.S. Eliot’s Poetry

======Sea, river, and lake waters incessantly flow in T.S. Eliot’s poetry, like a subterranean/sub-textual karstic stream, to then emerge and pour out at crucial and highly meaningful moments of his oeuvre. From his debut poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915) to the last section of his final Quartet “Little Gidding” (1942) water imagery is nearly ubiquitous.
======Real geographical/topographical places linked with personal/biographical reminiscences (the New England Atlantic Ocean off the Massachusetts and Maine coastline and the Mississippi-Missouri rivers of the poet’s youth, the river Thames of his adulthood); literary sea- and river-scapes (from the Bible, Dante, Shakespeare, Wagner, Joseph Conrad); ancient and medieval myths (Ulysses’ nostos, the Fisher King and the Grail quest, Norse mythology as reshaped in Wagner’s “Tetralogy”); religious and mystic texts (Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Christian cult of the Virgin Mary as Lady of the Good Voyage); symbolical and metaphorical waters (theme of voyage as metaphor of the failures and achievements of human life, and of fishing as life’s hard and risky task); psychoanalytical processes (sea depths as obscure “cradle” for metamorphosis, as apt setting for concealment, loss, regret, temptation, as fitting background for personal recognition, self-recovery and re-integration); occult, esoteric and initiatory references (symbolism and meaning of the Tarot pack) – these and other several levels of significance from the most disparate doctrines and cultures represent the manifold, varied, and complex dimensions which the element water assumes in Eliot’s poetry. What is peculiarly remarkable is that Eliot’s poetic journey starts by the seashore and concludes by a spring, thus symbolically reversing the traditional and natural course of water: such upward course emblematizes the poet’s life conception and experience as conveyed in his famous line “In my beginning is my end”.

2. Ana Lía Gabrieloni (National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET-Argentina) & National University of Río Negro, Argentina): The “laisse de mer” as a Poetic Emergent Image of Natural History

======A significant place, according to Marie Darrieussecq (Précisions sur les vagues, 2013), the “laisse de mer” is “cet endroit du monde où, dans le cas de vagues, la jointure se fait” and at the same time “[il] offre peu de prise à la description puisqu’il s’agit d’un endroit clignotant, apparaissant et disparaissant […] un instable mélange de plein et de vide sur lequel on peut pourtant tenter la promenade.”  But it shall not be any more Rousseau’s walk intoxicated by the allure of nature: even on the remotest seaside, the “laisse de mer” ceases to be a “trésor de débris inlassablement polis et ramassés par le destructeur” (Francis Ponge, “Bords de mer”, 1942) to become a mixture of natural detritus and non-biodegradable waste; a “flot apparemment homogène” where the life of cities is collected, as we read in Michel Tournier’s Les Météores (1975). A novel where the sea and dumpsites are the two sides of a world where nature and history are intertwined. Similarly, Marguerite Yourcenar (Archives du Nord, 1977) reminds us that the “laisse de mer” overlays with rejected human beings repeatedly deposited on the coastline by the tide — alike seaweed, shells and driftwood after a storm. In spite of its rare appearances in literature and art, this image —strongly reminiscent of the chaos after the Deluge— has as great symbolic power as the images of charnel-houses and ruins on which Theodor Adorno (1932) bases his early ideas about “natural history”. It is our aim to reinvigorate them to obtain a critical-theoretical understanding of reality/culture by means of this iconic image, the “laisse the mer”, which —as Darrieussecq says— leaves behind description —we argue— in favour of essayism in literature texts where an alternative art history is suggested as a kind of natural art history.

3. Miriam Vieira (Federal University of São João del-Rei, Brazil): The Water Under the Bridge (Brooklyn Bridge)

======Warmly discussed as a (counter)example of ekphrasis by James Heffernan (1993) and Claus Clüver (1997), To Brooklyn Bridge (1923), by Hart Crane, evokes and revitalizes Walt Whitman’s visionary “mystical synthesis of America” (Ellmann & O’Clair, 1973) offered by “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” (1856) at the dusk of Romanticism. By observing the flood-tides and people’s faces at sunset, the poem’s persona presents an in-between space-time relation in which reminiscence and anticipation co-exist throughout the crossing of waters in the exact route where Brooklyn Bridge will be built 30 years later. Drifting a bit away from the iconic representations of the symbolic architectural monument, the aim of this paper is to shed light on the role of the water that runs under both virtual and material Bridge in this layered word and image crossing of borders.

Wednesday – Room 1 – 18:00-19:30

1. Anikó Ádám (Catholic University Pázmány Péter Budapest, Hungary): La perception sensible de l’eau – la poétique du mouvement et de l’infini

======La communication propose, à travers l’analyse d’exemples littéraires (Rousseau, Chateaubriand), de réfléchir sur la nature de l’eau comme élément esthétique, au sens strict du terme, qui sépare et relie et qui rend possible de faire percevoir l’espace dans le texte. Suivre le flux et le reflux de l’eau, voir l’eau qui coule mènent à la perception sensible du mouvement ; contempler l’eau étendue donne l’illusion visuelle de l’infini extérieur et intérieur. La perception visuelle de l’eau transparente et fuyante rend perceptible, voire visible, la transcendance par définition imperceptible, et engendre un langage poétique, à l’aube du romantisme, qui sera capable d’exprimer les transitions entre la matière et l’esprit, le temps et l’espace, la vie et la mort, la terre ferme et la mer mouvante, etc.
======Il s’agira de démontrer que l’analyse de l’usage poétique de l’image de l’eau, quelque peu conventionnel et stéréotypé, nous fait comprendre la transition entre deux visions spatio-temporelles, celle des Lumières et celle des Romantiques.

2. Anikó Radvánszky (Catholic University Pázmány Péter Budapest, Hungary): « Que fais-tu pour apaiser une mer en fureur? » Sur l’imagination de l’eau violente (Swinburne et Bachelard)

======Dans la psychanalyse de l’activité artistique, Gaston Bachelard s’est employé à découvrir les tendances et les vecteurs inhérents à l’imagination humaine. Dans l’imaginaire poétique, certaines notions archétypales sur la matérialité jouent un rôle important, c’est la raison pour laquelle Bachelard cherche à élaborer la psychanalyse des quatre éléments. La terre, l’air, le feu et l’eau sont des archétypes qui sont constamment présents dans l’alchimie poétique et représentent différentes prédispositions fondamentales de l’imagination. C’est l’imagination de l’eau qui est la plus élaborée dans cette phénoménologie matérielle. Lors de notre présentation, nous examinerons l’actualité contemporaine de la phénoménologie de l’imagination poétique à travers l’analyse des images aquatiques dans la poésie contemporaine tout en mettant en œuvre la méthode de Bachelard.

3. Françoise Sammarcelli (University Paris-Sorbonne / Paris IV, France): Perceiving Water, Inscribing Wonder: Aspects of Thoreau’s Poetics of Movement and the Unsayable in Walden

======In the middle of the 19th-century, American writer Henry David Thoreau celebrates the beauty of Walden Pond and the ecstatic pleasures to be drawn from the contemplation of the lake. In a well-known passage of Walden he recycles the Transcendentalist image of the transparent eye and reappropriates it thanks to baroque details and a highly seductive metaphor: “A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” This statement, complicating the link between self, surface and depth, contrasts with more tentative descriptions of the water and the fish of the lake. In those passages the instability of water is mirrored in the lability of language as Thoreau tries to “translate” the visual qualities of the pond surface and fauna. Thus this paper aims to explore the ways in which the text “inscribes” sensory perception and plays with the limits of communication and the unsayable. To do so, it will discuss several eloquent passages devoted to the evocation of water and it will quote from various critical and philosophical works (such as those of D. Peck, J. Burbick, S. Melville, G. Genette, L. Jenny, J.-F. Lyotard, S. Cavell).
======Thoreau scrutinizes the surface of the pond and its peaceful phenomena, combining a naturalist’s humility and a poet’s fascination for metamorphosis or optical illusion. One of the favorite objects of his attempt at exhausting the real is the range of colours of the water which vary depending on the place and/or the moment of observation—i.e. he focuses on a primary sensory experience which is among the most difficult to designate and understand. Thus, in “The Ponds”, he evokes “a matchless and indescribable light-blue, such as watered or changeable silks and sword blades suggest”, likewise in “The Pond in Winter” the pickerel of Walden are said to possess “a quite dazzling and transcendent beauty” which language can only indirectly suggest.
======I will show how, between baroque and romantic imaginations, the impossibility of reaching the real through objective description triggers off the production of the figural, which reflects the subjectivity of the individual, explores the singularity of the water element and transforms it into a discursive singularity.

14. Water as Material and Medium in Contemporary Art

Water as Material and Medium in Contemporary Art

Chair: Carla Taban (Independent researcher based in Toronto, Canada)

======Since the emergence of artistic practices such as happenings, performances, installations, land art, and conceptual art in the late 1950s and 1960s, contemporary artists have used water in its various states – liquid, solid, and gaseous – bodies of water – such as rivers, lakes, seas, or oceans – and the natural water cycle as materials or mediums in their works. Many of these practices also comprise language, be it spoken or written, which sometimes represents a major dimension of the artwork, sometimes manifests only in the guise of its title, yet plays, even in this latter case, an important role in signaling the work’s intention or directing its reception. The interplay between the verbal, the water-related and, when applicable, the other materials or mediums employed, often raises fundamental questions about the nature and the status of the artwork, its production and reception processes, the various artistic, ecological, sociopolitical, economic, and institutional contexts within which it is inscribed, while at the same time investigating myriad issues: form and formlessness, transformation, movement, chance, systems, structures, and so on.
======From Yves Klein’s performances Transfer of a Zone of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility (1959–62) to Fluxus works such as George Brecht’s Drip Water event (score) (1959–62), from Hans Haacke’s natural-system works (Condensation Cube, 1963–65 or Rhine Water Purification Plant, 1972) to the happenings of Allan Kaprow (Fluids, 1967), from land-art works by Denis Oppenheim (Beebe Lake Ice Cut, 1969) and Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty, 1970) to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s water-wrapping projects (Wrapped Coast, Little Bay, Australia, 1969 and Ocean Front, Newport, Rhode Island, 1974) or conceptual pieces such as Michael Craig-Martin’s An Oak Tree (1973)—water has not ceased partaking in the expanded art field.

======This session deals with water as material or medium in contemporary art, and its interaction with language.


Wednesday – Room 2 – 16:00-17:30

1. Frances Guerin (University of Kent, United Kingdom): Energy into Art: The Repurposing of Water in Ruhr Valley, Germany

======In this paper, I examine two 2016 works: Waste Water Fountain by Danish collective Superflex, and Analyse by Swiss Artist Roman Signer. Both recycle untreated waste water at a section of the River Emscher in the Ruhr Valley, Germany. The installations appropriate the materials of industry (sewage water), and add dialogue about the geological substance of the riverbed spoken through loudspeakers, to draw attention to the multiple invisible – though often in plain sight – mechanisms and institutions that oppressed workers and locals in the region for decades. Simultaneously, the two works re-articulate the material of industry (sewage water) by placing the body of the contemporary viewer at the centre of their aesthetic and critical discourses. Together, the river, spoken word, the region’s history and the viewer’s body expose the forces behind what goes unsaid through being literally pushed underground (sewage) in the interests of cleansing the river for rehabilitation. Thus, the installations engage multiple visual and textual elements in a critical dialogue with the past, present and future of the river.
======The River Emscher was the life blood of industrial production in the region from its irrigation in the late 19thcentury until the gradual decline of industry in the postwar period. Consequently, the Emschergenossenschaft (a public wastewater management company) was established in 1899 to manage the river as energy source and dumping ground for offal, refuse and heavy metals. The Emschergenossenschaft has been instrumental in the river’s revitalization since the region’s regeneration began in the 1980s. The two installations were included in the 2016 iteration of the tri-annual Emscherkunst festival organized by Emschergenossenschaft as part of the revitalization project.
======My paper critically analyses the two temporary installations for their discourses on environmental sustainability, quality of life and energy for the future, discourses that are repeatedly quoted by the architects of regeneration across the Ruhr region.

2. Janna Schoenberger (Amsterdam University College, Netherlands): Ger Van Elk’s Ludic Canal Cruise

======Ger van Elk’s Flattening of the Brook’s Surface (1971) is a two minutes forty-five seconds video showing the artist in a plastic dinghy, alternatively paddling and attempting to smooth ripples in the water with a trowel. Every movement of the paddle creates waves making it incapable of becoming a placid surface. The artist bounces between the sides of the narrow canal – about twice as wide as the dinghy – further disturbing the current. This humorous activity could almost be characterized as Sisyphean, although there is no risk or danger and the task isn’t particularly laborious. Notably, this is a recognizable Dutch landscape; the canal is clearly manmade and straight, and the strict geometry contrasts the organic plants that have made their way into the righthand side of the canal in the picture plane’s foreground. Van Elk’s video conjures the stereotypical Dutch landscape, as well as the need to control it.
======Van Elk has very often made art about art, referencing both historical and contemporaneous movements and artists. In this case, Van Elk’s Flattening could be understood within the context of Land art, as the Dutch landscape is ultimately his medium, however Flattening appears to be more of a parody of artists interacting with their environment. In contrast to Robert Smithson’s expert ability to manipulate water, salt, mud, and rocks in his canonical earthwork Spiral Jetty (1970), Van Elk flounders, exposing his ineptitude. Van Elk is not only responding to Land art: the film evokes commentary on Dutch society and culture via the canal. Flattening of the Brook’s Surface alludes to the Netherlands’ constant struggle with water, indicating that no matter how conscientiously Van Elk smooths the water, he still cannot entirely control nature.

