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Methods of Truth: Abigail Lowe and Malaika Tolford
We are often told that history is written by the winners. Where does that leave science and facts? Maliaka Tolford and Abby Lowe drive right into the perfect storm of fact and fantasy as they reveal the truths of Heinrich Schliemann in their exhibition, Methods of Truth. Tolford, a trained anthropologist and ceramicist was introduced to Heinrich Schliemann in her undergraduate studies. Schliemann was a 19th-century German businessman and entrepreneur who made a small fortune during the California gold rush and then devoted his retirement to finding and uncovering the walls of Troy. With an abundance of money and privilege, he pronounced himself the “Father of Archeology” and was granted permission to unearth sites throughout Greece and Turkey with disregard for preservation and accurate research. His obsession with Homer’s Iliad and the battles of Troy morphed his findings to align with Homer’s piece of literature, but not founded on basis of truth. Lowe, who earned her degree in Visual and Narrative Identity, is passionate about literature and the classics, was also drawn into Schliemann’s unhealthy obsession with unearthing Homer’s Troy and his proclamation of what was uncovered on the site. How do his findings mystically transform into his fantasy of this classic poem? Tolford and Lowe lead us through a visual narrative of where archeology morphs into a narcissist myth.
Tolford and Lowe introduce the viewer to Schliemann’s work through a series of handmade “artifacts” that might have been discovered by his exploration. The artists imagine the treasures he must have found speaking to the fantastical world of gods and legends. Through a series of collaborative pieces, these artists speak their truth of Schliemann's problematic adventures. They create a dialogue between object and presentation that will explore the implication of curatorial practice, revealing competing histories, and interrogating western fixation on classical antiquity.