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Spark: It's About Time

About Time

SPARK: A New Conversation Series
Laurie Anderson,
 performance artist
Melanie Holcomb, curator in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, MMA
Rebecca Stead, author
SeungJung Kim, art historian, professor at the University of Toronto

We think we can measure time only in minutes and seconds, but artists and musicians can also play with, stretch, and compress it. Our awareness of the expanse of human time is shattered by our understanding of geologic time and the age of the stars. In this program, our sense of time is expanded and upended, as Met curator Melanie Holcomb describes how a whole day is compressed into a few square feet in a medieval frieze; astrophysicist-turned-art historian SeungJung Kim explores the double Greek notions of chronos and kairos; writer Rebecca Stead bends time in her novel When You Reach Me (2009); and performance artist Laurie Anderson meditates on time and space.

The Spark series explores vital ideas and issues through the lens of the Met’s collections. Each cabaret-style program gathers artists, thought leaders, and performers from theater, film, politics, literature, science, and pop culture to engage in wide-ranging, fresh conversations and performances. Spark is hosted by Julie Burstein, author and Peabody Award–winning creator of public radio’s Studio 360.

Above: Giovanni di Paolo (Italian, Siena 1398–1482 Siena). The Creation of the World and the Expulsion from Paradise, 1445. Tempera and gold on wood; 18 1/4 x 20 1/2 in. (46.4 x 52.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.31)

 

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