On the example of the iconography of dean Srđan Radojković,this paper studies the aesthetics of the spiritualized body as a new transformed matter, as a specific feature of his icons (paintings). All the bodies painted in his icons speak volumes – in fact they tell stories;in them, images of messianic salvation are contemplated and depicted– as the Kingdom of Christ. In the icons of our dean the lightness of the immaterial body is visualised, released from bare corporality and transformed into divine, sacred spiritual harmony. As the subject iconography is based on established clerical, artistic and aesthetic assumptions, bodies of the saints are depicted as harmonic, balanced and self-delivering. To an extent, this is indeed a new aspect of the iconography in Serbia.
Rare images of pregnant women in art history have resulted in insufficient theoretical representation of this topic, which has only recently begun to be studied. The reasons behind rare images of pregnancy are multiple, such as secrecy from the public eye primarily due to the fear of miscarriage, death of the mother or the new-born in childbirth (because childbirth usually took place at home or in a private space, until the early twentieth century) as well as some religious and social attitudes towards pregnant women. Also, artists could easily edit their work by removing the painted belly if necessary, especially if it was a seated figure. This paper aims to show the images of pregnant women focusing on the Christian tradition. It brings together two symbolic figures through the motif of a pregnant woman: Madonna (Mother of God in the Western Christian tradition) as the central female figure of Christianity, and Madonna as a symbol of popular culture. Preserved examples that have changed the image of a pregnant woman throughout history are analysed chronologically. The body of a pregnant woman was observed in the past mainly through the dual attitude of Christianity towards the body, which made it problematic, but Christian references can also be found in the representations of pregnant women in the art and pop culture of today, with very developed symbolism.With the development of technology and medicine, the knowledge of the female body became deeper, while social changes led to new conceptions of pregnancy which then reflected in the visual culture. The development of technology and the phenomena of mass media and the social networks have enabled women today to create their own image of pregnancy.
In this paper we will try to consider the problem of Body and Personality in the sci-fi romantic drama Her by American director Spike Jonze in the light of Christian anthropology and Theology of Personality. We understand Jonze’s art work as a case study related to the specific consequences of certain phenomena of postmodern society, such a salienation, loneliness or emotional instability. In his film, the director and screenwriter presents increasingly topical issues of our civilization,but also individual connection with high technologies in various aspects of life i.e. delicate relationships between man and self-conscious forms of Artificial Intelligence. By basing the film story line on the relationship between these two entities or two beings, Jones did not want to offersatire but to deal with the very delicate problem of personality ingeneral – alienation. As a result, the future world is inhabited by lonely individuals, inseparable from their smartphones, who receive love and attention from the virtual world. In his own aesthetic way, Jonze opened the Pandora’s Box of possible outcomes of life with machines, which has begun in our own timeline. Therefore, we cannot unambiguously determine whether Her is a film dystopia or a film utopia.
The aesthetic-anthropological image of the body in the poetry of Ivan V. Lalić relies on the semantic values of Christian canonical thought. Starting from the biblical idea of creating the human being in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), Lalić shapes an aestheticized vision of the body in which its flesh is not only a material manifestation of a human being, but also a plan of existence that carries sublime meaning for the humans.The body renews and confirms the sublime (theandric) designation in the incarnation of God the Logos and his resurrection. Hence, the human body, as representation of the divine in humans, is something most precious in the experience of creation and is worthy of human glorification. Therefore, affirmation of such spiritual corporeality in the aesthetic experience and modern poetic experience, as well as its share in the theandric providential plan of salvation, requires a sharper focus of observation.
The paper discusses the concept of Christian suffering of the body as a worship motive on the example of the poem Antipsalm by Novica Tadić. Following Byzantine aesthetics and the aesthetics of asceticism,we interpret suffering of the body as a kind of Christian struggle which strengthens our faith in God. The stronger the suffering of the body, the greater the faith in the Lord. The more numb the body, the stronger the soul. In most previous interpretations, the poem Antipsalm has been proclaimed as the highest kind of a poet’s aesthetics of the ugly, as a painting of the demonic and evil world. This paper aims to show that this Tadić’s poem is actually an inverted psalm, and that invoking torment and evil in this song is only for the purpose of strengthening faith in the Lord and bringing pagans to faith.
Man is a corporal being whose life is fulfilled not only through spiritual, but also through bodily experience. One’s relationship towards the body is often divided between two opposites – from rejection and devaluation to magnification of the flesh as the source of pleasure and enjoyment. Christian point of view determines that the body is not an isolated object that only has sensory and aesthetic function but is an integral part of one’s personality, with which one has to be transfigured into a new dimension of being. There is a vast number of testimonies regarding saints reaching that graceful state that is manifested as radiant godly light representing the visible character of God’s energies. That is why the basic category of Christian ethics sees the other side as transcendental beauty that spreads like innate godly light. Traditional aesthetic theory is not sufficient for understanding the metaphysical status and aesthetics of the body in Christian experience and theology.That is why it is essential that the term of aesthetics includes more adequate and comprehensive term of metaesthetics. With a metaesthetic experience, the viewer does not see the body as an exterior material object that represents, reflects and radiates the unspeakable divine beauty, but also, as its recipient, become integral part.
The problem of resurrection of the body was and has remained the cornerstone of the Christian faith and hope, but also a crossing point of different doctrinal attitudes that marked the entire history of Christianity.This paper tries to illuminate the phenomenon of the body from several angles, through perspective of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, providing some of the modern theological answers. References are also made to the Christian iconography of the East and the West,regarding the aesthetics of Christ’s resurrected body, which with the sum of symbolic relations opens a completely new epistemological,theological and aesthetic field for understanding the resurrection as the most important secret of human existence.
Representing humans in visual arts is one of the oldest, most accessible,and theoretically thoroughly studied modes of semiotic interchange.Only lately, though, attention of researchers has been drawn to the fact that the relation of likeness between the image and the person (or event) represented by the same image is not a one-directional cognitive formula, and that people often tend to identify their behaviour and their bodies with (their own) images. In other words, together with the basic semiotic proposition implying that the (mimetic/artistic) images are supposed to represent the bodies, it is possible to notice the representational processes through which bodies are becoming images of those very images. The ways this alternative representational mode has been used in Late Antiquity, together with the ways this kind of semiotic interchange influenced the bodily expressions of piety in those periods – resulting in gradual erasure of the cognitive borderlines between bodily and iconic modalities of presence – are the topics of this research.