opening Friday 17 June 2022 6-11pm
& afterwards by appointment
part of the BORGER Art Nocturnes
The Arts Institute, Kattenberg 93 BoHo Antwerp
What is the status of an artefact – a text, scheme, image, drawing or object – stored in a historical archive? Is its meaning stored at the same place as the physical thing? Can it change meaning while left untouched in the dark for years? If the world moves on with time, can we say the artefact is ‘left behind’? Or is it ‘moving on’ too, taking context with it in its slipstream?
The Arts Institute presents ‘. Fragments of Absence . (the archive of our common future)‘. With images, text and film, the visual art installation reflects on the historical archive as a physical place that is still but not dead. While everything remains in place in the corridors, on the shelves or in the drawers and boxes, the meaning of what is stored, indexed and catalogued is continuously changing with time. The installation will invite questions of how we can possibly understand the past through the memories of it preserved. How can we look at historical artefacts today, knowing that we hold and observe them, naked, decontextualised from everything that surrounded them at their time of material realisation and through their years of use and later storage? Is contextual meaning lost or just absent? How could we reconstruct contextual meaning if it’s only present in its aura of absence? Where is the archive of absences needed to understand the past? And, last but not least, what if we think we do understand the past, and then we find an artefact – a text, scheme, image, drawing or object – that, without context, subverts or shakes up the whole picture of the world as we know it?
This show is a prelude of and preparation for a show together with the artist Min Hyung Kim planned in Seoul, South Korea in 2023