3. Carla Taban (Independent researcher based in Toronto, Canada): Water Marks: Water as Material in Two Beckettian Site-Specific Installations

======This paper discusses two artworks that use water as their main material while at the same time referencing Samuel Beckett. The installations’ complex meanings emerge from the relationships between their verbal and aquatic dimensions in interaction with the site and viewers.
======Job Koelewijn’s Formula B (2001) made for Sculpture International Rotterdam consists in the Beckettian dictum “No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.” written on the surface of the Westersingel canal with bubbling water. Taken from the author’s short-prose piece Worstward Ho (1983), the quotation highlights the futility of writing on water as an ephemeral endeavour doomed to “failure”. The technical difficulties of making this permanent installation and maintaining it in good working conditions further support this interpretation. Yet, according to the artist himself, the work aims at the same time at conveying an opposite meaning: the idea of resilience and hope, especially to viewers that use the Pauluskerk, a help centre for “people who cannot survive without help”, which is situated in the close vicinity of Koelewijn’s Beckettian water work.
In the site-specific installation Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness (2015) that Eugenio Ampudia created for Abierto X Obras at Matadero Madrid, the artist submerged in water the floor of the former cold store of this repurposed slaughterhouse and cattle market. Dimly lit, the dark water in the burned hall of Abierto X Obras reflects both the impressive space and the viewers who perambulate on wooden walkways along the walls. When dialing a number on their cell phones, observers trigger the production of small bubbling ripples in the otherwise still water. The participation of the audience is necessary to activate this installation, which seemingly opposes its title to its workings, in order to investigate issues of communication, community and democracy.

Wednesday – Room 2 – 18:00-19:30

1. Bill Balaskas (Kingston University, United Kingdom): A “Poor” Material: Water in Arte Povera and the Work of Jannis Kounellis

======As a commodity, water is probably the cheapest and most humble material that an artist could use. Thus, it is no surprise that it was adopted by many of the artists who started working within the radical tradition of Arte Povera during the 1960s and the 1970s. However, the use of water in the movement’s multifaceted practices has often been overshadowed by the use of land and its products. This is particularly true in the case of Jannis Kounellis – a key figure not only in Arte Povera, but in all forms of installation art of the last six decades. Kounellis became famous for his innovative and poetic employment of materials such as soil, coal, stones, wool, cotton and grains, and for the incorporation of living animals in his highly immersive “paintings”. Yet, water also played an important role in his practice, both as a physical presence and as a visual reference to notions of history, memory and human activity, which shifted from work to work. This paper will propose a reassessment of the role of water in the oeuvre of Jannis Kounellis as a way to illuminate the wider influence of the material on Arte Povera. At the same time, the paper will connect the function of water in Kounellis’s practice to the particular use of language by the artist, who went on, until the end of his life, to describe himself as a painter and his works as paintings.

2. Frederico Câmara (Independent artist and researcher based in Sydney, Australia): Gift: Attempts to Sweeten the Population of a City

======Gift: Attempts to Sweeten the Population of a City is a multi-channel video installation in which I pour honey into the lake that supplies drinking water to the city of Stuttgart, in Germany, during several occasions, wishing that my action will sweeten its population. The video is site-specific, using a water reservoir located in a natural reserve in the outskirts of the city as the site and material for the action performed. Essential to the project are the texts in its title and the reservoir sign that, in German, warns passers-by that: “This lake serves the drinking water supply of Stuttgart. Any contamination of the water and the shores is forbidden. Bathing, boat driving, animals swimming, and entering the lake when it is frozen is forbidden.” This symbolical act was a reference to my personal encounters and conflicts with the people of Stuttgart, the current fears of chemical weapons being used in warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the search for my purpose as an artist and the reach of my work.
======For this session, I propose to present a 3 min excerpt of the video (2003) followed by the paper (2021) on the context, content, methodology and contribution of this research project. The paper revisits the work in perspective, considering the circumstances of personal and collective conflict in which it was made, reflecting on responses from the public in reference to the false accusations of the poisoning of Germany’s water supplies by its Jewish population in WWII, and looking into what happened since, and what may happen in the future linking human conflict with water.
======This project was realised during a fellowship at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, in Stuttgart, Germany, and was exhibited there and at Galeria Noua, in Bucharest, Romania. For still images of this work, visit:

3. Fabiana Senkpiel (Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland): Life is a River in a Constant State of Flux: Curriculum (2004/2008) by Isabelle Krieg

======Contemporary Swiss artist Isabelle Krieg uses often organic matter in her artistic works: foodstuff as cocoa, bread, radish – and water: In Curriculum I (2004) the entire artist’s household is piled up to form a streambed: The water is running over her belongings and disappearing in her bed. Likewise, Curriculum II (2008) consists of the artist’s studio equipment, with a stream running through them.
======Leading questions will be: Which aspects of water as an artistic material and medium are being explored in these artworks? How can water be described here? In connection with which linguistic elements? When do the properties of water as a material and its properties as a medium come to the fore? How is this relationship to be understood in the work?
======Using the example of the intermedia-works Curriculum I and Curriculum II by Isabelle Krieg this paper aims to show in which way water – prerequisite for all organic life – as material can be linked to subject matter and interact with written and spoken/sung language and other materials to contribute to the accomplishment of the artwork’s meaning.

15. Seas and Oceans in Book Illustration from the 17th Century to the Present Day - Perilous Journeys

Seas and Oceans in Book Illustration from the 17th Century to the Present Day – Perilous Journeys

Chairs: Sophie Aymes (University of Bourgogne, France) & Nathalie Collé (University of Lorraine, France) & Brigitte Friant-Kessler (Polytechnic University Hauts de France, France) & Maxime Leroy (University of Haute-Alsace, France)

======This panel explores book illustration in literary, documentary or scientific works related to life near, at and under sea, from the 17th century to the present day, stressing on intermedial aspects of the topic from a synchronic or diachronic perspective and through a variety of genres (fantasy, novel, memoirs, poetry, caricature, comics, the picturesque, the documentary, etc.).
======From early travel narratives to contemporary reports of migrants’ itineraries, or children’s literature, life at sea, pirate stories, oceans and islands have been used as background settings. Imaginative designs and creativity related to piracy, life and survival on board ships abound from Daniel Defoe’s General History of Pyrates, to Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Robert Stevenson’s Treasure Island, up to Mervyn Peake’s children’s book featuring Captain Slaughterboard. As ships crossing the seven seas do so in treacherous environments, storms and shipwrecks will be interesting moments to select in order to discuss how authors and illustrators tackle them. Seen as a pictorial theme but also as a basis for narratives conveying curiosity, wonder or fear, seas and oceans go together with imaginary and mythical creatures such as sirens, gigantic squids or white whales. Travel narratives such as Charles Darwin’s or Captain Cook’s voyages for scientific purposes, and zoological plates in natural science books or sketches featuring marine life derived from those expeditions fall within our topic.
Broadly speaking, we focus on illustrations which critically reflect on social phenomena such as tourism, leisure or the role played by famous seaside resorts. We also engage with the specific role of illustration in conveying or representing major social change and ideology, sea-related power conflicts, the rise of empire and map making, or the control of maritime borders and harbours. Finally, this session seeks to examine how book illustrations are informed by the concepts of hybridity and intermediality, crossing and crossover, influence and change, in resonance with the fluid nature of the element.


Wednesday – Room 3 – 16:00-17:30

1. Xavier Fontaine (Princeton University, United States of America): Agitation maritime et rendu kaléidoscopique. Les récits de voyage de Charles De Coster dans Le Tour du monde

======Bien connu pour sa Légende d’Ulenspiegel (1867), vaste épopée fondatrice des lettres belges ressuscitant les anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux de la Renaissance, Charles De Coster (1827-1879) l’est moins pour ses récits de voyage dans les Pays-Bas actuels qu’il appelle la « Néerlande ». Publiés dès 1874 jusqu’en 1880 par Le Tour du monde, revue à succès dirigée par Édouard Charton pour Hachette et « dans laquelle l’image joua un rôle essentiel, à la fois preuve du voyage et moyen d’instruction » (Pierrette Chapelle, 2019), ces textes ont la particularité de privilégier des provinces composées de territoires encore largement insulaires à l’époque et constamment menacés par les eaux.
======Charles De Coster ne cherche pourtant pas tant à exposer la réalité qu’à l’« exotiser ». Les flots s’attaquant aux îles brouillent les frontières (où sont les terres, la mer, le ciel ?) et légitiment l’ouverture des vannes d’une perturbation généralisée des catégories : proximité vs distance (confusion entre Zélande et Nouvelle-Zélande, Néerlande et Indes néerlandaises), petit vs grand (superficies à géométrie variable), unification vs fragmentation (exacerbation des idiosyncrasies locales), présent vs passé (exaltation du XVIe siècle)… En définitive, les pérégrinations touristiques de l’auteur dans des contrées relativement proches – géographiquement et culturellement – des lecteurs se transforment en expéditions héroïques bigarrées à vocation ethnographique et transcendant l’espace-temps.
======Face à ce constat, les illustrations méritent toute l’attention. Donnant la part belle à des artistes de renom (Adolphe Dillens, Xavier Mellery), dont les croquis in situ sont repris sous forme de gravures, elles occupent une place imposante. Jouent-elles le jeu du texte ou le tempèrent-elles parfois ? Quels effets sont générés en termes d’expérience de lecture ? Et comment, enfin, cette expérience peut-elle faire sens ?

2. Jean-Michel Galland (National School of Charters, France): La mer démontée : un décryptage bourdieusien de l’œuvre de Jean-Gabriel Daragnès

======Ce jeu de mot sur la « mer démontée », emprunté à Raymond Devos, introduit cette communication relevant de la théorie de l’illustration.
======Jean-Gabriel Daragnès (1886-1950) fut tour à tour illustrateur, directeur artistique de La Banderole et chez Émile-Paul frères puis concepteur et imprimeur d’ouvrages illustrés de prestige. Marin lui-même, parcourant la Méditerranée à bord de son voilier, le Jean-Gab, Daragnès fut également un peintre de la Marine. Nombre des ouvrages qu’il illustra ont donc trait à la mer, depuis À bord de l’Étoile Matutine de son ami Pierre Mac Orlan (1920) jusqu’au Cimetière marin que l’artiste dédia, en 1948, à son mentor Paul Valéry, décédé quelques années plus tôt.
======Nous nous proposons d’exposer de manière très synthétique un « modèle » bourdieusien de l’illustration littéraire de l’entre-deux-guerres établi dans le cadre d’un doctorat en cours. Cette approche conceptuelle, à la fois théorique et expérimentale, du champ de l’illustration a été bâtie sur la base, notamment, de l’étude des parcours et des publications de trois éditeurs ou directeurs artistiques de collections, Clément Serveau, au titre des séries illustrées « grand public », Daragnès pour le « livre d’illustrateur » et Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler pour le « livre de peintre ». Le modèle développé s’avère à même de rendre compte des caractéristiques (modalités d’appariement artiste-auteur, forme des images, rapport images-texte, etc.) de la plupart des publications de la période.
======La genèse et la forme des ouvrages illustrés par Daragnès seront ensuite expliquées à l’aide de ce formalisme, décryptant ainsi le parcours professionnel et esthétique de l’artiste. Plusieurs des œuvres citées au cours de cette analyse auront bien sûr pour thème la mer.

