Current issue

2019/3–4 (28)


Hirohisa Koike.
The Noeme of Photography: The Paradigmatic Shift in the Photographic Theory of Roland Barthes
7–22; >Summary 23–26<

This article argues that Roland Barthes’s understanding of photography went through a significant shift: from his early semiotic interpretation in the 1960s, he moved in the late 1970s toward an ontological theory of photography, inspired by his understanding of haiku. Discovering the noeme of photography through haiku, Barthes realised that both haiku and photography were unsuitable for speaking of love. Therefore, he wrote La Chambre claire as a phenomenology of photography, to create a ‘monument’ to his mother, as photography was inextricably intertwined with the death of his mother.

Lola Annabel Kass. Violence Against Women in Estonian Decadent Art
27–55; >Summary 56–59<

The focus of this article is Estonian decadent art of the early twentieth century, which manifests masculinised sexual violence. More specifically, violence against women presented from a male perspective, with the male subject as the perpetrator. The study seeks to fill a gap in the history of Estonian art, which omits the analysis of depictions of sexual violence, although visualisations of aggression and dark desires were common in the art of the time. These depictions of sexual violence were related to the processes taking place in the Estonian society, which were connected with both fixed and changing perceptions of sexuality. The topic analysis is done on the works of six male artists: Aleksander Promet, Eduard Wiiralt, Erik Obermann, Gori, Nikolai Triik and Voldemar Kangro-Pool.

Anu Mänd. Visual Commemoration: Grave Slabs of Masters and High Officials of the Teutonic Order in Livonia (14th–16th Centuries)
60–88; >Summary 89–93<

This paper focuses on the grave slabs and commemoration of Livonian masters and high officials of the Teutonic Order in the late Middle Ages. Based on the written and visual evidence, where the masters and high officials were buried and the spatial and liturgical context of their graves are examined. Seven grave slabs have survived or are known from historical drawings or photos: three of these belonged to Livonian masters, two to marshals and two to commanders. The visual and textual messages of the slabs are analysed: what motifs and symbols were used, how the deceased were represented, what the language and content of inscriptions were, and how the style of the slabs developed over time. The topic of how the location and visual appearance of the slabs have changed since the nineteenth century is addressed as well.

Kersti Markus. On the Road to the City of God: Alternative Approaches to Medieval Church Studies in the Periphery of Europe
94–132; >Summary 133–136<

This article examines changes in medieval church architecture from the perspective of the local elite. Two rural churches, at Valjala in Estonia and Heda in Sweden, built in the transition period from romanesque to gothic, provide an opportunity for a complex analysis of architecture, landscape and society, aiming to trace the change of mentality of the recently Christianised people in the periphery of medieval Europe.

Mart Kalm. Self-Realisation of the Newly Liberated: Comparing Architecture in the Baltic States between the World Wars
137–159; >Summary 160–163<

The article compares Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian architecture from the 1920s and 1930s from the point of view of publicly commissioned assignments and architectural solutions. Since these three were ‘beginner’ states at the time, the extent to which they had sufficient professionals (i.e. architects) will also be addressed. Attention will also be paid to the emergence of Estonian and Latvian architecture from Baltic German culture and their architects’ continuous orientation towards Germany, while architecture in Lithuania was more heterogeneous.