The purpose of the European Research Center in History and Theory of the Image (ICONE) is the study of our figurative and symbolic culture, conceived as a heritage of allegories, metaphors and expressive forms that forms the core of the European civilization, of its identity and self-awareness, and moreover the reserve of the activity of criticism and creation.
Given its mission, ICONE finds in the halls of the Palazzo Borromeo in Cesano Maderno its ideal location, even its inspiration: the Sala dei Fasti romani, Piazza dell’Esedra, the Galleria delle Arti liberali and the Sale alla Mosaica show how the interplay of forms, rhythms, and figures is able of articulate an entire worldview.
The center ICONE not only intends to study the memory of images and its heritage in European culture, it also aims at analyzing the role of wide technological changes that first the automatic means of reproduction of photography and film, and then the digital revolution and the internet. These changes affect not only the technological level of the representation, but the nature of images themselves.
Thus, iconological, aesthetic, historical and critical perspective are merged together following the idea of a comprehensive study of both the traditional forms of the European culture of the image (plastic and visual arts, architecture, theater, dance, music) and modern forms such as photography, film, and digital media.