Translation semester slideshow

1. Translation Teaching Resources in the Galleries of theThe  images  contained  in  this  slideshow  are  provided  for  educa6onal  purposes.  Please  do…
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  • 1. Translation Teaching Resources in the Galleries of theThe  images  contained  in  this  slideshow  are  provided  for  educa6onal  purposes.  Please  do  not  reproduce  without  the  permission  of  the  University  of  Michigan  Museum  of  Art.  
  • 2. VISUALIZING TRANSLATION AT THE UMMAThis slideshow suggests artworks from the University of Michigan Museum of Artthat can be used to develop teaching curricula for the LSA Translation ThemeSemester. To view online records for these objects go to the digital portfolio at more information on integrating the UMMA’s resources into your teaching orresearch contact the Mellon Academic Coordinator, David Choberka(’s collection is open for gallery visits and for special viewing in theErnestine and Herbert Ruben Study Center for Works on Paper and the ObjectStudy Classroom.To arrange guided or self-guided gallery visits for your classes contact Pam Reisterat or call 734-764-0395. Please allow 2-3 weeks to planyour class’s visit.To arrange research or class visits to the Ruben Center for Works on Paper or theObject Study Classroom contact Anne Drozd through the reservation links at or via email Please allow 15 business days to process objectviewing requests.----------Teaching and Learning Programs at UMMA are supported by a generous grant from theAndrew W. Mellon Foundation.
  • 3. Transla6on  themes:   Ques6ons  about  transla6on:      event  =>  history  =>  myth   1)  What  is  transla6on?  How  does  tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce   transla6on  func6on?  object  of  use  =>  art  (assemblage,  found  art)   2)  What  can  be  translated?  What  object  of  use  =>  art  (design)   might  be  difficult  or  impossible  to  ritual  object  =>  museum  object   translate?  What  cannot  be   translated?  Why?  language  =>  language   3)  Is  a  transla6on  the  representa6on  gender  role  =>  gender  role   of  something  in  another  form,  or  marker  of  social  class/race  =>  social  class/race   something  new?  medium  =>  medium   4)  What  is  gained  in  transla6on?  venue  =>  venue   5)  What  is  lost  in  transla6on?  material  =>  material   6)  What  can  we  learn  from  the  experience  <=>  representa6on   transla6on  about  the  translator?  concept  <=>  visual  representa6on  art  <=>  consumer  culture  iden6ty  <=>  visual  representa6on   Roni  Horn  (United  States,  born  1955)   Key  and  Cue  No.  1182  culture  <=>  culture  (hybridity)   1994   Aluminum  and  plas<c  animal  form  <=>  human  form   Gi?  of  an  anonymous  donor,  2009/1.470  
  • 4. Benjamin  West  (United  States,  1738–1820)   The  Death  of  General  Wolfe   1776   Oil  on  canvas   Gi?  of  William  L.  Clements,  acquired  1928,  William   L.  Clements  Library,  University  of  Michigan  (P-­‐2750)   Transla6on  themes:            event  =>  history  =>  myth            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce            medium  =>  medium            art  <=>  consumer  culture            iden6ty  <=>  visual  representa6on     Benjamin West and the Art of Empire (show opens September 22, 2012)  Perhaps  the  most  celebrated  pain6ng  in  eighteenth-­‐century  England,  Benjamin  West’s  The  Death  of  General  Wolfe  depicts  one  of  Great  Britain’s  most  famous  military  victories  (Cat.  1).  Completed  in  1770,  West’s  canvas  appeared  at  the  height  of  the  public’s  excitement  for  anything  associated  with  Major-­‐General  James  Wolfe,  whose  stunning  triumph  at  the  1759  Ba_le  of  Québec  gave  Britain  control  of  New  France  (present  day  northeast  Canada).  Although  Wolfe  died  in  the  brief  but  decisive  ba_le,  the  taking  of  Québec  became  the  pivotal  engagement  of  the  French  and  Indian  War  (1754–1763),  the  North  American  campaign  of  the  Seven  Years’  War  (1756–63),  and  signaled  Britain’s  ascendency  in  the  New  World;  Wolfe  instantly  rose  in  its  pantheon  of  heroes.  The  Wolfemania  that  followed  in  the  1760s  and  1770s  coincided  with  a  period  of  cultural  transi6on  in  which  newspapers  and  the  expanding  availability  of  consumer  goods  meant  that  Wolfe’s  exploits  at  Québec—par6cularly  his  death—could  be  commodified  and  disseminated  in  a  variety  of  media,  from  decora6ve  objects  to  prints.  It  was  in  this  cultural,  ar6s6c,  and  poli6cal  milieu  that  West’s  pain6ng  emerged  as  the  consummate  portrayal  of  the  na6on’s  most  iconic  hero,  one  that  helped  to  forge  a  dis6nc6ve  Bri6sh  imperial  iden6ty  that  galvanized  society  in  the  decades  before  the  American  Revolu6on.    
