This Special Issue of Arts will focus on ancient Egyptian Art as a dynamic. Artistic production is here envisioned as being in motion and taking part in a constant feedback loop of competing actors. Art itself is understood as an agent, which works on multiple people: the artists, the commissioners and the consumers.
This Issue will underline how art acts upon society as a tool of power and eventually leads to identity questions, both for people who controlled human and economic resources and for those who could not afford monumental self-commemoration. Inclusion into certain parts of “high” society created opportunities and/or demands for art production; those close to but not within “high” society tried to emulate elite creations. Craftsmen/artist-producers and merchant-procurers found themselves negotiating much of this dynamic and are, thus, a part of it. In this highly competitive context, elite and non-elite were, thus, part of a never-ending competing sphere, using art production as a means of messaging their social place.
Art starts with the actors and their agenda. It is, thus, socially reactive. Commissioners both innovated newness and reverted to the past, sometimes with the same social goals in mind. Art, therefore, encapsulated the hierarchy dynamics and social changes of ancient Egyptian society while forcing its multiple actors to interact.
From this perspective, this Issue will re-examine epistemological and ontological questions about ancient Egyptian art and its fundamental actors. It will question how innovations were created, in which circumstances people manipulated past productions and how iconographic motives were put into motion for the purposes of creating useful social identities. It will underline how powerful art can be, whether put into the hands of the upper elite or their subordinates.
We invite contributors to submit their research in English for consideration. Please note that there is a two-stage submission procedure. We will first collect a title and short abstract (maximum 250 words), 5 keywords, and a short bio (150 words via email to Prof. Dr. Kathlyn Cooney, Dr. Alisee Devillers, and Dora Wang. Selected abstracts will be invited to submit 5000–9000 word papers for peer review by December 2023. Each article will be published open access, on a rolling basis after successfully passing peer review.
Arts is an international,peer-reviewed, open-access journal promoting significant research on all aspects of the visual and performing arts, published bimonthly online by MDPI.