Elizabeth Rodini, “Active Objects: Rethinking Mobility, Geography, and the Museum”

If you missed it, you can watch the lecture through the BGC Archive.


Wed., Jan. 24, 12:15-1:15 p.m., Bard Graduate Center, 38 W. 86th St., New York City

This lecture is free and open to the public.  It will also be live-streamed on BGCTV; visit this link the day of the talk for more information.

Museums are static but the objects they contain are not, or were not, until accessioning rendered them museum pieces, markers on an art historical map of the world. Centering on objects that moved into and through Venice in the early modern period, this talk proposes some alternative means for thinking and talking about the geography of things. Rodini’s approach is both historical and museological. On the one hand, she revisits familiar textual sources to clarify how Venetians understood imported objects with regard to their origins and sites of production. On the other, she considers the challenges posed by museum spaces and the possibility of reanimating geographically constrained collections to tell complex, multi-faceted stories of the relationship of things to place. From these analytical and interpretive perspectives, mobility emerges not merely as a precursor to cultural meaning—evidenced in the borrowing of forms or the migration of motifs—but as a primary vector of meaning in its own right.