© Panos Sklavenitis. All Rights Reserved.

Subject of Excavation (assignment)

Participatory action, Athens, Greece 2014-15

Panos Sklavenitis

Excavators: Aris Anagnostopoulos, Céline Murphy, Elpida Rikou, Niki Sakka, Eleana Yalouri

Subject: Ekaterina Kalentzi

We are experimenting on the borders between archaeology, anthropology and contemporary art, and attempt to organize an archaeological excavation of a living subject, while also reflecting upon the sources and tools of archaeological research, and the basic procedures of retrieving, restoring, collecting and storing that accompany such an endeavor. Our goal is not to approach this living subject as if it were an excavation site, but by considering it being an excavation site.
In other words, we wish to focus our attention to the material, multisensorial reality of the excavation site (or body) that surpasses the narrow boundaries of “representation” and forces us to seriously consider the desires of the subject (see Mitchell) as well as the ways in which it ‘acts’ (see Gell). This approach on the one hand brings to the forefront issues such as the limits of the archaeological (sub/ob-ject) and that of archaeological practice and its ethical boundaries; on the other, it raises concerns regarding the silences and the voices of the past, its supervisory role and its vulnerability, the factors involved in the formation of its value as a public good, as well as its private nature.


Archaeology, Anthropology and Contemporary Art workshop (coordination: Eleana Yalouri), Archaeological Dialogues Conference, Athens University History Museum, January 9-11, 2015, Athens, Greece.

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