International scholar to deliver lecture on relations across the arts

What elements can migrate from one artistic medium to the other and how is such a transformation achieved? A lecture at York University on Nov. 15 will examine the relations across the arts, drawing its case studies from Spanish America.

The Spanish program in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, will host the second event in its Literature and Music in Spanish America: Dialogues Fall-Winter 2018-19 speaker series.

Cintia Cristia
Cintia Cristiá

Organized by Professor M.L. Figueredo and students, this event is free and open to the public. It is presented in English with Spanish materials available, and features guest speaker Cintia Cristiá who will present “A Cross-cultural Dialogue of the Arts: Migrations across Music, Literature and Painting in Spanish America.”

This lecture focuses on three case studies from Spanish America, examining both cross-cultural and cross-artistic influences: a painting by Xul Solar representing Chopin’s music (1949); a novel by Cortazar imitating classical music techniques and jazz improvisation (1963); and a musical composition by Ezequiel Diz (2012) inspired by a painting by Otto Dix.

A comparative analysis of these works can enable a deeper understanding of creative processes and illuminate an existing dialogue between Spanish America and the European art tradition. This dialogue explores both cross-cultural affinities and the limits and possibilities of both the materials and the modes of representation of each art.

Cristiá’s typology of convergence and migration brings together the basics of this inter-artistic communication. Convergence alludes to the presence of different artistic media in the same work (e.g. opera), while migration indicates the borrowing of certain aspects of one art by the other, through four possible channels: emotion, material, morphology and concept. This method stems from Souriau’s theory of a fundamental artistic correspondence; it is further supported by statements about the analogy between music and painting by Kandinsky, Klee, Boulez and Berio that also stress the potential for creative cross-fertilization.

Cristiá is a professor at Universidad Nacional del Litoral (Argentina) and a visiting research Fellow (2018-19) at the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre at Ryerson University. She lectures and publishes internationally on comparative aesthetic theory between music, visual arts and literature, with a focus on modernist and post-modernist styles, and a special interest in Latin American art and its links to European tradition. She curates concert series and art exhibitions, and has received awards in musicology and art critique.

Her recent publications include the third edition of her groundbreaking book on Argentinean artist Alejandro Xul Solar and an edited volume on the relations across the arts. She is also interested in the study of the creative process in contemporary art and music, music education with a multidisciplinary approach and the development of new concert formats, collaborating frequently with her husband, pianist Alexander Panizza.  Cristiá received her PhD in history of music and musicology from the Université de Paris-Sorbonne.

This event runs from 1 to 2:20 p.m. in Room 214, Stong College.