Claudia Blümle Former Senior Fellow

Claudia Blümle
April - September 2017


Claudia Blümle is since 2014 Professor of History and Theory of Form at the ExzeIlenzcluster Image, Knowledge, Image. An Interdisciplinary Laboratory and at the Department of Art and Visual History, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She was from 2009 to 2014 Professor of Aesthetics and Art Theory at the Academy of Fine Arts Münster. Since 2012 she is editor of the journal "Regards croisés. Deutsch-französisches Journal zur Kunstgeschichte und Ästhetik" (together with A.-C. Drews, M. Castor, Boris Roman Gibhardt, M. Gispert, J. Grave, J. Ramos, M. van Vliet), and since 2015 editor of the series “Bildwelten des Wissens. Kunsthistorisches Jahrbuch für Bildkritik” (together with H. Bredekamp and M. Bruhn).

Dated from 2017

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Fields of research

Aesthetics and Art Theory; Visual images and the law in the early modern era; Science and Art in the 19th century; Post-war Art in the public sphere; 20th century French Image Theory

IKKM Research Project

Look, right here. On the relation of showing, concealing and causing in images

The research project focuses on the usage of certain figures in images, which refer to a scene through the showing gesture or the gesture of brushing aside a curtain while addressing the viewer with their gaze. Such deictic figures in the paintings examined are characterized by not being part of the depicted narration, but being outside of it and rather possessing a mediating position between the depicted scene in the painting and the viewer in front of it. The image becomes a medium by its ostentation, which produces a second order observation through these figures, which are distanced to the depiction. Contrary to the figurative references inside the picture, these figures, showing something inside the picture and looking towards the viewer, function as hinges, guaranteeing the evidence of the image. The paintings investigated refer in most of the cases explicitly to their place of destination and its function, referencing it through these special figures, connecting the space of action inside and outside of the painting. The painting produces thereby an expansion of a space, which is connected to different actions. The moment when the boundaries between the pictorial space and the real space disappear, the viewer of the picture is addressed with an appeal to act. In the act of showing not only the eye of the viewer is addressed, but also bodily and spatially involved in the appeal “Look, right here”. The turn to the viewer is not about the unobserved observation of something inside the image, but about involving the viewer from inside the image. The research project explores the visual play with references, which the paintings unfolded at the place of their hanging and which caused their action oriented effect, by using the method of a structural analysis of the image. The singular inventions of the image shed light on the processual character of the action in their temporal, spatial and sensual-visual dimension. Against the background of these observations, the paintings are not only reconstructed in their historical contextualization, but are also considered with regard to the potential of the time-play-space. The research project aims at clarifying that the formal and structural entanglement of showing and looking bestows the image with a effectuality, which reveals at the same time a historical production of spaces of action in front of the image.

Recent publications

Blümle, C.: Hier- Schau hin. Überzeugungsfiguren im Bild. In: Däumer, M., Kalisky, A., Schlie, H. (Eds.): Über Zeugen. Szenarien von Zeugenschaft und ihre Akteure. Wilhelm Fink, München 2017, 167-193.

Blümle, C., Wismer, B. (Eds): Hinter dem Vorhang. Enthüllung und Verhüllung seit der Renaissance. Von Tizian bis Christo. Exhibition catalogue, Kunstpalast Düsseldorf. Hirmer, München 2016.

Blümle, C.: Das verhüllte Rätsel. Verschwinden und Erscheinen in der surrealistischen Kunst. In: Engell, L. and Siegert, B. (Eds.): Verschwinden, Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung (ZMK), 7/1/2016, 125-141.

Blümle, C.: Secret Topology: Lacan’s Optical Models and Schemata as a Combination of Mathematics, Media, and Art, In: Friedman, M., Tomšič, S. (Eds.): Psychoanalysis: Topological Perspectives. transcript, Bielefeld 2016, 127-151.

Blümle, C.: Wachstum auf Stein. Paul Klees Mineraliensammlung. In: Doll, N., Bredekamp, H., Schäffner, W. (Eds.): +ultra. gestaltung schafft wissen. Exhibition catalogue, E. A. Seemann, Leipzig 2016, 103-111.

Blümle, C.: Infinite Folds. El Greco and Deleuze’s Operative Function of the Fold. In: Schäffner, W., Friedman, M. (Eds.): On Folding. Towards a New Field of Interdisciplinary Research. transcript, Bielefeld 2016, 77-91.