TAG and Charlie Clough -- Diggin' the Dirt, Tellin' the Tale

Theoretical archaeology provokes an excavation of artists' leavings

Release Date: May 9, 2012 This content is archived.


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Artist Charles Clough will look into his personal past on May 17 when he opens a bundle of old papers that covered a tabletop from 1974 to 1978.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Theoretical Archaeology Group -- TAG -- has been debating archaeological theory since 1979, first at universities throughout the UK and Scandinavia and, since 2008, at American institutions like Columbia, Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago and the University at Buffalo, where it will hold its 2012 annual meeting, May 17-20.

The conference, "Bridges to New Worlds," will bring scores of international scholars and feature panels and academic sessions across the UB campus on topics like "The Earth Divine," "Archaeology of Contemporary Protest" and "Theories of European Prehistory."

In conjunction with the TAG conference, the UB Art Gallery will present "Excavating Art," an archaeological performance piece by artist Charles Clough, co-founder of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center.

Clough will perform an archaeological "dig" of an artifact from the exhilarating early days of the legendary artist-run alternative art space -- a yellowed and dried-up roll of 4-foot-wide sign painters' bond paper that once covered a plywood tabletop. The papers were scribbled on and otherwise used by Clough and his fellow artists from Hallwalls' founding in 1974 until 1978 when Clough moved to New York City, taking the roll with him.

What's in there? No one remembers much, but from 7-8 p.m. on May 17, the public is welcome to stop by the UB Art Gallery, Center for the Arts, UB North Campus to watch Clough dig in to his personal past.

"Charles Clough: The Way to Cluffalo," an exhibition of the artist's representative work over the past 40 years is the subject of an exhibition at the UB Art Gallery through May 19.

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