The 2015 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series brings together anthropologists and art historians for a ‘conversation’ about art and about the ways in which their respective disciplines have addressed its theory, practice and history.
The series makes no pretence of definiteness; the aim is rather to find places of conjunction where discussion of such broad issues as time, matter and practice can occur in a way that is mutually illuminating.
The lectures of Professors Nicholas Thomas and Tim Ingold will consider the role that contemporary art can play in the future development of a hermeneutics of art respectively in the museum and the academy.
Professor Richard Fardon and Professors Caroline Van Eck and Stijn Bussels take something more like a case-studies approach: the subjects of the colour red and of the motif of the Medusa’s head are respectively explored in the context of absence and of the untamed, or wild.
Finally, time is the problematic investigated by Professor Chris Pinney and Dr Satish Padyar, in photography and painting: consideration is given to questions of synchronicity, pace and anachronism.
The Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series is one of two annual distinguished lecture series at The Courtauld. This series was established in 1989, as a result of a bequest from the F.M. Kirby Foundation, in honour of Frank Davis, who was a critic for Country Life magazine. The bequest has allowed The Courtauld to invite internationally renowned scholars to come to the institute to speak about their work in a public forum.
Banner image: Waswo X. Waswo, The Fishermen, 2011. Black and white digital photograph hand-coloured by Rajesh Soni. Courtesy the artist.
Tue 13 Oct, 2015 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, studies of ‘primitive’ and ‘tribal’ arts were closely identified with museums and collecting; when the field re-emerged in the early 1970s it was inspired by ethnography and…
Tue 20 Oct, 2015 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series
Grotesque figuration is a constantly recurring phenomenon in Western art. Because of their roots in ancient Greek Herms and Dionysian ritual, grotesques are intimately linked to both the origins of art and the frenzy that…
Tue 3 Nov, 2015 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series
Richard Fardon will illustrate some propositions. Many African languages have a parsimonious basic colour terminology, including Chamba, a Nigerian language and culture he has worked on intensively, from which he borrows some of his examples.…
Tue 10 Nov, 2015 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series
There is much contemporary interest in the relation between contemporary art and ethnography, driven on both sides by a critique of the artistic and literary conventions, respectively, of the gallery and the book. Yet concerns…
Tue 1 Dec, 2015 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series
This lecture is about the problem of time, and a certain artist’s measured response to it. Arguably, Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) was a painter who was at odds with bourgeois late eighteenth-century notions of progressive time…
Tue 8 Dec, 2015 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series
Nandy’s observation about the productivity of the past provides a frame to position several contemporary photographic practitioners who have performed representations through diverse idioms which have recently been termed “postdating”. Approaching work by Pushpamala N,…