This panel will look further at the appropriation of artifacts, art works, and its visual representations through images and objects plus their performative agency in times of collaboration and revolution.
In this panel we would like to trace the possible range and variety of emotional responses to art works and practices: from empathy to iconoclasm, from crying to iconophilia. By doing so, we would like to discuss some of the issues related to the idea of agency of material objects. The process of making an art object has always been related to the intention of causing an effect on the viewer: from the Santa Muerte statuettes, to ready mades, from abstract paintings to holly icons. Following the decapitation of the monument of Lenin in Ukraine, we would like to ask if the nature of spectatorship itself is more collaborative or revolutionary. This panel would be to trace the possible forms of efficacy of art works and icons. This panel wishes to explore further how and why material objects can still empower such emotions and feelings of love and hate in times of collaboration and revolution. Even, as Benjamin suggests, in the era of mass technological reproduction, it has been found that it is the multiple layers of meanings given to each body of objects and images that provide each object or image with its uniqueness and its aura. This panel wishes to explore further why in a digital era people are still emotionally motivated to revere or decapitate the icon.