Venue:The Pier-2 Art Center P3 Warehouse
Artists Talk:2014/10/12/14:30

Curated by: TSAI Ming-Jiun
Associate curator:LEE Li-Chun


Curatorial concept :

“To read what was never written” – Walter Benjamin

It is like curator Okwui Enwezor says, “Exhibitions have become legitimate mediums for art as the novel has been for fiction.”[1] Today, creating a curatorial project is not only about exhibition making, but also involves academic research, interdisciplinary partnership and creative collaboration between artists and exhibition producers. Hence, the experimentation of curating is diverse, and the interpretation of curating is developed with these dynamic exercises.

The project of dual exhibitions <RE WRITING> and <RE EXHIBITING> is initiated specifically for Hantoo Art Group in order to discover an innovative aspect and acknowledgement of this group, which is a renowned and distinct artist group in Taiwan that has established for 16 years. As the first part, <RE WRITING> depicts the relationship between writing and art. The exhibition includes 14 pieces of writings, which were commissioned by the 14 artists of Hantoo Art Group to write about each of them, and 14 artworks, which were made by the artists with words from the 14 texts and to respond to those writings. Following the second part, <RE EXHIBITING> intends to examine the relationship between exhibition and art via adapting ‘Mnemosyne Atlas’ as the methodology of curatorial strategy.

‘Mnemosyne Atlas’ is a research method created by German art historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929) who takes ‘images’ as the essence of contextualising the comprehension and appreciation of the context of art. Georges Didi-Huberman, who is inspired to produce a touring project Atlas: How to Carry the World on One’s Back?[2], says in the catalogue essay “The atlas is a visual form of knowledge, a knowledgeable form of seeing.”[3] giving an excellent description of the significance of ‘atlas’. In both Warburg and Didi-Huberman’s atlas practice, they juxtapose all kinds of images via visual connections, including artworks, documents, postcard, photographs, newspapers and prints, to present associated images in order to study and establish a different path of understanding images, knowledge, history and correlation in the field of art.

<RE EXHIBITING> aims to use this methodology of art history research to present a distinct relationship between each of the artworks of the 14 artists of Hantoo Art Group overlooking their original contexts as a means to discover a different acknowledgement of this artist group. Moreover, this project expects to uncover another potential of contemporary curating through exploring the interrelationship between art creation, writing and exhibition together with artists and visitors.

Written by/ TSAI Ming-Jiun

[1] Enwezor, O. 2007. ‘Curating Beyond The Canon’ in O’Neill, P. ed. Curating Subjects. London: Open Editions, 109-122.
[2] Atlas: How to Carry the World on One’s Back? November 26, 2010 – March 28, 2011 at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; May 7 – August 28, 2010 at ZKM | Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe; September 24 – November 27, 2011 at Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburgo.
[3] Didi-Huberman, G. 2010. ‘Atlas, or the Anxious Gay Science’ in Atlas: How to Carry the World on One’s Back? , Didi-Huberman, G. ed. TF Editores: Madrid, 14. Original emphasis.

Introduction of curatorial research:

‘Mnemosyne Atlas’ is the last project of German art historian Aby Warburg. From 1924 to 1929, Warburg had been exhibited collocated images via comparing, placing, removing, juxtaposing, exchanging and making collages with a huge amount of black and white photographs of artworks from different eras, geographic backgrounds and genres on black boards. In his opinion, one can see the relationship between ‘images’ and ‘images’ only through this method of ‘research’ and ‘exhibit’. By the same token, one may able to realise why certain ‘gesture’, which is like ‘a memory of images’, appears such a distinct significance despite their diverse contexts of time, space and even references.

Instead of looking for the eternal essence of singular artwork or image, Warburg intended to discover the married ‘memory’ of images through the process. For him, the memory of images is like one’s ‘subconscious’ that cannot be perceived or described clearly but influences a person senselessly and builds one’s relation to the world; hence, ‘Mnemosyne Atlas’ is not an ‘archive’ of images, nor an ‘illustration’ of art history or art theory, but is more in character with ‘a tool of research’.

<RE EXHIBITING> takes ‘Mnemosyne Atlas’ as a methodology expecting to create new sparkle and relationships between images. One may get closer to the interrelations that cannot be deducted by rationality, nor articulated by language, yet may be distinguished ‘visually’ while images are gathered, spread, arrayed and grouped as associations.

Written by/ LEE Li-Chun


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