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Melbourne Masterclass - Objects of Love: History

Date: Wednesday 12 April 2017
Time: 6‒8.30pm
Venue: Clemenger Auditorium BBDO, NGV International, Melbourne

Love, a complex emotion to say the least, has inspired artists and creative practitioners for centuries, generating countless artworks, objects, poems, books, musical compositions and films. Over three weeks this masterclass will explore the materiality, visions and sounds of love in response to the exhibition 'Love: Art of Emotion 1400-1800' held at the National Gallery of Victoria (31 March‒18 June 2017); a collaborative project produced with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at The University of Melbourne.

Each week will explore a theme within the exhibition. Led by Love: Art of Emotion curator and lead researcher, Dr Angela Hesson, the masterclass series will be a blend of lectures, discussions and performances by some of the University’s most celebrated scholars and musicians. There will also be exclusive exhibition viewing for the first two sessions.

Objects of Love: History

Introduction by Dr Angela Hesson

Speaker: Professor Charles Zika

Although our modern-day tendency is to identify ‘love’ with romantic love or sexual desire, this was certainly not the case for Europe prior to the eighteenth century. Religious emotion and biblical stories were as much models for love as the desire and eroticism found in legends about the gods of classical mythology. This talk will look at the way these two kinds of love were entangled in this period, each drawing on the other for its visible expression and exemplary power.

Professor Charles Zika is a Professorial Fellow and Chief Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at The University of Melbourne. His interests lie in the intersection of religion, emotion, visual culture and print in early modern Europe. His latest book is Disaster, Death and the Emotions in the Shadow of the Apocalypse, 1400-1700 (edited with Jenny Spinks, 2016).

Speaker: Dr Matthew Martin

The connection between art and emotion is an intimate one. This talk will explore how early modern artworks may generate and reflect emotion, especially the manifold forms of love, functioning as intimate love tokens, public declarations of loyalty and devotion, and memorials to loves lost and focuses of mourning.

Dr Matthew Martin is Curator in the department of International Decorative Arts and Antiquities in the National Gallery of Victoria, and is a Research Associate in the University of Divinity, Melbourne. He was formerly Director of Studies at the Melbourne College of Divinity. His research interests include eighteenth-century porcelain sculpture and sculptural aesthetics, and patronage and art collecting amongst eighteenth-century Recusant elites.