Liquid Antiquity 2.0

  • July 13-14, 2018
  • Princeton Athens Center

Image credit: Martha Friedman, “Untitled” (2018)

This workshop, the second iteration of a gathering in September 2017 (“Liquid Antiquity: A New Fold”), engages scholars, curators, and artists in a response to the multimedia project “Liquid Antiquity,” commissioned by the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, in order to extend further its explorations of alternative models of engaging classical antiquity and to enrich collaboration between the academic and art worlds in new forms of public engagement around the legacies of classicism.

“Liquid Antiquity,” is a platform for radically rethinking the relationship between the classical and the contemporary. Antiquity is an irrepressible source of meaning today. But what it means is never fixed in stone. It must instead be continually rethought for an always changing “we” under always changing conditions of local and global significance. Resisting classicism as dead weight, “Liquid Antiquity” aims to make the ancient Greek past available as a fluid resource for the present by shifting attention from the matter of antiquity to the question of why antiquity matters. “Liquid Antiquity” was therefore designed as an exhibition without antiquities that stakes out the book as its primary site. Through word and image, the book stages an encounter with a “liquid” antiquity as well as a series of reflections on this encounter through contemporary artistic practice and the history of classicism over millennia. Spanning twenty-five hundred years in an unprecedented collaboration between leading artists, theorists, writers, art historians, classicists, cultural historians, and archaeologists, “Liquid Antiquity” is a handbook, deeply collaborative in spirit and experimental in form, for the creative work of reimagining the present through the ancient past.  It is complemented by a video installation designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro which was on view in the antiquities galleries at the Benaki Museum in Athens from April to September 2017.

“Liquid Antiquity 2.0” is inspired by two guiding commitments of the initial project: first, the commitment to collaboration and conversation; and second, the commitment to a way forward that is always unpredictably emergent out of the past—hence, the idea of a fold introduced here. An interdisciplinary group of scholars and artists are invited to reflect on “Liquid Antiquity” and think together about strategies—conceptual, aesthetic, pragmatic—for the ongoing work of “doing” classical reception under the sign of liquidity.  Time will be primarily devoted to discussion rather than formal presentation.

“Liquid Antiquity: A New Fold” is organized by Dimitri Gondicas (Princeton Athens Center), Brooke Holmes (Princeton/Postclassicisms), Polina Kosmadaki (Benaki Museum), and Yorgos Tzirtzilakis (DESTE/University of Thessaly) and supported by the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies and Postclassicisms.

Confirmed participants:

Nadia Argyropoulou (Independent Curator)
Josh Billings (Princeton)
Malina Buturovic (Princeton)
Martha Friedman (Princeton)
Carlos Kong (Princeton)
Zissis Kotionis (University of Thessaly)
Aleksander Musial (Princeton)
Spyros Papapetros (Princeton)
Zoë Paul (Independent Artist)
Dimitri Plantzos (University of Athens)
Effie Rentzou (Princeton)
Katerina Stergiopoulou (Princeton)
Yorgos Tzirtzilakis (DESTE/University of Thessaly)
Mathura Umachandran (Princeton)
Poka Yio (Independent Artist)