Conferences 5 & 7 April 2016 – How does a picture act ? by R. Ego

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How does a picture act ?

The power of images in San’s rock paintings from South Africa and Namibia, through examples of therianthropes and rain-animals  

Renaud Ego

The analysis of San rock art largely originates in cultural anthropology founded on the analysis of the systems of thoughts of descendants of the creators of the paintings. In this regard, the corpus of account and myths, collected at the end the 19th century, plays a predominant role, as do the anthropological studies carried throughout the last century among the Kalahari San. It is essentially in this double mirror that San art has been studied, as if thi detour was the best access route. It would be absurd to deny that this detour was fruitful. Nevertheless this approach remains a look in a mirror and rock art is rarely seen as a territory where its own language is forged In this way, the question of the difference that constitutes a visual language is relagated to the background.

A painting works through the work put its production, and its meaning is fully incorporated into its form. In this way, examples will be discussed, dealing with the themes of rain animals and therianthropes conflating human and animal bodies. In order to see how an image acts, being an event and and avent in which the singular language of a « work » is expressed and devised.

Tuesday 5 April 2016, 18:00

Origin Center, Wits University 

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Thursday 7 April 2016, 20:00

South African Archaeology Society, Rodean School auditorium