  • 5. Ouk  Chim  Vichet  (b.  Phnom  Penh,   Transla6on  themes:  Oct  13,  1981)            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce  Apsara  Warrior  metal,  decommissioned  weapons            object  of  use  =>  art  ca.  2004                                (assemblage,  found  art)  Museum  purchase  made  possible  by            gender  role  =>  gender  role  Guy  and  Nora  Barron,  2007/2.79            concept  <=>  representa6on   Vichet’s  work  responds  to  the  Khmer  Rouge  period  in  Cambodia,  1975-­‐79,  under   the  rule  of  Pol  Pot.  Pot  and  the  Khmer  Rouge  Communist  party  renamed   Cambodia  Democra6c  Kampuchea.  This  four-­‐year  period  saw  the  death  of   approximately  2  million  Cambodians  through  poli6cal  execu6ons,  starva6on,  and   forced  labor.  Due  to  the  large  numbers,  the  deaths  during  the  rule  of  the  Khmer   Rouge  are  onen  considered  a  genocide,  and  commonly  known  as  the  Cambodian   Holocaust  or  Cambodian  Genocide.   Apsaras—from  Indian  and  Southeast  Asian  culture—are  female  spirits  of  the   clouds  and  waters  in  Hindu  and  Buddhist  mythology.  They  are  beau6ful,   supernatural  women,  youthful,  elegant,  and  proficient  in  the  art  of  dancing.   Khmer  classical  dance,  the  indigenous  ballet-­‐like  performance  art  of  Cambodia,  is   frequently  called  Apsara  dance.  Apsara  dance,  dis6nguished  by  stylized  hand   gestures  and  sinuous  body  movements,  dates  back  to  the  first  century  when  it   was  performed  for  royalty  to  honor  gods  and  dynas6c  ancestors.  Khmer  classical   dance  of  today  is  believed  to  be  connected  by  an  unbroken  tradi6on  to  the   dance  prac6ced  in  the  courts  of  the  monarchs  of  Angkor,  which  in  turn  drew  its   inspira6on  from  the  mythological  court  of  the  gods  and  from  its  celes6al  dancers,   the  Apsaras.   The  Khmer  language  has  a  complex  system  of  usages  to  define  speakers  rank   and  social  status.  Under  the  Khmer  Rouge,  these  usages  were  abolished.  People   were  required,  on  pain  of  death,  to  avoid  tradi6onal  signs  of  deference  such  as   bowing  or  folding  the  hands  in  saluta6on.  In   consequence,  Apsara  dancers,  whose  very  movements  embodied  signs  of   religion  and  royalty,  became  one  of  the  first  groups,  along  with  many  tradi6onal   ar6sts,  to  be  targeted  for  extermina6on  under  the  Khmer  Rouge.   Rooted  in  and  born  out  of  Cambodia’s  recent  history,  UMMA’s  Apsara  Warrior  is   emblema6c  of  the  rebirth  of  the  Apsara  dance  tradi6on  following  the  Khmer   rouge  era  and  the  reclama6on  of  a  broad  range  of  cultural  tradi6ons  that  had   been  brutally  suppressed  during  the  bloody  years  of  Khmer  Rouge  control.  
