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Group show: Räu­me der Er­in­ne­rung (over)

7 July 2012 until 9 September 2012
  Räu­me der Er­in­ne­rung
  Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
Grabbeplatz 4
40213 Dusseldorf
Germany (city map)

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An ex­hi­bi­ti­on wi­th no­minees and win­ners of the Mar­cel Duch­amp Pri­ze

Par­ti­ci­pa­ting ar­tists:
Ka­der At­tia, Mir­cea Can­tor, Cy­prien Gail­lard, Do­mini­que Gon­zalez-Foerster, An­ri Sa­la, Ta­ti­a­na Trouvé

Me­mo­ries can be sweet or pain­f­ul. So­me­ti­mes we in­dul­ge in them, so­me­ti­mes they are de­cep­ti­ve, and so­me­ti­mes they ta­ke lea­ve of us. The­re are me­mo­ries we do not want to lo­se at any pri­ce and others we try to avo­id as much as pos­si­ble. A cer­tain smell is of­ten suf­fi­ci­ent to bring a who­le ch­ap­ter of one's li­fe to mind, whe­ther we want it or not.

Our re­la­ti­ons­hip to the past is cha­rac­te­ri­sed by the know­ledge of the in­sur­moun­ta­ble dis­tan­ce to it. On­ly me­mo­ry is ca­pa­ble of brin­ging the past to the light of the pre­sent; it is a pro­ce­du­re, howe­ver, that does not ta­ke place wi­thout in­ter­pre­ta­ti­on and selec­tion and hence is per se con­stru­ed and frag­men­ta­ry. It fur­ther­mo­re con­tains an al­most me­lan­ch­oly com­po­nent: the ex­pe­ri­ence that the me­mo­ry re­fe­ren­ces must first be com­ple­ted in or­der to reach our con­scious­ness - me­mo­ry al­ways pre­sup­po­ses a loss. And yet me­mo­ry is not on­ly back­ward-look­ing but al­so of­fers a for­ward-look­ing po­ten­ti­al: we em­ploy me­mo­ries to con­firm the pre­sent, as the im­pe­tus of re­ne­wal or to ques­ti­on our own stand­point. Me­mo­ry ser­ves self-as­suran­ce, it en­dows iden­ti­ty.

The dis­cour­se con­cerning me­mo­ry has in­crea­sin­gly grown in si­gni­fi­can­ce wi­th the on­go­ing me­dia­li­sa­ti­on of our so­cie­ty, the im­ma­te­ria­li­sa­ti­on of all da­ta and the as­so­cia­ted pos­si­bi­li­ties of re­lo­ca­ting me­mo­ry, and it fur­ther­mo­re re­so­na­tes in the pro­duc­tion of con­tem­pora­ry art as well. In our dea­lings wi­th me­mo­ry, space (not in the sen­se of a spot on a map but as a so­ci­al frame­work) is per­haps the most im­portant ca­te­go­ry. Me­mo­ries are stored and con­ser­ved, or­de­red and in­scri­bed in spaces. Art is an apt ex­amp­le of this: on­ce ta­ken up in the ca­non of mu­se­um collec­tions, art not on­ly em­bo­dies a part of our me­mo­ry but is its­elf al­so de­cisi­ve­ly in­vol­ved in the pro­duc­tion of me­mo­ry. Ar­tists the­re­fo­re play a spe­cial ro­le in the con­struc­tion of spaces of re­mem­bran­ce: they com­mu­ni­ca­te bet­ween epochs and ge­ne­ra­ti­ons and cont­ri­bu­te to pre­ser­ving of the fun­dus of our shared know­ledge. At the sa­me ti­me, their works are of­ten al­so cri­ti­cal ex­ami­na­ti­ons of this know­ledge to the extent that they sub­vert or call the pre-exis­ting his­to­gra­phi­cal ca­non in­to ques­ti­on. Art its­elf can con­se­quent­ly al­so be se­en as tech­ni­que of re­mem­bran­ce.

The Spaces of Re­mem­bran­ce ex­hi­bi­ti­on is de­vo­ted to the me­di­ums of sto­ring and ar­chi­ving me­mo­ry as well as the ar­tis­tic re­flec­tion of his­to­ry. The man­ner in which me­mo­ries - that in­iti­al­ly al­ways re­fe­rence an in­di­vi­du­al ex­pe­ri­ence - can be­co­me ge­ne­ral­ly bin­ding un­folds par­ti­cu­lar­ly vi­vid­ly in the works of the six ar­tists gat­he­red to­ge­ther he­re. But on the other hand, they al­so oc­cu­py them­sel­ves wi­th the de­struc­tion and re­wri­ting of "mo­nu­ments of re­mem­bran­ce," deal wi­th the tran­si­to­ri­ness and fluc­tuabi­li­ty of me­mo­ry or wi­th the re­con­struc­tion, the re­struc­tu­ring of re­mem­bran­ce spaces and the gaps in them.

