Transforming the Spaces and the Minds. Materiality, Performativity and Perception in the Late Antique (4th–6th century) Baptismal Zones (TSP)
- Project Identification
- Project Period
- 2/2017 - 12/2019
- Investor / Pogramme / Project type
- Masaryk University
- MU Faculty or unit
- Faculty of Arts
Basing on art-historical background, this project aims to explore the complex interaction between liturgical space, images, objects, performance and human agent within the Late Antique Christian initiatory rituals (4th–6th centuries). Research on preserved monuments linked to the performance of baptismal rite will be performed by means of a three-pronged approach: 1) Materiality. A thorough analysis of objects under investigation (using physiochemical methods, radar and geothermal technologies, laser scanning and reflectography), in order to establish the dating, originality, stages of development and provenance of the materials. 2) Performativity. Comprehensive research on the collective performance of the liturgy of the initiatory ritual and the interplay of liturgical and homiletic texts, architectural space, images and music. 3) Perception. An extensive study of the subject’s perception of the baptismal space and its hierotopy, determined by a number of changing conditions, in order to consider the role of images, objects and materials in creating the transformative experience of Christian initiation.
The interdisciplinary character of the project is a means of obtaining new fundamental insights about Late Antique art and society, technical knowledge, ritual life and multisensory character of liturgical images and spaces. Moreover, the synergy created by the three-pronged approach leads to an absolutely innovative methodology in conceiving the object of arthistorical research. The overall purpose of this project is therefore twofold: on the one hand, it will offer a comprehensive study – from conception to perception – of the physical and mental spaces of Christian initiation in Late Antiquity, and on the other hand, it will formulate a protocol for interdisciplinary research that could be applied to other artistic documents and monuments. This protocol will serve as a basis for an ERC consolidator project.