Invention of the Baroque and Discourses of the Neo-Baroque: Politics and Religion in Austria, Brazil and the Philippines
Lecture by Jens Baumgarten as part of the lecture series Transatlantic Modernities between Brazil and Austria.
The Neo-Baroque of the “Ringstrasse“ in Vienna shows the relation of this style with the creation and the ‘mise-en-scène’ of power. This can be read also in historiography of the Baroque from Sedlmayr to Maravall. For the Austrian context power was represented for and by the Habsburg dynasty and its tight relation between politics and religion. Calabrese and more recently Ndalianis and Moser have established to understand the Neo-Baroque not mainly as a style, but rather as a transcultural and transhistorical category of analysis
In this sense the paper is presented in five interpretaments. 1. The “Ringstrasse” as a monument with its Neo-Baroque style as representation of the Habsburg power; 2. The Neo-Baroque as a democratizing element in Western European and Northern American popular culture; 3. the Neo- Baroque as national identity, a conservative stabilizing movement and its relation to modernity; 4. the question of the senses: the visual and the tactile: from baroque to neo-baroque mise-en-scène in religious-political contexts; and last 5. Sistine Chapels from colonial – anti-colonial – Neo-Baroque: unfolding nationalism to Wunderkammer.
Jens Baumgarten is professor for art history at the Federal University of São Paulo (Universidade Federal de São Paulo). He studied Art History and History in Hamburg and Florence. After post-doctorate fellowships in Dresden, Germany, Mexico-City and Campinas, Brazil, he established one of the first autonomous departments of Art History in Brazil. In 2010 he was visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute and at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence (2016/2017). He is member of the Brazilian Committee of Art History (CBHA). He specializes in early modern art history of Latin America and Europe, Neobaroque as well as in historiography of art, violence and art, visual culture, theoretical and methodological contexts, and most recently on questions of ecology and art. Author of ‘Image, confession, and power’ (in German, 2004), several articles, and is preparing a book on ‘Visual systems in Colonial Brazil’ and another about comparisons between Brazilian and Filipino art history.