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Semblance of Things

Title: The Semblance of Things: Corporeal Gesture in Viennese Expressionism.
Name(s): Timpano, Nathan J. (Nathan James), author
Jolles, Adam, professor directing dissertation
Baldyga, Natalya, university representative
Nasgaard, Roald, committee member
Neuman, Robert, committee member
Department of Art History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: "The Semblance of Things: Corporeal Gesture in Viennese Expressionism" examines the critical discourse surrounding the iconography of expressive gesture in fin-de-siècle Viennese visual culture, including their manifestation in early twentieth-century figural painting, modern cabaret and marionette theater productions, and alongside their theoretical explication in the emerging psychoanalytic discourse on clinical hysteria. Within this study, I consider how, and to what end, Viennese artists, actors, and playwrights experimented with the contorted, unnatural, and theatrical staging of corporeal form at the turn of the century, and the meaning these gestures were accorded in the visual and performing arts, as well as in psychological discourses examining the pathological body. My research demonstrates that a certain vogue for theatrical movements inspired by clinically-hysterical taxonomies, which I conceptualize as hysto-theatrical gestures, existed concomitantly among physicians, thespians, and playwrights in fin-de-siècle Central Europe, the latter of whom adapted these clinically-codified movements to the theatrical stage. Although modern psychological science would attempt to lay claim to these gestures and their meanings in the late nineteenth century, examples of these corporeal forms can nevertheless be identified in concurrent French Symbolist painting and modern German theater. Such hysto-theatrical gestures likewise provided the symbolic body language adopted by Viennese Expressionist painters in the early years of the twentieth century. This language was further imbricated by the widespread use of marionettes in avant-garde theater, the semiology of which was commonly understood as metaphors for human corporeality within the contemporary critical literature.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-1300 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Art History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2010.
Date of Defense: April 2, 2010.
Keywords: Viennese Expressionism, European Modern Art, Hysto-theatrical Gesture, European Modern Theater, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Adam Jolles, Professor Directing Dissertation; Natalya Baldyga, University Representative; Roald Nasgaard, Committee Member; Robert Neuman, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Art -- History
Archaeology -- History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Timpano, N. J. (N. J. ). (2010). The Semblance of Things: Corporeal Gesture in Viennese Expressionism. Retrieved from