Faking History
During Faking History, speakers will reflect on Panta Rhei, a project in which artist Daan Paans calls into question the assigned value of historical artifacts.

Alongside the artist himself, Martin Berger (curator Middle and South America at Museum of Ethnology, Leiden) and Saba Askary (researcher in the field of classical historiography and contemporary art) will introduce their unique perspectives to the discussion. Daan Paans will speak about his project and artistic practice in conversation with curator Mirjam Kooiman (Foam).


  • 19.00 – 19.15 Spoken Column by Martin Berger
  • 19.15 – 20.00 Daan Paans in conversation with Mirjam Kooiman
  • 20.00 – 20.20 Lecture by Saba Askary
  • 20.20 – 20.30 Questions & discussion

> Tickets

In the opening scene of Indiana Jones – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), the fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones manages to obtain the coveted Golden Idol from a hidden temple deep in the Peruvian jungle. This magical film prop is based on a pre-Columbian statuette from the Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington, that allegedly represents the Aztec goddess Tlazolteotl. Research has revealed that this figurine is not pre-Columbian after all, but was most likely produced in Europe or Asia in the nineteenth Century.

Paans was captivated by the confusion between replica and original, and how the museum assigned value to this object. The artist continued this cultural mutation in a kind of visual version of ‘Chinese whispers’: based on photos, Paans let artisans from various countries created a new replica, transforming the sculpture. Paans visualised how our interpretations change imperceptibly over time and questions the value we assign to artworks and historical artefacts.

> Exhibited at Foam 3h until 24 February 2019

The project Panta Rhei by Daan Paans was developed with support from the Mondriaan Fund.

The Foam 3h exhibitions are made possible with support from the Gieskes-Strijbis Fund, the Van Bijlevelt Foundation and Kleurgamma Fine-Art Photolab.

Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Foam Members, Gemeente Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.

Saba Askary is an Iranian born, U.A.E raised curator active in the fields of classical historiography and contemporary art in Amsterdam. Askary first received a BFA from OCADU in Toronto, CA and further achieved her post-graduate in History and Art World Practice from the University of Glasgow and Christie’s Education. Currently Askary is Content and Development Manager at Unseen Platform.


Martin Berger is curator Middle and South America. His research interest lies in global flows of people and objects, indigenous forms of representation, (ethnographic) museums and collections histories, and popular culture. Berger studied Latin American Archaeology and Ethnography at Leiden University and obtianed his PhD in 2016. Since then, he has curated numerous exhibitions all over the world.

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Faking History