Reverse Archaeology: Experiments in Carving and Casting Space
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Archaeology
Subject Areas: Archaeology
This photo-essay draws from a three-year collaboration—Site_Seal_Gesture (2013–2016)—between archaeologist Lia Wei and geographer Rupert Griffiths. The initial point of departure was a reflection on the use of creative practice in our respective academic fields, and our shared interest in the relationship between time, materiality, and the human subject. This quickly developed into a shared discursive and artistic practice. Building blocks for a common language emerged through sketch dialogues and shared itineraries, which made connections between abandoned military defence architectures on the southeast coast of the UK and second-century rock-cut tombs in Southwest China. Speculative connections between past, present, and future were drawn out and deposited in models cast in plaster and life-size replicas carved in chalk or stone. Through the entwined actions of dwelling and making, the creative manipulation of archaeological materials constructs a unique tunnel between marginal landscapes and multiple temporalities.
Author: Rupert Griffiths, Lia Wei
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