Islamic Art: Beyond Perception and Perspective

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Islamic Art: Beyond Perception and Perspective

The Holy Rock, Jerusalem, by Carl F. H. Werner  (visited Jerusalem c. 1862-64)

The conceptualisation of Islamic art in western art history discourse relies on two interrelated interpretive tools: perception and perspective. Visual perception places emphasis on appearance and aesthetic qualities, which becomes ‘a point of view’, a ‘perspective’, when it represents a singular human-generated vision entrusted for providing an authoritative interpretation of what is being seen. This talk will show how human agency and authoritative point of view, as enacted through visual perception and embodied in the concept and technique of perspective, is absent in the traditional Islamic understanding of art making, which tends to take into account the dialectic relationship between the seen, the unseen, and the unseeable.

Samer Akkach is Professor of architectural history and theory and Founding Director of the Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA) at the University of Adelaide. His main areas of expertise are in the fields of Islamic art and architecture, Islamic mysticism (Sufism), and Islamic intellectual history, and his interdisciplinary research interests extend to socio-urban and cultural history of the Levant and history of Islamic science in the early modern period. He has held several Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grants and was a recipient of the ARC Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA). His major publications include Cosmology and Architecture (2005), Islam and the Enlightenment (2007), Letters of a Sufi Scholar(2010), Intimate Invocations (2012), Damascene Diaries (2015), Istanbul Observatory(2017), and Ê¿Ilm: Science, Religion, and Art in Islam (ed.) (2019).

HOW TO REGISTER: Please email Chris Manning before Monday Saturday 7 November to secure your place.

Registration (only available to TAASA members) closes Saturday 7 November.

Registered participants will be sent the link a day or two before the lecture. If you have not used Zoom before, there is no need to download it in advance. Just follow the prompts after you click on the link that will be sent to you upon registration and your device will download and connect you to Zoom.

If you have booked but cannot attend, please advise so that waitlisted members can be given access.




9 November, 2020
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm AEDT
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