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Fatalities: Giorgio de Chirico's Scene of the Crime

Fatalities: Giorgio de Chirico's Scene of the Crime
150 Charles Street, Wymilwood Lounge (GSC 148)
Time: Sep 19th, 1:00 pm End: Sep 19th, 2:00 pm
Interest Categories: Visual Studies (UTM), Philosophy (FAS), Italian Studies (FAS), French (FAS), Critical Theory, Comparative Literature (FAS), Cinema, Arts, Culture and Media (UTSC), Art (FAS), Architecture, Landscape, Design, 1950-2000
Lecture by Ara H. Merjian, NYU

The Northrop Frye Centre is pleased to present:

Ara H. Merjian, New York University

Fatalities: Giorgio de Chirico's Scene of the Crime

"De Chirico, or the scene of the crime.” Thus reads a line from Jean Cocteau’s lyrical homage to the painter Giorgio de Chirico: a painter of evacuated urban spaces who – Cocteau declares – “is not really a painter.” For, de Chirico’s “Metaphysical” paintings from the early 1910s not only present evacuated cityscapes, but also insinuate fragmented narratives in and around their disquieting structures. This paper examines the rapports between de Chirico’s paintings from pre-war Paris and the roman policier – the crime genre upon which the painter himself drew, and to which his images have contributed in turn: from the pulp fiction of the Fantômas series to the contemporary photography of Eugène Atget, and the Surrealist movement indebted to all of these for its elaborations of modern myth.

Ara H. Merjian is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at New York University, where he is an affiliate of the Institute of Fine Arts and the Department of Art History, as well as Director of Undergraduate Studies.  He received his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, under the direction of T.J. Clark.  He is the author of Giorgio de Chirico and the Metaphysical City: Nietzsche, Paris, Modernism (Yale University Press,  2014), for which he won the College Art Associations Meiss/Mellon’s Author Award, as well as two forthcoming studies: Blueprints and Ruins: De Chirico’s Untimely Futures, and The Return of the Poet: Giorgio de Chirico’s Metaphysical Painting in Word and Verse. Prof. Merjian is currently researching a new volume, Heretical Aesthetics: Pier Paolo Pasolini against the Avant-garde, for which he recently won the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. 

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please see the website of the Northrop Frye Centre.

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