Archaeologists do not discover the past – they work with what remains. Archaeology is about our relationships with what is left of the past.
Many artists have explored this fascination with remains, with time and memory, the persistence and presence of the past.
Over the last decade or so there has been a growing number of explicit collaborations between archaeologists and those in the arts, as well as artists taking to archaeology, and archaeologists adopting arts practices and mindsets.
This can be called
I have had the privilege of working with some wonderful artists – notably Brith Gof (Mike Pearson and Cliff McLucas), Lynn Hershman Leeson, members of the Presence Project, and Paul Noble [Link] [Link] [Link].
For my theatre/archaeology with Mike Pearson see [Link]
See Doug Bailey’s curated site at artarchaeologies.com for links and sample projects.
Anselm Kiefer’s canvases, sculptures, installations witness the way material pasts cling to the present, inform and color.
Anselm Kiefer at Barjac
Christian Boltanski creates collected assemblages of the archival traces of lost twentieth-century lives.
Andy Goldsworthy’s works-in-the-land recreate prehistoric monumentality.
And so many more.