The lecture series StředověC JinaX (Middle Ages, differently), held since September 2014 on the premises of The Moravian Gallery, was established from a dialogue between a group of students from the department of Art History at Masaryk University and their lecturer, Ivan Foletti. The aim of this project, which arises from a deep interest in these “Middle Ages” and the strong belief that their discovery and understanding is essential for people of our time, is to present this historical period to the biggest, broadest audience possible.
To look at the Middle Ages “differently” does not mean, however, to compare it with our world superficially. On the contrary, it is necessary to look for points of resemblance and difference between the past and present in the most unexpected areas.
As art historians, we would like to base our research on the image (imago) and, broadly speaking, on “artwork”. Both of these are, after all, material realities in which the past and present intersect. Our work springs from a desire to experience antique and exceptional objects within their living existence, within their personal relationships with their recipients and within their political and promotional dimension as instruments of power.
Studying objects from the past also means discovering the time between their creation and the present moment. It also means attempting to understand myths and legends created in every epoch (including our own) in connection with these objects. Therefore, to understand the Middle Ages, we need to perceive those “Middle Ages” in the way they have been appropriated by every generation in its myths and dreams.