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Kachelöfen in Renaissance Nuremberg
Sasha Handley

This chapter discusses material innovation and materiality as part of daily life in Renaissance Nuremberg. It explores the consumer revolution that took place in Dürer’s lifetime, including the rich traditions of manufacturing and artisan expertise, particularly of tiles and engraving. Dürer’s relationship to manufacturing culture and trade are explored in terms of how they present different perspectives on daily life, religious practice and consumership.

in Albrecht Dürer’s material world
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Edward H. Wouk
and
Dagmar Eichberger

The early modern scholar’s study was the site where collections were kept and activated through handling, use, study, classification and exchange. Dürer’s engraving of Saint Jerome in his study epitomising the ideas of knowledge, erudition and scholarly writing is one of the most famous prints by the Nuremberg artist. This chapter discusses various objects that appear in the print, including Jerome's attributes, an hourglass, candlesticks, a letter rack and a rosary, in order to explore Dürer’s connection to a humanist community and his engagement with subjects related to science, astronomy and nature. Dürer’s prints show how artistic creation was connected to practices of learning and devotion. The early modern scholar’s study was the site where collections were kept and activated through handling, use, study, classification and exchange. Dürer’s engraving of Saint Jerome in his study epitomising the ideas of knowledge, erudition and scholarly writing is one of the most famous prints by the Nuremberg artist. This chapter discusses various objects that appear in the print, including Jerome's attributes, an hourglass, candlesticks, a letter rack and a rosary, in order to explore Dürer’s connection to a humanist community and his engagement with subjects related to science, astronomy and nature. Dürer’s prints show how artistic creation was connected to practices of learning and devotion.

in Albrecht Dürer’s material world
A fait accompli
Imogen Holmes-Roe

Sir Thomas Dalmahoy Barlow had a collection of woodcuts, engravings and illustrated books by Albrecht Dürer, which developed into one of the great collections of the world. It was shown to the public for the first time at Manchester Art Gallery in 1935 when parallels were drawn between Barlow's collection and those of the Albertina and the British Museum. This chapter discusses Barlow's collection and its connections to Manchester, the importance of philanthropy and the status of German art in the UK before the First World War.

in Albrecht Dürer’s material world
Holly Fletcher

This chapter considers a section of Dürer’s 1510 devotional verse ‘The Seven Daily Times of Prayer’, in which Dürer describes the moment of contemplation inspired by the image of Christ’s lifeless body lying across his mother’s knee, a moment of compassion and suffering for the onlooker. This moment, known as the ‘pietà’, is represented in material form by the Whitworth sculpted wooden Pietà from Renaissance Germany, made near Dürer’s home city by a sculptor who would have been familiar with his work. The figure of Christ presented in the Whitworth Pietà aligns with Dürer’s meditation in verse on the weakness of his earthly body. This chapter discusses the origins and uses of the Whitworth Pietà and its significance as an object of devotion.

in Albrecht Dürer’s material world
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Stefan Hanß
,
Jennifer Spinks
, and
Edward H. Wouk

Early modern artisans were skilled makers of objects, and their workshops were sites of astonishing technical and creative innovation. In the material Renaissance, the artisan’s workshop was a space of acquiring, manufacturing and transforming materials and pushing established boundaries of what was considered achievable in the arts. Albert Dürer came from a background of craftsmanship, had trained to be a goldsmith, and was skilled in printmaking, etching and textiles. He experimented with different material aesthetics in his work. For Dürer, the artisan’s workshop was a space that forged the artist’s creative role and pushed the boundaries towards new forms of making and knowing.

in Albrecht Dürer’s material world
Emma Dick

This chapter explores female identity in dress in Bhutan and how this has been shaped in the twenty-first century by the competing and complementary forces of the Royal Government, contact with international development agencies, and the growth of digital technology in the kingdom. The impact of national policies such as driglam namzha, a sumptuary dress code, and Gross National Happiness on women’s dress is discussed and explored alongside discussion and analysis of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck and how her royal sartorial identity is crafted and presented both within Bhutan and globally. Critical analysis of how this sits alongside the everyday dress and stories of ordinary Bhutanese women is placed within a broader discussion of how the creation, consumption, appropriation, and display of heritage textiles and garments has evolved in Bhutan and how this contributes to debates surrounding the politics of dress and globalization.

