IMAGINES is an international and cross-disciplinary research network working on modern receptions of Antiquity in the visual and performing arts. A key objective of the project is the understanding of different interpretations, appropriations, constructions and neglect of the classical inheritance across epochs, societies and cultural expressions and movements. Subject areas under investigation include Theatre, Dance, Cinema, Opera, Sculpture, Architecture, Painting, Comics and Graphic Novels, Design, Photography, Video Games and multimedia. The project is interdisciplinary in nature and involves scholars and artists from a wide range of fields from leading universities in Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
IMAGINES’ most relevant collective initiatives are our bi-annual conferences. Five cities and countries have hosted Imagines conferences so far: 2007 Logroño, Spain; 2010 Bristol, UK; 2012 Mainz, Germany; 2014 Faro, Portugal; 2016 Torino, Italy. Next conference will take place in Toulouse in 2018.
A relevant outcome of our network are the volumes based on our conferences. Thanks to a collaboration with Bloomsbury Publishing, we have now set up a new book series which host not only our conferences but works focusing on modern vidual receptions of the ancient world. More on the series: Imagines: Classical Receptions in the Visual and Performing arts.
The network has recently started a new project called IntoFOCUS, which deals with the production of short videos and other multimedia initiatives, such as short documentaries on specific topics, cultural phenomena and art works. The aim of this project is to approach Classical Receptions to students of different areas within and outside Humanistic studies, as well as to a general public.
The universal character of the themes and approaches that shape IMAGINES is intended to offer a basis not only for interdisciplinary debates on the impact of antiquity in the arts, but also for open discussion on the diversity of reception(s) in different cultural traditions.
IMAGINES aims at establishing a fluent dialogues and effective collaboration forms between academia, further education, and the arts and their public. A trademark of IMAGINES is thus the collaboration with non-academic specialists and artists who draw on antiquity as inspiration for their work.
Such collaborators have included so far the renowned landscape gardener Fernando Caruncho (Madrid), the famous graphic novelist Eric Shanower (San Diego), the music composer Phil Bennets (Bristol), the play-writer and director Stephan Seidel (Mainz), the filmmaker João Canijo (Lisbon) the photographer and cartoonist José Bandeira (Lisbon), as well as streets artists such as SEN Silva (Olhão). In 2016, we had the chance to learn about historical costume making and modelling thanks to the Turin designer and model Danielle Fiore. We regard the fruitful collaboration with these artists and authors as a fundamental brand of IMAGINES; a refreshing input that challenges traditional and current debates about the place of Classical Reception Studies withing and beyond the often limited boundaries of academia and the classroom.