Sofia Presentation Class Notes

Presentation Notes -Toward a Geography of Art CH 7,8,9

In this books Kaufmann is describing Kubler’s writings and how he attempted to view art history in terms of analysis and inserts his beliefs about physical geography in relation to “materials, centers, and traditions” (222).
This method of making art history a process of examining the impact of “physical and cultural geography” (223) could be a method of identifying the colonial histories of forms and aesthetic preference but it becomes a further tool of colonialism
Kubler creates 7 zones of artistic geography to create an atlas of culture and geography and political boundaries
I want to start off with the question that came up in my reading, and Sofia asked really nicely : “Are these routes of transfer not dependent on political choices? More broadly, is culture as a whole not significantly shaped and altered by politics?”
Is the key of determining a geography of art actually defining center and peripheries? I think it should be more complicated by understandings of the long reaching arms of coloniality
Applying european ideas of the provincial disintegration of forms to the colonized and mestizaje occurring in latin america, can Kubler do this? Can Kubler’s theories be applied in the neo-colonial world? Are they helpful or even applicable in the world of attempts to decolonize?
“Forms created to express a certain content are taken over in a milieu where acquaintance with the original content has been lost and the actual meaning and function of form are no longer understood” (225, quote from Jan Biolostocki)
Singleing out cities as cultural centers because of quick artistic change, only attributes inherent beauty to sites with what he regards as pre-existing natural beauty-227
Does not give any responsibility or agency to indigenous or mestizo
Does not value the artistic/cultural productions or aesthetic of the indigenous
Anvita: the center and the periphery “his also plays into Kubler’s idea of the periphery as the place conducive to major creative and cultural development because of the distance from the powerful center. The difference he asserts between the province and the periphery shows how the periphery is both on the same developmental level as the center and on the same spatial level as the province (aka removed from the center).”
Kubler desires to lift the spanish imperial mask by identifying non-Iberian roots of this architecture-still colonialist though
Despite these, Kubler premiered the use of aesthetic boundaries rather than colonially imposed ones (ie dates, drawn border)
Bialistocki – the  freedom of the peripheries from the “accumulated power of tradition” could innovate stylistically and iconographically
What is missing from this statement? Certainly an understanding of other limits placed on the people in the periphery, artsits may be able to develop independently but they certianly are limited by the means they can access, especially in the modern day (does this theory hold up today)
Why no mestizaje?
Not Eurocentrism to call attention to the connection between Europe and the Americas but, imho, the piece doesn’t frame the connection appropriately as one of colonial control and power (ie ignoring that European colonial actions decided what was center and periphery and also
Writer shows his bias on page 244 “jesuit missions in the jungles of paraguay or bolivia…would have been much different from their residences in the cities of the ancient and highly sophisticated cultures of India, China and Japan” YIKES
“Are the arts in the Americas to be regarded as imports from Europe, or, even if produced locally, are they provincial derivations?…Is their distinction from the European the result of their remote point of origin, or , seen more positively, because of the role of the indigenous peoples, who had created high cultures especially in areas where the Spanish founded colonies in Mexico and Peru?”(272)
Monasteries, convents, estancias were related to the missionary project