universidade lusófona

V International Conference Cycle ECATI/MCB – 2015: “Art, history and thought”

In one of his interviews, the German visual artist Gerhard Richter made the following statement, comparing the act of painting with the act of thinking: “painting has nothing to do with thinking, because in painting, to think is to paint”.

Søren Kierkegaard had thought of this relationship with creating from the notion of patience, a word that carries the notion of time, which evokes time as a delaying action, as an act of voluntary extension, but not an act of postpone. Between the creator making and thinking time is inherent and this takes strength for culture in the history.

Art, history and thought are always united. But this union is now increasingly more problematic. We intend not only to present a sequence of discourses or concepts that were used by the different ways of thinking through the ages, in the forms of art making. Nor is it not to see the concept and the creation as something of the past, even if they have marked a possibility of categorization of time, forming in times: the classical, the medieval, the modern or the contemporary. It is rather to see how the creating and the thinking reconfigure, represent themselves in something alive.

The purpose of this cycle is outlined by Hegel’s spirit for whom “the thought, the beginning of an era, is the all-pervading spirit. This spirit has to evolve in its self-consciousness, and such progress is the development of the entire mass of specific totality; and this totality relates to the external, and therefore, to time. Since history […] has to do with pure thought, it is also a science, that is, not an aggregate of knowledge ordered in a certain way, but an unfolding of thought that is itself and for itself necessary”.

The aim of this international colloquium is to create the conditions so that the thinking is made in the dialogue with creativity, with time in which it occurs. This requires, necessarily, that we face the history of the happening, the thinking and the artistic creation, of the history of thought and the art history, not as a mere sequence of narratives dealing with their own content typical of a particular time, but to see how they focus on an activity that is always aimed at the real, at the world in which we think at a given time, but that always emerges from own contingencies that that time includes.

We intend to show, in the spectrum of the different historical ways of thinking and creating, how the art and the thinking can be removed from the “dead time”, the time spent, and therefore show as something alive, as thoughts and works that can be separated from the circumstance of their actual event and can be transferred to the present in which one thinks and creates. Let us return to Hegel to remember that “if concept and reality separate, then man dies”.

The patience of going back, to the past, of the recovery of the fundamental elements of art and thought, we intend to make an itinerary that is based, concerned with the present. We wish to make a contemporary thinking live that brings about and acts on the past in order to create the right distance that allows one to see. It is a process that always leads to a continuous action, but that is embodied in contextual formulations of own content. To think about the thoughts of others, the works of others, about other times.

We seek to create a dialogue between thinkers and artists that recovers “what does not become old with the currently alive”. We thus seek the patient way to react to the crisis, looking in the alive past the elements constituting their possible answer. A thinking around the possible trans- epochal connections that are truly contemporary because they are historical.