Contemporary Prehistories: A Workshop on Contemporary Approaches to Prehistoric Art


  • Datum: 11.10.2019
  • Uhrzeit: 14:00 - 19:00
  • Ort: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom
  • Kontakt:
 Contemporary Prehistories: A Workshop on Contemporary Approaches to Prehistoric Art
Manifestations of prehistoric visual art are preserved across the globe. Prehistoric sites have been part of the imaginary of cultural communities on all continents. This heritage generates an awareness of a shared humanity and our creative faculties. Understanding and safeguarding rock art requires the collaborative effort of cultural communities, archaeologists, conservation specialists, ethnographers, anthropologists, linguists, art historians and artists.

However, the interdisciplinary workshop takes prehistoric art as a starting point for questioning, for instance, the claims for aesthetic universals and for exploring how modern and contemporary art uses the primordial and prehistoric to constitute its own history.

For two centuries, as sites were discovered in Europe, Africa, Oceania and the Americas, so-called ‘early art’ or ‘primitive art’ has not only had a worldwide impact on the notion of human creativity, but has also been appropriated by western art and cultural history as a source of formal innovation, especially in the case of the avant-gardes. The phenomenon of prehistoric art initiated a reflection on notions, for instance, of the aboriginal, primal, vernacular and genuine as much as on the historic idea of the return and has inspired the imaginary of an un-mediated access to basic truths.

On the occasion of recent publications and exhibitions, the workshop aims at reconsidering the prehistoric aesthetic discourse from a contemporary and interdisciplinary perspective, involving anthropologists, art historians and artists as to discuss the respective methodological approaches and recurrent notions of universality, primitivism and originality in theory and practice.

2:00–2:15 pm
Tanja Michalsky, Bibliotheca Hertziana

2:15–2:30 pm
Nuria Sanz, H.E.A.D.S., UNESCO Programme on Human Evolution

2:30–3:10 pm
How to Find, Contextualize and Interpret the Earliest Figurative Art and Musical Instruments
Nicholas Conard, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

3:10–3:50 pm
Can We Approach the Meaning of Paleolithic Art? An Archeological Perspective
Margherita Mussi, Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza

3:50–4:20 pm
Coffee Break

4:20–5:00 pm
Prehistoric Modernity: Another Narrative?
Maria Stavrinaki, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

5:00–5:40 pm
Anarcheology Museum – Connecting Fragments with Narrations
Christoph Keller, Artist and Researcher, Berlin

5:40–6:20 pm
Camille Henrot's Prehistoric Collections
Tristan Weddigen, Bibliotheca Hertziana

6:20–7:00 pm
Response and Discussion
Tommaso Casini, Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione IULM, Milano
Tanja Michalsky, Bibliotheca Hertziana

Part of the event: Non Farmi Muro! Settimana tedesca in Italia


Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History
via Gregoriana 28
00187 Rome

Mara Freiberg Simmen
T. +39 06 69993 460

Raffaele Rossi
T. +39 06 69993 257

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