Feste – die Inszenierung der Stadt

Celebrated with the greatest sumptuousness, they are the representative occasions of emperors and popes, of kings and regents, in all situations from birth to death, from weddings to victory on the battlefield. And the corresponding forms developed, proliferated, and were refined in the “baroque” period. After the traditional triumphal and festive processions, the “possesso” (the claiming of “their” city of Rome by the newly elected popes), there was an increasing amount of hardware (“Macchine”) that enriched these occasions. And after triumphal arches and facade sheathing, there were imposing structures, which then were also immortalized in luxurious book publications. Fireworks contribute an additional accent to the whole. It is self-representation and propaganda, but it is also addressed to the general population entirely in the sense of “panem et circenses.” The “Cuccagna,” celebrated in a particular manner in Naples, is an emblem of the corresponding festive joy and exuberance. And you never get enough of it! Milizia wrote: „Sarebbe una felicità, che tutte le spese per le guerre si convertissero per gli spettacoli.“

In the course of time, a rich repertoire of decor and (content-based) accompaniment of festivals took shape: pictorial and “symbolic” representations, inscriptions, literary encomia, and the various forms of “illuminazione.” Some served memory, or also instruction, referred to itself as “réjouissance” and was apparently “la divisa di tutti i popoli.” It was political propaganda, a mass phenomenon, served “sociabilité” and had long since become indispensable, a “besoin de la multitude passionée.” The temporary festival as an “ephemeral” phenomenon thereby often stands in contrast to the fundamental programmatic contents and pretensions. 

They are sensuous stimuli that are brought into public space and that animate it, as well as often, vice versa, architectural measures and embellishments planned and executed in anticipation of a festive occasion. In every case, attention is sought. In Rome, the church also presses out onto the piazza; at the inauguration of the theater-like piazza in front of S. Ignazio this was expressly formulated.  

It concerns the documentation of the diverse forms of festivals and their development, but it also concerns the festival as a whole and its cultural, artistic, and urbanistic significance.

The course is open to doctoral candidates as well as junior and senior scholars who wish to address the topic with short papers (20 minutes) and through mutual conversation. As usual, the course has an interdisciplinary orientation. We hope for lively participation from the disciplines of art and architectural history, but also from scholars of history, theology, theatre and other relevant fields. Papers may be presented in German, French, Italian or English; at least a passive knowledge of German is a requirement for participation.

Conditions: The Foundation assumes the hotel costs for course participants, as well as several group dinners and the excursion. Travel costs cannot be reimbursed.

Please send applications with brief abstracts and brief CVs by e-mail to: anja.buschow@bibliothek-oechslin.ch

The CFP deadline is 20 December 2018.

Concept / Organization: Dr. Anja Buschow Oechslin (Einsiedeln), Prof. Dr. Axel Christoph Gampp (Uni Basel), Prof. Dr. Stefan Kummer (Uni Würzburg), Prof. Dr. Werner Oechslin (Einsiedeln) in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Maarten Delbeke (ETH Zürich).