An Excavation

2022
Country: UK
Duration: 20 mins
|22 Seconds
Colour,
Sound: Stereo
Ratio: 16:9
Available Format/s: 2K Digital File / DCP
Original Format: Super-16mm Film
Themes: 
  • Art and Artists
  • Capitalism
  • Documentary
  • Globalisation
  • Hand-painted
  • Histories
  • Labour
  • Medium and materials
  • Narrative
  • Post-Colonial
  • Sculpture

  ,

In 2014, 45 crates of looted antiquities were discovered at Geneva Freeport in a warehouse belonging to disgraced antiquities dealer Robin Symes. They contained tens of thousands of archaeological remnants worth around £7 million. Three of the crates were sent to forensic archaeologists Dr Christos Tsirogiannis and Dr Vinnie Norskov for research.

An Excavation (2022) documents Tsirogiannis and Norskov’s investigation into a series of vases from the Geneva Freeport crates. Made in the 4th century BC by Apulian artisans, these vases remained buried in tombs for 2500 years before they were clandestinely excavated from their now irrecoverable contexts. The objects’ journeys through the hands of looters, smugglers, restorers and dealers are counterpointed by the hand-painted stories that adorn them. Made for burials, the vases depict scenes from the underworld – forensic and mythological narratives start to intertwine.

More works by Maeve Brennan

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