What do pictures do?

Time span
2012 - 2014
Project management
Henrik Oxvig, Institute of Architecture, City, and Landscape

What role do pictures play in our understanding of the world? What influence does the representational form of a picture have on our understanding of architecture and design? How can a picture come into its own alongside language?

Constantin Hansen, Et Selskab af danske Kunstnere i Rom, 1837. The folded curtain from the painting by Constantin Hansen has


KADK, led by Head of Research, Henrik Oxvig, are the coordinators of the international research network, WHAT IMAGES DO. The academic pivot is to examine and discuss current pictorial theories: e.g. pictures’ relationship to language. The network was established in 2012 and includes international research institutions and academies from Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany, together with researchers from KADK’s Schools of Architecture and Design.

To round off the project, in March 2014 the network organised a three-day symposium at Charlottenborg in Copenhagen. Keynote speakers included Jonathan Hay, Georges Didi-Huberman and Jacques Rancière, and there were workshops and discussions in the jam-packed halls.