Thinking Europe Visually
L’Europe par l’image et en images
(June 9-10, 2022)

« If I had to do it again, I would start with culture »: this statement, often erroneously attributed to Jean Monnet, suggests that Europe as a political and economic construct remains, in the absence of a shared culture, nothing but a hollow shell, empty and soulless. This conference aims to question the disillusioned position which holds that there is no meaningful common European culture, and to do so through images.

One way to visualize the potential existence and limits of a European cultural base is indeed to trace the circulation of images – be they works of art, press images, posters, photographs, or even motifs and patterns – in the region, from antiquity through to the present day. What are the images that have circulated most widely in Europe? Are they specific to Europe or are they already globalized? What was their visual and symbolic impact? Is there a « visual culture » specific to Europe and, if so, what might be its distinctive « patterns »? 

This conference will attempt to question the existence, history, contours, and impact of this « Europe of images », from an art historical and visual studies perspective, as well as in historical, anthropological, and geopolitical terms.  

The conference will take place on June 9 and 10, 2022 in Paris (France) and will be hosted by the IMAGO Center at the Ecole normale supérieure, 45 rue d’Ulm, in collaboration with the project VISUAL CONTAGIONS at the University of Geneva (Switzerland).

Organisation : 

Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel, Professeure à l’université de Genève et Léa Saint-Raymond, postdoctorante, ENS-PSL / IMAGO