Between Two Heads/ Tete a tete
Seddon, Peter, ed. (2007) Between Two Heads/ Tete a tete Centre for Contemporary Visual Arts, University of Brighton and the Musee des Beaux Arts, Nimes, France. ISBN 978 1 905593 25 5
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Published in late 2007 this edited collection of essays with a foreword by Pascal Trarieux, curator, Musee des Beaux Arts, Nimes, was conceived by Seddon to address his overarching research theme focusing on the historiography of the British Civil Wars and its representation in history, myth, legend and visual art. Seddon, from the perspective of a fine artist, selected and invited a leading art historian, a historian specialising in Cromwell and the Civil War and a curator experienced in the field of artistic intervention to explore this field. In this sense it represents a set of research interests that could be termed historiographical practice. Through bringing together both English and French historical and art historical concerns, the text, published in French and English, created a dialogue across two interconnected cultural histories and their national research communities. An AHRC award of £16,345 (2007) also supported Seddon’s research and methodologies and organisation of this publication, which brings together a particular range of interdisciplinary interpretations, thereby presenting an innovative approach to the subject. Seddon commissioned and edited four essays. Professor Stephen Bann (Art History, Bristol University) discussed Delaroche’s painting of Cromwell looking at Charles in his coffin of 1831 and itemised his connection with English art and its influence on the establishment of genre historique in post-Napoleonic France; Professor Martyn Bennett, (History, Nottingham Trent), author of the most recently published biography of Cromwell, contributed a polemical essay on the historical background and historiographic echoes of the short-lived British Republic; Peter Seddon, in 'A Whiff of Sulphur', interrogated gossip, stories and legends about Cromwell, carefully relating them to the notion of art practice as an act of disaffirmation; and Barry Barker’s essay 'Postscript: Scenes from a Posthumous Wilderness' explores the meanings of posthumous executions, decapitations and curatorship.
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