Beverley Butler: Alternative ‘past-future’ Archaeologies:


6:00 - 7:15 pm

Art Exchange

admission free

Alternative ‘past-future’ Archaeologies: Flinders Petrie as ‘Father of Pots’ and Larissa Sansour’s ‘Finest Porcelain’.


Beverley Butler places in critical conversation the legacies of Flinders Petrie, the ‘Father of Archaeology’ and the work of artist Larissa Sansour.

She will draw out the efficacies of Larissa Sansour’s work in variously inverting, subverting and reimagining the foundational archaeological logics that Petrie as patriarchal colonial ‘founding father’ put into play. Butler will focus on how Sansour’s wider interventions –  particularly her ‘replicant plate’ – act as a counterpoint to Petrie’s methodological fixation on the use of pots as the archaeological litmus test for recognising the existence of ancient civilizations. This preoccupation saw Petrie dubbed the ‘Father of Pots’ and ceramic dating essentialised within authorised archaeological discourse.  In turn, Sansour’s work  ‘acts back’ to distil – if not strip bare – the underpinning premise of archaeology while simultaneously providing a powerful and potent locus of reimagining.

Beverley Butler will go on to explore how Sansour’s turning to Sci-Fi and Arab futurism creates alternative worlds of critique that deploy the efficacies of irony and satire to overturn designations of past/present/ future in order to elicit new and alternative ‘truth values’.

This talk will be followed by Q&A moderated by Dr Paola De Giuseppantonio Di Franco, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex.

Refreshments and snacks will be served – all welcome.

Dr Beverley Butler is Reader in Cultural Heritage at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.