dis-MOUNT

Responding to an invitation by “LINK Center for the Arts of the Information Age” NeMe’s participation in 6pm your local time Europe-wide event on 22 July 2015 is a site specific happening conceived by Natalie Kynigopoulou.

This event questions and extends the way exhibitions are perceived by the public, not only as a carefully installed dialogue between artworks but also as a process which eventually results in the exhibition’s own private demise consisting of the dismantling, packaging and return of the artworks to their respective owners. Thus re-subjecting the space into an introverted silence. The vital and creative process of mounting a show is normally occurring behind closed doors and recognised as an inherent part of the exhibition whereas dismounting is an action which is given little significance. In order to expand the scope of what should be observable, NeMe is opening its doors to the complete actuality of the dis-LOCATE exhibition which raised questions about the process of art-making and now extends to the exhibition’s demise as an participatory open art-process.

Curator’s statement

“Let us not begin at the beginning…”1

A happening, according to Kaprow2, is an open ended event that does not have a specified beginning, middle or end and whose occurrences recognise no separation between artist and audience. The archiving of dis-LOCATE’s processes of being installed and dismounted becomes a participatory response to this redefinition of a space as an open ended and contested one. The process of documenting the mounting and dismounting of the show questions the notion of the archive, which – as Derrida pointed out – is a product of a privileged topology that unifies, classifies and consigns information. The legitimacy of the archive itself is thus being questioned. Derrida’s approach involves the dismantling of the borders and distinctions that classify the archive’s concept, so that it is no longer sheltered and thus declared as impenetrable. As such, NeMe’s response to the 6pm your local time event questions the nature of the archive, contesting its rigidity by making visible its processes of being formed and dismantled with the understanding that archives do have a Freudian death drive and they do not preserve the past but eradicate it by keeping it in an extended present before they too are destroyed as “the secret is the very ash of the archive”3 but maybe that very ash will constitute the beginning of a new archive.

Foucault sees the archive as only appearing in fragments, whereby it cannot be wholly described, and an attempt to revisit its place of origin only sheds light upon the enunciative sphere of which it is part of in what he describes as the “archaeology of language”.4 A greater importance is placed on this process of ideas being shared, interchanged and evaluated during the archive’s formation, hinting at the blurring of the distinctions between saving and erasing. Klik and Kamin5 also argue that one needs to embrace the possibility of information being dislocated from its original context and the reframing of the notion of the irretrievability of the erased. Within this context, this event is inherently retracted in order to overturn the initial prescribed meaning of the exhibition and disconnect its intrinsic relationships. In so doing, it offers its visual documentation and transformation into another archival state consisting of dispersed fragments creating its new and unpredictable collection of images on the 6pmyourlocaltime.com website which will in its turn search for its own secret.

Notes

  1. Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression, trans. Eric Prenowitz, University of Chicago Press, 1998.^
  2. Allan Kaprow, “Happenings in the New York Scene”, in Situation, ed. Claire Doherty, The MIT Press, 2009.^
  3. Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression, trans. Eric Prenowitz, University of Chicago Press, 1998.^
  4. Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Language and the Discourse on Language, trans. A.M. Sheridan Smith, Pantheon Books, 1972^
  5. Ella Klik, Diana Kamin, “Between Archived, Shredded, and Lost/Found: Erasure in Digital and Artistic Contexts”, in The Aesthetics of Erasure, Media-N Spring 2015, sighted on 2 July 2015^

Credits

6PM Your Local Time is a format by the Link Art Center, developed in collaboration with Abandon Normal Devices (AND), Manchester and Gummy Industries, Brescia. The project is part of Masters & Servers. Networked Culture in the Post-Digital Age, a joint project by Aksioma (SI), Drugo more (HR), Abandon Normal Devices (UK), Link Art Center (IT) and d-i-n-a / The Influencers (ES) that was recently awarded with a Creative Europe 2014 – 2020 grant. For 24 months from now, Masters & Servers will explore networked culture in the post-digital age.

Thanks

Alexis Andreou, Eirini Stylianou

Sponsors

C.Kynigopoulos, CyPrinters