The publication resulted from the research project Navel-Body-Skin, a comparative and interdisciplinary research into the meaning of ceramics as an archetype in visual anthropology. The project tackled various issues, including the relationship between ceramics and the artist’s body, the archetype of ceramics rooted in the idea of imprint and rotation, and the relationship between ceramics and other media. These questions resulted in artistic and theoretic experiments in Japan and Iceland.
The researchers developed towards a better understanding of what happens when the visual medium emerges out of formless matter such as clay. Barbara Baert calls this secret ‘iconogenesis’. Trees de Mits calls it the process of probing and interpreting reality of the ‘body’, the ‘navel’, the ‘skin’.
The publication consists of a compilation of visuals by artists Trees de Mits and texts and contributions by Barbara Baert, Ann-Sophie Lehmann, Lut Pil, Trees de Mits, Lise De Greef and Minori Kuroda.
Barbara Baert (1967) is professor in Art History at the K.U.Leuven (Catholic University Leuven). Her courses and research deal with Medieval Art, Iconology and Visual Anthropology. She publishes widely on the interaction between the visual medium, sacred topography and material culture such as relics. She now focuses on the study of ‘iconogenesis’, i.e. the tension between image and matter.
Trees De Mits (1951) graduated at the University College for Sciences and Arts, Sint-Lucas Visual Arts Ghent, where she taught from 1989 until 2009. For the moment she supervises research projects at the Ghent Visual Arts Department. She lives and works as a visual artist in Ghent, yet has worked in the Netherlands, Iceland, USA, Canada, and Japan. Her fi eld of research is the body as a fi ctive image, the body as memory, and the body in science and medicine.