  • 6. Mbangu  Mask  Central  Pende  Peoples   Transla6on  themes:  Democra6c  Republic  of  the    concept  <=>  visual  representa6on  Congo      ritual  object  =>  museum  object  circa  1930    tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce  Wood,  pigments,  vegetable  fiber,  raffia    Gin  of  Candis  and  Helmut  Stern,  2005/1.200   The  twisted  face  and  drama6c  opposi6on  of  black  and  white   iden6fy  this  mask  as  an  Mbangu  mask,  which  represents  infirmity   and  sickness—condi6ons  that  are  onen  a_ributed  to  witchcran.   According  to  a  common  Pende  explana6on,  Mbangu’s  half-­‐white,   half-­‐black  face  represents  the  scars  of  someone  who  fell  into  the   fire  due  to  sorcery,  while  the  asymmetry  of  the  face  and  the  marks   on  the  black  side  are  an  indica6on  of  various  other  medical   condi6ons.  When  the  mask  appears  in  performance,  the  dancer   limps  on  a  cane  to  convey  the  physical  weakness  of  Mbangu,  and  he   wears  a  humpback  pierced  with  an  arrow  in  reference  to  sorcerers   who  shoot  their  vic6ms  with  invisible  arrows.           Mbangu  masks  have  a  long  history  among  Central  Pende  peoples.   While  examples  from  the  first  decade  of  the  twen6eth  century  do   not  have  pierced  eyes  and  were  worn  on  the  forehead,  aner  that   the  Mbangu  genre  became  a  facemask,  with  pierced  eyes  and   distor6on  of  the  facial  features.  Throughout  the  twen6eth  century,   from  the  era  of  Belgian  colonial  rule  (1885–1960)  into  the  period   aner  independence,  Pende  performers  also  invented  new  forms  and   genres  of  masks,  whose  popularity  has  waxed  and  waned  over  6me.   Today,  the  importance  of  masquerade  remains  strong,  although  the   Pende  have  largely  removed  masquerading  from  its  original  ritual   context  and  instead  stress  the  power  of  masks  to  “beau6fy”  the   village  and  bring  happiness  to  its  inhabitants.  
  • 7. Dan  Kvitka   United  States,  born  1958   Stones  from  the  River   2000   Afzelia  burl  from  Burma  and   Nigerian  black  ebony   Gin  of  Robert  M.  and  Lillian   Montalto  Bohlen,  2002/2.153A-­‐W   Transla6on  themes:            concept  <=>  representa6on            object  of  use  =>  art  (design)            medium  =>  medium      Dan  Kvitka  is  a  wood  ar6st  who  turns  hollowed  vessels  from  rare  exo6c  specimens.  Though  tradi6onally  vessels  are  func6onal,  here  they  become  sculpture—beau6ful,  polished,  shiny  smooth  “stones,”  the  surface  of  which  almost  denies  their  substance.  In  Stones  from  the  River,  a  collec6on  of  turned  wood  vessels  is  arranged  along  a  horizontal  support  in  a  sculptural  interpreta6on  of  the  Judaic  prac6ce  ofTashlich,  which  means  “cas6ng  away.”  The  word  is  derived  from  a  Biblical  verse,  “You  will  cast  all  their  sins  into  the  depths  of  the  sea,”  recited  on  the  anernoon  of  Rosh  Hashanah  (Jewish  New  Year).  The  custom  begins  with  a  prayer,  and  then  par6cipants  toss  crumbs  of  bread  or  stones  into  a  body  of,  preferably,  moving  water  as  a  symbol  of  ridding  themselves  of  the  previous  year’s  sins.  Dan  Kvitka  explains  that  “the  orange  ‘afzelia  burl’  are  the  stones  in  the  river…The  ‘black  ebony’  stones  are  the  Tashlich  stones,  the  stones  containing  both  dark  and  light;  they  are  us.”    
