Archives Acting

20 - 22 November 2013 / Acting Archives, Exhibition, Marathon

Archives Acting is an exhibition curated on occasion of the Archives Works Marathon and hosted at the Institut für Raumexperimente and the Grey Sheep project housed at Studio Olafur Eliasson.

Archives Acting is choreographed by Eric Ellingsen and Christina Werner with contributions by Aeaeaeae, Hans-Henning Korb, Robert Lippok, and Raul Walch; Clara Jo and Robert Lippok; Salem Mekuria; Felix Melia; Natasha Mendonca and Olga Robayo; Netsa Art Village, Mihret Kebede, and Robel Temesgen; Emeka Ogboh; Elvira Dyangani Ose and Pere Ortín; Aykan Safoǧlu; Daniela Seel, Rike Scheffler, Ernesto Estrella, and Sis Matthé; Diana Sprenger and Euan Williams; and Kat Válastur.

Aeaeaeae, Hans-Henning Korb, Robert Lippok, and Raul Walch
Molding Versions into Reality,2012-2013
Everything is knot together here. Everything hanging here comes from Ethiopia, even the things that come from China, and this is reality. This is the sound of reality snared and knotted together from stories and streets and markets and roundabouts in Addis Ababa. This is archive’s opposite, a moment of chaotic similarities. A sound installation as part of the Grey Sheep project.

Tainá Guedes, Asako Iwama, Lauren Maurer, and Lynn Peemoeller
f : O O D, 2013
Served in the context of the marathon days, these taste memory experiments, recipes, menus, and thoughts are provided by Tainá Guedes, Asako Iwama, Lauren Maurer, and Lynn Peemoeller. Menu designed by Thomas Meyer.

Clara Jo and Robert Lippok
24h Dahlem, Kapitel 1: Nacht, 2013
24h Dahlem centres on the controversial re-location of the ethnographic collections of the Dahlem Museums to the future site of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin’s city centre. Combining material from two archives within the Ethnological Museum and the Museum for Asian Art, the resulting large-scale video installations are presented in three chapters in the Dahlem Museum. 24h Dahlem was produced in the context of the Humboldt Lab Dahlem, a project of the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

Director: Clara Jo; sound design & audio archive composition: Robert Lippok; director of photography: Michael Laakmann

Felix Melia
A Day Like Any Other,2013
A Day Like Any Other is a video work comprised of appropriated video and audio from the Aquis Bryant film Hood 2 Hood: The Blockumentary and Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. The video draws a comparison between the repetitive, cyclical nature of events in Beckett’s play and the similarly recurrent explanations and stories of ‘real’ life in Hood 2 Hood, stories that allude to the sedentary metaphysics and social immobility imposed upon its protagonists. The words ‘all day everyday’ literally encircle the imagery of the work. A commonly employed assertion within the appropriated footage, these words describe a refusal to give in, while highlighting the limited dynamic of the environments the protagonists inhabit.

Salem Mekuria
Ye Wonz Maibel: Deluge, 1996/1997
Ye Wonz Maibel: Deluge is a personal visual meditation on history, conflict, and the roads to reconciliation. It is a tale of love and betrayal, of idealism and the lure of power. It is a memorial to a brother who disappeared and a best friend, executed. It is a story of the Ethiopian students, their ‘revolution’, and its aftermath – a brutal military dictatorship. Ye Wonz Maibel: Deluge contemplates the role of the individual in perpetuating national tragedies – be that famine, war, or political terror – by re-visiting family tragedies in Ethiopia. Focusing on and searching through her own history, Mekuria sought personal experiences that illuminated universal truths. The film offers tools for reflection in order to look forward to a future in which responsibility and choice inform our conduct.

Salem Mekuria
Square Stories, 2010
Square Stories is a triptych video installation. Maskal Square (Revolution Square, or just ‘the Square’), located in the centre of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is a massive concrete expanse framed by permanent bleachers. It is the lowest point in the city: everything cascades into the Square. Everything big that happens in the city takes place there. The Square is also a site of commemoration, anchored by two museums that offer stable, corporealised narratives of the city and the nation. Square Stories offers a way of bearing witness to these multiple, fragmentary histories. It presents Maskal Square both as place and metaphor culled from a childhood in Addis Ababa and the gaze of an American art professor. The triptych format, which gestures to Ethiopia’s religious and cultural history, amplifies the contradictions within history, memory, and narration and interrogates the failure of any one story to stand in for the manifold subjectivities that comprise Ethiopian identity and history.