3. Nicolas Hebbinckuys (University of Waterloo, Canada): Traverser l’Atlantique au début du XVIIe siècle : Poétique du « franchissement transocéanique » dans le genre viatique

======Le XVIIe siècle marque un tournant dans l’histoire de l’Amérique du Nord : jusque-là préservé de l’influence européenne, cet immense territoire voit alors affluer une multitude d’explorateurs venus dans l’espoir de bâtir un monde nouveau. Pourtant, avant même de pouvoir s’y établir, les aventuriers doivent d’abord vaincre la Mer Océaneet surmonter maintes péripéties. Les conditions difficiles à bord, le manque d’hygiène, la promiscuité, les accidents, les attaques de pirates, les tempêtes meurtrières ou les icebergs constituent autant de motifs viatiques que les relationnaires se plaisent à décrire. Et pour répondre à l’inconnu transatlantique, certains chroniqueurs n’hésitent pas à représenter des écueils fantasmagoriques comme en témoignent les cartes et les gravures qui illustrent leurs récits. Contrairement aux explorateurs du XVIe siècle qui ne se sont guère épanchés à partager leur perception de l’Atlantique – pensons à Verrazano (1524), Cartier (1534-1535) ou Laudonnière (1564) –, les voyageurs du début du Grand Siècle comme Lescarbot, Champlain, Biard ou Sagard racontent en détail leurs tribulations sur la Mer Océane. Ils n’hésitent pas, parfois, à amplifier la description pour augmenter la tension dramatique d’un récit. Loin de n’être qu’un simple interstice dans la relation de voyage, l’épisode de la traversée se métamorphose alors en une odyssée à part entière d’où se dégage une « poétique du franchissement ». En étudier les mécanismes discursifs (textuels et visuels) démontre que l’Atlantique du XVIIe siècle est un espace-temps hors du commun puisque sa traversée constitue aussi bien la condition sine qua non au bon déroulement de l’ensemble du périple que la première (et la dernière) des épreuves initiatiques. Dans une perspective comparative, nous proposons d’examiner l’épreuve de la traversée atlantique dans quelques relations de voyage sur une période qui s’étire de la fondation de l’Acadie (1604) à la première chute de Québec (1632).

16. Seas and Oceans in Book Illustration from the 17th Century to the Present Day - The Sea from Cartography to Poetics

Seas and Oceans in Book Illustration from the 17th Century to the Present Day – The Sea from Cartography to Poetics

Chairs: Sophie Aymes (University of Bourgogne, France) & Nathalie Collé (University of Lorraine, France) & Brigitte Friant-Kessler (Polytechnic University Hauts de France, France) & Maxime Leroy (University of Haute-Alsace, France)

======We invite contributions that explore book illustration in literary, documentary or scientific works related to life near, at and under sea, from the 17th century to the present day. We welcome papers that discuss the topic across media. The presentations may examine the thematic, technical, editorial and intermedial aspects of the topic from a synchronic or diachronic perspective and through a variety of genres (fantasy, novel, memoirs, poetry, caricature, comics, the picturesque, the documentary, etc.). Alltheoretical approaches are welcome.
======From early travel narratives to contemporary reports of migrants’ itineraries, or children’s literature, life at sea, pirate stories, oceans and islands have been used as background settings. Imaginative designs and creativity related to piracy, life and survival on board ships abound from Daniel Defoe’s General History of Pyrates, to Coleridge’sRime of the Ancient Mariner, Robert Stevenson’s Treasure Island, up to Mervyn Peake’s children’s book featuring Captain Slaughterboard. As ships crossing the seven seas do so in treacherous environments, storms and shipwrecks will be interesting moments to select in order to discuss how authors and illustrators tackle them. Seen as a pictorial theme but also as a basis for narratives conveying curiosity, wonder or fear, seas and oceans go together with imaginary and mythical creatures such as sirens, gigantic squids or white whales. Papers may also explore travel narratives such as Charles Darwin’s or Captain Cook’s voyages for scientific purposes. Zoological plates in natural science books or sketches featuring marine life derived from those expeditions may be considered.
==00==Broadly speaking, proposals in which illustrations critically reflect on social phenomena such as tourism, leisure or the role played by famous seaside resorts, will be considered. Participants may engage with the specific role of illustration in conveying or representing major social change and ideology, sea-related power conflicts, the rise of empire and map making, or the control of maritime borders and harbours. Finally, this session seeks to examine how book illustrations are informed by the concepts of hybridity and intermediality, crossing and crossover, influence and change, in resonance with the fluid nature of the element.


Wednesday – Room 3 – 18:00-19:30

1. Sophie Aymes (University of Bourgogne, France): “A Little Deeper into the Sea”: William Hyde’s Illustrations to Ford Madox Ford’s the Cinque Ports

======The broad aim of this paper is to explore the representation of the sea in its interaction with the coastline of the British Isles. It focuses on Ford Madox Ford [Hueffer]’s The Cinque Ports (Blackwood and Sons, 1900) illustrated by the English artist William Hyde (1857-1925).
======The original Cinque (i.e. “five”) Ports are located on the English southern coast: Hastings, Sandwich, Dover, Romney and Hythe, to which have been added Rye and Winchelsea. They were granted specific “liberties” by royal charter in the 13th century and they used to provide a line of defence against invasion as well as a point of entry into England. Ford set out to chronicle their history at the time when he was engaging in his collaboration with Joseph Conrad, a defining moment in his development of literary impressionism. In the dedication to The Cinque Ports, he addresses the relation between the historian’s accuracy and the writer’s suggestiveness, a stance that paved the way for his Soul of London (1905), which he intended to be illustrated by Hyde.
======An expensive book, The Cinque Ports contains 23 illustrations, including 14 photogravure plates. A process combining photography and etching, photogravure had been used to reproduce Hyde’s illustrations to Alice Meynell’s London Impressions (Constable, 1898). For both volumes, he collaborated with the Scottish inventor and entrepreneur Donald Cameron-Swan (1863-1951) of the Swan Electric Engraving Company. Although those illustrations capture the atmospheric smog of an urban setting, they share with the Cinque Ports plates the fluid texture that conveys the watery appearance of clouds, mist and the sea. Like London, “the merest abstraction” (The Soul of London 10), the sea defies definition and delineation. It prevents any stable mapping of the shifting coastline exposed to silting, tides and erosion. Looking at how Hyde’s illustrations combine clearness and fuzziness, stability and changeability, this paper will explore their intermedial status in relation to the natural interaction between the coastline and the sea, as well as the textual interplay between historical chronicle and impressionist record.

2. Monica Tilea (University of Craiova, Romania): Le punctum poïétique d’une mer indéfinie

======Incité par le nébuleux de « l’horrible en dedans-en dehors qu’est le vrai espace » (Michaux 1954), l’écrivain-peintre Henri Michaux vogue in(dé)finiment entre les confins de cet espace ambigu. En 1929, à la suite d’une année de voyage en Amérique du Sud, il publie Ecuador, livre d’un « déplacement géopoétique » (Martin 1994) qui porte, dans son péritexte, le sous-titre « Journal de voyage ». En considérant, à l’instar de Paul Valéry, que « l’homme vit et se meut dans ce qu’il voit, mais il ne voit que ce qu’il songe », nous interrogerons ce journal/nocturnal, où l’expérience du voyage fusionne avec celle de l’écriture, afin d’identifier le punctum barthien du spectacle maritime qui point le créateur Henri Michaux. Cette recherche se situera dans une perspective poétique/poïétique (Valéry 1938, Passeron 1996, Mavrodin 1998) et dans la proximité d’une approche intermédiale de la création (Louvel 2010). Dans un premier temps, nous examinerons le plissage de la ligne du dehors sur le dedans michaudien et nous analyserons la manière dont la défiguration/refiguration de la mer indéfinie et monotone conduit le nomade Michaux devant la leçon de la mort possible, tout en favorisant l’apparition du dédoublement créateur. Nous proposons, ensuite, de voir comment l’eau transgresse l’expérience vécue et devient matériau pictural des aquarelles de Michaux. Les témoignages d’Émergences-Résurgences (Michaux 1972) représenteront le principal point d’appui de cette partie de notre analyse. Nous conclurons que le voyage maritime de Michaux est un « événement » (Deleuze & Guattari 1991) qui s’actualise dans son poiein, un « antre d’où tout peut surgir, où il faut tout chercher » (Michaux 1972) et qui se trouve en constante relation avec les tréfonds de son faire scriptural et pictural.

17. Verbal and Visual Representations of the Pacific Ocean and Its Islands

Verbal and Visual Representations of the Pacific Ocean and Its Islands

Chair: Tatiana Smoliarova (University of Toronto, Canada)

======Of all the four (or five) parts of the World Ocean only the Pacific owes its name not to its location, but to its character and behavior – i.e. to its own image (as we all know, Magellan called it Mar Pacifico in 1521, feeling lucky to find the waters peaceful). The largest and the deepest ocean of all, the Pacific, with its innumerable islands, is also the greatest source of myths, legends, and beliefs. As the title indicates, the proposed panel will examine verbal and visual representations of the Pacific and the islands in the Early Modern Period, with a special focus on the 18th century.
======Scientific accounts and personal memoirs of the navigation of the Pacific provide us with a vast array of possible forms of coexistence of Word and Image: maps and charts with their allegorical cartouches, narrative vignettes, and explanatory legends; Natural History illustrations and painted landscapes; emblems and symbols,ekphraseis and verbal programs, etc. European Exploration of the South Pacific and its representations – first and foremost, the three trips of James Cook and the paintings of John Webber – have been explored in great detail (from Bernard Smith’s groundbreaking study European vision and the South Pacific, 1768-1850 (1960) – all the way through the recent Cook and the Pacific (2018), an annotated catalogue of the homonymous exhibition at the National Library of Australia). We know less about the Northern Sea Route, its history and mythology, and the role it played in the emergence of Russian national identity in the 18th century.
At the same time, the accounts of the two Kamchatka expeditions of Vitus Bering, and especially the journal of his Secretary George Wilhelm Steller, who participated in the second one, contain crucial materials on the respective roles of verbal and visual information in the formation of the image of the Pacific. Mikhail Lomonosov, Russian polymath and court poet, described one of the remotest regions of the Russian empire in his ode of 1747 thus: “There, sown with multitudes of islands, / The Ocean is like a River;/ Decked in heavenly blue, /The raven puts the peacock to shame…” (the raven “decked in heavenly blue” seems to be echoing the incredible blueness of the Corvus Stelleri, otherwise known as “the Blue Jay”). Poor Steller died before Russian Academy of Sciences agreed to send him several grams of ultramarine he requested in order to depict his discovery.
How do people figure the unknown and the unthinkable? Which verbal sources do they use to create “missing” pictures? How does the “Art of Memory” work in the ever-changing space of the sea? The panel will consist of two sessions. One will be dedicated to Oceania; the other one will focus on the European discovery of the Northwest coast of America. The panel stands at the crossroads of at least two “big” themes of the conference: “Scientific or imaginary cartography” and “Graphic Novel and Comics” on the other (a curious instance of the afterlife of Steller’s Journal is a graphic novel The Island of Memory (2013) by the North American cartoonist Edward Bak).


Wednesday – Room 4 – 16:00-17:30

 1. Daniel Gane (Newcastle University, United Kingdom): Describing the Ocean and the Journals of 18th Century Pacific Exploration

======This paper looks at the description of the ocean in the journals of Pacific exploration between 1764 and 1771 by the British mariners John Byron, Samuel Wallis, Philip Carteret and James Cook. These texts showed a developing language of oceanic description found in the technical language of navigation, the narrative of maritime practice and the community of the ship. It was appropriate that it was the Pacific Ocean that these mariners were tasked with exploring and describing. They had to contend with a mostly unknown and uncertain space and usually conceived in the Western cultural imagination as an emptiness or void to be filled with land. However, rooted in its practical application, the view from the ship resisted the temptation to fill the void with imagined land and began to fix the idea of an indeterminate space. I explore how the navigational description and the record of events in the journals engaged with that emptiness and began to delineate a sense of the oceanic experience. The different areas of interaction at the coast, in the island encounters and in the open ocean changed the experience and the way in which it might be described. The mariner’s view reversed the usual perspective to look out from the sea to the land so that the land could become the distanced other. Essentially though the texts were a narrative of work and this came to define not only the ocean space but also the mariners’ identities.

2. Richard Hobbs (University of Bristol, United Kingdom): Time and Place in Gauguin’s Avant et après

======Gauguin’s versatility with means and materials of expression, including words, has been explored increasingly in recent years. His last book, Avant et après, written in 1903 in the Marquesas Islands, breaks free from literary norms to present a disjunctive combination of memories and reflections, accompanied by reproductions of 27 of his drawings, almost all of explicitly Polynesian subject matter. It is a compilation, rather than a narrative, establishing dynamics between the past and the present, the distant and the near. It is very different from his Tahitian book Noa Noa, being an exploration of temporal and spatial thresholds. More than half a century earlier, Hermann Melville had written his first novel, Typee, about the Marquesas and his second, Omoo, about the wanderer travelling the ocean from there, including landfall in Tahiti. “Omoo”, a Marquesan word meaning a wanderer, is consistent with the persona Gauguin is adopting. This paper will analyse Avant et après as a Polynesian work and will seek to relate it to the frameworks of Oceania, the recent major exhibition in London (2018, Royal Academy) and Paris (2019, Musée du Quai Branly) that marked the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first voyage in the South Seas. It will emphasise the differences between Gauguin’s Marquesan writings and his Tahitian ones. It will show the similarities and differences between Gauguin’s use of travel and those of contemporary artists in France: “itinérances artistiques”, “villégiature”, the symbiosis of studio and landscape. It will also seek to show that Avant et après is of particular significance as a Word & Image case study, in that the drawings included by Gauguin are in dialogue with his text and enable a dynamic of movement in time between word and image, making the book generically a complex exploration rather than a memoir or autobiography.

