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Workshop - Iconophobia? Rethinking Order and Disorder in the Mosaics of Jordan

Projektgruppe SurFace
When Jan 31, 2019 04:00 PM to
Feb 01, 2019 01:00 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminar Room
Contact Name
Contact Phone +49 (0)761 203-97353
Attendees universitätsoffen / open to University members
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The churches in Byzantine and Umayyad-era Jordan and Palestine attest to a fascinating change in visual culture in their significant alterations of mosaic pavements. The tesserae of animal and human figures were removed, shuffled, and reinserted to pixelate faces and other body parts.
In the relevant field of study these phenomena have so far been summarized as ›Iconophobia‹ and too narrowly considered as damage or loss of the initial archaeological record. Instead, the manipulations and restricted recognisability even reinforce the visual and medial capacities of these images and evoke a stronger artifactual presence. These noisy surfaces have a retarding effect on perception and perpetuate the process of manufacture. This perspective holds significant potential for future archaeological research concerning the aesthetics of abstraction, the interplay of ornament and figure, text and image, order and disorder.

The FRIAS Project Group SurFace explores new methodological approaches to describe, analyze and (hope)fully understand the complexity of such multi-layered image-artifact relations.


(pdf downlaod)



  • Jun.Prof. Dr. Fabian Stroth
  • Dr. Elisabeth Wagner-Durand