Friday, December 07, 2012

Greece: The Art of Archaeology (ART 374)

Franklin and Marshall College will be offering a summer program in Greece combining studio arts and archaeology. 


May 14-30, 2013
Professors Kostis Kourelis & John Holmgren

An introduction to the visual culture of Greece and an exploration of artistic methods in archaeological recording. We will survey and photograph architectural remains from Greece’s rich cultural history and will introduce students to contemporary problems of heritage management and environmental deterioration in a global context.


The intensive two-week summer program in Greece is a hands-on introduction to the art and architecture of Greece from antiquity to the present. It immerses students into a physical engagement with monuments that have never been studied before. The students will apply old and new methodologies to document cultural artifacts from buildings to landscapes. In contrast to a traditional model of passive site-seeing, the class will immerse the students into a diverse microcosm from the most rural to the most urban. Three distinct case studies will introduce the technical challenges of studying the past, as well as, the contemporary realities that intersect with the management of cultural heritage from environmental degradation to the globalization of labor. We will document ancient walls, medieval castles and nineteenth-century houses in the sites of Lidoriki, Athens and Corinth. Co-taught by a photographer and an architectural historian, the class will reveal the intimate partnership between studio arts and the construction of history.


1. Lidoriki is a pastoral village nestled in the remote mountains of central Greece. Occupied since antiquity, Lidoriki contains a microcosm of Greek history. We will survey the acropolis of ancient Kallipolis, which was converted into a castle during the Middle Ages and we will document the beautifully preserved church of Taxiarches. Through drawing and photography, we will produce a complete visual record of decorative arts and traditional stone architecture. During the 1960s, the three rivers that met in Lidoriki were dammed to create a reservoir to water Athens. Beginning in the 1990s, the mountains of Lidoriki were also aggressively mined for the extraction of bauxite, an ingredient in the production of aluminum. Mining and damming have produced an extreme lunar landscape that places modernity into direct confrontation with Lidoriki’s pastoral traditions. The juxtaposition of antiquity and modernity makes Lidoriki a fascinating region. We will stay in the village and collaborate with the local community, as well as, with a consortium of scholars from the Polytechnic University of Athens and Maryville University. The experience will give the students powerful lessons in the complexities of cultural resource management in the intersection of local, national and global forces.

2. Corinth. Excavated by American archaeologists since 1893, Corinth is microcosm of archaeological periods and methods. Its rich archive of old photos and drawings offers a rare glimpse in the intersection of fine art and excavation. Here we will reverse the process of investigation that we learned in Lidoriki. Rather than applying drawing and photography on standing monuments, we will use drawings and photographs from the 19th and early 20th centuries to reconstruct an excavated monument that does not exist anymore. Using historical photographs and the excavation records, we will create a 3-dimensional model of Saint John, an important church that was removed in 1937.

3. Athens. We will conclude our trip in Athens, Greece’s largest and most historical city. We will visit the major museums to investigate ways by which the past has been represented at a metropolitan setting. Turning our attention on the urban fabric, we will execute a number of visual works that capture the overlapping layers of history, including the most recent chapter of the financial crisis. Joining our team from the Polytechnic University, we will hold a final review session in the university’s historical building.


May 15 Departure from Philadelphia International Airport (11 am)
May 16 Arrival at Venizelos International Airport, Athens (9 am)
May 17 Lidoriki
May 18 Lidoriki
May 19 Itea, Naupaktos
May 20 Lidoriki
May 21 Lidoriki
May 22 Lidoriki
May 23 Lidoriki
May 24 Lidoriki
May 25 Lidoriki
May 26 Corinth
May 27 Corinth
May 28 Corinth
May 29 Athens
May 30 Athens
May 31 Departure from Venizelos International Airport, Athens (9am)
             Arrival at Philadelphia (3pm)

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States