Space and Sovereignty: A Reverse Perspective

Cerella, Antonio (2016) Space and Sovereignty: A Reverse Perspective. In: Art and Sovereignty in Global Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 31-57. ISBN 978-1-349-95016-4

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In this chapter, I intend to investigate the complex relationship between art, space, and sovereignty. In doing so, I analyze how this relation has taken concrete form and coagulated, as it were, in a crucial historical moment: the emergence of linear perspective that inaugurated Renaissance and modern humanism. Focusing on the work and the artistic relation – which has been defined as “the most important in the history of art” – between Masaccio and Masolino da Panicale, my aim is to show how, in the process of secularization, art and politics have been closely interwoven in creating the Cartesian-Hobbesian representation of the modern sovereign state. Looking at the artistic space, therefore, means exploring a ‘multidimensional window’, a liminal category, a crossroads in which space, sovereignty, and secularization intersect and reflect themselves into the aesthetic field, designing (and imposing) a specific vision of modernity and its epistemico-political discourse.

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