Finbarr Barry Flood, "When is a Palimpsest?"

Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 7 - 8:30pm

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Finbarr Barry Flood

Photo by Antoine Mongodin, Musée du Louvre

From archeological contexts to urban studies, the idea of the palimpsest is often invoked to denote the layered quality of certain artifacts and spaces. Whether deployed as a metaphor or to denote a physical quality, the idea of the palimpsest relates the materiality of mark-making to the more abstract realm of temporality. The palimpsest is heterochronous, marked by the co-existent traces of two or more moments. In its materiality and temporality, the palimpsest shares aspects of the assemblage. But it also often implies an over-writing or re-writing in which practices and strategies of negation or co-option are inseparable from the articulation of power. Finbarr Barry Flood's talk as part of the Spring 2022 Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series will consider questions of temporality and visibility raised by a range of palimpsest objects, and their potential implications for current debates about the legacy of ethically or politically problematic monuments.

Registration is required.

Finbarr Barry Flood is director of Silsila: Center for Material Histories and William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of the Humanities at the Institute of Fine Arts and Department of Art History, New York University. He teaches and publishes on devotional art, iconoclasm, image theory, technologies of representation, modernity and Orientalism. Recent publications include Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval “Hindu-Muslim” Encounter (Princeton UP, 2009) and Technologies de dévotion dans les arts de l’Islam: pèlerins, reliques, copies (Musée du Louvre/Hazan, 2019). He has just co-written with Beate Fricke, University of Bern, a book entitled Archives of Flotsam – Objects and Early Globalism, to be published by Princeton University Press. 

The IDS public lecture series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding from the Robert Lehman Foundation. The IDS public lecture series is also made possible by generous support from the Open Society Foundations.

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