A Couple More Videos from the Royal Ontario Museum

Can’t say that I like the latest trio of short vids from the ROM … we mentioned the meh factor in the Pantheon video (below), and now I’ve been alerted to two others … the first is  ostensibly on ‘Bread and Games’, but really is about the theatre in Bosra and doesn’t really say anything about the ‘Bread and Circuses’ aspect of Roman life:

The next one is about gladiators and looks at a relief from Turkey … the narrative is a rather ‘popular’ viewpoint (with some rather loose use of ‘Colosseum’):

… this one’s perhaps the most infuriating as the relief itself is so interesting … the gladiators are wearing the same armour (which is extremely uncommon)  and it seems to be a mishmash of different types; I have to stare at this one a lot longer and harder, I think …

Circumundique – August 16, 2011

… and now we catch up with what was posted yesterday or so:


Liz Glynn and Schliemann

Interesting little excerpt from the middle of an item in the Los Angeles Times:

Liz Glynn’s studio, on the second floor of a mildly shabby Chinatown office complex, is modest in size and extremely cluttered. Shelves are crammed with boxes and bins; tables are loaded with books, piles of snapshots, and odds and ends from various projects. It would be difficult, at a glance, to get a very clear sense of the work Glynn makes, or the scale on which she makes it: sculptures, installations and participatory performances involving crowds of volunteers, feats of DIY engineering and a thematic range spanning centuries of history.

Nor is her manner particularly revealing: 29 and slight of build, she has a quiet voice and a calm demeanor. In her studio as in her often hectic performances, she seems always to be poised in the eye of the storm. As she speaks, however, drawing objects and anecdotes out from the clutter like an archaeologist drawing from the rubble of a dig — given her interest in ancient history, the metaphor is irresistible — a picture gradually begins to appear.

Ten minutes into a recent visit, for instance, she tells an animated story that epitomizes the scope of her current interests concerning the discovery of what’s known as the “gold of Troy” by the German-born businessman-turned-amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who was obsessed with establishing the historical veracity of “The Iliad.” Schliemann unearthed the gold — a cache of ancient jewelry — in northwest Turkey in the 1870s and gave it to a museum in Berlin. In World War II it was seized by the Russians, who hid it in the basement of the Pushkin Museum for 50 years until an outside scholar tracked it down.

“So this curator who’d been there the whole time was like, ‘Yeah, we have it, and we’re not giving it back because the Germans did such damage to our culture,'” she says. Meanwhile, she adds, “you go to the museum in Berlin and there are these really crappy copies there and this thing about how the Russians took it, the Germans were the victims of World War II, and the Germans want their gold back. The whole thing is totally insane. So I made copies and I snuck them into the museum and shot video of me sticking them in. Then I brought some other copies to Troy and shot a video of me walking through all the trenches and stuff.”

Tracing the paths of artifacts through the world, including the splintering paths of copies and replicas, is a central preoccupation for Glynn, who sees objects like the gold of Troy, and the charged, often irrational disputes that tend to surround them, reflecting larger forces of growth and decay, creation and destruction at play in the operations of history.

Again and again, the work calls attention to the odd ways in which the distant past intertwines with the present. For instance, she has plans for an installation involving the construction of a tunnel intended to invoke both the tunnels in the Egyptian pyramids and those constructed today between Egypt and Gaza, drawing a parallel between antiquities being smuggled out and provisions being smuggled in. […]

via Artist Liz Glynn digs through rubble of history, modern times | LA Times.