New discovery pushes back date for earliest known evidence of art

New analysis of engravings on a shell have suggested that artistic creativity may have begun in humans even sooner than previously thought. The zigzag engravings on a mussel shell have been found to date back as far as 430,000 years, making them not only the earliest known example of geometric art but putting the date of creation during the Homo erect us’ lifetime, not Homo sapien’s — or modern-day humans. Creation of art is considered as one of the defining characteristics of humans, yet it may appear that Homo erectus shared this cognitive ability. The shell was originally discovered in Indonesia by Dutch palaeoanthropologist Eugène Dubois in 1891. Among the items discovered were specimens of Homo erectus, the first of their species to leave Africa. Despite it being impossible to know the intentions of the engraver, the discovery has profound implications, affecting theories about human development and when as a species we began to demonstrate modern behavioural...

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Christoph Keller: “Anarcheology” at Esther Schipper

From 19 September to 25 October 2014, Esther Schipper gallery, Berlin, is to present “ANARCHEOLOGY,” a presentation by artist Christoph Keller. Keller’s work explores the interactions between Western Europe and the Amazon, not just from an anthropological perspective, but by examining the methods by which information is collected. The show features large-scale images based on digital scans of foliage he collected in Brazil, such as the series Herbarium Amazonas in which leaves are shown in varying stages of desiccation; the decay of the leaves shows the impossibility of halting entropic processes and the futility of permanent preservation. The images of the scanned leaves are hung against the backdrop of vertical scan lines generated by a faulty calibration of a digital scanning device, showing the interaction between nature and technology. The exhibition also includes a film entitled Anarcheology where images of a deserted tropical island are interspersed with text to create a picture essay about Western engagement with other cultures. German artist Christoph Keller studied mathematics, physics and hydrology in Freiburg, Berlin and Santiago de Chile; as well as liberal arts and film at the University of Arts, Berlin and at the Academy of Media Arts,...

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“Māori, leurs trésors ont une âme” at Quai Branly Museum in Paris

Paris, 17 November 2011, Art Media Agency, (AMA). The Quai Branly Museum in Pairs is currently presenting until 22 January 2012 the exhibition, “Māori, leurs trésors ont une âme”. The Maori culture, mostly known for the famous haka warrior, along with exotic tattoos, is established as a powerful civilisation. In the exhibition within a selection of 250 works from the Te Papa Tongarewa collections in Museum of New Zealand, in Wellington, the Branly museum will present the diversity of the Maori artistic production displaying traditional and contemporary objects, including sculptures, sets, sacred objects and photographs. The exhibition intends to raise public awareness on the issues of this culture, as well as to make the public think about these people’s place in contemporary societies. The collection of the Wellington museum will be displayed for first time outside New...

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