Posted on October 13th, 2014

Notes from the Chair

Majors’ Event


Cindy Sherman

The Art History Program will hold its Majors’ Event on Wednesday, November 5th in the Faculty Dining Room.  Art History faculty will meet with majors and interested students to discuss the Spring 2015 course offerings.  Three alumni will speak of their lives after Bard, their failures and successes, giving tips and networking advise to current students.

Refreshments will be served.

Happenings at Bard

“Sanctified Sandals” – Barry Flood to Lecture

Sanctified Sandals—Polemics and Prophetic Relics in an Era of Technological Reproducibility
Barry Flood, Professor of Humanities, Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences, NYU
Add. 27566

Monday, November 10, 2014
Olin, Room 102

5 pm
Although recent controversies about the historical representation of the Prophet Muhammad have focused on figural paintings, these were relatively rare and circulated in a limited milieu. More commonly, the Prophet was represented metonymically, by depictions of his footprint or sandal, for example. The most famous relic of the Prophet’s sandal was kept in Damascus; from the twelfth century onwards, images of this sandal relic were generated by tracing its outline. Such tracings were believed to circulate the blessings (baraka) conferred by this cherished vestige through contact with the body of the Prophet. The copying of the sandal relic continued into modernity, when new print technologies and photography were applied to the reproduction of its image. The deployment of modern technologies of mass (re)production to the circulation of the relic as an image may be related to debates within Islam about the acceptability of relics, shrine veneration and mediation, debates that continue until the present day. However, the ability of mass-produced images to transport and transmit the charisma of the original relic also raises interesting questions about the nature of images, copies and mediation.

Sponsored by: Art History Program; Middle Eastern Studies Program; Religion Program.