Nettime mailing list archives

[Nettime-ro] Jalal Toufic and Lebendige Archive at BüroFriedrich
BüroFriedrich on Wed, 4 Dec 2002 22:01:44 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-ro] Jalal Toufic and Lebendige Archive at BüroFriedrich

Title: Jalal Toufic and Lebendige Archive at BüroFriedrich

Jalal Toufic / arch 54


Lebendige Archive / arch 53
with: Katrin von Maltzahn, Heidi Specker, Guillaume Paris and Michael Schmidt

Opening: Friday, December 6th, 2002 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Jala Toufic
With his video work"'Ashura': This Blood Spilled in my Veins" (2002), the Beruit-based artist Jalal Toufic explores a ritual which takes place annually in southern Lebanon. In remembrance of the massacre which took place in the year 680 A.D. in the Iraqi desert,in which Mohammed's grandson Al-Husayn was killed, participants repeat certain rituals for ten days. 

With exception to the English subtitles, which translate the chants and other spoken parts, the ritual's events are filmed without any simultaneous commentary. The events are then interrupted with recorded interviews of Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze, and of a classroom lecture from Toufic himself. Without actually discussing Ashura directly, these statements help to bring a clearer understanding of the ritual. For example, Toufic refers to memory which, in the Nietzschean sense, not only belongs to the past, but also to the present and the future. 

The tradition of Ashura is a remembrance of a traumatic event-the killing of Al-Husayn-which is then kept in consciousness, referring to a promise to await the redeemer, the twelfth Imam.  Connected to this memory is the bloodletting which takes place at the end of the ten day ceremony of Ashura: with long swords, the participants, dressed in white, lacerate themselves. Not in terms of self-inflicted pain does Toufic see this ritual, but rather in the Nietzschean sense of it being a mnemonic device. "Only that which does not stop causing pain remains in memory," (Nietzsche, On the Geneology of Morals).

Length of the exhibition: Dezember 7th, 2002 until January 25th, 2003

Lebendige Archive
BüroFriedrich is pleased to announce a group show with works by Katrin von Maltzahn, Heidi Specker, Guillaume Paris and Michael Schmidt.
Accompanying the exhibition, there will be an evening of discussion with Elke Naters and Sven Lager about their literature project "ampool.de", and a film programme in co-operation with the Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek in Cinema Arsenal.

What is, actually, a living archive?  If one understands archive in the classic sense as something static and bound to a place, does 'living' archive imply a potential expansion in terms of space and content?
For Katrin von Maltzahn and Heidi Specker, the project initiators, 'archive' does not represent just an accumulation of documents or a digital database. Rather, the exhibition carries the title Archive, as the acts of collecting and sorting are common to both artists in their artistic methods. They regard their systems of order as 'living', because connexions exist between the different aspects of their respective work, and also to the works of other artists, in this case Guillaume Paris and Michael Schmidt, and writers Elke Naters and Sven Lager.

During a three month residency in Göteborg, Katrin von Maltzahn took part in a Swedish course for immigrants, and developed a large format model for a Swedish language book from a student's perspective. In various chapters of this book, von Maltzahn explores different aspects of 'foreignness'. "Svenska för Invandrare" (2002) depicts her experience learning the language. In part, it contains the life-stories of the course's participants, field trips to the Volvo factory and a court house. The texts are all in Swedish, furnished with the handwritten corrections of a native speaker. Drawings complete the text. The conveyance of information and the function of language are topics which have been engaging von Maltzahn since 1995 and formed the basis of her solo shows at the Kunstraum München (2000) and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien (1996).

Heidi Specker photographs modernist architecture, alienating and disassociating certain elements of the structures and facades.  The results are stylised pictures and sculptures which reference the aesthetic and stylistic concepts of the 1960s and 70s. In the exhibition at BüroFriedrich, she shows pictures from her new series "concrete".  Here, she refers to the 'brutalism' which was stimulated by Le Corbusier, and made popular by young European architects, significantly Alison and Peter Smithson.  Within this architectural movement, concrete is an essential element of construction; Specker photographs the surfaces of these buildings. This is a departure from her photography of the 1990s where colour contrasts were a significant aspect of the work; in her new series, she reduces the effect of the colour, and through this minimalism, strengthens the effect of the pure form.  Specker was awarded the ars viva prize in 1997, and took part in exhibitions such as "Reconstructing Space" AA in London and "German Open" at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg.

Where von Maltzahn prepared a report of a personal experience in the form of a classical archive, Specker collects, but does not document-rather manifests-her subjective view of architecture. Von Maltzahn and Specker have each invited an artist, in whose work they see intersections with their own:  Guillaume Paris and Michael Schmidt.

Guillaume Paris has a distinct interest in research, and, as invited by von Maltzahn, will be presenting his work "We are the World" (1998-2002) in Germany for the first time. Paris uses methods of etymology and anthroposophy in the development, which began in 1990, of an interdisciplinary project entitled "H.U.M.A.N.W.O.R.L.D". The project deals primarily with the question of representation (that of cultural otherness) and takes as its referent the anthropological museum. Through co-operation with individuals from a variety of backgrounds (from models to psychics to sociologists), the project unfolds simultaneously in many directions. For the video installation "We are the World", a portrait gallery of faces made of commercial packaging from each of the G7 countries is reanimated, with the voices of their original models. The men and women assembled here all tell a different story. Following this exhibition, his work will be shown at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

Specker came to know the work of Michael Schmidt in 1987 while she was still a student. At this time, Schmidt was nearing completion of his project "Waffenruhe" (Cease-fire, 1985-87), and his work has been a significant influence on Specker."Waffenruhe", which exists of a total of 95 photographs of the cordoned-off district of Kreuzberg and its inhabitants, will be shown in part at the exhibition 'Living Archive'. In this series, Schmidt abandons the objective photographic style, characteristeric of a documentation, in favour of a more individualised perception. Through their dramatic perspectives and architectural details, Schmidt's black and white photographs of the Berlin Wall exude an inconsolable emptiness. With "Waffenruhe", Schmidt attained an international reputation.

Length of the exhibition:  December 7th, 2002 until Februar 15th, 2003

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.

For further questions or enquiries, please contact Waling Boers or Alexandra Krieger-Saheb
Jalal Toufic
7.12.2002 - 25.01.2003

Lebendige Archive
7.12.2002 - 15.02.2003

Holzmarktstrasse 15 - 18
S-Bahnbögen 53-54
10179 Berlin

tel: +49 30 201 65115
fax: +49 30 201 65114
office {AT} buerofriedrich.org