Mike and I have published a special edition of the review of Theatre/Archaeology, our work over the last twenty years, that’s about to appear in the forthcoming survey of art and archaeology edited by Andy Cochrane and Ian Russell (Springer 2013). Theatre/Archaeology: return and prospect Pearson|Shanks 1993–2013 by Mike Pearson and Michael Shanks
A decade after our book Theatre/Archaeology (Routledge – [Link]), Mike Pearson and I have started a new series of collaborative works. Here is a prospectus: Pearson|Shanks – theatre|archaeology – return and prospect Twenty years ago Mike Pearson, performance artist, and Michael Shanks, archaeologist, opened a dialogue and collaboration through the theatre company Brith Gof, of [...]
Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art has just closed at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [Link] [Link] The topic of the exhibition – contemporary art in six “far-flung” cities not typically defined as traditional centers of the art world: Beirut, Cali, Cluj-Napoca, Ho Chi Minh City, San Francisco, Tangier. Ostensibly this is [...]
I have joined the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam as part of a new exhibition program. This extraordinary museum [Link] holds the largest collection of contemporary art in the Netherlands. Experiments in temporary and often provocative exhibitions, rather than permanent displays of the collection, are the museum’s specialty, and it runs over twenty a [...]
As a skeptical young archaeologist back in the early 1980s I was fascinated by the connections between archaeology and photography, in archaeology’s project of documenting the remains of the past. Skeptical – I thought, and still do, that archaeology’s long links with the identity politics of nationalism and colonialism and its role in the growing [...]
Mike Pearson and Mike Brookes are directing another wonderful and extraordinary site specific production of a classic dramatic text. A couple of years ago it was Aeschylus’s Persians set in a simulation of a German village used for military training in the Brecon Beacons of Wales [Link]. Currently running is Coriolan/us – a hybrid of [...]
We made it at last today to the Mark Bradford exhibition in San Francisco at SFMOMA – [Link] Exhibition website – [Link] Maybe it’s about … tracing the ghosts of cities past. It’s the pulling off of a layer and finding another underneath. It’s the … details that point to people saying, “We exist; we [...]
In Göteborg this week I have been returning to the work of arts company Brith Gof – site specific performance. And theatre/archaeology – the rearticulation of fragments of the past as real time event. The context is my argument that the heritage industry is just that – work performed on what is left of the [...]
The remarkable work of sculptor Fenwick Lawson. Monks carry the coffin of Cuthbert (The Journey – 1999).
Another artist exploring an archaeological sensibility – Rotterdam based Lara Almarcegui. Secession – at TENT, Rotterdam.
Song Dong at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Dad and Mom, Don’t Worry About Us, We Are All Well is a large-scale installation called Waste Not. It comprises over 10,000 items ranging from pots and basins to blankets, bottle caps, toothpaste tubes, and stuffed animals collected by the artist’s mother over [...]
At the Baltic Arts Center, first visit in a long while – last time it was Anthony Gormley – [Link]. This time – Anselm Keifer and his remarkable workings with memory, materiality, guilt and landscape. I’m waiting for the fog to clear at Heathrow. Lovely winter views out over the Tyne. (Photos taken on the [...]
My conversation, back in 2007, with artist Lynn Hershman Leeson about artifacts, memory, art, forensics, archaeology appears today in a new collection – “Science is Culture: Conversations at the New Intersection of Science and Society” [Link] Seed magazine brings together a unique gathering of prominent scientists, artists, novelists, philosophers + other thinkers who are tearing [...]
Classics and the contemporary past Mike Pearson and his new production of Aeschylus Persians (National Theatre of Wales) gets a superb review in the Guardian today [Link] This is site-specific theatre with a vengeance. High up in the Brecon Beacons, in a mock-up village used by the military as a training-base, National Theatre Wales is [...]
Life Squared [link], our installation in the online world Second Life, is currently part of the exhibition The Art of Participation 1950 – Now at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Life Squared – web link and gallery link. More links – Linden Lab/Second Life and Wired magazine The exhibition, curated by Rudolf Frieling, is [...]
The touring exhibition of the wonderful photographs of Edward Burtynsky reaches the Cantor Arts Center today and runs till September 18. Nickel tailings #30 – Sudbury, Ontario Like Gursky, [Link] Burtynsky works in large format – the pictures are up to 5 feet across. His subjects are envrionmental impacts. Great holes in the ground like [...]
Gary Hill in the Colosseum – part of the Presence Project at Stanford.
Rome Risonanze Oscure Dark Resonances We are at the Colosseum, the Flavian Amphitheatre – me, Nick (Kaye) and Gabriella (Giannachi). It is 10pm. Across the street beneath the temple of Venus we have been looking at flickering images of what look to me like archaeological sediments projected into the foundation arches, behind the protective iron [...]
Tate Modern London. I am still reading today’s Arts section of the Guardian – this time Adrian Searle’s preview of the Tate Modern’s new exhibition of Joseph Beuys [Link] Beuys wasn’t being mischievous or disingenuous when he said there was nothing to understand (in his work). He may have been wrong to believe everyone could [...]
A fine piece of writing from Iain Sinclair, a bit overblown maybe, in The Guardian today about the Thames in the urban imaginary that is London – Paint me a river. Liquid prompts guide our steps towards the scintillae of the supremely visible Thames. Here begins the work of poets and painters, their argument and [...]
In Boing Boing today – found photos from the Arkansas State Prison 1915-1937 – [Link] I liked the caption: In 1975, documentary artist Bruce Jackson found a bunch of old prison photos in a drawer in the Arkansas penitentiary. The people being photographed have no interest in the photographs being made; the people making the [...]
At the National Gallery in London with my sister and nephew. I always try to make a visit when I pass through the UK. Today I made a beeline for the Hoogstraten peepshow. My fascination with realism, perspective, the camera, optical instrumentality and everyday interiors continues. The peepshow is a box with a painted interior [...]
An archaeological sensibility I regularly post about the horror that lies just beneath the surface of things, everyday normality rooted in the uncanny secret lives of things – have a look at Horror and disclosure – a scene of crime clings to its past Joe (Adler) has just sent me word of Die Familie Schneider [...]