Vesalius Rio Program

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Education: The Vesalius Rio Program 2014/2015

Consulate of Belgium in Rio de Janeiro

Vesalius Rio Program
Artwork as Expressive Interdisciplinar Structure

Mariano Akerman

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2014/2015

Vesalius Rio 2015: An Educational Program

In a Europe where, in the beginning of the sixteenth century, still prevailed some considerable darkness of preconception of the actual internal constitution of the human body, Andreas Vesalius was able to develop unprecedented practices and work involving the first complete dissection of the human body, which was studied and described in detail.

Resulting from the use of the empirical method, Vesalius's amazing discoverings were registered in his treatise, De humani corporis fabrica (1543), an illustrated work on anatomy characterized by its systematic approach and scientific precision.

Up to now Vesalius's contribution is of cardinal importance to anatomists. Vesalius himself is also appreciated as a pioneer in the fight against preconception via scientific research.

"Sentence first—verdict afterwards" demanded from her irrationality the Queen of Hearts in a well-known nineteenth-century literary work. Four hundred years before, however, Vesalius had already went beyond diverse irrationalities then prevalent in his society and, what is even more important, he had done so in a deductive and truly convincing manner.

Inspired by the light coming from the Renaissance anatomist's modus operandi, the Vesalius Rio Program reexamines the Visual Arts as a discipline.

Mariano Akerman explores the didactic nature of Vesalius's anatomical treatise illustrations; studies the particularities of Hebraic symbolism in the Middle Ages, reconsiders the Western allegories of Faith; discovers the existential origins of Sephardic creativity; meditates on the last intentions that shape both totalitarian propaganda and visual imagery bearing witness and/or recalling the most terrible genocide in history. He also examines the importance of the Imaginary in Brazilian and Argentinean artworks, to reconnect them to some of their respective European sources.

Throughout his methodical approach, Vesalius illuminated numerous aspects of a reality hardly known and mostly considered from prejudice in his time. Evoking the deductive method of Vesalius and dealing with a diversity of topics in an analogous manner, the Vesalius Rio Program aims to clarify a series of important topics that still remain obscure and yet demand an endodermic research of the Anatomy of Art.


1 Sacred Text and Visual Arts
2 Checkmate to the Queen
3 A Time for Everything
Series: "Cultural Heritage and Identity"
Centro de Estudos Bíblicos
R. Gen. Severiano 170 - Botafogo
2, 9 September, 21 October 2014

4 Hebraic Symbolism: Its Particularities
 and Representations in the Middle Ages

Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
Escola de História - 6ª Jornada de Estudos Medievais
Av. Pasteur 458 - Urca
2 September 2015

5 Culture and Propaganda
6 Tragedy and Remembrance
7 Memory and Education
Series: "Cultural Legacy and Remebrance"
Associação Scholem Aleichem de Cultura e Recreação
São Clemente 155, Botafogo
4, 18, 25 October 2015

8 Vesalius: Man in the Center
Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Rio de Janeiro
Casa d'Italia, Av. Presidente Antonio Carlos 40, 4º andar - Centro
15 October 2015

9 The Sephardic Contribution to the Visual Arts
Instituto Cervantes
R. Visc. de Ouro Preto, 62 - Botafogo
28 October 2015

10 Artists' Dreams and Configurations of the Imaginary
•• Instituto Cultural Brasil-Argentina
•• Praia de Botafogo 228, Sobreloja, Botafogo
•• 5 November 2015

11 Yesterday and Today: Allegories of Faith in Western Art
•• Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
•• Departamento de Teologia - 50º Aniversario da Declaração Nostra Aetate
•• R. Marquês de São Vicente, 225 - Gávea
•• 10 November 2015

12 Expressions in Copacabana: The Inner Constellations
•• Residence of Belgium
•• Av. Atlântica, Posto 5
•• 19 November 2015

Lecture 4. Architect and Art History researcher, Akerman studies the relative abscence of the human figure in the Hebraic tradition (aniconism), exploring the relationship between sacred text and visual imagery, to characterize the particularities and various representations involving Hebraic symbolism in the Middle Ages.

