Haim Steinbach & Julia Weist
April 4 to May 9, 2014
Appropriation and ready-made are terms that this small exhibition deliberately avoids. What is presented here is a layering of intentions that stress the confines of art production and art history prompting other ways of presenting and thinking about a work of art. In dialogue with each other, these two works by Steinbach and Weist inform thought surrounding audience and reception; interpretation and misinterpretation.
Haunting this project is Michel de Certeau’s 1974 work The Practice of Everyday Life; a contribution to the field of Cultural Studies in relation to the everyday that focuses attention from producer onto consumer, reader and audience. de Certeau recalls an experience visiting a particular regional museum; he imagines past users and past communities through the museum’s intricate fabrication of a lived reality revealed in the arrangement of objects on display, in that moment crystallizing his thinking about proverbs and popular language; like objects, meaning in language is contingent not only on context and history but also on the “marks” left by use:
…abandoned and salvaged objects drew one’s attention, through them, to the ordered murmurs of a hundred past or possible villages, and by means of these imbricated traces one began to dream of countless combinations of existences. Like tools, proverbs (and other discourses) are marked by uses; they offer to analysis the imprints of acts or of processes of enunciation; they signify the operations whose object they have been, operations which are relative to situations and which can be thought of as the conjunctural modalizations of statements or of practices; more generally, they thus indicate a social historicity in which systems of representations or processes of fabrication no longer appear as normative frameworks but also as tools manipulated by users.