Vivre le pèlerinage (médiéval) : une expérience corporelle

Title: Vivre le pèlerinage (médiéval) : une expérience corporelle
Variant title:
  • Reliving a (medieval) pilgrimage : a corporeal experience
  • Prožívat (středověkou) pouť : tělesná zkušenost
Author: Foletti, Ivan
Source document: Convivium. 2018, vol. 5, iss. 2, pp. [137]-150
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Summary language
License: Not specified license
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The project Migrating Art Historians, conducted during the spring semester 2017, consisted of an experimental academic seminar that took the form of a pilgrimage, on foot, from Lausanne in Switzerland to Mont-Saint-Michel in France. The aim was to understand, to the extent possible, how the experience of a twenty-first-century viewer can transform her or his perception of medieval objects and, indispensably, of faith during the Middle Ages. The project also prompted reflection on the transformation of the pilgrim's gaze through bodily rhythm. Long, often arduous, cross-country walks, on one hand, activate the imagination of pilgrims' expectations; on the other hand, the physical effort enables the creation of space in which the memory of sacred places and objects recently experienced plays an essential role. And of course, several days of walking leads eventually to fatigue, with the result that the perception of images and figures depicted is also affected by the natural bodily production of endorphins. For a today's viewers, this can mean a heightened aesthetic sensibility; for medieval pilgrims, it may have offered a way to stimulate the devotional relationship with images.