Art Preservationist Jon Calame to Speak Feb. 20

Story posted February 15, 2008

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Hussein statue dismantled, 2003.

Art preservationist Jon Calame will give a lecture titled "The Iconoclastic Project" at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 20, 2008, in Searles Science Building, Room 315. Calame's talk, which is free and open to the public, is presented by the series Art and Social Change; and Visual Culture in the 21st Century, a yearlong program exploring the vitality and importance of the visual arts.

The lecture has been rescheduled from February 13, when inclement weather forced its postponement.

Canvases are slashed, marble limbs hammered, statues dragged to the ground, and palaces burned. Is this always the work of irrational actors, or can it constitute a sophisticated brand of cultural critique? Case studies will illuminate a dirty secret of the fine art world: there is a shared logic governing these demolitions, and a yearning for social justice fans this smoldering bonfire of vanities.

Jon Calame is a founding partner of Minerva Partners, a non-profit consulting firm based in New York. Previously he served as partnerships manager for the World Monuments Fund, where he provided oversight for conservation field projects in Panama, Poland, Mexico, the Czech Republic and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

His recent field-based investigation of physically partitioned cities was supported by a research grant from the MacArthur Foundation, culminating in the spring 2008 publication of Divided Cities: Beirut, Belfast, Jerusalem, Mostar and Nicosia by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Calame was a 2007 Senior Fulbright Fellow in Cyprus studying the Nicosia Master Plan team. He has lectured widely on the topic of post-conflict reconstruction and taught a seminar on iconoclasm at the Maine College of Art.

He holds a bachelor's degree in art history from Yale and a master's degree in historic preservation from Columbia University's School of Architecture.

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