3. Aurélien Lorig (University of Lorraine, France): Octave Mirbeau : une représentation littéraire et artistique des eaux au service de l’écriture réfractaire

======Au tournant du XIXe siècle, Mirbeau brise les images convenues qui aliènent l’individu. Contes et romans mirbeliens cherchent à mettre en évidence les « plaies secrètes » des existences. La vision du temps, de l’histoire et du destin de cet écrivain audacieux fait de lui un augure des profondeurs du Maëlstrom (Jünger, Le Mur du temps) littéraire fin-de-siècle. Ce tourbillon des idées, Mirbeau s’y plonge en développant un imaginaire aquatique où le motif marin fait sens. La représentation des mers, tout en interrogeant sur le sort de l’individu, offre aux lecteurs bien plus que le reflet d’une inhumaine condition. La mer est d’abord pour Mirbeau une étendue à explorer. Personnifié (Le Calvaire), l’espace marin est celui du désir d’un voyage sur les mers lointaines (Le Jardin des supplices). Mirbeau les franchit et projette notre imaginaire vers les continents baignés d’eaux (La 628-E8). Toutefois, cette incitation à la découverte ne doit pas faire oublier que la mer pour Mirbeau est également objet de contemplation. Admiratif des paysages maritimes impressionnistes (Monet), Mirbeau reproduit dans l’écriture le spectacle visuel et artistique d’une mer tantôt romantique et tourmentée (Dans le ciel), tantôt prosaïque (Les Vingt et un jour d’un neurasthénique). Les couleurs, la variété des espaces (Bretagne, Normandie, Alpes-Maritimes), ainsi que le mouvement des eaux, sont à la fois lieux amènes et locus terribilis (Le Journal d’une femme de chambre) à l’origine de contes cruels (Kervilahouen, Les Eaux muettes). Cette universelle souffrance ouvre, telle une toile impressionniste, le chemin de la poésie mirbelienne des eaux. Analogies, forces occultes d’Éros et de Thanatos, amertume de la mer, fantasmagories et figures emblématiques (pêcheurs, pirates) sont autant d’éléments qui donnent in fine à cette « divinité maritime gigantesque et changeante » une valeur littéraire indéniable à l’heure du décadentisme.

4. Andrey Kostin (National State University Higher School of Economics St. Petersburg, Russia): Puddle, Path and Poetry: Lomonosov’s Verbal Imagination of Transcontinental Navigation

======Russian polymath Mikhail Lomonosov (1711-1765) had never seen Atlantic, Indian of Pacific oceans, but throughout all his life he was obsessed with transcontinental navigation, ending his life with elaborating a visionary project of reaching America and India through the Northern Ocean. Lomonosov’s project is well known to the historians of Northern navigation, but there is an aspect in it which does not get much attention. Although Lomonosov had put much effort in developing means for visualising ocean (both measurement devices and cartography), his visual notion of the sea and ocean, it seems, was formed by verbal narratives and poetical tropes. The paper will present an analysis of Lomonosov complex usage of words like ‘pudlle’, ‘river’, ‘stream’, ‘current’, ‘shores’, etc. in his poetry, history and geography writings, offering an insight in the ways of how poetical vision formed early modern discourse of navigation and hydrography.

18. All Is Lost: Shipwrecks in the Contemporary Imagination

All Is Lost: Shipwrecks in the Contemporary Imagination

Chairs: Philippe Kaenel (University of Lausanne, Switzerland) & Laurence Roussillon-Constanty (University of Pau and the Pays de l’Adour, France)

======From the scandal surrounding the Raft of the Medusa (1816) to the tragic drifting of boat people and the sinking of the Titanic, shipwrecks have long made the headlines and been the focus of attention, inspiring a significant collection in the history of cultural, artistic and social representations (Carl Thompson, 2014). In numerous canonical occidental narratives (by Victor Hugo, Edgar Allan Poe, Coleridge or Mallarmé) as much as in recent films (such as All is Lost, The Life of Pi or in the several revisits of Melville’s epic novel Moby-Dick), the shipwreck survivor has also often been depicted as the central figure.
======From a formal and phenomenological point of view, the very situation of a shipwreck entails a specific point of view or camera angle that highlights and question the technical set-up of artistic production (Hans Blumenberg, 1997). Narrative or filming devices will either immerse the spectator or constrain her/him in the confined space of a raft or lifeboat; in the same fashion, the description or view of the open sea or else an obstructed horizon line will lead to the loss of one’s spatial and temporal bearings so that the shipwreck itself becomes an alternative place – or, in Michel Foucault’s words, a heterotopia – where humans may experience the limitations of their physical and moral nature (as exemplified in cases of cannibalism) and test the limits of their humanity.

======Our session addresses all the media and genres from the novel, poetry, illustration, comic books to painting, photography and film.


Wednesday – Room 4 – 18:00-19:30

1. Roy Grundmann (Boston University, United States of America): Goebbels’ Ghost in History’s Anteroom: Titanic (1943)

======In 1943, the Nazis made their version of Titanic as anti-British propaganda. Why Goebbels refused to release the costly production in Germany is unknown and adds to the film’s mystique, as does the tragedy of the ship used as setting, the Cap Arcona. A prominent paquebot before the war, in 1945 it housed (along with smaller ships) thousands of concentration camp inmates. Three days after Hitler’s death, this fleet became one of the RAF’s last bombing targets. 8,000-10,000 people perished, nearly 5000 on the Cap Arcona alone.
======Using Cap Arcona gives Titanic an uncanny indexicality. The sinking scene, which features cameos scurrying across the deck and jumping in the water, eerily anticipates the ship’s actual destruction, seemingly laying claim to a referent it cannot know, turning fictional characters into revenants avant la lettre. But how legitimate is this claim? I debate it by situating Titanic at the intersection of cinema and historiography. I place two theories in dialogue: Jacques Derrida’s notion of hauntology and Siegfried Kracauer’s concept of history’s anteroom.
======Hauntology helps us understand how Titanic’s terrified passengers transmogrify from ghosts, which Goebbels’s propaganda conjured from the past, into specters that haunted his own historical moment. But while their address to the living seems prophetic, they do not foretell Cap Arcona’s sinking: they are not specific secrets to be solved but represent secrecy as a condition of unknowability, a motor that drives speculation about the film to this day. To relate Derrida’s hauntology specifically to history and to film, I turn to Kracauer’s observation that both “share their inherently provisional character with the material they record, explore, and penetrate.” The sinking scene’s visual excess achieves the qualities of indeterminacy and endlessness Kracauer ascribes to film and to history. Pointing to a hidden material continuum between the dead and the living, the scene’s vivid close-ups undermine the film’s final mise-en-scene of tragedy (as designed by the Nazis), a nocturnal long shot view of the survivors watching the ship sink. I argue that the film amends the semantics of the shipwreck as traced by Blumenberg (who dialogued with Kracauer) with Kracauer’s own image of a historical reality revealing itself to us precisely by emerging from darkness. Titanicthus inadvertently exemplifies what Kracauer terms history’s anteroom: a waiting room, a place for chance encounters between history’s forgotten victims that literally gives spectators pause, and that identifies history’s hidden, discontinuous realities as the true subject of historiography.

2. Ronit Milano (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel): Visualizing the Invisible: Damien Hirst’s Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable

======In 2017 British artist Damian Hirst exhibited in Venice Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable. The show presented the ancient collection of the fictional collector Cif Amotan II, which was allegedly drawn by Hirst’s divers from the wreck of Amotan’s ship, near the East African coast. Visitors to the exhibition had witnessed the ancient objects, covered with corals and damaged by almost two thousand years in the deep sea, unaware that the story was generated by Hirst’s imagination and both the objects and the reconstruction of the ship were fake. The Unbelievable, which was presented to the viewers as the name of the ship, was a metaphor for Hirst’s own consciousness – an imaginary space represented by the sea and by the shipwrecks. For Hirst, the main concern of the show was the concept of belief – the embracing of a story, based on fragments of reality or of knowledge. This paper, in contrast, will employ this show and the idea of the shipwreck in order to discuss the concepts of visuality and visibility in contemporary Western culture.
======Based on Whitney Davis’s distinction between what is cultural about vision, and what is visual about culture, this paper will theorize the wreck as a cultural possibility to visualize the invisible. By analyzing the exhibition, its reception, and Hirst’s mockumentary film which follows the (fake) story behind the exhibition, I will discuss the way “the visual” in contemporary culture shapes our perception of reality, and how it brings about the dissolving into one another of the concepts: reality/fiction/truth. Ultimately, I will suggest that the imagined shipwreck constitutes a conceptual site, wherein the real and the fictional – by becoming equally visible – can be integrated and reconceptualized as “truth”, through the idea of the visual.

3. Vega Tescari (Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland): Shipwreck with Spectator: Claudio Parmiggiani’s Oeuvre

======Taking as its focus the oeuvre of Claudio Parmiggiani (1943), this paper aims at exploring the various ways in which the imaginary of shipwrecks and the dimensions associated to it are developed and re-interpreted by the Italian artist. Translating the maritime ruinous horizon, from the open sea to closed exhibition spaces, being it a deconsecrated church or a museum room, and by means of various typologies of works, Parmiggiani has developed a poetics about ontological issues such as individual and collective history, time and space, memory and archive. His installation Naufragio con spettatore (2011) – a title echoing Hans Blumenberg’s 1979 book Shipwreck with Spectator– shows an enormous ship stranded on a stack of books inside the deconsecrated church of San Marcellino in Parma; questioning the role of knowledge, individual engagement and activating a deep relationship between the oeuvre and the space hosting it. Caspar David Friedrich (1989) consists of black monochrome canvasses in the shape of a boat that was suspended in the air in the chapel of La Vieille-Charité in Marseilles in 1995. It is an iron anchor lodged in a wall in Nel cuore (1998) and an anchor suspended above a sea of broken glass in Porto (2007). Parmiggiani’s “shipwrecks” are silent spectacles devoid of human presences, where absence and silent questioning resonate, as in Il faro d’Islanda (2000), a solitary lighthouse in a vast and empty landscape.
======Through the analysis of Parmiggiani’s works and writings, this paper will thus examine how the imaginary of sea and shipwrecks gives meaning to a unique artistic and theoretical journey.

Literature / Myths / Arts / Heritage – Thursday, July 15

19. Northern Seas in Word and Image

Northern Seas in Word and Image

Chairs: Claire McKeown (University of Lorraine, France) & Thomas Mohnike (University of Strasbourg, France)

======This workshop aims to study text and image representations of Northern seas and to explore how these contribute to Northern European aesthetics and identity narratives. The challenge of representing water reflects the difficulty of characterising Northern spaces, as the confusion between terms like “Scandinavian”, “Nordic”, and “Northern” suggests. Northern European countries are defined by a repertory of mythemes related to the sea – cliffs and beaches, the Vikings, maritime trade – demonstrating its importance for both aesthetics and identity politics.
======Many canonical representations of Northern Europe focus on marine elements. Norse mythology provides images of the sea as a destructive or seductive force, reflected by painters like Henry Fuseli, Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann and Nils Blommér. The Skagen group represent Denmark through fishing scenes, while Northern German seascapes are key to Caspar David Friedrich’s iconic contribution to Romantic painting. The Norwegian fjord setting is essential to Karen Blixen’s Babette’s Feast, but replaced by Jutland in the cinematic adaptation. The French expedition “La Recherche” produced images and texts rendering Northern seas in paradigmatic ways.
======We particularly address the connections between art and writing, for example through the Skagen painters’ links with literature, impressionist authors like Herman Bang and J.P. Jacobsen, August Strindberg’s experimentation with photography and painting, H.C. Andersen and William Morris’s travel writing or Marcel Broodthaers’s intermedial work A Voyage on the North Sea. We hope to show how fluctuating definitions of Northernness are reflected in the interplay between text and image.
======This panel tries to answer the following issues: Which recurring images and mythemes are associated with Northern waters? How do writers’ and artists’ treatments of Northern seas reflect the complex identity of these spaces? How do these participate in the construction of imaginative geographies? How do intermedial connections establish links and distinctions between different Northern and Nordic spaces?


Thursday -Room 1 – 14:00-15:30

1. Davide Finco (University of Genova, Italy): On Freedoms, Dreams, Wisdom, Life: Björn Larsson’s Northern Sea(s)

======In the last two decades, Björn Larsson (b. 1953) has been one of the most popular Scandinavian authors in Italy: he often visits our country, is frequently interviewed, and most works of his have been translated into Italian. First young bohemian in Paris, then professor of French literature in Lund, his life is deeply connected with the sea, as he spent long periods sailing in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Some of his novels deal therefore with the sea – even though he does not like to be labelled as a ‘sea-writer’ – and sea recurs even as a metaphor for his writing: for instance, a short book where he tells about his relationship with literature and the genesis of his works, and which was directly published in Italian, is entitled Diario di bordo di uno scrittore (2014, A Writer’s Logbook). In Larsson’s novels and essays, Northern seas are experienced as just one example of what sea in general can offer human beings in terms of freedom from any boundaries and intimate relation with nature; at the same time, however, since his first literary attempts Larsson seems to have pointed out (or built up) an expansion of the Northern dimension when approaching life by and on the sea: this broader image has much to do with the traces of ancient Celts’ culture (Den keltiska ringen, 1992, The Celtic Ring), as well as with his characters’ destinies and ambitions (Drömmar vid havet, 1997, Dreams by the Sea) and, not least, his direct accounts (Från vredens kap till jordens ände, 2001, Cape Wrath to Finisterre). On the whole, his contributions provide an organic and fascinating image of Northern Seas (from Denmark to Scotland, from Ireland to Galice) as an endless source of adventures, mysteries, reflections on human existence.

