Conférence : The Slanted Lens and the Making of the Image of the Haram of Mecca

5 novembre 2018
Conférence Avinoam Shalem
Columbia Global Center à 19h


Avinoam Shalen, professeur d’histoire des arts de l’Islam à l’université de Columbia, donnera le lundi 5 novembre à 19h une conférence intitulée : The Slanted Lens and the Making of the Image of the Haram of Mecca

Lieu : Columbia Global Center
4 rue de Chevreuse Paris 6ème

The “Sacred” and the “Holy” (haram in Arabic and, to some extent al-muqaddas), are Semitic words denoting the act of separation, parting, or setting aside, and imply the apparent human faculty of setting distinctive borders between holy and profane zones. Constrained to time, these spaces become chronotopes. But, whereas the sacred space appears as totally autonomous and linked to the eternal, the profane zone seems to exist as bound to historical time. This supposition results in assigning terms such as “common,” “habitual,” and “ephemeral to historic times, as opposed to “pure” and “intact” designating the “Holy” as linked to everlasting time. This lecture analyzes varied iconic visions of the Haram (the sacred sanctuary) of Mecca. A close and attentive gaze at the late medieval and early modern images of Mecca suggests a crucial change and shift in the mode of the depiction of the holy sanctuary. The earlier flattened and two-dimensional images of the sanctuary, which, as I argue, contributed to the hierophany of the sacred and suggested its relic character, were replaced by perspectival images that evoked veracity and authenticity and fixed the sacred space within its larger geographic setting.