Elisabeth Daynès intervenes in the Symposium "Images de l'homme fossile" at the Collège de France

Published on June 16, 2022


Elisabeth Daynès participates in the symposium "Images de l'homme fossile" organized by the Collège de France on Friday June 17, 2022. She will talk about "The Search for Lost Identities". As an artist, Elisabeth Daynès brings reflection about identity, the significance of the skull, and the face, from our origins, to today, until the future. Her art toys discontinuously with science because science plays a big role in our imaginary. 

The symposium focuses on the multiple images of the fossil man : 

"From the beginning, research on human evolution and prehistory has had a double function. On the one hand, they have developed as new scientific disciplines, at the borders of biology and human sciences. On the other hand, they provided, in the West at least, the substance of a new account of origins that could replace that which the Bible had delivered for centuries.

This mythological and narrative dimension undoubtedly explains in part the fascination that this field of knowledge has always held for the public. Very quickly, the literature and the plastic arts took possession of the "prehistoric" theme, while the scientific knowledge remained still embryonic. A phantasmal prehistory has always rubbed shoulders with the one that archaeologists and paleontologists were trying to reconstitute. The border between the two remained porous and, in their attempts to fill the gaps in the fossil record, the researchers themselves were never free of subjectivity.

This account of origins touches us probably too closely to escape religious, philosophical and sometimes even political presuppositions. Each historical period has produced its own prehistory and human evolution, in accordance with the spirit of the time.

During this symposium, paleoanthropologists and historians of science will discuss the representations of fossil men and Paleolithic societies as they are produced by scientific works, then delivered to the public."




Friday, June 17, 2022

all day - Lecture is open to all, free of charge and without prior registration


Collège de France

11 place Marcelin-Berthelot

75005 Paris

More information here