2. Christelle Serée-Chaussinand (University of Bourgogne, France): Of Whales and Men: Caitríona O’Reilly’s Septentrional Voyage in The Sea Cabinet (2006)

======The title-poem of Caitríona O’Reilly’s second collection – The Sea Cabinet – is a sequence of five ekphrastic pieces paying tribute to the city of Hull’s past as a major whaling port. As she perambulates through the galleries of the Maritime Museum, the Irish poetess is inspired by all the paraphernalia on display: skeletons of various species of whales, whaler’s tools but also journals, logbooks, paintings, illustrations and hundreds of examples of the folk art and mythemes of the whaler. From one poem to the next, O’Reilly depicts the northernness of the Arctic Ocean as eery but bewitching otherness, focusing on illustrations of Captain Graville’s whaling ship ice-trapped in Greenlandic waters, on an aquatic curio and nineteenth century headcasts of Eskimos, not to mention evocations of the mythical narwhal or “sea unicorn”, the white beluga and the sperm whale. Explicit allusions to Melville’s Moby-Dick, Hugh MacDiarmid and the Islamic tradition according to which the earth is carried on a whale’s back introduce side literary paradigms, expanding and complexifying O’Reilly’s vivid tableau of Northern waters and their conquest.
======This paper proposes to examine how O’Reilly balances the wonders and dangers of the Arctic, its ambivalence and that of its conquerors in her poetic polyptych. It thus aims to explore her interest in icy wilderness harbouring extraordinary marine biodiversity; civilization and progress navigating through territories at the edge of, or beyond, culture; adventure and heroism vitiated by covetousness and forgery; conquest fascinated by, but ultimately suppressing, alterity.

Thursday – Room 1 – 16:00-17:30

1. Maria Hansson (University Paris-Sorbonne / Paris IV, France): L’eau et les rêves. Blommér vu par Victoria Benedictsson

======Pengar (L’Argent) de Victoria Benedictsson, contient quelques-unes des idées nouvelles sur l’émancipation de la femme nordique de la fin du XIXe siècle. L’héroïne, comme l’auteur, se destine à être peintre, mais, comme dans le roman, ses parents s’y opposent. L’art reste pourtant un élément important dans Pengar. En effet, à deux reprises, la jeune héroïne contemple le même tableau, représentant un paysage aquatique peuplé des créatures surnaturelles d’un très grand artiste suédois : Näcken och Ägirs döttrar (Le Neck et les filles d’Ægir) de Nils Blommér (1850).
======Cette communication propose d’étudier une représentation visuelle de la mer du Nord et d’explorer sa contribution à un récit identitaire. L’eau permet à l’héroïne de comprendre la situation de la femme et sa propre place dans cette société qui n’est pas encore celle du folkhem. Nous verrons que le neck est la figuration allégorique d’une peur, difficile à représenter, de l’érotisme accompagnant le mariage et finalement les désillusions qu’il entraîne. Là où, enfant, l’héroïnne voyait que le motif féerique, elle lit, la seconde fois, toutes les désillusions féminines de l’âge adulte.

2. Anders Löjdström (University of Lille, France): Le Kattegat dans les glaces : la mer dans Les Écus du messire Arne de Selma Lagerlöf

======Le territoire littéraire de Selma Lagerlöf, qui vient immédiatement à l’esprit du lecteur, est le Värmland imaginaire qui s’ouvre au début de Gösta Berlings saga et auquel l’autrice revient fidèlement tout au long de son œuvre. C’est une contrée couverte de forêts autour des lacs de Löven. Cet univers imaginaire peut toutefois s’étendre, et, même si la mer peut en sembler éloignée, elle fournit le décor à un des récits les plus célèbres de Lagerlöf, Herr Arnes penningar, paru pour la première fois en 1904. La communication proposée vise à mettre en évidence le rôle que joue le cadre maritime dans le récit, de même que son rapport avec l’imaginaire lagerlövien, de l’utilisation personnelle d’une légende populaire à sa valeur symbolique en lien avec des motifs comme l’amour, le sacrifice et le rachat. L’analyse proposée est essentiellement littéraire, mais des références aux différentes adaptations cinématographiques du récit pourront venir appuyer et éclairer le propos.

3. Roger Marmus (University Paris-Sorbonne / Paris IV, France): « Till Havs ! Till Havs ! » Appel du large et retour au rivage dans le manuel scolaire suédois Läsebok för folkskolan (1868)

======Pour comprendre le fol engouement des Suédois pour les horizons marins, il est bon d’avoir à l’esprit l’ensemble des lieux de mémoire qui ont mis en exergue et entretenu une telle passion. Avec raison, on peut étudier les grandes épopées historiques (les Vikings), lire les œuvres fondamentales, ou observer le patrimoine pictural du Nord, pour y trouver les manifestations pures du roman « national », celui des poètes patriotes du « Norden » qui ont eu à cœur de souligner chez les gens du cru l’esprit aventurier, l’ivresse des vents frais et des atmosphères iodées. Une fois cela reconnu, on pourra identifier d’autres forums, certes moins prestigieux, mais en sous-main aussi efficaces, ayant pu consolider et reproduire un tel tempérament, réel ou imaginé. Ainsi en va-t-il sûrement de l’école, qui a joué un rôle primordial dans l’ancrage des mythèmes liés à la mer (les capitaines au long cours, les vagues déchaînées, les hivernages morbides dans la mer glaciale, etc.). On peut même se demander s’il a existé un agent plus zélateur et plus dévoué que celle-ci, pour re(créer) et léguer de génération en génération les vocations maritimes, mais aussi paradoxalement des « désirs du rivage » (Alain Corbin) qu’on rattache aussi à l’esprit scandinave. Les historiens des mentalités, comme les sociologues de la littérature, ont su repérer parmi les discours autant instructifs qu’édificateurs, un ouvrage de base destiné aux élèves du primaire probablement plus déterminants que les autres pour enseigner le sens de la Nature, et incidemment la passion des paysages marins.
======Édité en Suède en 1868, un manuel tranche sur le commun des ouvrages d’apprentissage. Destiné aux classes primaires du petit peuple, il embrasse sur plusieurs centaines de pages l’ensemble des savoirs indispensables, à l’exception des mathématiques, nécessaires à un bon sujet de Sa Majesté. Rédigé dans une langue rigoureuse et séduisante à la fois émanant des meilleures plumes du moment (des intellectuels en vogue de l’époque, comme Geijer, Runeberg, Snoilsky, ont prêté leur concours à la rédaction de chapitres), et accompagné d’illustrations copieuses et avenantes, le document, initié par le « département ecclésiastique » (en réalité le « ministère de l’Instruction »), a connu un authentique succès durant plusieurs décennies (comparable en terme de notoriété à son pendant continental, le fameux manuel français, Le Tour de la France par deux enfants, de G. Bruno, et ce avec une dizaine d’années d’avance sur ce dernier, paru en 1877).
======L’objet de notre proposition serait d’analyser dans les différentes éditions de ce livre les procédés littéraires et iconographiques qui ont permis d’affirmer, non sans arrière-pensées idéologiques « scandinavistes », l’idée d’un peuple dont le destin a aussi partie liée avec la promesse des pontons et des bateaux.

20 The River: Reality, Myth, and Metaphor

The River: Reality, Myth, and Metaphor

Chair: Véronique Plesch (Colby College, United States of America)

======From the Jordan of Christ’s Baptism, the Danube, Nile, Ganges, and Rio de la Plata of Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, to the Seine and the Thames of the Impressionists, rivers abound in art and literature. Four rivers of Paradise and five rivers of Hades – rivers of life and rivers of death: rivers play a crucial role in mythology and religion. Not only at times positive and at others negative, some rivers can be both myth and reality, as in the case of Hades’s Acheron, also a real river in Greece. The Seine, Sequana for the Romans, was a goddess and her source was a site for offerings. Beyond the simple question of how rivers, whether real, mythological, or metaphorical are represented in art and literature, and what are the many forms and functions they adopt in their artistic embodiments, this panel aims at exploring the multifarious nature and function of rivers.
======We address case studies in which rivers are central to the artist’s message and/or practice, merging attentive observation and rendering, verbal and visual metaphors (in particular the very powerful image of the source in language), or even in scientific analysis, with deeper meanings; depictions going beyond the visual and/or literary translation of a fluvial motif. The river may be a metaphor and a formal organizing principle, as in Charles Sandison’s The River (2010), a computer-generated installation that makes words from a myriad of world languages flow on the Musée du Quai Branly’s ramp, using the age-old metaphor of the River of Life.


Thursday – Room 2 – 14:00-15:30

1. Véronique Plesch (Colby College, United States of America): The River of Life: Drawing Lessons from Thomas Cole in Images and Words

======Although at first glance Reverend Jared B. Waterbury’s The Voyage of Life; Suggested by Cole’s Celebrated Allegorical Paintings, published in 1852 in Boston, would not strike the 21st century reader as great literature, as a word-and-image case study, it is fascinating in many ways. The book is based on the Voyage of Life, a series of four paintings by Thomas Cole, in which a figure (symbolizing Childhood, Youth, Manhood, and Old Age) travels by boat on the River of Life. Each age is set to a different time of day and a different season and the river’s course, quiet at first, becomes ever more turbulent as the traveler approaches his demise.  Waterbury’s book bears witness to the success of Cole’s series and its consideration, along with a copy of the series’ second painting made by a 22-year old lady in 1854, fleshes out our understanding of the visual, moral, devotional, and even political culture of a 19th century well-to-do young lady from a provincial town in Central Maine. Further tying to our conference’s theme of water, my personal copy of Waterbury’s book holds the bookplate of the Boston-based American Seamen’s Friend Society and an inscription left by a reader, who was a Mate on a schooner. The inscription documents his completing the reading on 25 November 1883 while sailing the Caribbean (he included the coordinates), along with his opinion of the book.We thus have several interesting instances of reception of Cole’s series and of word-and-image interaction. This paper considers the different ways in which Waterbury’s book draws upon Cole’s paintings. Such inspirational literature helps understand why a young lady would copy this particular painting and what it meant to her. Finally, the inscription in my copy affords an entry into a seaman’s perception of a clergyman’s reading of Cole’s paintings.

2. Bocar Aly Pam (Ziguinchor University, Senegal): Poétique d’espaces charnières : le pont et les fleuve symboles de passage, de rencontre et de liaison intercommunautaires dans le roman Un Pont de lumière pour le fleuve (Sada Weïndé Ndiaye)

======Notre proposition se veut une réflexion sur un espace particulier, le fleuve, et ses différentes manifestations dans le texte de l’écrivain sénégalais Sada Weïndé Ndiaye. Le fleuve y est un espace mythique, symbolique à plus d’un titre. Sur ses berges, les images égrènent les joies et les souffrances d’un peuple, les fêtes et les drames qui rythment l’existence des pêcheurs, commerçants, voyageurs, toute une communauté en quête de lumière et de dignité. Contrairement aux espaces clos où les personnages étouffent et sont presque privés de bonheur, le fleuve est un espace ouvert qui offre un univers de pleine liberté où l’euphorie est la seule règle. Le fleuve est un lieu de commerce, un espace de prédilection où les riverains se donnent à cœur à diverses activités.
======La métaphore du « carrefour », dans son sens premier d’« endroit où se croisent plusieurs voies » et de « croisement d’influences », est de grande signification dans le roman.
======Le pont, quant à lui, est un lien qui unit ce qui était séparé et permet ainsi de surmonter et vaincre des obstacles qui étaient à l’origine de la division. Il devient ainsi lieu de réconciliation, permettant la rencontre avec l’Autre.
======Cette histoire romancée dans le récit de Sada Weïndé Ndiaye, on s’en doute, relate les douloureux événements survenus en 1989 entre les riverains du fleuve Sénégal que sont les Maures et les Sénégalais minés par des conflits frontaliers et des revendications territoriales.
======Il s’agit donc d’une tentative de réponses aux questions suivantes : Quelle place occupent le fleuve et le pont dans l’imaginaire de l’écrivain sénégalais ? De quelle(s) manière(s) le fleuve et le pont jouent-ils le rôle d’espaces ouverts ? Quelle est la réalité de ces espaces dans la volonté d’intégration des peuples sénégalais et mauritanien ? C’est à ces questions que nous allons tenter de répondre dans cette contribution.

