Intermediality and the ekphrasis project
Within this context, we devoted a week to ekphrasis, understood as the description of an (often visual) artwork in terms of another art form, usually (literary) language, which reorganizes or usurps the visual. This makes ekphrasis an instance of transmediality: a transposition of material from one medium to another. A famous example is the shield of Achilles described in book 18 of Homer's Iliad. In Irina Rajewski’s words (2002), ekphrasis regards “medienunspezifische Phänomene, die in verschiedenen Medien mit den dem jeweiligen Medium eigenen Mitteln ausgetragen werden können, ohne dass hierbei die Annahme eines kontaktgebenden Ursprungsmediums wichtig oder möglich ist.”
This week, we had as a guest lecturer the acclaimed painter Joost de Jonge. Joost is a widely exhibited Dutch artist with work in a wide range of international collections, who exhibited in Almería at AM-Gallery, Vromans Gallery in Friesland, The Netherlands, Bill Lowe Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia and at Alexander Salazar Fine Art in San Diego California. In his Ekphrasis Project, he asks poets, writers and artists like Robert C. Morgan and Dinah Berland, critics like Peter Frank, as well as scholars like art historian Kathryn Brown, Penny Florence, and myself, to write a critical or artistic response to his paintings. He then brings all these together in beautiful digital book volumes.