Mariano Akerman
Born in Buenos Aires in 1963, Mariano Akerman is a painter, architect and art historian. Working as a researcher and a lecturer, Akerman also develops educational activities that encourage free expression and communitarian involvement of participants while considering their cultural background.
Akerman studied at the School of Architecture of Universidad de Belgrano (Argentina), completing his formation with a prized graduation project on boundaries and space in Modern Architecture (1987). Abroad from 1991 onwards, he received a British Council Grant to research the artwork of Francis Bacon at Marlborough Fine Art and the Tate Gallery in London. Akerman is author of The Grotesque in Francis Bacon’s Paintings (1999) and "Bacon, Painter with a Double-Edged Sword" (2012).
In Asia, Mariano Akerman developed the educational series of conferences The Belgian Contribution to the Visual Arts (2005), In the Spirit of Linnaeus (2007), Discovering Belgian Art (2008-9), Raisons d’être: Art, Freedom and Modernity (2010), German Art (2010), and The Gestalt Educational Program (2011).
Specializing in Visual Communication, Akerman lectures on modern art at institutions such as the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila, the Star of Hope School in Taytay, the National College of Arts in Lahore, the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, and the Biblical Studies Center of Rio de Janeiro.
Specialized in Visual Communication, Akerman develops seminars, workshops and educational exhibitions, working together with the embassies and consulates of Belgium, Sweden, France, Germany, Switzerland, and those of his native country as well. Akerman has received twelve international prizes in art and education.

Vesalius Rio Program: Anatomy of Art
Artwork as Expressive Interdisciplinar Structure

Vesalius Rio Program
Rebel and Pioneer
Cultural Heritage and Identity
Synagoga et Ecclesia in Our Time
Expressions in Copacabana
Mariano Akerman, CV and References

Vesalius Rio Program: Anatomy of Art
Artwork as Expressive Interdisciplinar Structure
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2014/2015

Andreae Vesalii Bruxellensis

The Consulate of Belgum in Rio de Janeiro
Rua Lauro Muller 116/602, Torre do Rio Sul - Botafogo


Silvia Weisz said...

Hola Mariano,
Leo atentamente tu exposición y me deleito en las ilustraciones. ¡Me parece genial! Qué hermoso que te interese desentrañar el secreto de aquello que los ojos tienen delante de sí.
No me dejes afuera de tus avaces, ¡yo crezco con vos!
Un beso,

Gina desde Ciudad Plena said...

Un tema con muchas facetas e ideas interesantes. Que sea con mucho éxito.

Adriana Pretzsch said...

¡Qué lindo tener una relación tan positiva y placentera con el trabajo! Eso es lo que tu tarea me transmite. Sos muy afortunado, o mejor dicho, sabes encontrar tu felicidad en lo que hacés. El mérito es todo tuyo, no es suerte.
¡Besos, Mariano! Adriana

Gab desde Florida said...

Prezado Mariano,
Ya sos todo un bazuca! jaja :) Mucha suerte. Admiro que ya te manejes con el portugués para dar semejantes conferencias. Wow!
Beso, gab ~

Júlia Druant said...

Caro Mariano, agradecida. Atenciosamente, Júlia

Chantal Corcos said...

Muito obrigada pelo convite e parabens pelo projeto e o trabalho realizado neste empreendimento.

NCL said...

¡Qué investigación!
Estuve leyendo detenidamente y quedé con la boca abierta. Las fotografías son extraordinariamente ilustrativas.
Amén de tus indudables dotes como investigador, a través de tus escritos y de las láminas exhibidas di un nuevo paseo por las artes visuales.
Mis más grandes felicitaciones por tus trabajos académicos.
Beso grandote. NCL

Mauro Band said...

Recomendo a todos a assistir a palestra no dia 18/10. A do dia 4 foi espetacular! Abraços.

Monica DeLorenzo said...

Caro Mariano,
Eu gostei de inúmeros temas, que você apresentou. Um legado lindo, que não conhecia. E as explicações foram excelentes. Parabéns pela palestra.

Òscar Pujol said...