3. Kirsty Bell (Mount Allison University, Canada): Le fleuve comme procédé littéraire et interartistique dans les essais de Louise Warren

======« Devant le Tage, je rejoins l’état de suspension, de flottement que je recherche. » (Le Livre caché de Lisbonne 21). Auteure d’une vingtaine de recueils de poèmes et d’essais, l’écrivaine québécoise Louise Warren a une production fortement ancrée dans une pensée sur la création littéraire et artistique. Dans Le Livre caché de Lisbonne (2019), un volume d’essais illustrés par des photographies en noir et blanc prises par l’auteure, le Tage informe toute une constellation de motifs fondamentaux à la pratique de Warren (la lumière, l’architecture, la perception, le détail, entre autres), à tel point que le fleuve devient lui-même un procédé de création. Le Tage revêt aussi une fonction autobiographique, puisqu’il est intimement associé tant au fleuve Saint-Laurent, qui a fait partie de l’enfance de l’auteure, qu’au lac québécois où elle vit et travaille maintenant. Enfin, le fleuve fraye la voie à l’écriture et à l’image, alors que la création à son tour nourrit une pensée sur le fleuve comme une figure du vécu.

21. Rivers, Lakes and Ponds in Book Illustration from the 17th Century to the Present Day

Rivers, Lakes and Ponds in Book Illustration from the 17th Century to the Present Day 

Chairs: Sophie Aymes (University of Bourgogne, France) & Nathalie Collé (University of Lorraine, France) & Brigitte Friant-Kessler (Polytechnic University Hauts de France, France) & Maxime Leroy (University of Haute-Alsace, France)

======This panel explores the relationships between book illustration and rivers, lakes, or ponds in literary, documentary or scientific works from the 17th century to the contemporary period, stressing on the thematic, technical, editorial and intermedial aspects of the topic from a synchronic or diachronic perspective and through different genres (fantasy, caricature, comics, the picturesque, the documentary, etc.).
======Being a river dweller, going on a boating trip or living in an area characterised by lakes generates specificities, whether in William Wordsworth’s lake poems, the recently illustrated editions of the Grasmere Journal, or Jerome K Jerome’s best-seller Three Men in a Boat, to name but those. City rivers such as the Thames in Daniel Defoe’s fiction or the Mississippi in Mark Twain’s narratives have significantly contributed to creating memorable scenes. We would like to address the word and image relationship derived from those particular settings. Rivers, lakes or even small ponds as eco-systems allow for imaginative designs and creativity. This session addresses the treatment of water as a pictorial or eco-critical theme by exploring for instance how representations of urban territories are affected by the presence of rivers. Illustrations to the Arthurian legend featuring the Lady of the Lake, or the fascination for imaginary and mythical creatures like the Loch Ness monster which have spawned their own mythologies in word and image are also looked at.
This panel seeks to examine the role of illustration in conveying and depicting social change and ideology, together with developments in city map making over time and across media, but also illustrations of social phenomena such as spas, hydrotherapy centres and places famous for their rivers, lakes or water springs, leisure activities as well as for specific trades or modes of transportation (barges, canoes, skiffs, etc.).
As water is used in techniques like watercolour or ink wash, we finally look at how and why illustrators use such liquid and how specific effects (fluidity, blurring, splattering, etc.) are achieved through them when illustrating river, lake and pond-inspired narratives, and particularly at how book illustrations related to water are informed by the concepts of hybridity and intermediality, crossing and crossover, influence and change, in resonance with the fluid nature of the element ‘water’, central to this IAWIS Conference.


Thursday – Room 3 – 14:00-15:30

1. Brigitte Friant-Kessler (Polytechnic University Hauts de France, France): « Lignes d’eau et de formes : Stanley William Hayter, Ophelia et l’abstraction »

======Ophelia, le célèbre personnage de la pièce de Shakespeare, a connu une heureuse fortune dans les représentations iconographiques depuis les illustrations de livres jusqu’à la caricature politique, avec un tournant important en 1852, date à laquelle John Everett Millais achève ce qui est sans nul doute son tableau le plus célèbre. Depuis cette date jusqu’à la fin du XXe siècle, Ophelia comme sujet et personnage de fiction a été réinterprétée par de nombreux artistes, tous médias confondus, parmi lesquels – et pour ne citer que ceux-là – John William Waterhouse, Thomas Francis Dicksee, Arthur Hughes, Alexandre Cabanel, Odilon Redon et même Louise Bourgeois, sans compter les photographes, cinéastes et vidéastes du monde entier. Mais que se passe-t-il lorsque cette scène emblématique est reprise sur le mode d’une composition abstraite ?
======La gravure de 1936 – intitulée Ophelia – de Stanley William Hayter, artiste britannique qui vécut à Paris et y fonda l’Atelier 17, constitue à cet égard un exemple intéressant pour cette communication qui portera sur l’abstraction et la représentation de l’eau. L’eau en tant qu’élément joue un rôle essentiel dans l’œuvre graphique et gravée de Hayter, au point qu’il n’est pas excessif d’y percevoir le motif central d’une longue quête de perfection technique et esthétique. Les mouvements et les vibrations de l’eau, mais également la flottaison des éléments, tels que le corps d’Ophelia ou encore les végétaux qui sont indissociables du moment tragique de la pièce, rassemblent ainsi tout le propos de l’artiste et le défi relevé par Hayter dont on note la théorisation et les expérimentations avec la ligne, les formes et la gravure en couleurs. Nous tenterons de montrer que pour Hayter, l’eau est plus qu’un art de la ligne et de la forme : c’est ce qui lui permet de signer un véritable manifeste visuel que la postérité du milieu de l’art a incidemment rarement mis en valeur.

2. Pouneh Mochiri (University of Brest, France): « Le dessein d’un jardin autant délectable et d’utile invention » : l’évocation des jeux d’eau dans quelques recueils descriptifs à la Renaissance

======La conscience de l’espace, en particulier dans le premier XVIe siècle, est fortement déterminée par le réseau hydrographique. Les relations de voyage, les paysages peints ainsi que la littérature cosmographique témoignent d’une fascination indéniable pour l’eau, vive ou dormante, qu’exploite l’art des fontainiers, notamment dans la construction des parcs domaniaux. On en trouve la trace écrite dans un certain nombre de recueils descriptifs où la réunion dans un espace d’élection d’une microsociété exemplaire sert de prétexte narratif pour dérouler la visite de paysages architecturés et ordonnés à partir d’une ingénierie hydraulique remarquable.
======C’est à la lumière de deux de ces ouvrages – les Discours des Champs faëz (1553) de Claude de Taillemont et la Recepte veritable (1563) de Bernard Palissy – que seront examinées les modalités des jeux d’eau, sous leurs diverses formes domestiquées, mais aussi en leur état naturel. Cette prégnance de l’élément aquatique sert un plus haut sens, en accord avec l’intention édifiante des recueils. Au-delà d’un parti pris esthétique de type maniériste ou naturaliste, elle alimente, en effet, une réflexion plus vaste sur les rapports entre l’art et la nature et vise une conciliation idéale du fruit et du plaisir.

3. Gabrielle Thierry (Independent artist and painter based in Paris, France): L’esthétique musicale de l’eau. Comment la synesthésie agit sur l’Ophelia de Shakespeare pour en réaliser sa partition colorée

======Il s’agit de présenter l’esthétique musicale de l’eau, telle que traitée ici dans la peinture intitulée Last Reflection of Ophelia. Cette Huile sur toile est le fruit de réflexions croisées liant le texte de Shakespeare, la musique d’un compositeur, Éric Lebrun, et les inspirations picturales et musicales de l’eau et de ses reflets. La musique est ici imprégnée des couleurs de l’eau, de ses reflets printaniers et des profondeurs de l’étang qui aspirent inexorablement Ophelia. Cette scène a inspiré de très nombreux peintres : E. Delacroix, J.E. Millais, O. Redon, etc. J’en ai été inspirée à mon tour, transposant ce dernier chant d’Ophelia en abstraction colorée. Il s’agit ici de comprendre les dialogues texte/musique/peinture, comment des harmonies musicales de l’eau, ses reflets et ses profondeurs forment une œuvre graphique abstraite. Cette interprétation permet d’aborder plusieurs questions : le pouvoir sensoriel de l’eau, l’attirance de ses clartés, le jeu musical de ses réflexions, la couleurs des sons et la représentation de l’espace musical, la musique comme relais d’interprétation du texte à l’image. Comment l’eau, élément fluide, transparent, transversant et vital, peut aussi être source d’expérimentations visuelles à la croisée des sens, des récits, des interprétations musicales et picturales, reflets de nos sensibilités. Dans cette présentation, le public aura l’occasion de voir le film de la création de l’œuvre (réalisation J. Boumendil, 2017, 5’28’’).

22. Water in All Its Forms: Seas, Tsunamis, Thunderstorm in Contemporary Japanese Popular Culture

Water in All Its Forms: Seas, Tsunamis, Thunderstorm in Contemporary Japanese Popular Culture

Chairs: Guido Furci (Durham University, United Kingdom & University of Sorbonne Nouvelle / Paris III, France) & Filippo Cervelli (Durham University, United Kingdom & Kobe University, Japan)

======As recalled by his Japanese translator Yotetsu Tonaki (2016), Jean-Luc Nancy argues that the Fukushima catastrophe “may not be reduced to a technological dysfunctioning nor to a factor ascribable to men but reveals in fact the system of general equivalence that sustains a whole civilisation not explainable in the mere light of techno-scientific interdependency on which most of our contemporary societies are nonetheless based”. Far from seeming exotic, such an observation echoes with the way Japanese popular culture in different forms tends itself to thematise the interactions between humans and machines, and the intrinsic aporias of every notion of progress – and this particularly since the end of World War II. If Japanese insularity has always contributed to parameter, hence, in a way, to feature ever more its representational universe – until transforming it in a laboratory space likely to describe, through metonymy, complex transnational phenomena –, this applies even more to the manga, the anime, graphic novels and videogames which insist on the ambivalence of natural elements, as an evidence and an interrogation of our passage on earth.
======This panel will especially emphasize on the place given to water. Threatened or threatening, water is omnipresent, included as a metaphor (just think of “the Sea of Decay” in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which is in fact a toxic plain), often becoming a full character, in the work by canonical authors as Miyazaki, or in an always increasing number of “minor” creations.


Thursday – Room 4 – 14:00-15:30

1. Aneesh Barai & Nozomi Uematsu (University of Birmingham & University of Sheffield, United Kingdom): Tsunamis, Nuclear Power and Animations by Studio Ghibli

======In this paper, we will focus on the most recent film by Studio Ghibli, The Red Turtle, and an early music video by renowned animation director Hayao Miyazaki, On Your Mark (a song by rock duo Chage and Aska).
======These two films both provide wordless narratives that intertwine reality and imagination in complex ways, and require attentive decoding by viewers. Their overt focus is on the relationships of two male and one female characters, but they both subtly and powerfully represent ecological destruction, its aftermath, and potential hope for a new and different future. In not explicitly lecturing their audiences on environmental ideas, they connect with what Deidre Pike calls “dialogic” environmentalism in her seminal work, Enviro-toons.
======Both films are firmly situated in Japan’s unique global context in relation to nuclear power, which connects to national trauma in the wake of the Second World War (a strong memory in Miyazaki’s mind), and again after the environmental “triple disaster” of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation leakage in March 2011 (known as 3.11).
======Drawing on contemporary 3.11 studies, ecological studies of film and animation, and the non-anthropocentric ecosophies of Deleuze and Guattari, this paper will closely analyse these two visual texts as cultural responses to Japan’s history of nuclear and environmental disasters.

2. Filippo Cervelli (Durham University, United Kingdom & Kobe University, Japan): Sea and Knowledge: The Secret of Blue Water and Jules Verne

======As Sarah Capitanio highlights, a recurrent trait of Jules Verne’s characters is that “their actions and thoughts are usually bound up with a feat or an experience which projects, creates, or at the very least suggests an ideal or alternative way of living, usually made possible by technological advances.” Though with potentially dire consequences, the sea embodies this alternative way of living emblematically in the novel Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas (1869-1870), in particular through the underwater voyage of Captain Nemo and his moving fortress, the submarine Nautilus. While the Nautilus is certainly an instrument of Nemo’s flight from the world, when the professor Aronnax boards it, ultimately it becomes a site of a human community based on the gradual exchange of knowledge and, in a way, of sentiments. Although this exchange is interrupted, its communal legacy is carried over in the famous Japanese animated adaptation The Secret of Blue Water (1990-1991). Set in the late 19th century, the series portrays the adventures of the teenagers Nadia and the inventor Jean, who become passengers of the mysterious Captain Nemo’s futuristic Nautilus. While the show differs from Verne’s novel in the plot, it centres around the forging of a community under the sea that culminates in the revelation of Nemo’s past and the reconciliation of a family.
======Drawing on biopolitical studies on communitas by Roberto Esposito, literary and animation studies, this paper closely analyses Verne’s novel and the anime series to show how the two works’ dialogic relationship – across time, medium and nations – goes beyond similar names and plot points, and how they inform each other in representing the human need for community, above and under the water.

