Public Program- Wendy Bellion

Lectures and Performances
Friday, November 20, 2015 - 7:00pm to Saturday, November 21, 2015 - 6:45pm

“Representing Iconoclasm: Painting, Print, Performance”
By Wendy Bellion

During the 1760s-1770s, British subjects in New York raised a half-dozen public monuments celebrating their Englishness, including an equestrian statue of King George III. In the opening salvos of the American Revolution, the statue – together with a liberty pole and a sculpture of William Pitt the Elder – came crashing down at the hands of colonial activists and British troops. Yet if the monuments were gone, they were hardly forgotten. The statues survived in pieces, and the destruction of the royal statue was endlessly represented in nineteenth-century paintings, prints, and texts. It was even reenacted in the form of civic pageants and parades throughout the twentieth century. Tracing the intertextual nature of these visual and performative representations, this talk also explores a paradox at the heart of this phenomenon: the reiterative reconstruction of an act of artistic destruction.

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