Conférence : Leslie Geddes, « Drowning in Print », Rome, Villino Stroganoff, 6 juillet 2022, 15h-17h
Few early modern prints render swimming as a feat of resistance against both water and air; fewer indicate its risks. How to show the calisthenic movement of a figure both within and without the water? How about the resistance of waves to the exertion of a body propelling its own weight through a slick, transparent, heavy medium?
Printed lines delineate, but also obfuscate, bodies caught in constant flux between air and water. Immersion in water is to engage in constant inter-elemental negotiation. Narrative scenes render the hazards of water. In prints of drownings, water’s transparency gives way to a weighted solidity, bodies subsumed below waterlines. The works examined in this talk demonstrate the unique challenges of depicting invisible forces of currents and gravity within an aqueous medium. These are problems of visual discernment, where prints amplify the visual tensions of struggle, of sunkenness, and of slippage.
Leslie Geddes is Assistant Professor of Art History at Tulane University, New Orleans. An Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, she has also held fellowships at Harvard’s Villa I Tatti, the Newberry Library, and the Huntington Library.
Scientific Organization: Ariella Minden