Sumeria nude

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Terracotta plaque from Babylon. Vorderasiatische Museum Berlin Terracotta plaque from Uruk Warka. Vorderasiatische Museum Berlin 7. Terracotta plaque from Tutub Khafajeh Iraq Museum The polemically trans-gendered and the hyper-sexual body in Mesopotamia. Discussion points One of the main concerns of this weeks discussion is to explore culturally specific and historically contingent representations of sexuality. I hope to discuss why and how sexuality and constructions of gender are always culturally specific, geographically located and historically contingent matter.

The universalism that derives from the Western humanist tradition, on the other hand, determines its own particular trans-historical ideals and marginalizes "other sexualities". The case study I wanted to bring to the floor are the corpus of terracotta plaques and figurines from Old Babylonian Mesopotamia about which Michelle will tell us throws in a curious dilemma for us: a what is the function of these popular, ubiquitous objects circulating in great s in Southern Mesopotamian cities, found in every household?

What does that say about our own modern notions of sexuality today? Another important issue for us to address is the nature of pictorial representation itself. Bahrani speaks about images as both a "" and an "index". Could we unpack this a little bit? There are also examples of metonymic representations such as a pubic triangle covering an entire terracotta miniature bed, standing in for the whole erotic female body Bahrani A major difficulty in discussing representation in non- Western cultures is that post-Enlightenment European painting tradition and modern photography have established a notion of representation as a literal depiction of reality at a given read "stable" moment and place- i.

This is a culturally specific understanding of representation which can be completely incorrect for certain cultural contexts such as ancient Mesopotamia. Let's discuss what other approaches to image-making is possible, given the examples discussed in the readings. Assante relates the scholarly interpretation of Mesopotamian sexual imagery as temple prostitution and fertility, to 19th century Orientalist notions of the Orient as a place of sexual excess, hyper- and aberrant sexuality, a geography of sexual deviance, as illustrated in many Orientalist paintings.

This is an important and provocative argument concerning the disciplinary origins of Classics and Near Eastern art history and philology. Assante compares the Sumerian love poetry to the sexually arousing imagery on terracotta plaques, on of the fact that they both derive from everyday practice and oral culture of house life in sourthern Mesopotamia. She also sees a "performative function" in Sumerian love poetry "in that it teaches gendered response to sexual arousal".

What is her proposal for the function of terracottas?

Sumeria nude

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Sumerian Sculptures