in Threads of globalization
Ronnie Close

Chapter 5 deals with female representation as subjects operating under the heteronormative lens that polices Egyptian public space. This includes cultural censorship and the problematic role the Egyptian state continues to play as the patriarchal arbiter of behavioural and moral values. Three diverse image-based works are discussed to consider the regulation of female bodies in the public sphere which have triggered responses to tell us much about censorship and misogyny. The first involves the digital self-portrait of feminist Aliaa al-Mahdy who posted a nude self-portrait on her personal blog in 2011. The image went viral within hours resulting in millions of visits to her website. The second visual work examines doctored fashion photographs on the adlat website, a female online community who offer users tips aligned to conservative Muslim values. A third visual case history examines international books on photography stocked in Cairo bookstores. Such anthologies often include nude artworks as part of the canon of Western art history and this presents a dilemma for the regime. In these editions state censorship has been carried out that entails hand-painting each photographic image to deny the full erotic impact of the body for the public viewer. These three mediated visual case studies are indicative of the entangled expression of gender which appears to demand female representation to be in line with traditional conservative codes. Such expressive tensions, between public and private behaviours, are often part of the stresses many feel within contemporary Egypt which are regularly negotiated through photographic representation.

in Decolonizing images
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Decolonial aesthetic futures
Ronnie Close

This final section reconsiders what decoloniality may offer in the context of Egypt. In this sense the photographic image is seen in a new light as a mediation between colonial legacies, nationalist strategies and the potential of decolonializing aesthetics to frame the image as part of a homegrown culture. Moreover, Egypt’s visual culture is a creative expression of its own value codes in the contemporary paradigm, on its own terms, and can authenticate a non-Western visual history which refutes Orientalist trajectories. The book discusses the critical debates on decoloniality theory as a way to rethink local cultural sensibilities and look forward to interpret the forces latent within the photographic image in Egypt.

in Decolonizing images
Ronnie Close

The final chapter looks at the visual approaches of innovative photographic art practices in Egypt. These art photographers remain marginal and the dubious nature of the state’s interference in cultural affairs has impeded the development of a sustainable ecosystem of creative contemporary art practices. Many photographic artists operate with nuanced forms of personal expression, manipulating images and thinking beyond the direct image object itself. This generation of photographic artists have emerged in the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings, and set out to create dialogue on cultural representation, identity and photographic aesthetics. The selection of art photography projects examined in this chapter consists of the work of two practitioners, Nadia Mounier and Ibrahim Ahmed, who are indicative of the indigenous reimagining of Egyptian visual culture. This generation has much to say about the state of the nation and patriarchal power, as the personal can become political. These artists constitute a contemporary wave of local image-makers who are rethinking Western narratives on the medium to look both outwards and inwards, capturing life among Egypt’s sprawling cities. Art photography holds a mirror to the globalized nature of modernity, colonial pasts and the emancipatory potential of image cultures vividly felt during 2011.

in Decolonizing images
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A new history of photographic cultures in Egypt
Author:

The events of 25 January 2011 placed Egypt at the front and centre of discussions around radical transformations taking place in global photographic cultures. Yet Egypt and photography share a longer, richer history rarely included in Western histories of the medium. Decolonizing Images focuses on the local visual heritage of Egypt and, in doing so, continues the urgent process of decolonizing the canon of photography. Drawing on a wide range of historical and contemporary visual materials this book discovers the potential of photography as a decolonizing force. In diverse ways the medium has been used to influence political affairs, cultural life and reimaginings of Egypt in the transformation from a colony to a sovereign nation. Ronnie Close presents a new account of the visual cultures produced in and exhibited inside of Egypt by interpreting the camera’s ability to conceal as much as it reveals. He rethinks how the visual has constituted a distinct cultural sensibility on its own terms. This book moves from the initial encounters between local knowledge and Western-led modernity to explore how the image intersects with issues of representation, censorship, activism and art photography. The image disseminates knowledge from the specificity of its time but retains a singular property of its own creative expression that is more than the sum of its parts. Close overturns Eurocentric understandings of the photograph through a compelling narrative on this indigenous visual culture in a complex vision of decolonial difference in contemporary Egypt.