Δευτέρα, 11 Νοεμβρίου 2013

The quintessential British backdrop

Today's post is actually written by Marina Labrakis, a DPhil candidate in modern Greek at the University of Oxford. 

Marina spotted and sent over the new advert for the Marks & Spencer stores in the UK. 

I republish her comments with her permission and also many many thanks - there's no way I could have put it better myself. 



It's the most recent Marks & Spencer advertising campaign, entitled 'Britain's Leading Ladies', which features a variety of prominent British women and is shot by Annie Leibovitz. In the background of one of the photos used, for some reason there is a classical statue, for instance as seen here.







According to the M&S blurb, "A London artist’s studio sets the scene for the rebellious yet playful ’London Calling’ trend... [which] captures the creative spirit of individuality." 

So it seems the reference to the classical world is there in order to evoke this idea of creativity. But I guess, also, the statue alludes to ideals of beauty, grace, and the perfect form, which of course M&S are keen to flag up in the context of a fashion campaign. Moreover, I'm interested by the appropriation of a classical artefact within a very celebratory British context (the campaign is described as using "quintessentially British backdrops"), in the service of extolling what is inspirational about British heritage.











Τετάρτη, 6 Νοεμβρίου 2013

But why in Lamia?

The following image is courtesy of fellow archaeologist Heinrich Hall, to whom many thanks are due for taking the photograph and sending it over for publication on the blog.
I can't really describe my enthusiasm when I saw it in my mail. 

This is a modern monument, a large marble stele, erected outside the Lamia castle in central Greece. 
It shows the legendary actress and once Minister of Culture Melina Merkouri standing in front of the Parthenon signing for victory. On the base lies an inscription in Greek, a Line from a poem written by the famous Greek poet Giannis Ritsos "Σε τούτα δω τα μάρμαρα κακιά σκουριά δεν πιάνει", which (translated rather freely) means "these marbles here can't be destroyed bad rust". 

This is an intriguing piece of modern art depicting a curious scene which seems/is out of place outside the Lamia castle. I couldn't find any more information regarding the artist or the reason why this monument was erected there. 




P.S. For Greek readers: Ο στίχος είναι από το "Εδώ το φως" από τα "Δεκαοκτώ λιανοτράγουδα της πικρής πατρίδας"

Σε τούτα δω τα μάρμαρα κακιά σκουριά δεν πιάνει
μηδέ αλυσίδα στου ρωμιού και στου αγεριού το πόδι. 

Εδώ το φως, εδώ ο γιαλός, - χρυσές, γαλάζιες γλώσσες,
στα βράχια ελάφια πελεκάν, τα σίδερα μασάνε