Prof. Flavia Stara 

University in Macerata, Italy
The canons of looks. Understanding cultures through the exchange of glances

The article aims to reconstruct the historical and theoretical foundations and the meaning structures that determine the standards by which we appropriate the world as an image. The West has defined its canon of perception, the perspective, drawing on a theory of vision conceived by an Arab mathematician within an Islamic religious context. Tracking down the visual coordinates of Western culture means to regain a hybrid aesthetic tradition. The perspective founded the civilization of the look, on the sovereignty of the subject observer who becomes part of the image. The images convey the evolution of the collective gaze as an expression of a social attitude. The visual narratives – by producing displacement, contaminations, and intercultural exchanges – become spaces of interpretation, of aesthetic-emotional participation, of production of meaning.