Best of 2018

2018 has been a great year for exploring Greco-Roman Egypt and examining what its legacy still means. There have been some brilliant exhibitions, books and shows this year. These are my highlights:

 

  1. Pablo Bronstein’s London in its original splendour

A brilliant show at the Bloomberg Space. An archaeology of London unravelling the layers of history and identity. Pablo on top form.

  1. Beyond the Nile

An examination of the connections in the Ancient World which must make us reexamine our historical categories and reflect on what it means to be global.

  1. Wetwang Slack

Frances Upritchard’s immersive show at Barbican Curve, is at once both museum and giftshop and neither or both…

  1. Egyptian Surrealism

A revelation. Egypt’s early twentieth century artists deserve wider recognition for their brilliant and imaginative work.

  1. Ancient Egypt by Christina Riggs

Not just what Ancient Egypt was and is, but also what it means. A short book that packs a powerful punch. Intellectually rewarding and fascinating.

  1. Charmed Lives

The title says it all really. The artists covered in this exhibition created charming works that chronicled their charmed lives in the Greek Isles.

  1. Asterix

This show (first at Paris and then in London) examined Rene Goscinny’s life and art, his contribution to bande dessinees and his Jewish identity.

  1. Mary Magdalene

Taking late antique Christian apocrypha as its source, this film is a psychological examination of what it may have meant to be a follower of Jesus, most capably brought alive by Tahar Rahim.

  1. Classical Turn / The Great Belzoni

Two brilliant shows in London. The first examined Classical Reception in later Twentieth Century Art and the second examined (dubious) archaeological practice in the early Nineteenth Century, foregrounding colonial ideology which made it possible.

  1. Roman Dead

This show reminded us all that London was a Roman City, and that the first inhabitants came from all over the world. Containing human remains and the objects buried with them, it was a unsettling but comforting show.

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London in its original splendour

 

Check out the 2018 Rhakotis Prizes