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‘Figuring it out’ takes sculpture off the plinth and archaeology out of the trench, and situates the contemporary artist and archaeologist together at the centre of the active endeavour to re-evaluate what it is to be human. ‘Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?’ These questions were posed by Paul Gauguin in a famous canvas that heralded the beginning of the modernist era. But they are also the questions asked by modern prehistorians in their quest to reconstruct the human story. ‘Figuring it out’ sets out to investigate the profound convergence between art and archaeology, drawing illuminating parallels between the way the modern artist seeks to understand the world by acting upon it, and the way the archaeologist seeks to understand the world through the material traces of such actions. Central to his exploration is a group of leading contemporary artists, including Richard Long, Mark Dion, Barry Flanagan, Antony Gormley, Eduardo Paolozzi and David Mach, whose works are notable for an engagement with our world.