Blog

The Institute’s annual Open Meeting will take place on Wednesday May 22, starting at 19.00, in the auditorium of the Danish Institute in Athens (Herefondos 14 A, Plaka). The Institute’s Director, Professor Brendan Burke, will report on the activities of the Institute during the past year, focusing on the CIG-sponsored excavations at Argilos (Macedonia), Eleon (Boeotia) and Stelida (Naxos), and the study seasons at Kastro Kallithea (Thessaly) and of the Western Argolid Regional Project.

Following the director’s report, we will hear a lecture by this year’s invited speaker, Professor SeungJung Kim (Department of Art History, University of Toronto). Her lecture is entitled, “Toward a Phenomenology of Historienbilder: The Emergence of Actuality in the Visual Culture of Ancient Greece”.

“It has long been recognized that the ancient Greeks were notoriously obsessed with their mythographic tradition, avoiding representations of actuality at all costs. Historical events, for example, were usually cloaked under a mythological guise, as we see on the famed Parthenon. At the dawn of democracy in the late-sixth century and early-fifth century BCE, however, a new trend emerged in the visual culture Greece. It is then that visual representations of actuality in monumental form—contemporary or historical events or public personages, such as the Tyrannicides or the battle of Marathon—began to be commemorated for the first time. This paper explores the emerging interest in the so-called Historienbilder, or images of the “contemporary-historical,” in the context of a societal shift in Greek attitudes towards time, in which the authority of the past gave way to the uncertainty and the immediacy of the present. In particular, by employing a phenomenological lens through which these new images of reality would have been perceived by the viewer, the phenomenon of Historienbilder is reframed as one of the many changes that late archaic and early classical imagery undergoes that signal a novel relationship between time and the image.”

We look forward to you joining us on Wednesday evening for the final event of the Institute’s 2018-2019 academic programme.

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director