Friday, November 2, 2018
5:00pm Public Lecture
NEW PERSPECTIVES ON ICE AGE ART
Department of Anthropology
Dr. Rolf Quam is a paleoanthropologist who studies the fossil remains of our closest evolutionary cousins the Neandertals. He has participated in field excavations at the Pleistocene archaeological sites of Atapuerca in northern Spain for the past 23 years and has authored numerous scientific publications. He teaches courses on human evolution at Binghamton University.
Public Lecture: New Perspectives on Ice Age Art
The earliest appearance of visual imagery or graphic representations in the archaeological record are found during the Upper Pleistocene time period on the African and European continents. Whether the capacity to produce art is limited to our own species, Homo sapiens, or was also present in some of our evolutionary relatives, like the Neandertals, is an open question. This public lecture considers some of the latest discoveries of Ice Age art and discusses the current thinking surrounding the origins of symbolism and its possible link with language and culture in our evolutionary past.
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6:00pm – 9:00pm Exhibition Opening
Anthropology is the study of humans and their diverse cultures. The discipline teaches us that different peoples interpret reality–and see the world–in distinct ways. As an anthropologist and artist, I explore some of these alternate realities through my artwork: I make pieces that refer to many cultures, both from the past and in the present; I produce art that is derived from peoples’ fears, dreams, myths, notions of purity, ideas about the sacred, and conceptions of the universe.
Most of our time is spent thinking about or interacting with others. This collection explores power gained through collective existence, and the continued presence of others through mental and physical memories during the moments we spend as individuals. Touch is a central theme, expressed through the combination of different medias that drive the viewer to want to feel or contemplate the texture of the pieces, to be a part of the scenes, or perhaps to avoid putting barriers between themselves and the people around them. Associated lines, colors, shapes, and textual subjects are also used as visual markers of connection and separation. The subjects of the works are the people that surround me – my friends, family members, and sometimes people I had seen when I am out whose body language and facial expressions speak to the social nature of humans. These works display many lenses in a shared story; it is a collective ethnography of people around me experiencing human interaction or lack thereof.
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