Art & Performing Arts Special Session: How to use your eyes | Shiv Nadar University
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Art & Performing Arts Special Session: How to use your eyes

Event Date: 
Tuesday, April 26, 2022 -

The Department of Art and Performing Arts, Shiv Nadar University, Delhi NCR, is pleased to invite you for a special session titled ‘How to use your eyes’ with Prof. James Elkins, E.C. Chadbourne Professor in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The session will be moderated by Dr. Rajat Kathuria, Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, Delhi NCR.

Prof. James Elkins is an American art historian and art critic. He has written numerous books and his writing focuses on the history and theory of images in art, science, and nature. Some of his books are exclusively on fine art like “What Painting Is, Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles?”. Others include scientific and non-art images, writing systems, and archaeology including “The Domain of Images, On Pictures and the Words That Fail Them”, and some are about natural history like “How to Use Your Eyes”. Recent books include “What Photography Is” written against Roland Barthes’s Camera Lucida; “Artists with PhDs”, second edition; and “Art Critiques: A Guide”, third edition.

The session by Prof. James Elkins and moderated by Dr. Rajat Kathuria is a speculative lecture for people in any field that involves the study of images and vision. The session will be in three parts: First an overview of how academics in the humanities study vision and the gaze, using Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” and some Vermeer paintings as examples. The notion is to suggest some limitations in that kind of study. Second: a look at some other kinds of seeing, some taken from the book How to Use Your Eyes. X-Rays, sand, postage stamps, ice halos, and landscapes will provide examples for this part. Third: an open-ended list of animals, showing the way each one of them sees the world. The intention here is to show that our own human vision is not natural or complete because, by comparison with animals, our vision is very partial and selective. The animals include scallops, bees, deep-water fish, the nautilus octopi, sea slugs, and chitons.

More about the Speakers
Prof. James Elkins is E.C. Chadbourne Chair in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the Art Institute of Chicago, and Head of History of Art at the University College Cork, Ireland. He got a graduate degree in painting, then switched to Art History, got another graduate degree, and did the PhD in Art History, which he finished in 1989. (All from the University of Chicago.)

He is the author of “Pictures and Tears”, “How to Use Your Eyes”, “What Painting Is”, “The Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art” and “Master Narratives and Their Discontents”, all published by Routledge.

Tuesday 26, Apr 2022
07:00 PM - 08:00 PM