Writer/producer/videographer/director: Salem Mekuria; editor: Sarah B. Peck

Natasha Mendoca & Olga Robayo
Todo Esta En Cambio // All is in Flux, 2013
Todo Esta En Cambio navigates through sounds that seamlessly crisscross India and Colombia. This sonic journey takes us through the agrarian crisis and the consequences of the free trade treaty signed between India, Colombia, and the United States. The sound makes links between how food is produced in an industrialised world without consideration for the farmers, and how political leaders and corporations are leading the world to further environmental and socio-political disasters in the name of profit.

Netsa Art Village
Wax&Gold, 2013
Wax&Gold is a documentation of the Wax&Gold workshop for freedom of artistic expression that took place at Netsa Art Village and was accompanied by a touring exhibition in Addis Ababa, July 2012. Wax&Gold, a project developed and designed by Netsa Art Village and funded by the Prince Claus Fund, embraces the historical Ethiopian tradition of ‘Wax and Gold’, an approach involving indirect methods of communication, a strong form of expression in Ethiopian literature called ‘Qinie’, which obscures and protects the main message, the ‘Gold’, by covering it with ‘Wax’.

Presented by Mihret Kebede & Robel Temesgen.

Emeka Ogboh
Lagos Bits and Bytes, 2013
An electro-acoustic exploration of a bustling amphitheatre of sounds, a sprawling metropolis, and an aspiring megalopolis – Lagos, Nigeria. This is an excerpt from a Lagos soundscapes project, an acoustic enquiry into the mega-city focused on capturing sounds that define the unique character of Lagos and reflect the city’s diversity.

Elvira Dyangani Ose & Pere Ortín
Africalls? is a documentary film that shows the work of five artists and two production centres of contemporary art in seven African cities. It shows the interests that motivate them and the urban context from which they create their artworks. Africalls? approaches these artists’ work from an unusual perspective, exploring their personalities and creative processes as well as the art objects they make in Dakar, Douala, Cape Town, Rabat, Luanda, Nairobi, and Maputo. Africalls? is an audiovisual journey through the contemporary art of an urban Africa: both cosmopolitan and little-known, local and global.

Curator: Elvira Dyangani Ose; director: Pere Ortín; producer: Vic Pereiró

Aykan Safoǧlu
Off-White Tulips,2013
Off-White Tulips is a tribute to the US-American writer James Baldwin. In this dense video essay, the artist links Baldwin’s self-imposed exile in Turkey with his own biographical details and an exploration of his native country. With the help of old photographs, we follow the path through Istanbul equally of James Baldwin as much as of Aykan Safoǧlu and his family. The emphasis on both personal stories quickly begins to blur fact and fiction. Safoǧlu calls this form biomythography – a type of invented life story coined by the American writer and activist Audre Lord, who described herself as a ‘black lesbian feminist mother warrior poet’. Off-White Tulips looks at history from marginal perspectives in order to explore alternative interpretations of cultural artefacts and differences, queer politics and identity. It is concerned with black survival strategies in a white mainstream. The film was awarded the Oberhausen Grand Prize at the Short Film Festival in Oberhausen in 2013.

Daniela Seel, Rike Scheffler, Ernesto Estrella, and Sis Matthé
L-A-N-G-U-A-G-I-N-G is a series of writing experiments and spontaneous language swerves informed by a space of listening. For two days, four poets tweeted echoes of what they heard from a listening space in the context of the Archives Works Marathon. The tweets can be found under the Twitter handle @Raumexperimente.

Diana Sprenger and Euan Williams
A Collection of Shadows in the Folds of Books Taken over the Course of a Year from Around the World, 2011-2012
In the folds of books. Reproduced shadows. Heightening the ephemeral quality of a book as a physical entity. A movable and borderless publication. Free of obvious geographical and temporal marks, yet created out of the temporal and geographical relationship between a source of light, an object, and the moment in which a photo is taken. A merging of real shadows with represented ones. Past mixes with present, as northern hemisphere mixes with southern hemisphere.

Kat Válastur
Fragmentation, Slow Down, Speed Up (Sketches), 2013
Movement experiments developed and demonstrated by the artist to collectively test moving in and against time

Institut für Raumexperimente
A presentation of selected visual material from the archives of the Institut für Raumexperimente, 2009-2013.