Renata Holod

On Interiors and the Regimes of Lighting

This presentation is the third in a series of studies on the interior of the Mosque of Cordoba. Preparatory work has been carried out with the Digital Media Design group; the second iteration correcting and expanding on these results was presented last fall. The present presentation will propose several variations on the lighting schemes, assuming that the interior was lit more or less intensely and richly depending on the daily, weekly and annual ritual cycles. By utilizing digital tools for the recreation of lighting virtually, a fuller experience of the interior could thus be proposed. Further, these variations of lighting could be used to understand more fully the aesthetic impact intended by the designers of al-Hakam’s complex extension and addition of the late tenth century CE. Only by recreating regimes of lighting in interiors can one begin to gauge aspects of historical and cultural experience in such spaces of memory.

Renata Holod is College of Women Class of 1963 Term Professor in the Humanities at the History of Art Department, and Curator, Near East Section, of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She has carried out archeological and architectural fieldwork in Syria, Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Central Asia,Tunisia, and Ukraine. She was the Convenor of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. She is co-author and co-editor of The Mosque and the Modern World (1997) and An Island through Time: Jerba Studies (2009) and the two-volume The City in the Islamic World (2008). Her most current project is a collaborative study of Chungul Kurgan, a Qipchaq tumulus in the Black Sea steppe.