Ladislav Kesner
ifk Senior Fellow

Zeitraum des Fellowships:
01. Oktober 2006 bis 31. Januar 2007

Period eye and historical modalities of vision in the light of contemporary research in mind & brain sciences


In recent art history and cultural studies, the existence of culturally and historically specific modes of seeing is taken for granted. Lately, grand schemes of "scopic regimes" and modes of seeing have been replaced by more nuanced empirical investigations of specific local, spatiotemporally restricted visual practices. As a rule, however, these investigations are divorced from the examination of biological and psychological aspects of vision and do not reflect recent major advances and developments in the philosophy of mind, cognitive science and neurosciences. This leaves the art historical practice of locating and describing specific cultures of vision conceptually insecure and theoretically unstable. The main focus of the project is on the systematic reconsideration of the notion of culturally and historically specific modes of seeing and vision, vis-a vis recent research in cognitive science and neurosciences. It attempts to lay a conceptual and theoretical ground for linking the examination of practices of vision on the level of cultural groups with modes of seeing as an activity of an individual embodied subject. It thus attempts to reexamine assumptions and practices of humanistically oriented "sociology of vision" in the light of the contemporary challenges presented by mind & brain sciences. At the same time, it is conceived as a specific experiment to examine how the language and structure of discourse and theoretical models in contemporary neurosciences, cognitive science and philosophy of mind could be appropriated within the discourses concerning visual art.


Managing Director of Cultropa


U. a.: Muzeum umìní v digitální dobì. Vnímání obrazù a prožitek umìní v soudobé spoleènosti/Museum of art in the digital age. Perception of images and experience of art in contemporary society, Prague 2000; Marketing a management muzeí a památek/Marketing and Management of Museums and Heritage Sites, Prague 2005; The Role of Cognitive Competence in the Art Museum Experience, in: Museum Management and Curatorship, 21, 1, 2006; Understanding of Art as an Active Visual Hermeneutics, in: Ars, 39, 1, 2006; Is the truly global art history possible?, in: James Elkins (ed.), Is Art History Global?, London/New York 2006.