When Philosophy meets Art
A donation has enabled the University to launch a new research programme that brings together the disparate worlds of philosophy and visual art
Named after renowned minimalist artist Donald Judd and Enlightenment philosopher David Hume – one of Edinburgh’s most celebrated graduates – the Advanced Visual Studies Judd-Hume Prize will seek to promote pre-eminent international scholarship and discussion.
Initially funded by Judd expert Peter Ballantine, the programme will probe topics that lie at the intersection between the visual arts and philosophy, an area of research which has been largely overlooked in the past 50 years.
The £30,000 prize will be awarded annually to an international art writer, philosopher or architect who will be invited to take up residency in Edinburgh for two months to write on such neglected, yet intriguing, topics as:
art which is unconcerned with the literal depiction of things from the visible world
a physical likeness or representation of someone or something
art which displays knowledge of a future event
the concept of art as merely an object
Original versus copy
the merits of original art and their copies.
Each fellowship will be followed by a symposium, in which the scholar’s work will be presented together with selected contributions from other speakers.
The programme is close to Peter’s heart, since he collaborated with Judd from 1969 until his death. The pair lived a few blocks away from each other in New York’s Soho district and Peter fabricated many of Judd’s 1970s works. He continues to work closely with the artist’s works and philosophy, and has been a major force in its preservation.
Edinburgh is Hume’s place, and there’s a strong tradition of radical thinking there. The purpose is to produce new thinking, unavailable elsewhere. And Philosophy, particularly 18th-century empirical philosophy, caused Judd to become who he was. He talked about Hume more than the others.
The first recipient of the Judd-Hume Prize will be Gottfried Boehm, a professor emeritus at the University of Basel and former director of the Eiknones programme, a research hub that investigates the power of imagery in all aspects of life.
Professor Boehm will begin his residency in March 2017.
Some facts about the men for whom the Judd-Hume Prize is named.