291 Church Street , New York, NY 10013
September 19, 2007 - November 3, 2007
That Which Cannot Be Remembered
Croatian curators Antonia Majaca and Ivana Bago present a group of schematically representational works that challenge the role of narrativity in remembering the past. Katerina Seda’s project, It Doesn’t Matter (2005), includes a film and a thick volume of drawings created by her grandmother, who recalls and re-creates from memory over 650 goods and prices from her lifetime of work as the manager of a tool shop in a small village in Moravska during socialism. In this collection, history and memory is replaced with classification, a kind of order beyond temporality, a hermetic world at once full and singular. Felix Gmelin’s, Farbtest, Die Rote Fahne II, (Color Test, The Red FlagII), (2002), is a small scale dual projection using an original film depicting the artist’s father running through the streets of West Berlin in 1968 waving a red flag to assemble activists, and a recreation of that film shot in present day Stockholm. The two films in tandem discredit one another as irony and nostalgia collide: they are both original and fake, real and not-real. The artist’s knowingly futile attempt to recover this specific historical moment reveals its own political idealism and failure. Artur Zmijewski’s haunting video, Lisa (2003), portrays a German woman living in Israel who believes, quite simply and intensely, that she is the reincarnation of a boy killed during the Holocaust after seeing photographs of the atrocities. She lives in self-imposed exile in the promised land, a paradox that resonates powerfully the ways in which political, cultural, and personal memory are intimately bound up, its meanings shifting between history and fantasy. The exhibition title refers to a kind of resistance to that which cannot or will not be remembered, and the works in this show reveal memory as a crucial method of empowerment. It is a longing for an historical place, and the complex relation of dependency between fantasy and the experience of an alienated reality.
Posted by Kristin Dickson
(*Images, from top to bottom: Stalking with Stories: The Pioneers of the Immemorable, September 19 - November 3, 2007; apexart, Installation detail, Courtesy of apexart, New York. Katerina Seda, Stalking with Stories: The Pioneers of the Immemorable, September 19 - November 3, 2007; apexart, It Doesn't Matter, 2005, mixed media installation, Courtesy of apexart, New York.)