Dear Jessica, Many thanks for agreeing to have this dialogue on Minus Plato about your participation at today’s workshop Modern Classicisms: Classical Art and Contemporary Artists in Dialogue at King’s College, London. I’m writing this to you on my way out of town, up north to Cleveland, for a well-earned weekend break (it’s Veteran’s Day […]

Today, to commemorate Classicist Emily Watson as the first woman to translate Homer’s Odyssey into English, I want to take us back to the first English translation of a Greek play, which was also by a woman, Jane Lumley, way back in 1557. Harold Child in his 1909 edition of Lumley’s translation remarks on how […]

The recent issue of the Afterall journal is dedicated to the topic of “Ethno-Aesthetics”, a term coined by the Greenlandic artist Pia Arke in her manifesto of the same name in 1995. Explored across the issue’s “Forward” by contributing editor Candice Hopkins, the manifesto itself and in two essays by Stefan Jonsson (“On Pia Arke”) […]

In preparation for his talk at the Wexner Center for the Arts next week, I have been reading Douglas Crimp’s On the Museum’s Ruins.  The book, published in 1993, gathers together essays that Crimp had previously published (especially in October) in the 1980s, alongside a selection of Louise Lawler’s photographs. Mid-way through the introduction (“Photography […]

It seems equally intuitive to align Classicism with Classical sculpture, as it is to investigate Classicism in contemporary art almost exclusively through the appropriation and transformation of Classical sculpture. Two recent, multifaceted projects – Liquid Antiquity and Modern Classicisms – which aim at bringing artists and Classicists together, are both grounded in this reactivating of […]

I have just read Candice Hopkins essay “The Appropriation Debates” in the most recent issue of Mousse magazine. Hopkins, whose work on global indigenous art and culture I first encountered at documenta 14, discusses two controversial artworks of the last year: the inclusion of Dana Schutz’s painting Open Casket (2016) at the Whitney Biennial and […]

Please allow me to remind you, it’s always your business. I am your business just as our business belongs to us. Public transit seduces me with a fantasy of who we work, who we channel, in the service of. It prevents abstraction to “the human race” with all the horrible spirits lurking in its utterance. […]

Today in our discussion group Myth Mother Invention we have moved on to the topic of “Infans” – the pre-lingual baby and child. In preparation for our meeting, I shared with the group, the so-called ‘Danae fragment’ by the ancient Greek lyric poet Simonides in the following translation: … when in the chest, intricately fashioned, […]

The ancient Greek reader didn’t own his own voice; the act of audible reading dispossessed him of it. “If he lends his voice to these mute signs, the text appropriates it: his voice becomes the voice of the written text,” Svenbro stresses. “He has lent his voice, relinquished it.” Is there a debt to repay […]