Skip to content

Mimesis and the Myths of Europe
Annetta Alexandridis & Verity Platt 

Lecture (Online)

Antique Collection of the University of Graz

Photo: HK

In the context of the current exhibition Europe: Ancient Future at the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, Verity Platt and Annetta Alexandrinis jointly turn their gaze to the practice of selected contemporary artists whose work refers to Greco-Roman antiquity in terms of both content and style, and whose works bear witness to analytical-critical as well as subversive perspectives on this important phase of cultural history.

To begin, Alexandrinis will provide an overview of the concept of mimesis (imitative representation) in Greco-Roman antiquity, focusing specifically on feminist theories in relation to the myth and subject of Europa.

Platt will shed light on the concept of mimesis in a short lecture on the influence of ancient reproduction techniques used for multiple bronze series and plaster casts on the art of the time, and provide an outlook on contemporary techniques such as digital imaging and 3D printing processes. Finally, both guests will talk about the reference of contemporary artists to ancient works and especially about specific works by Louise Lawler and Sara VanDerBeek, among others, which are based on an institutional-critical impetus. In addition, strategies of subversion will be discussed when it comes to the practices of black artists Kehinde Wiley and Kara Walker, whose works deal with the influence of classicism on the construction of a Western-European identity, among other things. The contemporary-critical approach of both distinguished scholars will provide an impetus to reflect on the political legacy of antiquity, its modes of representation and state power.

Annetta Alexandridis is Associate Professor in the departments of History of Art and Classics at Cornell University. She holds an MA and PhD in Classical Archaeology from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität at Munich. Her research and publications focus on representations of the body – human and animal – in ancient Greece and Rome, the iconography of Greek myth, Roman female portraiture, Roman funerary culture, the modern reception and historiography of ancient art, and the media of archaeology, especially photographs and plaster casts. She also is a member of the Harvard-Cornell Archaeological Exploration of Sardis in Turkey. Before joining Cornell she taught at Rostock University and worked at the Antikensammlung Berlin. She has held fellowships at Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. and Cornell’s Society for the Humanities.

Prof. Dr. Verity Platt (in Ithaca, New York) also works at Cornell University, New York in the Department of Classics and Art History. Her research and publications focus on ancient theories of representation and sensory perception; media and intermediality; the historiography of ancient art (especially Pliny the Elder); and Greek literature in the Roman Empire. She previously taught at the University of Chicago and received her PHD in Classics from Oxford University, as well as a post-doctoral research fellowship. She has held fellowships at the Institute of Advanced Study (Princeton), the Franke Institute for the Humanities (University of Chicago), the Society for the Humanities (Cornell), and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (Cornell).

The event will be held online in English.

Antique Collection of the University of Graz

Photo: HK