Liquid Antiquity is a project that explores the possibility of reinventing classicism and argues for its enduring influence on contemporary art. Conceived by Brooke Holmes, Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Classics at Princeton University, in collaboration with Polina Kosmadaki, curator at the Benaki Museum, and Yorgos Tzirtzilakis, artistic advisor to the DESTE Foundation, the project includes a book with critical contributions by renowned scholars and conversations with prominent artists, as well as a site-specific video installation of artist interviews, conceived and designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
Bringing together artists, classicists, critics, historians, political theorists, and philosophers, the book, edited by Holmes and Karen Marta, is a critical reflection on the fluid and open-ended relationship between antiquity and contemporary art. Liquid Antiquity is made up of two interweaving strands: a visual essay spanning more than twenty-five hundred years of art history, set in an open-ended dialogue with a series of critical texts by twenty seven scholars, and interviews with ten contemporary artists.
A site-specific video installation, Liquid Antiquity: Conversations, conceived and designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, places six conversations with Holmes and artists Matthew Barney, Paul Chan, Urs Fischer, Jeff Koons, Asad Raza, and Kaari Upson, in dialogue with the Benaki Museum’s permanent collection of antiquities.
Urs Fischer, 2014