Vive la Revolution!

Here at Golovine HQ we’re excited by the release of our very own Richard Clay’s new book, Iconoclasm in revolutionary Paris: the transformation of signs (SVEC, Oxford, 2012, ISBN-13: 978-0729410540).

Dealing with ‘iconoclasm’, Richard explores the sophisticated ways in which eighteenth-century Parisians thought about ‘art’, and therefore how its potential destruction (or, rather, transformation) could be understood in relation to their world view and at a time of political and religious upheavals. Transforming art objects through acts of violence (whether officially sanctioned or unofficial) changed meanings associated with those objects and the spaces in which they were traditionally viewed: these acts were informed by, and informing, complex discourses in relation to the Revolution.

Yet, these issues also have resonance today; do value judgements we hold about cultural objects affect decisions we make about preserving them for the future? What are the bases of such judgements, and how might they change over time and circumstance?

To hear Richard talk about his research, click here.

Richard is Senior Lecturer in History of Art, Co-Director of the Heritage and Cultural Learning Hub, academic advisor for Tate Britain’s forthcoming Iconoclasm exhibition (2013) and co-investigator (with Prof Leslie Brubaker) of the AHRC-funded international Iconoclasms network.


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