University of Cambridge > > History of Art and Architecture Graduate Seminar Series - Art and Urbanity > Epiphanies in Glass

Epiphanies in Glass

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Anna Blair.

Animals are our first metaphor (John Berger).

Glass is, perhaps, our first epiphany.

Glass is the magical transformation of sand into glass.

Etymologically, “epiphany” comes from the Greek meaning “to show.” We associate glass with showing, including eyeglasses, microscopes, telescopes, magic lanterns, store windows, curiosity, crystal balls, display cases, even the barometer which shows us the weather. Epiphanies manifest when an individual “has a vision.”

“Glass is dead matter transformed by human labor and by breath” (Isabelle Armstrong).

This lecture will blow breath into the glass of five transparent and fragile worlds: the childhood imagination of Walter Benjamin; the manifestation of Cinderella’s glass shoe out of fur; the barometers and magnifying glasses of Marcel Proust; Werner Herzog’s 1976 film Hearts of Glass; and Jacques Lacan’s “The Looking-glass Phase.” In all five, glass is epiphanous.

This talk is part of the History of Art and Architecture Graduate Seminar Series - Art and Urbanity series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2023, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity