Methodological Bases of Studying of Interspecific Interaction of Temporal and Spatial Kinds of Arts

Olha Shykyrynska1

Abstract: One of the current areas of interdisciplinary studies is the study of interspecific interaction of temporal and spatial arts. The author presents the methodological paradigm of comparative studies as promising for the implementation of such research with a focus on methods of historical and cultural analysis, hermeneutics, iconology, receptive aesthetics.

Keywords: arts; interdisciplinarity; hermeneutics; receptive aesthetics

The art history of a work of art is considered in the context of the existing classification of arts as a system of interconnected types. Their variety is due to the diversity of the world and serves for the realization of the tasks of art as a way of creative reflection of reality in artistic images. Art forms are historically formed forms of creative activity that allow specific means of material embodiment (sound in music, words and literature, plastic and coloristic means in the fine arts, etc.) to represent the artistic picture of the world.

In the methodological plane of studying literature in the system of arts we rely on the work of Oscar Walzel (Walzel, 1920), who substantiated the connection between the phenomena of literature and the development of philosophical thought of a certain period; Oswald Spengler (Spengler, 1993) in the context of his theory of “Apollonian” and “Faustian” art groups; Arnold Hauser's sociological method (Hauser, 1958; 1953), which reveals the philosophy of functioning and historical development of art; Yuri Lotman's work on text structure and polyglotism of culture (Lotman, 1992).

The analysis of the modern theoretical and methodological basis in the field of Sister Arts Studio allows to deduce the following paradigm of types of interspecific interactionism in the system of interaction of arts: combination of space-time characteristics (GE Lessing); interspecific interpolation of art history codes (theatricality of prose, emblematicity of discourse, musicality of poetry / prose, etc.); representation of one kind of art (“media”) with the help of expressive means of another to complement the sign systems of each of them (ekphrasis, painting in cinema, architecture in photographs, etc.). The classification of types of arts in this research is based on the principle of their distribution on spatial formulated by GE Lessing (Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, etc.), temporal (Music, Literature) and spatiotemporal (Choreography, Theater, Ballet, etc.).

In modern art literature there is a space-time principle of classification of arts, proposed by GE Lessing in the work “Laokoon, or the boundaries of painting and poetry” (1766). According to this principle, all types of art are divided into three groups (Lessing, 1953):

1) spatial (visual), types of plastic arts, which are based on the spatial construction in the disclosure of the artistic image: Architecture, Sculpture, Fine and Decorative Arts, Graphics, and later from the newest modern species, this group was supplemented by Photography;

2) temporal (audio, dynamic) arts that have a composition that unfolds over time, such as: Music that has no space but spreads over time (sound by sound), and Literature in which events unfold sequentially, although stored in one spatial segment, which makes this art synthetic in its characteristics;

3) spatio-temporal (audiovisual) types of art, which are synthetic in nature types of art with a distinct entertainment component, such as: Theater, Choreography, partly Literature (among the newest types - Cinema).

The thinker notes that the presented types of art do not exist in its pure form, their forms are dynamic and interpenetrating in terms of: space-time types (theater-music-dance) and spatial-visual (architecture-sculpture-dance).

Prospects for the study of the synthesis of arts in fiction were significantly revised in the second half of the twentieth century, in particular at the IX Congress of the International Association of Comparative Literature in Innsbruck (1979) when the idea of studying literature in the arts as an official branch of comparative literature was recognized. In modern comparative studies, intermedial studies have to come to the fore, as well as the field of translation studies and cultural studies of literary interactions.

Methodological pluralism is inherent in any cultural and historical epoch for adequate scientific comprehension of literary and artistic interactions. Research related to the study of the relationship between literature and visual-spatial arts make it possible to use the methods of various sciences and, above all - literary studies, art history, history and related disciplines (cultural studies, anthropology), psychology, philosophy, aesthetics.

For example, not only basic knowledge of history, but also the smallest reconstruction of individual details of the historical context in the analysis of selected works of a certain era can be the main facts for understanding the purpose and objectives of its creation. Strictly speaking, the work itself is a historical source. Thus, the method of historicism helps to clarify the historical context as a condition for the emergence of a phenomenon using its traditional segments: description of facts, restoration of events in their sequence, analysis of causal relationships. In order to understand literary and artistic phenomena an important place is occupied by related disciplines: historiography, cultural studies, cultural anthropology (Arnold Joseph Toynbee, Michel Foucault, Johann Huizinga, Oswald Spengler, Mircea Eliade, Carl Jaspers).