23. Representing Numen Aquae in Literature, Folklore and Modern Popular Culture

Representing Numen Aquae in Literature, Folklore and Modern Popular Culture 

Chair: Eloy Martos Núñez (University of Extremadura, Spain)

======This proposal is based, on the one hand, on the taxonomy of motifs and types from a variety of cultures and its translation into the changing prosopography of mythical narratives about water, and, on the other hand, on their reception and subsequent translation to literary narratives (since the Middle Ages to Modernity) and to the modern media narratives (specially the study of images of water creatures in modern popular culture and its relation to superheroes and sagas).
======The surprising plurality of water deities in folklore around the world and from different periods (with their icons and symbols concerning life or death) is what we try to convert into meaningful patterns. From this interdisciplinary approach, other research axes are proposed, mainly in Ecology, Water Culture and Education and its interrelations.
We look for cultural changes and continuities and their potential links, from the mythical narratives to the Literary Iconology and Cyberculture, in order to investigate a variety of media such as written and oral sources, transcribed and electronic, and recontextualise this imagery in water folklore (e.g. water-creatures, genius loci, freshwater spirits and fairies, creatures of the sea and other personifications).


Thursday – Room 2 – 16:00-17:30

1. Hanna Chuchvaha (University of Calgary, Canada): Sea Monsters and Popular Imagination in Russian Popular Prints and Chapbooks: Bogatyr Eruslan Lazarevich and His Adventures

======Eruslan Lazarevich represents one of the most admired Russian folk superheroes depicted in popular tales. In the nineteenth century, Eruslan Lazarevich, whose personage, however, did not originate from Russian folklore but was adopted from Shahnameh (The Book of Kings, ca. 977-1010), was reprinted in multiple forms, from popular prints with short inscriptions to lengthy illustrated chapbook versions with a story retold by different authors. In his fundamental collection of popular prints published in 1881, Dmitrii Rovinskii mentions several woodcuts and two versions of a folk tale devoted to Eruslan Lazarevich which traditionally comes in text and images printed on the same page. In the popular imagination, Eruslan Lazarevich and his images occupied a place which was far more significant than paintings of many acclaimed artists.
======The plot of the tale narrates about multiple quests that Eruslan has to conduct in order to fulfil his superhero’s mission. One of the most popular motifs was Eruslan Lazarevich’s fight with a sea serpent. Slaying a monster was a necessary ordeal found in many folk tales and its common purpose was to free a beautiful princess, a prey of the sea creature. The paper will explore the popular prints and the lubok culture in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the Russian empire and will trace Eruslan Lazarevich and his fight with a sea serpent. It will discuss how popular prints influenced the artists Ivan Bilibin, Viktor Vasnetsov, and others, and how it was reflected in the popular imagination.

2. Eloy Martos Núñes, Estíbaliz Barriga Galeano, Mar Campos Fernándes-Fígares, Aurora Martínez Ezquerro (University of Extremadura, Spain): Représenter les numen aquae dans la littérature, le folklore et la culture populaire moderne : l’etat de la question

======Les imaginaires de l’eau et la représentation des numen aquae dans la littérature, le folklore et la culture populaire moderne ont été abordés sous différentes perspectives telles que l’écocritique, la narratologie ou l’approche anthropologique. Les discours de l’eau comme H20 (Ivan Illich, 1986) et de l’eau comme mémoire et imaginaire social doivent être réconciliés, mettant en valeur les « ontologies multiples ». Ainsi, le polydémonisme du folklore primitif, avec sa profusion de génies de l’eau (par exemple : pluralité de Dames ou Vierges de la Fontaine, de la Ribera, du Mont, du Rocher…), est lié aux variétés de motifs et de personnages associés à l’eau, comme les sirènes de l’Odyssée et, à leur tour, les super-héros et super-héroïnes de la cyberculture sont en relation avec l’eau (par exemple Aquaman). En particulier, l’herméneutique analogique (Beuchot, 2000) permet de découvrir subtilement des séries relationnelles, des axes paradigmatiques et syntagmatiques qui permettent de découvrir des écologies animées (Harmansah, 2018), établissant ainsi une progression des approches de l’hydromythologie à celles de l’écopoétique et révélant, par exemple, les connexions de la prosopographie avec le territoire ou l’habitat du numen, comme Vladimir Propp l’avait déjà postulé.

Migration / Geography / Tourism – Friday, July 16

24. Diasporic Narratives on Sea Borders and Migration

Diasporic Narratives on Sea Borders and Migration

Chair: Nurgul Rodriguez (Independent artist based in Calgary, Canada)

======A current and responsible approach to social and political art will almost certainly generate fundamental questions such as: How can contemporary artists’ work practices aesthetically expose and engage in the conflict underlying maritime human migration? How does an artist’s work reflect permanent sea borders between nations? Moreover, how do artists incorporate such controversial messages through image and word in their creative practices?

======For this session, the intent is to examine visual and performing artists who are themselves migrants or a member of a diaspora and reflect their experience not only in the making of art but also in its political contextualization. Aiming at revealing the process of making and connecting it with migration, with all its challenges, artists engage with and explore risk-taking; fear of involvement; the anguish of choosing and rejecting; the accumulation of artistic knowledge and how it is applied in specific projects; and, finally, how every act of creativity – large or small – must evolve from draft to finished within the constraints of political boundaries.


Friday – Room 1  – 14:00-15:30

1. Kim Huynh (University of Calgary, Canada): Elastic Memory

======Immigrants of displacement often operate and are driven in multiple desires and anguishes. These inclinations are points of contact, and sometimes we feel it, most of the times these senses reside in the subconsciousness. The reality of living in a foreign home and feeling home somewhere else are shared experiences. The challenge is that most immigrants devote to a practical schedule and job, and they don’t have sufficient attention to nurture and understand gaps between who they are and who they were. The Burden of 4,000 Pearls is a series of memory markers which call for distance between illusions and dreams, short-term and long-term memories of an immigrant in a fast pace life. One of the ways I deployed the narrative is by the use of repetition, daily performance, endurance, and perseverance in the process to trace these places of struggles and longings. The project has three visual components: a series of steps cast in hands on the wall, a beautiful map of globe in shining pearls on the gallery floor, and a set of 18 lithographs in chine-collé on the fetish of pearls. Through the invasive use of perforation of mechanic holes in the body of the print, erasure becomes a negotiated way to conjure up old and new memory in confronting moments of reality. “Memorias Elasticas” is an appropriate intersection for this discussion; it is about slippery roles of an immigrant as a consumer, insider/outsider, personal history, and shifting identity today.

2. Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes (University of Amsterdam & Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture, Netherlands): Vivisective and Forensic Mapping: Brian O’Doherty’s Northern Irish

======Patrick Ireland created a modified map of Ireland in 1980: Ireland: A Modest Proposal. Patrick Ireland is a pseudonym adopted by Brian O’Doherty, emigrant Irish, New York-based artist, for his visual art practice in 1972, as a response to Bloody Sunday. The title quotes Jonathan Swift’s 1729 proposal for the children of the starving (Catholic) population of Ireland to be turned to use as fricassee. Patrick Ireland’s “equivalent” is to “amputate” Northern Ireland and place the population (i.e. map sections) into the centre of the island. The caption speaks of “increased fishing opportunities” and “encouraging dialogue”: the sea has taken hold of the then troubled region, then marked by bombs and hunger-strikes.
======In recent times, those fleeing from the aftereffects of colonisation in Africa find themselves and their families in similarly uncharted terrain, as if devoured – like in Swift’s Modest Proposal – by the Mediterranean, on other watery fringes of the European continent. The refugees’ intention is, in a way, to do what Ireland proposed: to place themselves in the midst of charted territory, “encouraging dialogue” and leading a peaceful life. Forensic Architecture (Eyal Weizman et al.) have paid attention to these refugees and their vessels in a number of projects: determining where an overloaded boat sank, where passengers could have been saved, but were allegedly not seen – and to exonerate staff of charities accused of breaking the law in their humanitarian endeavours.
======These two different case studies have some strategies in common: they are paying attention to the watery “blanks” of maps, those tools of (colonial) power, thus working against the erasure of the “other”. The main correspondence I will find in the transcendence of both practices of art: O’Doherty’s NEA programme directorship and multi-disciplinary practice in word and image can be understood as a systemic social practice, which Eyal Weizman’s work also is: counter-forensics that aims through researched, factual images (proof) to influence the word; law spoken in the cases they examine.

3. Mathilde Savard-Corbeil (University of Toronto, Canada): L’incroyable épave de Damien Hirst : fictionalité, narrativité, matérialité

======Dans sa plus récente installation, présentée à la Fondation François Pinault à Venise en 2017, Damien Hirst a recours à différents médiums afin d’explorer les méandres des fonds marins. Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable est une installation d’envergure, répartie entre le pavillon Punta della Dogana et celui du Palazzo Grassi comportant plus de 190 sculptures. Pourtant, le dispositif de monstration ne s’arrête pas là. Ces objets sont à leur tour photographiés et mis en scène sous l’eau dans une vidéo documentaire de 88 minutes, aujourd’hui disponible sur Netflix, permettant à l’exposition de procéder elle-même à sa propre médiation en créant une expérience immersive. Le spectateur fait alors face à des objets qui ont une narrativité intrinsèque, mais qui participent également à une mise en récit beaucoup plus ambitieuse.
======En effet, la prémisse de l’exposition propose au public de découvrir les restes du navire Apistos (dont le guide explique la signification en grec, Incroyable, alors que cela signifie plutôt Infidèle). La légende clame que ces œuvres d’art ont été submergées pendant près de deux millénaires avant d’avoir été redécouvertes par l’équipe de l’artiste en 2008 dans l’océan indien. Nulle part on ne révèle la fictionalité du projet, non pas qu’il s’adresse à un public averti, bien au contraire, la sculpture de Mickey Mouse ensevelie de Corail révèle la supercherie anachronique. De nombreuses autres incongruités sont également présentes au sein de l’exposition, usant de références mythologiques ou de jeux citationnels raffinés, notamment la sculpture du bouclier d’Achille, célèbre passage de l’Iliade d’Homère souvent considéré comme la première ekphrasis de l’histoire littéraire.
======Cette conférence proposera alors d’explorer le rapport entre survivance et matérialité en contexte fictionnel en positionnant la mise en récit comme stratégie de survivance pour l’œuvre d’art. On pense ici au Zwischenraum d’Aby Warburg puisque le projet de Hirst s’inscrit dans un entre-deux comme forme intermédiale. Bien que les sculptures existent bel et bien d’un point de vue matériel, leur appareil herméneutique fictionnel vient questionner l’accès au savoir grâce à la possibilité d’une multiplication des récits. À travers une esthétique du hasard et de l’objet trouvé témoignant de l’apport du ready-made et du surréalisme au XXIe siècle, on proposera d’y confronter les concepts d’appropriation, de détournement et de citation, mais aussi la place du ludisme dans l’art contemporain en tant que stratégie critique envers l’institution muséale et le marché de l’art.

25. Symbolic, Sociocultural and Spatial Impact of the Ocean Crossing and of the Net Navigation

Symbolic, Sociocultural and Spatial Impact of the Ocean Crossing and of the Net Navigation

Chair: Isabel Marcos (NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal)

======Four types of globalisation can be distinguished – terrestrial (land), maritime (water), aerial (air) and virtual –, which confront us to new ways of producing space and time. Each type of globalisation is, at the one hand, a consequence of the acceleration of history (time) and, on the other hand, intrinsically linked to the dissemination of techno-scientific innovations, allowing to surpass the elements. This session aims at scrutinising two historical moments, which clearly mark the phases of a structural development of globalisation.
======The first moment of techno-scientific dissemination shows the transition between terrestrial (land) and maritime (water) related globalisation: the 15th century is rich in innovations such as cartography, astrolabe, mathematical and astronomic knowledge, etc. This system of organisation and exploration of “territory (on land and over sea)” until then unknown allows forging the notion of continuous mobilisation in a new element underpinning the creation of imaginaries and myths linked to the sea and/or the land.
The second moment of techno-scientific dissemination shows the transition of the aerial globalisation (air) to the virtual globalisation (liquidity) and is organised in two phases: the first spreads from the 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century, a period full of innovations such as the transatlantic cable, the airplane, electricity, telephone, etc. The second phase appeared during the last decades with the emergence of new technologies such as Internet, mobile phone, the Web, the blogs, etc. The system of organisation and exploration of space has become interactive, creating recently a transfer of the notion of space: the subject is represented not only in the concrete space of a territory, but also in the interactive space of communication in the virtual reality of the Web. This unknown element is the base for the creation of imaginaries and myths related to the imaginary of the sea: pirates, to navigate, to surf on the web, etc.
This session aims at putting in parallel two historical moments, which are structurally analogous, (a) from the 15th until the 16th century and (b) from the 20th until the 21st century, assuming that these two periods have following organisational structure:

1. dissemination of multiple technical and scientific innovations;
2. creation of new infrastructures;
3. spatialization devices;
4. constitution of another relation to space and time;
5. creation of imaginaries and myths related to water.

