The international workshop The Space of Display seeks to explore the complex interdependencies between the display of objects and their spatial containers. Concepts of framing and display­ing are pivotal to the history of western painting, but how do these concepts extend to the architectural space surrounding the objects on display? On the one hand, our inquiry sets off from the assumption that architecture has served as an ap­paratus of display throughout history, and that this aspect has indeed been a crucial aspect of architectural thinking and design in various epochs and building typologies. On the other hand, we aim to explore the meaning of “display” not only in terms of the presentation of images and works of art, but also address the demonstrative func­tions of pictures and artifacts themselves. Our objective is to investigate visual display with parti­cular regard to its spatial dimension, and to theorize different forms of spatial display in terms of both aesthetic efficacy and their specific historical conditions.

Six international scholars from art and architectural history will discuss spatial and architectural devices of display in a historical perspective, parergonal aspects of framing and the display of visual artifacts, and motifs of framing and transgression in the work of art. The guiding questions of our discussion are: What is architectural about the cultural technique of display? What is the architectural lan­guage of display, and how has it been developed and adapted under changing historical conditions?

The Space of Display is a joint initiative by the NCCR Mediality research project The Art of the Dis­play and the Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship project Architectures of Display. It is co-organized by the research groups of Prof. Dr. Martino Stierli and Prof. Dr. Tristan Weddigen and by the Swiss Institute for Art Research SIK-ISEA.

The event is open and free to the public.


9.30 Welcome and Introduction (Prof. Martino Stierli and Prof. Tristan Weddigen, University of Zurich)

9.45 Points of View: Architecture Displays and the Audience in the Early Twentieth Century (Prof. Wallis Miller, University of Kentucky/Lexington, USA)

10.30 Architecture’s Humanist Turn, Milan 1951: Proportional Systems Versus Measure of Man (Prof. Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, Yale School of Architecture/New Haven, USA)

11.15 Coffee & Tea

11.45 The Window and the World: Architecturally Framed Views. From Statius to Palladio (Prof. Gerd Blum, Kunstakademie Münster/Germany)

12.30 Lunch Break

14.00 The Musée Charles X at the Louvre and ist Staircase: Spatiality, Temporality, Instruction and Immersion (Prof. Caroline van Eck, Universiteit Leiden/The Netherlands)

14.45 A Moment of Disequilibrium: Paintings Rejected and Collected (Dr. Gail Feigenbaum, The Getty Research Institute/Los Angeles, USA)

15.30 Coffee & Tea

16.00 The Façade as Image (Prof. Andreas Beyer, Universität Basel/Switzerland)

16.45 Discussion