  • 8. Hunping  funerary  jar    Proto-­‐Yue  ware,  Zhejiang  province   Transla6on  themes:  Six  Dynas6es,  Western  Jin  dynasty            concept  <=>  representa6on  (165-­‐316),  3rd  century            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce  Stoneware  with  celadon  glaze            object  of  use  =>  art  (design)  Museum  purchase  made  possible  by  a  gin  from  William  and  Martha  Steen            medium  =>  medium  2000/1.39     This  charming  pot,  with  its  engaging  depic6on  of  musicians  and   flocks  of  birds  gathered  by  a  many-­‐roofed  structure,  bears  silent   witness  to  a  tragic  period  in  Chinese  history.  In  the  early  fourth   century,  invasions  by  nomadic  raiders  from  the  steppes  to  the   west  forced  tens  of  thousands  of  Chinese  to  flee  southward.  Aside   from  the  terrible  toll  of  lives  lost,  the  surviving  exiles  could  not   provide  proper  tombs  for  deceased  family  members.  Instead,  they   sought  to  appease  the  souls  of  the  departed  by  providing  a  res6ng   place  in  ceramic  containers  such  as  this  one,  known  as  a  hunping,   or  “jar  for  the  soul.”       The  structure  on  the  lid  presents  a  square  building  within  a   circular  enclosure,  reminiscent  of  an  ancient  Chinese  formula   using  a  jade  bi  and  cong  to  symbolize  the  joining  of  heaven  and   earth,  is  thus  a  fiyng  home  for  wandering  souls.  It  is  also  possible   that  the  hunping  form  may  have  been  inspired  by  Buddhist   reliquaries  or  containers  for  the  ashes  of  the  deceased;  the  gate   (the  two  roofed  pillars  at  the  base  of  the  tower)  would  then   symbolize  the  boundary  to  Buddhist  paradise.  The  two   overlapping  meanings  were  common  during  this  period  in  Chinese   history.  The  jar  is  made  of  grey  stoneware  with  a  coat  of  green   glaze  typical  of  Yue  wares.  The  glaze  is  an  early  form  of  celadon   that  is  thin,  lustrous,  and  evenly  vitreous.  It  is  the  precursor  to  the   later  renowned  translucent  celadon  glazes  of  the  Song  dynasty   (960-­‐1279).    
  • 9. Young-­‐Hae  Chang  Heavy  Industries     Special  Exhibi6on  at  the  UMMA   through  December  30,  2012   Transla6on  themes:            culture  <=>  culture  (hybridity)            medium  =>  medium            language  =>  language  This  exhibi6on  will  feature  an  original,  UMMA-­‐commissioned  work  by  the  Seoul-­‐based  duo  of  Young-­‐hae  Chang  and  Marc  Voge—YOUNG-­‐HAE  CHANG  HEAVY  INDUSTRIES  (YHCHI).  Blurring  the  boundaries  between  media,  technologies,  and  cultural  histories,  YHCHI  has  gained  interna6onal  acclaim  for  their  “net  art”  produc6ons—edgy  digital  poetry  presenta6ons  that  flash  to  the  beat  of  compelling  musical  scores.  Their  sophis6cated  and  seduc6ve  narra6ves  feature  a  plain  typeface  and  mesmerizing  pacing.  UMMA  has  commissioned  an  installa6on  work  drawing  on  UM’s  unique  intellectual  assets  and  mul6cultural  resources.  In  addi6on  to  the  gallery  presenta6on,  the  commission  will  be  added  to  their  website,  Crossing  borders  of  literature  and  visual  art,  popular  and  high  culture,  high  and  low  technology,  YHCHI’s  work  offers  an  exci6ng  opportunity  to  encourage  conversa6on  among  media-­‐savvy  college  students  and  humani6es  and  social  science  intellectuals  alike.  (The  piece  depicted  above  is  not  part  of  the  UMMA  commission.)  
  • 10. Copper  plate  with  Hanuman       Transla6on  themes:  India,  Rajasthan            ritual  object  =>  museum  object  18th  –19th  century            medium  =>  medium  Copper            concept  <=>  representa6on  Gin  of  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Leo  S.  Figiel  and  Dr.  and  Mrs.    Steven  J.  Figiel  1978/2.89     This  copper  plate  presents  a  profile  portrait  of  the   monkey–general  Hanuman.  His  contours  have   been  etched  into  the  plate  and  filled  en6rely  with   ornamenta6on  in  the  form  of  Hindi  le_ers.  The   resul6ng  object  is  not  merely  an  image,  but  a   yantra—a  func6onal  tool  or  instrument  believed  to   have  talismanic  proper6es.  In  India,  these  mys6cal   diagrams  are  typically  composed  of  geometric  and   alphabe6cal  figures  etched  on  small  plates  of  gold,   silver,  or  copper.  These  devices  serve  a  twofold   func6on:  to  invoke  a  par6cular  god,  and  to  help   the  devotee  focus  spiritual  and  mental  energies   upon  that  deity.  They  are  frequently  devoted  to   the  achievement  of  health,  good  fortune,  or   childbearing,  and  are  some6mes  installed  near  or   under  the  deity  in  the  temple.    
