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19.7.2014 | Crash Pad c/o KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin

Spyros Papapetros in conversation with Olaf Nicolai

Lecture and talk

Art and architectural historian and theoretician Spyros Papapetros will introduce his new research on the culture of World Ornament. The lecture will examine the status of ornaments, and specifically bodily adornments [Schmuck], as both images and objects, and traces of earlier epistemological systems. Papapetros will discuss the political significance of these ornaments many of which are associated with the decoration of weakened political institutions such as several types of monarchy in Europe around the turn-of-the century, but also the extreme importance of these artifacts in the ethnological study of world cultures at around the same period. Here ornament starts transforming into a global "portable ecology", an oxymoron in itself signaling the decorative sampling of different world cultures. The talk will also touch on the issue of skeuomorphism, that is, the imprint of earlier objects and industrial processes on new artifacts as ornament or surface decoration.

Spyros Papapetros is associate professor, History and Theory Faculty, School of Architecture, and co-director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University, US.

8th Berlin Biennale Artistic Team member Catalina Lozano will introduce the event followed by a lecture by Spyros Papapetros, which will be the departure point for the discussion with the artist and Artistic Team member Olaf Nicolai.