on March 21, 2023
Published on January 19, 2023 Updated on March 4, 2024

Guest Lecture: Paul Hardin Kapp


Iconoclasm and the Historic Environment: From the French Revolution to the Russian-Ukrainian War and Beyond

Paul Hardin Kapp is an associate professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently a Senior Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow at CY AS, invited by l'UMR n°9022 Héritages.

We are experiencing a new age of iconoclasm, the premediated destruction of visual symbols because of their specific emotional or ideological content, in the public square. This public act is hardly new in Europe, the Middle East, or in Asia, but it is a new experience in post-colonial countries in Africa, South America, and North America. As a post-colonial and relatively young country, the United States is no different. Until 2000, the U.S. celebrated its built patrimony in urban squares, even when they were associated with racism and colonialism. After the murder of George Floyd, the U.S. and Canada began questioning the meanings of their civic art and the ramifications of iconoclasm.

In this talk, I will discuss my (initial) research on how France has historically enacted, institutionalized, and reacted to iconoclasm. From archaeological fragments, such as the foundation stones displayed at the Bastille Metro, to the Pantheon, Paris is an important case study on iconoclasm and the antipathetic relationship between art and power. I pose these questions: 1. Is iconoclasm art or historical record? And 2. In 2023, is iconoclasm public expression or a weapon of war?

Date: 21st March 2023 from 12:30 to 14:00

The hybrid guest lecture is organised in person at the Auditorium of MIR in Neuville-sur-Oise and remotely on Zoom.

To attend the remote guest lecture, please connect to Zoom: https://cyu-fr.zoom.us/j/93927715971

Meeting ID: 939 2771 5971

The video will be online on the CY AS YouTube channel