The “anthropological” interpretive currents and schools in modern humanities usually include methods that were at the origins of comparative studies and have not lost their significance until now, if they are providedby the supplementof modern aesthetic and philosophical concepts. This is a cultural-historical method as a system of methods for the studying of the phenomena of art of various kinds, which is based on the idea of culture as a basis for the interpretation of a work of art and a way of understanding the phenomena of the artistic process. The ideas of the theorist of the cultural-historical school Hippolytus Ten (1828-1893) deal with the role of the individual in history, determinism in the understanding of creativity as a result of external influences: environment-race-stage of development (Ten, 1996). The emphasis on the study of socio-historical causes of national achievements in the field of art, in particular literature, contributed to the emergence of comparative-historical method based on the comparison of historical phenomena and united by one cultural code of artistic phenomena (Filaret Shall, Theodore Benfey, Alexander Veselovsky, Victor Zhirmunsky, Mykola Konrad, Mykhailo Alekseev, Iryna Neupokoeva, etc.). The categorical apparatus put forward by scientists (wandering plots, eternal images, countercurrents, historical poetics, typological series) laid the foundation of Comparative Studies in the field of humanities.

To understand the peculiarities of literary and artistic phenomena in the comparative aspect it is advisable to use traditional contact-genetic and typological research methods. D. Nalyvaykoemphasizes: “Problems of interconnection and interaction maof literature and painting and other arts, first of all literature and painting, literature and music, literature and theater / cinema come to the fore in the second half of the XX century.” (Nalivayko, 2006, p. 16). The authors of the thorough work “Comparative Literature” (2008) VasylBudny and MykolaIlnytsky argue that these methods are based on the combination of diachronic (historical) and deterministic (causal) plans, and their inherent interdisciplinary approach causes the connection of functional plans (Budny, 2008, p. 385).

The principle of interdisciplinarity proposed by Stefan Tetesi de Zepetnek became a promising methodological approach based on a comparative study of different types of art. It involves the establishment of a paradigm of other semiotic series in the process of interspecific interpolation of artistic codes, taking into account the ways of reproducing reality. The theorist notes that interdisciplinarityis based on two basic principles. The first is that literature can be studied through such close fields as history, psychology, cinema, music, visual arts. According to the second principle, the use of theoretical structures and methodologies of other disciplines is possible for the analysis of a literary work (Zepetnek, 1998, pp. 11-47).

Literature and art have clear resonant relationships in the plane of philosophy and its components (ethics, aesthetics). Universal philosophical paradigms of the XIX-XXI centuries are directly related to the methodology of the humanities in the field of literary criticism and art history. Thus, the methodology of the humanities was significantly influenced by phenomenology as a universal science of ways of psychological understanding of phenomena, the subjective factor in art, reflection within the author-work-recipient triad. Methodological principles of reduction (from the Latin reduction - return) as an opportunity to explain the complex on the basis of the laws of simple and initial parameters of intentionality (intention, addressee, addressee) – an integrated method of studying artistic phenomena laid the foundations of modern anthropocentric paradigm of humanities (Edmund Husserl, Nicholas Hartmann).

Types of hermeneutic approaches allow to comprehend the hidden meanings of the literary text by the immersion in linguistic and psychological factors (Friedrich Schleiermacher), intuitive “use”, “empathy”, deep penetration into the subject of study or phenomenon of the human spirit (Wilhelm Dilthey), understanding the temporality of art “Horizons of understanding” (Hans-Georg Gadamer).

The active use of the categorical apparatus of history (epoch, period), cultural anthropology (ethnicity, culture, man, world, ritual, values, customs, traditions), philosophy (ideal / material, form and content, reason and consequence, possibility and reality), aesthetics (beautiful / ugly, high / low, tragic / comic), ethics (good / evil, meaning of life, decency) is common to literary and art methodology. Equally important for these sciences is the reliance on the basic criteria of humanities knowledge in the field of rhetorical criticism (technë, mimesis, similarity, equality, heritage, orderliness (convenientia), rivalry (aemulatio), analogy, sympathy), positivist (descriptive, factual, determinism), structuralist (descriptivism, semiotic series, form, structure, system, synchrony, logic), phenomenological (immanence, a priori structures, judgments, perception, feeling, reflection, sign, recollection).

