Summer Research Activities Take Dodd Faculty to Russia and Turkey

Photography Professor Awarded Summer Residency in Russia; Art History Professor Joins Archaeological Excavations in Turkey

For the month of June, Professor Marni Shindelma was a resident at CEC ArtsLink in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Founded in 1962, CEC ArtsLink promotes international communication and understanding through collaborative, innovative arts projects. And, although artists from Russia and other former Soviet Union countries have been participating in cultural exchange programs in the USA for over fifty years, 2016 is the first year that American artists were invited to Russia. Professor Shindelman and her collaborative partner, Nate Larson (faculty at MICA, Maryland Institute College of Art) were among those selected for this honor. Shindelman and Larson spent a month in Russia, producing over sixty images for their on-going Geolocation series. For this project, the artists mine twitter for tweets that have GPS coordinates in them, and then make a photograph at the corresponding site, which they pair with the original tweet.  While in Russia, the artists also participated in the one of the country’s largest festivals: “Geek Picnic.” Serving as featured speakers, the artists created a site-specific piece “On the Utility of Glass: A Portrait of M. Lomonosov.”. Read more about Shindelman’s Russian adventures on the CEC blog.

This summer, Assistant Professor Mark Abbe joined archaeological excavations at Nicomedia, Turkey, to study a remarkable new series of Roman marble relief sculptures preserving extensive ancient painting. More than 35 large (c. 1.0 x 2.0 m) relief panels have been found to date by the TÜBİTAK archaeological project directed by Dr. Tuna Şare Ağtürk. Dating to the period of the Tetrarchy when the emperor Diocletian (ruled AD 285-305) made the city of Nicomedia his eastern administrative capital of the Roman Empire, the elaborately painted panels depict the emperor and his imperial co-rulers in battle, religious ritual, and military triumph. Although painting was originally widespread on such marble state reliefs, heretofore it has only been found preserved in the faintest vestiges. These high-quality relief sculptures and their well-preserved coloration shed new light on multiple aspects of the art of the Tetrarchic period, including the increasingly color-coded dress costumes of the imperial administration. In antiquity the painted reliefs appears to have been conspicuously displayed as friezes in the elevated entablatures of a monumental terraced temple complex currently under excavation. 

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