Session #9: The Origins of the Wind
Prof. Barbara Baert & Leen Scholiers

Online Lecture


Exploring the movement of wind and its historical connotations, notably linked to major belief systems, Haseeb Ahmed invites both Professor Barbara Baert and Leen Scholiers to lead Session #9 of his 1.5 year long program Taming the Horror Vacui, at Rib. In this dual session, we explore the deep historical associations that have aggregated around the most basic physiological function of breathing and its potentials.

This session will take place over 2 days. On the first day (17 May 2021), art historian Barbara Baert will speak about the origins of the wind and its association with conveying a vital principal in premodern and religious iconography and philosophical texts. Baert is both a professor at KU Leuven, and founder of the Iconology Research Group, an international and interdisciplinary platform for the study of the interpretation of images. During this talk, Baert will explore the history of the depiction of the wind in both art and religion, as it is related to creation myths and concepts of time.

On the second day (18 May 2021), Leen Scholiers, a tantric yoga teacher, will lead a workshop on “prana”, which in Sanskrit means breath, vital principle, and life force. Scholiers guides us through the movement of air through our bodies and its five vayus, sanskrit for winds, which can open people for emotional release, subtle sensations, and even mystical experiences.

To prepare for this workshop try to refrain from consuming alcohol, drugs or heavy meals before this session. Make sure you can lay down on your bed/sofa/yoga mat. Have pillows and blankets for temperature changes. Have a notebook for journaling and to write down emerging thoughts after the session.

The air has a fixed density, but its effects are experienced differently at various scales. After having explored the effects of wind on the urban plan of the city in Emiel Arendt’s Session #3, its effects on architecture and interior air conditions in James Beckett Session #6, we finally arrive at the scale of the body itself.

The wind is fickle. It is shaped by all of the natural and built structures around which it passes. Temperature shifts created massive columns of hot air that cascade into planetary weather patterns. It is always directional, however where is the origin of the wind— that which first set things in motion? As the wind passes the wind moves leaves, dust, and sways buildings alike. It animates that which might otherwise thought to be inanimate.

Online Workshops
Talk by Prof. Barbara Baert
17.05.2021, 18:30-21:00
Zoom Meeting

Breathing Practice by Leen Scholiers
18.05.2021, 18:30-21:00
Zoom Meeting

Barbara Baert (1967) is Professor in Medieval Art, Iconology and Historiography at the KU Leuven. Her research projects show a determined interdisciplinary dialogue within the humanities and can be regarded from three main angles: the methodological space between text and image, the impact of the sensorium in the visual arts, and finally critical reflection on the art historical discipline. Author of more than 80 articles, c. 100 chapters in books, 30 books and 16 edited volumes, Barbara Baert was honored with several awards, among which the most prestigious is the Francqui Prize for Human Sciences in 2016. In November 2017 she was knighted in recognition of her public service as Commandeur in the Belgian Order of Leopold. She was invited as a guest professor at numerous universities in Europe, Japan and the United States. Baert was Fellow at theInternationales Kolleg für Kulturforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) of the Weimar Bauhaus Universität (2015), at theIstituto di Studi Avanzati of the Università di Bologna (2018), at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2019), and at the Center of Excellence BildEvidenz of the Freie Universität Berlin (2020). She is a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium, and of the Academia Europaea. She is the founder and editor in chief of four academic series, amongst others, Studies in Iconology (Peeters Publishers). Her most recent books are Fragments (A celebratory glossary of her oeuvre) (Peeters: 2018), What about Enthusiasm (Peeters: 2019), Interruptions & Transitions. Collected Essays on the Senses in Medieval and Early Modern Visual Culture (Brill: 2019), About Sieves and Sieving. Motif, Symbol, Technique, Paradigm (De Gruyter: 2019), The Weeping Rock. Revisiting Niobe through Paragone, Pathosformel and Petrification (Studies in Iconology, 17), Leuven-Walpole, 2020, Signed PAN (Studies in Iconology, 18), Leuven-Walpole, 2020, and From Kairos to Occasio along Fortuna. Text / Image / Afterlife. On the Antique Critical Moment, a Grisaille in Mantua (School of Mantegna, 1495-1510) and The Fortunes of Aby Warburg (1866-1929), Brepols & Harvey Miller, 2021 (at press: ISBN: 978-1-912554-62-1); Looking Into the Rain. Magic-Moisture-Medium (De Gruyter: 2021) (at press).

Leen Scholiers (1984) is a tantric yoga teacher and sexuality coach for women and couples. She is the host of the Sublime Woman Summit, that gathered 2500 women in 2020, and has been devoted to the path of transformation for the last 6 years. The foundational roots of the methodology she teaches are in classical Tantra, neo-Tantra, Taoism, Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), Body-Mind Mapping and Dynamic Breathwork.