  • 11. Joseph  Wright  of  Derby   England,  1734–1797   The  Dead  Soldier   1789   Oil  on  canvas   Museum  purchase  made  possible  by  the  W.  Hawkins  Ferry   Fund  and  anonymous  individual  benefactors   2006/1.156   Transla6on  themes:            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce            concept  =>  representa6on            social  class  =>  social  class            social  class  =>  representa6on  Joseph  Wright  of  Derby,  a  member  of  the  industrial  and  crea6ve  avant  garde  in  the  north  of  England,  first  exhibited  this  pain6ng  at  London’s  Royal  Academy  in  1789  to  great  acclaim.  The  canvas  depicts  a  woman  cradling  her  child  with  a  drama6cally  foreshortened  cavalryman  crumpled  at  her  side.  Newly  widowed  and  des6tute,  the  mourning  woman  joins  the  hands  of  the  child  with  her  own  and  that  of  her  dead  husband,  linking  their  sad  fates  as  the  sun  sets  over  the  forest.  That  the  child  has  fallen  away  from  suckling  at  his  mother’s  breast  suggests  the  poverty  that  awaits  them  both  in  an  age  when  respectable  women  had  few  economic  opportuni6es.      What  was  most  radical  about  the  pain6ng  in  its  day  is  that  the  viewer  is  asked  to  empathize  deeply  with  an  anonymous  figure:  we  know  nothing  of  the  dead  soldier’s  iden6ty  other  than  what  his  uniform  tells  us  and  the  hint  from  the  date  that  he  may  have  fallen  in  the  American  Revolu6on.  It  is  the  infant  who  gives  us  entry  into  the  pain6ng,  looking  out  calmly,  even  sternly  to  meet  our  gaze.  The  emo6onal  intensity  of  the  pain6ng  together  with  Wright’s  astonishing  bravura  brushwork  place  this  long-­‐lost  masterpiece  at  a  cri6cal  moment  of  transi6on  in  the  birth  of  the  modern  age,  when  the  ra6onalism  of  the  Enlightenment  began  to  give  way  to  the  emo6on  of  the  Roman6c  movement.  
  • 12. Joan  Mitchell  American,  1926–1992   Transla6on  themes:  White  Territory            experience  <=>  representa6on  1970–71  oil  on  canvas            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce  Purchase  assisted  by  The  Friends  of  the  Museum  and  a  grant  from  the  Na6onal  Endowment  for  the  Arts  1974/2.21   Mitchell  len  New  York  for  France  in  1955,  living  first  in   Paris  and  finally  se_ling  in  the  late  1960s  in  Vétheuil,  a   6ny  river  village  about  an  hour  northwest  of  Paris.  Like  the   winter  landscapes  Claude  Monet  (1840–1926)  painted  in   the  same  vicinity,  including  The  Breakup  of  the  Ice,  on   view  on  the  first  floor,  White  Territory  is  an  impression  of   a  landscape.  Mitchell  aimed  to  convey  the  landscape  as   affected  by  what  the  ar6st  called  “internal  weather,”   meaning  her  personal  associa6ons  and  poe6c  sensibility.   White  Territory  was  first  shown  in  an  upstate  New  York   exhibi6on  of  her  works  called  “My  Five  Years  in  the   Country,”  a  reference  to  her  self-­‐imposed  exile  in  this  6ny   French  village.         Joan  Mitchell  was  a  leading  ar6st  of  the  second-­‐ genera6on  New  York  School,  the  close-­‐knit  community  of   abstract  painters  who  were  profoundly  influenced  by   Abstract  Expressionism  and  followed  on  the  stylis6c  and   technical  innova6ons  of  this  first  genera6on,  especially   the  work  of  Willem  de  Kooning,  Arshile  Gorky,  and  Franz   Kline.  
  • 13. Felix  Gonzalez-­‐Torres     Transla6on  themes:  United  States,  1957–1996            object  of  use  =>  art  UnJtled  (March  5th)  #2  1991                      (found  art,  assemblage)  40-­‐wa_  light  bulbs,  extension  cords,      
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