Together with De Gruyter, Germany, Leiden University Press has published in the Studien aus dem Warburg-Haus Series “Art, Agency And Living Presence. From the Animated Image to the Excessive Object”, a new book by Caroline van Eck.
Throughout history, and all over the world, viewers have treated dress works of art as if they are living beings: speaking to them, falling in love with them, kissing or beating them. Although over the past 20 years the catalogue of individual cases of such behavior towards art has increased immensely, there are few attempts at formulating a theoretical account of them, or writing the history of how such responses were considered, defined or understood. That is what this book sets out to do: to reconstruct some crucial chapters in the history of thought about such reflections in Western Europe, and to offer some building blocks towards a theoretical account of such responses, drawing on the work of Aby Warburg and Alfred Gell.