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Exhibit: Acropolis Unbound

February 16 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

An art exhibition as part of the ARCH 2420 graduate seminar The Making of Modern Monuments: Race, Coloniality, and the Athenian Acropolis, taught by Professor Yannis Hamilakis30 November 2023 – 31 January 2024*Rhode Island HallCurated by Yannis Hamilakis and the students in the ARCH 2420 graduate seminarSponsored by the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, and the Department of Classics   *Note: Brown University will be closed between December 23, 2023 and January 10, 2024.  Opening Reception: 30 November 2023, 5.30 pm   The Athenian Acropolis is an iconic world monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at the centre of the western imagination and its ancestral myths; it is also one of the most visited archaeological sites in the world. While it is the relatively short, classical moment in the life of the Acropolis which is projected in national and western-Eurocentric discourses, the site has a long and fascinating history, starting with the Neolithic and the Bronze Age and continuing all the way to the present. What we see, visit and understand today as the Acropolis does not correspond to any specific pre-modern past but it is rather a product of western modernity. Yet, the processes of making the Acropolis a monument of modernity, and their articulation with race, nationhood, and coloniality, are not well understood. Further, the archaeological and architectural interventions that made the Acropolis a monument of (and to) modernity are interwoven with the modernist ways of seeing, and with the techniques and devices of visual representation, most notably photography. The Acropolis was and is both a site and a sight, and the two were and are co-produced. This exhibition invites us to reflect on the following questions:How does modernity construct monuments and monumental landscapes, out of the multi-temporal remnants of various pasts? How do coloniality and race shape this process? How do modernist sensorial regimes and technologies, and particularly technologies of vision, co-constitute such “significant” monuments? How and why was the Athenian Acropolis purified from all remnants of “barbarity”, and what were the other Acropolises that were overshadowed or even erased? How can we de-monumentalize the Acropolis, and other such monuments, through scholarship, art, and activism? The exhibition is one of the outcomes of the graduate seminar ARCH 2420Making Modern Monuments: Race, Coloniality, and the Athenian Acropolis, taught by Professor Yannis Hamilakis in the autumn of 2023. The students who were part of this class were: Colby Case, Emily Cigarroa, Looghermine Claude, Grace Hermes, Max Meyer, Adrian Oteiza, Kaitlyn Torres. Their final projects are exhibited here. Their work is presented alongside the photographic work of the Thessaloniki-based, experimental photographer and archaeologist, Fotis Ifantidis.