Ladislav Kesner, Dr.
Masarykova Univerzita Brno
Born in 1961 in Prague, Czech Republic
Studied Philosophy at Charles University Prague and at the University of California, Berkeley
Andrew W. Mellon Fellow
Visual Hermeneutics in Scientific and Artistic ImagesThe project's focus is on interdisciplinary inquiry into the problem of understanding images. "Image understanding" is an issue of paramount importance and the subject of vigorous discussion in some fields - most notably in the domains of scientific images and medical imaging, faced as they are with the unprecedented spread of imaging technologies and modalities. In art history, on the other hand, despite the massive attention lavished on the problem of interpretation, the understanding of art as an explicitly formulated problem has been less pressing. The project covers three related aspects. It is first and foremost concerned with reconsideration of the process of understanding works of visual art in the light of the new developments in neurosciences, cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. It further seeks to outline implications of such theoretical consideration for presenting works of art. Second, I intend to examine the problem of image understanding in non-art (non-aesthetic images), in order (a) to get a better analytical grasp of the concept of image understanding in the context of art images and (b) to examine whether and how discourses and practices of image analysis in fields outside art history might or can inform the practice of
understanding in art and vice versa. Third, I shall examine some larger social implications of the problems of image understanding, recast as perceptual competence and visual literacy.
Kesner, Ladislav. "Understanding of Art as an Active Visual Hermeneutics." Ars 39, 1 (2006).
-. "The Role of Cognitive Competence in the Art Museum Experience." Museum Management and Curatorship 21, 1 (2006): 4-19.
-. "Is the Truly Global Art History Possible?" In Is Art History Global? Edited by James Elkins, London, New York: Routledge, 2006, in press.