Session 2.2 Music and the Visual Arts

Wednesday 5 June 2019. 11:30AM-12:30PM, Room 113.
   Chair: Ariane Couture (Université Laval)

Painting as the Other: The Formation of Music’s New Identity in the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries
   Morteza Abedinifard, University of Alberta

This presentation looks at some of the late 18th and early 19th century writings on music aesthetics to shed more light on what can be characterized as a common theme of ranking music over painting. From Rousseau to Hegel, many European influential thinkers have defended music against painting by linking the former to original, deep and inward feelings and thoughts, and associating the latter with the external world and objects. This comparison-theme connects to the transition from the 17th and 18th century conception of music as representation to a novel understanding of music as expression. Exploring how, within the context of this conceptual shift, the music-painting dichotomy contributed to the identification of music with a non-representational plane of significance, I will argue that in this process, painting acted as the other or “Not-I” in opposition to music’s new self-contained identity or “I.”

Embodied Sonorities versus Conceptual Sounds: A Reading of Music (1920) by Florine Stettheimer as a Visual Conversation with Marcel Duchamp
   Cintia Cristia, Ryerson University/University of Toronto Scarborough

Part of an ongoing research project that considers the role of music and sound in Florine Stettheimer’s paintings and poems, this paper aims to illuminate a dialogue across the arts in her work and in Modernism by approaching her painting entitled Music (1920). A precedent of Stettheimer's 1923 Portrait of Marcel Duchamp, Music can also be read as a visual commentary on a private discussion about music, and as an artistic reflection not only on the philosophy of music but also on issues related to identity, sexuality, desire, and gender, through the mediation of the body. In a methodological and theoretical framework that includes authors Michèle Barbe, Étienne Souriau, Vassily Kandinsky, Richard Leppert and Erwin Panofsky, such a reading suggests that Stettheimer counters Duchamp’s suggestion of the possibility of a disembodied, conceptual music, by offering the voluptuous presence of the dancers as embodied sonorities.

2.3 Film Series I (Room 339) →

← 2.1 Opera: Wagner and After (Room 116)

MusCan Office

MusCan is led by a committed community of volunteers from across Canada. You can contact our secretariat by mail, phone, or email.

10 Morrow Avenue, Suite 202
Toronto, ON
M6R 2J1
office [AT]