What do we do with memory and its objects? Do we hold on to them, or do they hold on to us? Remnants of memorybe it a material object, a feeling or an empty spacechallenge us to find a way to deal with them. To show, to hide, to safeguard, to telldifferently, or anew? When we use the word memory, we always mean something different.
Six artists have been invited to consider the question of memory. The exhibition does not remain on the level of the abstract, however, but opens out to the concrete space of the biographical: the personal archive. The works of the participating artists relateeither directly or through associationto the estate and history of the curator's grandmother, Elisabeth. She lends the exhibition its title, as well as its form and the questions it raises. The works delve into her archive of memorabilia, its objects and materials, drawing on the private and the shared, the intimate and the gaps that the intimate leaves behind. The exhibition moves between the historical, that which has only just slipped into the past, and that which still persists in the present.
Tracing this axis, the contributions of the artists offer up a space for projection and association. Through its mode of appearance and being, each concrete memory tells us something of the significance of memory itself. Not only specific histories, but also the act of remembrance itself are made present in these objects: memory as a culture and a practice, as an attitude, and not least as the search for a fitting place to locate the past in the present.
What does it mean to remember? It always means something different.
Jodie Carey, Dana Linkiewicz, Antje Majewski, Sonya Schönberger, Melissa Steckbauer, Sinta Werner
Curated by Manuel Wischnewski
Neue Berliner Räume
is a curatorial initiative in Berlin. Acknowledging the changing conditions of cultural production, Neue Berliner Räume assumes a nomadic approach, working without a fixed site. Past projects include collaborations with C/O Berlin, Humboldt University, and the International Literature Festival as well as exhibitions at Tieranatomisches Theater Berlin, Tempelhofer Freiheit and various sites in public space. Neue Berliner Räume is a founding member of Secondary Narratives.
The exhibition Bilder, die wir behalten / Elisabeth is part of Secondary Narratives 2014, a collaboration between Bublitz & Lukas Töpfer, Julia Martha Müller & Frederiek Weda, Neue Berliner Räume, and The Wand. Secondary Narratives interrelates the work of six curators, project spaces, and curatorial initiatives by linking four exhibitions within one format. With each offering its own interpretation of what a secondary narrative may be, the exhibitions are at once autonomous and part of a larger narrative.