Between Light and Darkness – International Symposium on Fin-de-siècle Symbolism

Ateneum Art Museum, 9-10 December 2010

The symposium Between Light and Darkness focuses on religion, mysticism, and subjectivity in Symbolist art and theory, and on the fin-de-siècle relationship between art and science, considering also the ways in which the Symbolist influence has continued after the fin-de-siècle period. The purpose is to bring together scholars studying Symbolism and related subjects and to shed new light on the interconnectedness of esoteric thought and the discourses of Modernity. The symposium is organized as collaboration by the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, the Department of Art History at the University of Helsinki, and the Ateneum Art Museum – Finnish National Gallery, which hosts an important collection of Symbolist art. The symposium wishes to pay tribute to the Finnish art historian Salme Sarajas-Korte who was among the first researchers to initiate a discussion on the relations between artistic and mystical discourses.

Keynote speakers: Lynn Sharp and Jean-Michel Nectoux.


Thursday 9th December

* 9.00 10.00 Registration at Ateneum Art Museum, Kaivokatu 2

Ateneum Hall
* 10.00 Welcome Speech, Riikka Stewen

Session A: Ateneum Hall
* 10.30 Hitomi Shoji: Decadent Subject, Symbolist Images, and Modernist method: Rereading Arthur Symons London Nights
* 11.00 Ikuho Amano: Beyond the Façade of Mysticism: A Symbolist Cult of Beauty from Gabriele DAnnunzios Le martyr de Saint Sèbastien to Mishima Yukio
* 11.30 Irene Gras Valero: The Introduction of Decadentism in the Fin-de-siècle Catalonia

Session B: Lindström Room
* 10.30 Sonia Lagerwall: In Search of the Chimerical Émile Zola. Carlos Schwabes Le Rêve
* 11.00 Damien Delille: Queer Mysticism: androgynous figures and esoteric discourses
* 11.30 Jérémie Cerman: “Manuel Orazis Symbolist Work: from satanic to fantastic Illustrations

* 12.00 Lunch Break

Session A: Ateneum Hall
* 13.00 Laura Gutman-Hanhivaara: “Under the Starry Sky – from Vincent Van Gogh to Akseli Gallen-Kallela”
* 13.30 Minna Turtiainen: The Author Adolf Paul – The Fallen Prophet of Music, Literature, and Painting Between Nationalities
* 14.00 Natalia Ostashova: Symbolism in Russian culture between XIX-XX centuries

Session B: Lindström Room
* 13.00 Juan C. Bejarano: Altars of the Self: The influence of religion on the self-portrait and the image of the artist in the age of Symbolism
* 13.30 Nina Kokkinen: The Occult Christ and the Sublimation of Modern Artist
* 14.00 Per Faxneld: “Imitatio satanae: The Devil as a role model in Symbolist art, literature and art criticism

Ateneum Hall
* 14.30 Ville Lukkarinen: Gustave Moreau  Paintings from Pictures
* 15.00 Juliet Simpson: Science, Belief and the Art of Subjectivity: From Fromentins to Huysmans Regressive Modern Masters
* 15.30 Jens Lohfert Jørgensen: Bacteriological Qualities of the Occult Writings of Huysmans and Strindberg

* 16.00 Coffee Break

Ateneum Hall
* 16.30 Keynote Speech, Jean-Michel Nectoux: Mallarmé, Degas and Debussy: A Trilogy, lecture-concert accompanied by the pianist Laura Havu

* 19.00 Optional evening program: Buffet Dinner, Café Cubus (Ateneum 3rd Floor)

Friday 10th December

Ateneum Hall
* 9.30 Silja Rantanen: “Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater: Thought Forms
Seen through the Eyes of a Contemporary Artist”
* 10.00 Allison Morehead & Elizabeth Otto: Sphinx, Symbolism, and the Graphical Traces of Modernism
* 10.30 Marja Väätäinen: Sixten Ringbom and the Occult Elements in Modern Art
* Nichole Gleisner: Alain-Fournier: 20th century Symbolist?

* 11.30 Coffee Break

Ateneum Hall
* 11.45 12.45 Keynote Speech, Lynn Sharp: “Truths Beyond Reason in the French Fin de Siècle”

* 14.00-19.00 Optional program: Excursion to Hvitträsk, Villa Gyllenberg, and The Gallen-Kallela Museum.

The full program of the symposium Between Light and Darkness has now been published and booking is open until November 28th.

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