The international monthly series that brings you food for thought and good food presents…
Confronting Europe’s Difficult Histories through Uncanny Encounters
A guest presentation by Dr. Antje Gamble
Woods Penn Commons
Tuesday, Feb. 20
6:00pm – 8:00pm
As communities in Kentucky and throughout the South grapple with Confederate symbols, it might be interesting to consider how Europeans have been engaging with Europe’s past.
In the past twenty years, a number of contemporary European sculptors have directly engaged with episodes in Europe’s past and present. From Nazism to colonialism, sculptors have confronted the continent’s often violent history through uncanny encounters. These often unsettling confrontations open up questions about the viewers’ own relationship to history and its resonances in contemporary culture.
For Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, no topic is too controversial. His works like the 2007 Ave Maria or 2001 Him reference Europe’s fall into Fascism in the 1920s and 30s, as a means to confront the viewer with their own personal relationship to authority and perceived limits of humanity. In large-scale sculptural installations, British artist Yinka Shonibare MBE uses Victorian and Rococo art historical citations to engage with colonialism connection to contemporary capitalist culture. In works like the 2001 The Swing (after Fragonard), Shonibare creates a playful encounter with a beheaded woman, dressed in Dutch wax fabric. Among others, these contemporary European sculptors use a variety of materials, from marble to wax, and techniques, from traditional carving to assemblage, to create phenomenological experiences. These uncanny encounters are personal, bodily confrontations that bring the viewer to contemplate difficult moments of European history.
Dinner will be provided.
Free and open to the public.
Brought to you by the Center for International Education in collaboration with the Art Department.