Opening: 22-07-2016 21:00
Date: Friday 22 of July 2016
DRAGONS IN A WORLD OF UNCERTAINTY: Representations of Christian Cosmology from Byzantine and Post-byzantine Era.
by Dr. Christos Merantzas, Assistant Professor, University of Patras
Christos Merantzas is Assistant Professor in the Department of Cultural Heritage Management and New Technologies of the University of Patras, where he teaches History of Civilizations. He studied Archaeology in the Universities of Ioannina (Greece), Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) and Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (France). He worked for the Archaeological Service of Greece, for the Foundation of the Hellenic World (Athens) and for the Laboratory of Archaeology of the University of Ioannina. He was visiting assistant professor during the academic years 2007-2009 in the Department of Language and Culture of the Gjirokastër University (Albania), where he taught Cultural Theory. He has worked as a teaching fellow at the Hellenic Open University, where he taught the introductory course to Greek Civilization (academic years 2008-2010).
One of his major research interest is post-Byzantine painting in the Balkan Peninsula from the 16th-19th centuries, with emphasis on the survival and diffusion of iconographic subjects of the Greco-Roman antiquity related to the notion of time, and on the blending of European and Islamic motifs in post-Byzantine iconography. His doctoral thesis dealt with the depiction of Psalms 148-150 in post-Byzantine painting and published in 2005 by Olkos Publications (Athens). A group of his articles discusses aspects of the cultural approach to the history of post-Byzantine iconography, with special emphasis on the cultural constitution of the imagery concerning the notions of time and space.
A collaborative work with Dr. Brigitte Pitarakis (CNRS, France) entitled A Treasured Memory. Ecclesiastical Silver from Late Ottoman Istanbul in the Sevgi Gönül Collection, Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul 2006 (in English and Turkish) is devoted to the study of the material of ninety ecclesiastical silver objects from Istanbul workshops gathered by Sevgi Gönül, a collection now incorporated in the Sadberk Hanim Museum (Istanbul) [http://www.sadberkhanimmuzesi.org.tr/]. The above mentioned material bears testimony to the cosmopolitan character and artistic taste of Ottoman Istanbul in the period from the early eighteenth to the early twentieth century [http://kassiani.fhw.gr/constantinople/forms/fLemmaBodyExtended.aspx?lemmaID=11352]. One of the theses he sustained in his monograph The place of Holiness and its Images. Reading Examples of the Local History of Epirus in the Post-Byzantine Period, Publications of the University of Ioannina, Ioannina 2007 (in Greek), and also in his paper “Le tissu de soie comme représentation culturelle. Le cas de la peinture monumentale post-byzantine dans la Grèce du Nord-Ouest”, CIETA 83 (2006), 6-21, has to do with the representation of silk fabrics, Ottoman, or Italian with an Ottoman design, in the monumental post-Byzantine painting of North-Western Greece.
His running research activity focuses on the study of the cultural history of the body and on the complexity of the symbolic relations that constitute both the substance of an algaesthetically experienced ritualisation and the way in which a society builds its very identity on it, with special emphasis on the transition from the ancient Greek into the Byzantine world. The fruit of this research is a monograph entitled The Inverted Dionysus. A Draft Body-theory of Algaesthetic Self-constraint, Smili, Athens 2011. A second essay entitled The Cultural Components of the “Locus Sanctitatis”. The Collection of Icons of the Monastery of Vyliza, Matsouki Epirus was also published by Smili editions [December 2012].
He has just published a book on the many images of alterity in Byzantine culture under the title
Αna-chora(-i)tism: Forms of Otherness in the Byzantine Culture, Smili, Athens 2014.
Christos Merantzas has also participated in many national and international congresses and translated into modern Greek the studies of reputed French anthropologists of ancient Greece: F. Frontisi-Ducroux, Dédale. Mythologie de l' artisan en Grèce ancienne, Éditions de la Découverte & Syros, Paris 2000; P. Vidal-Naquet, Le miroir brisé. Tragédie athénienne et politique, Les Belles Lettres, Paris 2001; P. Vidal-Naquet, L' Atlantide. Petite histoire d' un mythe platonicien, Les Belles Lettres, Paris 2005.
He is currently working on the involvement of local communities in the mountainous regions of Greece in their cultural heritage management.He is the scientific responsible of the Research Project entitled "The 'Virtual Museum': Recording, Researching and Digitizing the Cultural Heritage of the Sculpture Collection Housed in the “Theodoros Papayiannis” Museum of Contemporary Art, Located in the Helliniko Village of Ioannina (The Municipality of Northern Tzoumerka)", funded by the Latsis Foundation (2015).