november, 2021

4nov6:30 pmNYU Alumni Lecture | Huaco Vision: Denaturalizing Lifelikeness in Ancient PeruProfessor Lisa Trever


Event Details

Artists of ancient coastal Peru have long been lauded for their skill in recreating living forms in fired clay. Among the earliest South American objects to be admitted to the modern realm of art as such were the virtuosic portrait vessels and other lively depictions of flora and fauna that Moche artists created between about 400 and 800 CE. The likenesses of these ceramic works are so compelling that early modern collectors inventoried them according to the species depicted; physicians at the turn of the last century regarded them as diagnostic images equivalent to photography; and archaeologists have argued for the identifications of particular historical individuals among them. When this ancient Indigenous corpus is more broadly considered, however, and when the taxonomies of foreign epistemologies are suspended, it defies expectations of modern objective order.

In this lecture Professor Lisa Trever explores how images of living and not-living beings were formally and symbolically entangled in Moche art, sometimes to “surreal” effect. These object entanglements reveal Indigenous perspectives on substance, being, and the expressive power of plastic imagination.


(Thursday) 6:30 pm


Zoom meeting

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