Embodying Cultural Memory

On a basic level, citation and appropriation are ways of relating to the past. As part of the workshop Quotes & Appropriation, this presentation begins with considering Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Image Atlas along with reconstructions of his legendary slideshow lectures as precursors of both contemporary art and the contemporary practice of art theory. Warburg’s analysis of ancient hermetic theories of divinatory and magical practices as they have been expressed and passed on in sculpture, painting, and ritual dance indicates a different way of understanding the presence of myths, images, songs, and conscious body movement not only as forms of knowledge, but also as expressions and embodiments of forces between temporally and spatially separate fields.