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Bleeding Images and Visual Animation

Project description

"Bleeding Images and Visual Animation" investigates what it means that the medieval image was alive, acting as a living entity able to move on its own, to perform bodily functions and to manifest some sort of "personhood". Animated as an active "person", the image might even bleed, shed tears, speak and do things to its spectator. Sometimes, mechanical devices within figures helped them act and perform. In the later Middle Ages, i.e. from the late thirteenth to the early sixteenth century in a Scandinavian context, automatic action figures and animated puppets became an important means to engage viewers and visitors in pilgrimage, rituals, liturgical feasts, plays, entertainment and spectacular public displays held by cities, churches and monasteries. Not hitherto recognized and appreciated in the Danish material, this pictorial animation is the focus of the project.

We are currently working on two publications, one conceptual and one focusing on Scandinavian objects of animation. More information will follow.

In addition to seminars, conferences, workshop and other activities, we have frequent project meetings and writing workshops where we discuss and develop new ideas and perspectives in collaboration.    

The project is funded by Novo Nordisk.

Duration: 01.02.2020-31.01.2024


Hans Henrik Lohfert Jørgensen    

Associate Professor (PI)

Laura Katrine Skinnebach

Associate Professor

Henning Laugerud




  • 24th February 2021: Workshop with Dr. Lieke Smits on Ludic Images, Zoom
  • 26th May: Workshop with Dr. Kamil Kopania on Dolls and Play, Zoom
  • 29th June: Seminar on Potentiality with Ane Kristine Skovgaar Preisler, Mads Vedel Heilskov and Pernille Leth-Espensen, Aarhus University
  • 5th August: Excursion in Northern Jutland, Denmark
  • 25th August: Project presentation at opening seminar for Center for the Viking Age and the Middle Ages (CVM), Aarhus
  • 16th-19th September 2021: “What does Animation mean in the Middle Ages? Theoretical and Historical Approaches”, Conference at the Zelwerowicz Nationa Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw, in Bialystock, Poland, Organised by Henning Laugerud and Kamil Kopania