Closing date for applications: 30 April 2010

LINEA II – Tangents, interlaces, knots, labyrinths. Structure and meaning of lines from antiquity to the contemporary period

International Conference organized by Marzia Faietti and Gerhard Wolf

4 – 5 November 2010

The conference is the second meeting of the LINEA Project, which is subdivided into three phases It will discuss fundamental linear structures that correspond to essential elements, iconic or aniconic, of the visual

art of various cultures: lines that run parallel to each other, intersect or are interwoven, create labyrinths or indicate the way of escape.

The chosen time frame ranges from antiquity to the present day. Not aiming to cover these epochs in a systematic or chronological way, the conference will be constructed on the basis of case studies that may range from

Egyptian papyri to the line of Kandinsky and beyond. The geographical areas to be taken into consideration are primarily the Western cultures in their various declinations of lines from both a diachronic and synchronic

perspective. However, the conference will also include a comparative level with papers on Islamic art and the Far East.

The linear structures identified as the subject of LINEA II recur in, and are substantiated by, very diversified types of materials and artistic genres, which in turn presuppose two-dimensional and three-dimensional

systems of representation; spatial or virtual projections; monochromic, dichromatic or polychromatic forms. Tangents, interlaces, knots and labyrinths will be analyzed in terms of their aesthetic and symbolic

aspects, ranging from drawings to manuscripts; from prints to metalwork; from fabrics to ceramics and stamped leather; from paintings and frescoes to mosaics; from intaglio to sculptures and extending as far as

architectural labyrinths and figurative representations in which bodies and objects are constructed from or performed by the calibrated and subtle interplay of lines.

The sections of the conference will not be based on the traditional classification of works of art according to techniques, materials or genres; instead, they will favour the analogical or dissimilar linear structures recurrent in the various “objects” to be studied.

In short, the central objective of the conference will be to analyze and distinguish the intrinsic dynamics of the “language” of lines, in their most disparate articulations. In this way, we hope to establish a kind of cross-cultural laboratory open to the examination and interpretation of ontological and semantic elements concerning the “line”, relating to different cultures and epochs.

Scholars interested in participating in the conference are invited to send a proposal of 250 words, their CV and a list of publications to the following address by 30 April 2010:

The conference languages will be: Italian, German, English and French.


Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

Via Giuseppe Giusti 44

50121 Florence