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36ème Congrès du CIHA - Lyon 2024

Parrainé par le Ministère de la Culture,
le Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche,
le Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères

Matter, Materiality and Pilgrimage in Pre-Modern Times: Production, Staging and Reception

Vesna Scepanovic 1, Sofia Zoitou 2, Ivan Foletti 3

1/2Univeristy Of Fribourg - Fribourg (Switzerland), 3Masaryk University - Brno (Czech Republic)

Sujet en anglais / Topic in english

This session aims to explore the materiality of objects and places in pilgrimage sites from various cultures and religions during pre-modern times. The aim is to evaluate the converging and diverging features of materials such as gold, silver, bronze, glass, wood, bone, skin, hair, nails, precious stones, pigments, stone, soil, wax, printed matter, water and other liquids, plants, leather, fabric that were used, formed, experienced, perceived and variously appropriated by pilgrims as well as by the local actors and devotees. Pilgrims habitually travelled in well-established routes dotted with sacred sites and shrines, occasionally with overlapping stops, allowing for comparative perceptions of material properties. Their movement adopted ritual attributes that extended to the symbolization of natural and artificial objects, whose materials became incorporated in a symbolic perception of space. Organic and inorganic relics and their containers, painted panels, frescoes, liquids, tombs, buildings, natural elements were encountered by the pilgrims, and their attributes, whether material or immaterial, animated their experience. The staging strategies employed in specific visual and spatial sceneries to ensure the objects’ cultic success, prompted further interactions among pilgrims, objects, and places. At the same time, the afterlives of pilgrimage objects and sites raise questions about their staging and reception in the present day.