Presentations, discussions

Beneath Image and Script

Cosmogony and Conflict in Image Systems

Fri, Jun 24, 2022
Villa Romana, Florence
10 am
Free admission, with registration

In English

Registration at

Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz , Drawing in situ at Tadi dia lukingu, Angola, 2006, Courtesy the author

What role do images play in the creation of social worlds? On the intercontinental histories of art and culture, based on Aby Warburg.

What are the consequences of distinctions between “literate” and “oral” societies, between “image” and “script”? New research approaches undermine the colonial and Eurocentric classifications that impeded the fulfillment of Warburg’s promise of an intercontinental art history and image theory. The discussions center on a new way of understanding “image systems.” Archeologist David Wengrow describes them as the symbolic organization of social worlds that enabled specific cultural techniques and ways of life. In talks and presentations, theorists and artists develop new methods for understanding such systems.

A collaboration between HKW and Villa Romana

With contributions by Serge Gruzinski, Tom Holert, Els Lagrou, Esther Leslie, Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz, Erhard Schüttpelz, Carlo Severi, Maria Stavrinaki, Ulrich van Loyen, David Wengrow, Matthew Vollgraff, Armin Linke, Angelika Stepken, moderated by Anselm Franke

More information about the workshop at Villa Romana