The methodology of interpretation of the visual aspect of art is effectively implemented through the application of the method of iconological analysis. Iconology (from the Greek eikon - “image” and logos- “word, meaning, knowledge”) – a direction in art history, which reveals the artistic meaning of the image of a particular art form, direction, style. Interest in symbolism dates back to the Renaissance. The first book of emblems (from the Latin “Emblematum liber”) was presented in 1531 by the Italian iconographer Andrea Alciatti, who actively relied on ancient mythology. First the word “iconology” appeared in the XVI century in the work of the Italian humanist CesareRipa “Iconology” (1659), which consisted of 151 engravings. At that time the term was interpreted in the dissertation of the German art historian Abi Warburg, who invested in its meaning a comprehensive interpretation of the meaning of the image, where he saw an appeal to various fields of humanities (Warburg, 2008). The concept of “iconology” became widespread due to the American art theorist Erwin Panofsky, a student of Abi Warburg. In 1939, the scientist published “Studies in Iconology” (“Studies in Iconology”), which identified three levels of analysis of visual art:

initial acquaintance, based on the initial visual impression of the presented forms and objects with their division into constituent elements;

secondary or conditional acquaintance, which represents the process of identification of these forms with mythological sources, literary texts in order to identify the allegorical (iconographic) meaning of the image;

identifying the inner hidden content by building an artistic connection of the leitmotif or its combination with the theme or concept, determining its symbolic value in the context of a particular era, establishing its “iconographic importance” (Panofsky, 2009).

In our opinionthe next method, which allowsthe most productive assessment of the interspecific interaction of temporal and spatial arts, is the methodological principles of the school of receptive aesthetics.

Receptive aesthetics (from German Reception-Asthetik, from Latin Reception - acceptance) is a trend in modern aesthetics, philosophy of literature and art, formed in the middle of the twentieth century. In the 1970s, Hans-Robert Jauss and VolgangIsser formed a school of receptive aesthetics. The main principle of this direction is that for the best understanding of the content of a work of art it is necessary to establish a connection between the work itself and the subject, its receiver (recipient). Russian literary theorists emphasize that the methodology of receptive aesthetics is based on a technique that “activates the psychological work of the audience and directs its reaction through channels programmed by the author” (Zholkovsky, 1996, p. 25).

Theoretical modeling of the spectrum of intermedial images in a work of art is presented in the paradigm of the relationship of literature with architecture, sculpture, theater, painting, music, tank. The ultimate goal of studying the interdisciplinary architecture of the system of images, united by design, composition, style, is to understand the “language of culture” of a particular historical time. The results of differentiation in aesthetics and society is achieved through the reflection of the concept sphere of different types of art in the work by means of the artistic word, the search for the lost integrity of life takes place.


Budny, V. V. & Ilnytsky, M. M. (2008). Comparative Literature. Kyiv: Ed. house “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, p. 430.

Lessing, G. E. (1953). Laokoon, or on the Boundaries of Painting and Poetry. Selected works. Moscow: Artist. lit., pp. 385-516.

Nalivayko, D. S. (2006). Literature in the Art System as a Branch of Comparative Studies. Theory of Literature and Comparative Studies. Kyiv: Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Publishing House, pp. 9-37.

Panofsky, E. (2009). Etudes on Iconology. Moscow: Alphabet-classics, p. 480.

Teng, I. (1996). Philosophy of Art. Moscow: Republic, p. 351.

Warburg, A. (2008). The Great Migration of Images: Studies in the History and Psychology of the Renaissance. St. Petersburg: Alphabet p. 384 (Artist and Connoisseur).

Zepetnek S. T. (1998). Comparative Literature. Theory, Method, Application. Studies in Comparative Literature. Amsterdam, Atlanta: Rhodopes, pp. 11–47.

Zholkovsky, A. & Shcheglov, Y. (1996). Works on the Poetics of Expressiveness: A collection of scientific articles. Moscow: Progress, p. 344.

1 Associate Professor, PhD, Izmail State University of Humanities, Ukraine, Address: Repina St, 12, Izmail, Odessa Region, Ukraine, 68601, Tel.: +38 (04841)51388, Corresponding author: