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When Edouard met Lafcadio to discuss the story of Mini-Nashi-Hoichi

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When Edouard met Lafcadio to discuss the story of Mini-Nashi-Hoichi

Research centre
Art and Design Research Centre

Date
2012

The Research output builds upon a long-standing interest and fascination with Greek and Roman Classical sculpture stemming originally from a scholarship at the British School at Rome (1990-91).


The Research output builds upon a long-standing interest and fascination with Greek and Roman Classical sculpture stemming originally from a scholarship at the British School at Rome (1990-91). This enquiry led to a new project for 2012/13 that considered ambiguous contemporary status of classical sculpture casts, that had once provided the basis for educational instruction but more recently been adopted as decorative ornamentation within institutional and even domestic contexts.

'Cast Contemporaries' was an exhibition that explores contrasting responses to the fate of plaster cast collections in museums and art schools. This enquiry continues Sneddon’s research and his involvement with the collaborative project, Gravity. The complementary enquiry being conducted through 'Gravity' considers the contemporary relevance of the art object or artefact, and its enduring relationship to conceptual intent and encapsulation of meaning.

The contribution to this group exhibition was a sculpture cast in a relatively new process of dry-casting in Carrara marble. The idea stemmed from considering and combining Edouard Lanteri’s anatomical figure from 1908 with a ghost story called Story of Mini-Nashi-Hoichi, written by Lafcadio Hearn about a Japanese musician who lost his ears to a Samurai ghost. Through this work, Sneddon asserts that the classical cast maintains a role as a catalyst for understanding and engagement with storytelling and mythology. The exhibition provided an opportunity to test research into the transformative potential of the cast as conveyor of meaning and interpretation. The wider exhibition and this specific artefact set out to challenge and question the historic decline of the perceived significance of the classical cast within education and its ability to carry contemporary subject matter and concerns.

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