An­ri Sa­la's (born 1974, Ti­ra­na) vi­deo By­rek (1999), is gi­ven over en­t­i­re­ly to an iden­ti­fi­ca­tio­nal ri­tu­al that the ar­tist is vi­si­bly try­ing to pre­ser­ve: his own grand­mo­ther's dai­ly pre­pa­ring of by­rek. Per­so­nal me­mo­ries of his own fa­mi­ly's his­to­ry are su­per­im­po­sed he­re wi­th the ge­ne­ral dif­fi­cul­ty in­vol­ved in pre­ser­ving and han­ding down the tra­di­ti­ons of one's own orig­ins over geo­gra­phi­cal and chro­no­lo­gi­cal dis­tan­ces.

In Ka­der At­tia's (born 1970, Sei­ne-Saint-De­nis) floor sculp­tu­re Cous­cous (2009), a spe­ci­fic food is li­ke­wi­se equal­ly the exis­ten­ti­al stap­le of a spe­ci­fic geo­gra­phi­cal re­gi­on and the car­ri­er of in­di­vi­du­al me­mo­ry. The grain is hea­ped to form a hil­ly land­scape that, howe­ver, is in­ters­per­sed wi­th gaps. The ope­nings evo­ke as­so­cia­ti­ons to the ob­li­te­ra­ti­on or dis­ap­pearan­ce of en­t­i­re ci­ties and peop­les.

Re­mem­be­ring and for­get­ting, wri­ting and re­wri­ting are si­mi­lar­ly as­pects of Mir­cea Can­tor's (born 1977, Ora­dea) vi­deo Tra­cking Hap­pi­ness (2009). Wo­men dres­sed in whi­te walk in a cir­cle one be­hind the other. Each of them holds a broom in her hands wi­th which they ob­li­te­ra­te the tracks of their pre­de­ces­sors and lay down new tracks of their own at the sa­me ti­me, which will al­so be co­ver­ed over at the next mo­ment. The round dance is re­pea­ted cea­se­l­ess­ly li­ke a man­tra, al­lu­ding to the im­pos­si­bi­li­ty of per­ma­nence and per­pe­tui­ty.

In Cy­prien Gail­lard's (born 1980, Pa­ris) pho­to se­ries Geo­gra­phi­cal Ana­lo­gies (2006-2011), tran­si­to­ri­ness is al­re­a­dy a do­ne deal through the selec­tion of the ma­te­ri­al. The con­ti­n­uous­ly de­ve­lo­ped pic­tu­re at­las is a key work in the ar­tist's his long-term ex­plo­ra­ti­on of the re­la­ti­ons­hip bet­ween na­tu­re and ar­chi­tec­tu­re. Pre­sen­ted in a kind of dis­play ca­se, the se­ries of Po­la­ro­id pho­to­graphs shows a very per­so­nal selec­tion of na­tu­ral si­tes, my­thi­cal­ly-char­ged pla­ces, con­struc­ted mo­nu­ment and ur­ban li­fe in ge­ne­ral. Gail­lard is less con­cer­ned wi­th loss when he re­pea­ted­ly do­cu­ments decay and de­struc­tion. He is much mo­re fa­sci­na­ted by the trans­for­ma­ti­ons our en­vi­ron­ment is sub­ject to. The collec­tion of pic­tu­res con­se­quent­ly ex­press­ly stands for the par­al­le­lism of va­rious ti­mes in space.

Ta­ti­a­na Trouvé (born 1968, Con­sen­za) un­der­stands the pro­cess of drawing as a men­tal pro­cess: a steady pro­duc­tion of ever new spaces of re­mem­bran­ce ta­kes place in the se­ri­al ope­ra­ti­on of drawing. The spaces that emer­ge in this way are elusi­ve and seem, li­ke me­mo­ry its­elf, to be flowing ra­ther than sta­tic. The im­pres­si­on is crea­ted that the for­got­ten and the ab­sent are just as much a part of the drawings as the vi­si­ble. This lends the works an al­most som­nam­bu­lis­tic, dream-li­ke au­ra.

Do­mini­que Gon­zalez-Foerster's (born 1965, Stras­bourg) on-si­te in­stal­la­ti­ons in­vol­ve ac­ces­si­ble rooms in which bio­gra­phi­cal me­mo­ries are in­ter­wo­ven wi­th re­mi­nis­cen­ces from li­te­ra­tu­re and film. The li­ving spaces she has set up tell their sto­ries wi­th re­du­ced me­ans, par­ti­cu­lar­ly through the me­ti­cu­lous em­ploy­ment of light and co­lour, of 7 Ju­ly - 9 Sep­tem­ber 2012

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