(Dis)entangled bodies or the (be)holder vs. the spectator: Detached views of Early Cycladic figures and figurines
Athena Hadji Quaternary International 405 (June 2016): 31-41
Third millennium B.C. anthropomorphic marble sculpture from the Aegean Cyclades, the so-called Early Cycladic figures and figurines, have fascinated art aficionados and scholars alike for over a century. This has led to a tremendous amount of aesthetic appreciation and monetary value for the aforementioned artifacts. However, a distorted and more important dissociated and decontextualized view of the figurines as objets d’art has traditionally impeded interpretative approaches to a great extent. With recent advances in the neurosciences and especially the rapprochement between the neuro- and the social sciences a new range of possibilities is offered for the study of the brain as manifested in technical acts, in this case the making, using, and sometimes breaking, of sculpture, and the reciprocal shaping of the world by the mind and the mind by the world that surrounds it. A multisensory view of EC sculpture is suggested here corroborated by ethnographic evidence as a research avenue of great potential.