Talk: In His Own Image

Magnified view of a microscopic replica of the Selene Horse


Magdalen College, Summer Common Room

Event type

Library, Public


15 February 2024



We are pleased to announce that on Thursday 15 February 2024, Magdalen College Library will be hosting a talk by Dr Alexy Karenowska, Fellow by Special Election and curator of our latest exhibition, In His Own Image. The talk will take place at 17:30 in Magdalen College’s Summer Common Room.

We live in the age of iteration. Thanks to TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, nothing really matters anymore unless it has been copied — and viewed, liked and reposted — millions of times. Aesop plainly saw this coming when he observed that men are more inclined to applaud the imitation than the real thing. Copies carry the comforting imprimatur of group endorsement. There is safety, apparently, in numbers.

As Michelangelo famously said, “God creates, the rest of us copy”.  And we do it con gusto. In this talk, Dr Karenowska will explore the diverse range of copies of different kinds on show in the exhibition—some faithful, some fantastic. She will also talk about the — sometimes vexed, sometimes confused, but always fascinating — relationship between the “copy” or the “imitation” and the Real Thing.

Attendees will have an opportunity to view the exhibition after the talk. Exhibits on display date from the fifteenth century to the twentieth, and concern figures such as Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, and Copernicus. The centrepieces of the exhibition are two robot-created replicas of the Selene Horse, one life-size and one microscopic. 

The event, which will be in-person only, is completely free and light refreshments will be provided, but places are limited and will be allotted on a first-come-first-served basis. If you would like to join us for this event, please register here.