======This session aims at examining the symbolic, sociocultural and spatial consequences of these new spatial paradigms stemming from the time of the transatlantic journeys and from an instantaneous time.


Friday – Room 2 – 14.00-15:30

1. Charles Rice-Davis (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand): Droves: Representing Overseas Mass Migration

======This presentation traces the representation of mass overwater migration and “third place” detention through the technological phases of island development (navigation, guano phosphate mining, long-distance air travel, detention centres). In this context, two case studies are considered. In the first, I explore a moment of re-popularisation of the notorious French novel, Le Camp des saints, in United States media and political discourse. This high-profile promotion of the novel occurred during the period when the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba detention centre for Haitian and Cuban migrants and the “wet foot, dry foot” policy change were established. The second case examines a particular artefact of the Australian “Pacific Solution” policy (2001): a government-produced graphic pamphlet distributed in Afghanistan targeting potential asylum seekers. This documents visually warns of the horrors of sea migration and government-mandated detention in the Topside facility, located on a former mining site in Nauru.

2. Lauren Weingarden (Florida State University, United States of America): Hijacking the Seine: Stéphane Thidet’s Détournement (2018)

======Stéphane Thidet’s Installation artwork Détournement (2018) diverts the River Seine into the Conciergerie, where it flows through the monument’s medieval halls along a 200-meter course. Drawn from the riverbed at the Pont-au-Change, the water passes over the quai de l’Horloge to enter the old kitchens from above, following a slow meandering path to a darkened passageway. It then resurfaces, cascading into the Salle des Gens d’Armes with a deafening din. Here the river water is pumped up to a window, 5.50 meters above the ground, to cascade into the moat outside the Conciergerie and back to its fluvial origin. Ironically, the medieval-looking wooden scaffolding that carries the water through the building is just a single part of the intricate engineering system that makes possible the river’s diversion and re-presentation.
======In this paper I interrogate the artwork through a lexical lens to analyze the multivalent meanings of détournement and to reflect upon its historical and critical dimensions. First, I examine the artist’s explanation of the factors that led to Détournement: “The proximity of a strong, wild and ungovernable element of the River Seine; but the most significant was the fact that much of the history of this place is linked to confinement, detention, and all forms of isolation from the world.” Two historical factors are important for considering the subversive meaning of détournement as a “hijacking” and the inflection of Guy Debord’s interventionist model: the 1910 flood that inundated the Conciergerie; and the Conciergerie’s function as a political prison. Through this lexical-historical lens, multiple hijackings unfold: the reversal of uncontrolled flooding into a peaceful passage of river water; the subversion of both the prison’s darkness with the flow of reflected light on the water surface and its confinement with the river water’s intrusion; and the transmutation of the River Seine from a utilitarian resource into a vital substance for poetic reflection.

26. Mare Nostrum: Word and Image and the "Mediterranean Proof"

Mare Nostrum: Word and Image and the “Mediterranean Proof”

Chairs: Guido Furci (Durham University, United Kingdom &  University of Sorbonne Nouvelle / Paris III, France) & Anysia Troin-Guis (University of Sorbonne Nouvelle / Paris III, France)

==???=As reminded by Merleau-Ponty (1945), “as to see the world and catch it as a paradox, we have to break our familiarity with it”, i.e. we must be able to describe its complexity through non-dominant aesthetic and interpretative categories. To some extent, the contemporary migration crisis further problematises this obvious statement which, through the last decades, has regularly be object of analyses, not only philosophical, but also geopolitical – in the broad sense of the word. In Europe, this is particularly true in the Mediterranean space: here, the sea – traditionally associated with the intermingling of cultures, commercial exchanges, experience of exploration and of discovering (the other and the self; the self in front of the other) – progressively transformed in a symbolic negotiation table, where what is at stake is unfortunately far from virtual. Obviously, such a semantic shift is not radical (as an exchange platform, the Mediterranean has always represented a zone of encounters which could easily become conflicts). However, the most fragile balances of advanced capitalistic societies have had evident consequences on the evolution of this phenomenon, that art and literature have often thematised at the turn of the 21st century.
======It is on its representations in word and image that our panel will focus: be it case-studies (Jason deCaires Taylor, Gianfranco Rosi, Marina Abramović), or agency likely to make us reflect upon our position in the world, and upon our capacity (or even will) to put ourselves “in the shoes of” another.


Friday – Room 3  – 14.00-15:30

1. Marta Carraro (University of Montreal, Canada): À l’eau – Contestation et hybridité chez Toni Maraini

======Le but de cette intervention est d’analyser les modalités par lesquelles une hybridité poétique émerge parfois dans les discours visant à contester les atrocités dont l’espace méditerranéen est (et a été) le théâtre. Pour ce faire, nous nous pencherons à titre d’exemple, et en vertu de sa portée paradigmatique, sur le cas de l’écrivaine italienne Toni Maraini. En effet, depuis les années 1960 le travail littéraire et artistique de cette dernière cherche à thématiser les rapports que plusieurs pays méditerranéens entretiennent avec les notions d’« identité plurielle », d’« héritage culturel partagé » et d’« échange » au sens large du terme, et témoigne non seulement de la nécessité toujours renouvelée d’un engagement par mots et par images (voire, par des mots susceptibles de faire image), mais aussi et surtout du besoin de conférer à toute intervention publique assumée en tant que telle la valeur d’une proféraction.

2. Albert Göschl (University of Graz, Austria): The Metaphor of the Shipwreck in the ‘Last Mediterranean Age’

======In his recent history of the Mediterranean, David Abulafia speaks of the last Mediterranean age when it comes to the current political developments in this geopolitical region. This also implies the refugee crisis and the fact that in recent years the image of the Mediterranean has undergone a drastic metaphorical shift towards the image of the mass grave. This shift is accompanied and reinforced through medial representations, which use the metaphor of the shipwreck also as a symbol of misguided political decisions. Based on Blumenberg’s metaphorology expressed in his famous Shipwreck with Spectator (1979), this lecture analyzes the medial strategies of this existential metaphor as well as the ethical implications for the viewer’s role.

3. Cecilia Piantanida (Durham University, United Kingdom): Representing Mediterranean Migration in Contemporary Italian Fiction

======This paper analyses literary and visual representations of migrant fluxes from African countries to Italy via the Mediterranean Sea in recent fiction in Italian. At the centre of the Mediterranean, in the last thirty years Italy has become a destination country for increasingly large numbers of migrants. At the same time, the cultural debate on definitions of individual and collective identities has gained new impetus, acquiring an increasingly central role within the public discourse on nation, education, multiculturalism, and globalisation. As new waves of nationalism erupt, as demonstrated by the development of populist parties or by the recent political dispute on the regulations to obtain Italian citizenship, a new literary field of writing on migration has established itself (Gnisci 1998; Burns and Polezzi 2003; Gibellini 2013; Burns 2013). The paper focuses on the short story La via del pepe. Finta fiaba africana per Europei benpensanti (2014) by the Italian writer Massimo Carlotto with illustrations by Alessandro Sanna. First, the analysis considers how Carlotto’s use of metaphors of origins illuminated by Sanna’s artworks represents and problematizes Mediterranean migration from the point of view of the displaced. Secondly, Carlotto’s and Sanna’s take is contextualized within contemporary iconography of the Mediterranean diaspora in works by migrant writers such as Erminia dell’Oro and Tahar Lamri and by visual artists, such as the participants to the large 2017 exhibition La terra inquieta/The restless earth at Milan Triennale. On the one hand, by representing the Mediterranean space from a non-dominant perspective, these works defamiliarize notions of “the Mediterranean” for European audiences, on the other hand, putting the reader “in the shoes” of the displaced, they challenge antagonizing ideological positions on “the migrant” and “migration”.

27. The Sea: Infinity and Limitation

The Sea: Infinity and Limitation

Chair: Sanda Badescu (University of Prince Edward Island, Canada)

======Quiet or stormy water, be it sea, lake or river, prompts travel on several levels: physical, imaginary and spiritual. It symbolizes real or virtual danger but also the infinity and opacity of the human soul. Already possessing multiple meanings as Jung or Freud understand, the image of the sea acquires more particular symbols in literary and philosophical works. These fields show us that the sea embraces two opposing sides: one nourishing, source of sustenance and life, and the other one dangerous, place of loss and death. This opposition corresponds to the mystery of water: is it infinite because we never see further than our eyes, or is it a metaphor for a limit, and if so, what exactly would that limit be?


Friday – Room 4 – 14.00-15:30

1. Adilia Carvalho (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg): La Ville d’Ulysse de Teolinda Gersão

======Cette communication vise à analyser les divers modes de transformation et d’appropriation du personnage mythique d’Ulysse – héros dont le destin est intimement lié à la mer et à des créatures aquatiques – dans le roman de Teolinda Gersão intitulé A cidade de Ulisses, publié en 2011.
======Nous chercherons à trouver les relations entre le héros mythique qui donne son nom au roman et la ville atlantique de Lisbonne. Nous explorerons les liens entre la figure mythique et la ville aquatique, et montrerons comment, par ce motif littéraire, Teolinda Gersão, excellente conteuse d’histoires, parvient à nous enchanter avec diverses versions du mythe qu’elle revisite.

2. Blanca Navarro Pardiñas (University of Moncton, Canada): L’écriture et la mer : le cas d’Antonine Maillet

======La mer occupe une place de premier ordre dans la vie du peuple acadien. À la fois nourricière et dévoratrice, accueillante et destructrice, la mer est le symbole de la vie d’un peuple qui a réussi à naviguer dans les eaux troubles de l’Histoire, à la suite de la Déportation de 1755 à 1763.
======Dans cette communication, nous nous proposons d’analyser la représentation de la mer telle qu’elle a été imaginée par la plume de la grande écrivaine acadienne Antonine Maillet, prix Goncourt 1979. Plus précisément, nous nous proposons d’analyser son essai Fais confiance à la mer, elle te portera (Leméac, 2010). En effet, cet ouvrage nous apparaît comme une lecture essentielle pour comprendre les liens symboliques complexes qui se tissent entre l’écrivaine acadienne et la figure de la mer.
======Depuis son premier roman Pointe-aux-coques (1958) la mer a toujours été présente dans les œuvres d’Antonine Maillet. Écrivaine prolifique depuis plus de soixante ans, Antonine Maillet met en récit la vie à la fois singulière et universelle des pêcheurs des côtes acadiennes. Des petits villages de pêcheurs jusqu’aux légendes de la mer et aux récits bibliques, en passant par les histoires de l’Île-aux-Puces, les souvenirs d’enfance dans les dunes ou encore les histoires de naufragés, sans oublier l’épisode du Grand Dérangement du peuple acadien, tout y est.
======Au fil du temps, la mer a acquis un rôle symbolique particulier pour Antonine Maillet, pour devenir tout à fait un doublet de l’écrivaine elle-même. C’est cette relation symbolique entre l’écriture et la mer chez Antonine Maillet que nous nous proposons d’analyser dans cette communication.

3. Luc Vigneault (University of Moncton, Canada): La mer et l’éthique de la limite. Réflexion sur l’œuvre de Thierry Hentsch

======La mer est le champ visuel de l’infini, de notre impossibilité de voir plus loin. Mais l’histoire nous a pourtant montré que notre horizon est bien limité. Ainsi, la mer n’est-elle pas plutôt la métaphore d’une limite ? La mer, à la fois infinie et finie. Belle métaphore qui illustre le propos de notre communication qui se concentrera sur l’œuvre de pensée de Thierry Hentsch. Son parcours singulier d’intellectuel, d’écrivain et de professeur le mènera de sa Suisse natale à Montréal, au Québec, où il a jumelé son expertise sur la question israélo-palestinienne à l’étude plus ambitieuse des grands récits littéraires fondateurs de l’Occident et des rapports ambigus qu’il tisse avec l’Orient. Son enseignement est clair : tout est une question de lecture.
======Après avoir publié deux ouvrages titanesques (Raconter et mourir et Le temps aboli), peu avant sa mort Thierry Hentsch a écrit La mer, la limite (2006), en guise de testament intellectuel. Cet essai est, sans aucun doute, le plus révélateur de son chemin de pensée, car on y retrouve sa thèse centrale, sans cesse défendue le long de sa vie : l’Occident n’a pas le cadre rationnel pour connaître ses propres limites, et pourtant il est évident que sa finalité en dépend. Par la métaphore de la mer, il propose à la fois une éthique du manque et une éthique du trop. La mer devient l’horizon métaphysique d’une limite que l’Occident n’a pas encore vue. La mer est une métaphore de la limite de l’occidentalisme, car elle est, dans un même temps, « l’idée d’infini et de limite ».