The work Object d´art - The value of things to people
by Moulsari Jain and Hannah Kindler
Hannah Kindler & Moulsari Jain share common ideas about artists questioning the status quo of our society, and challenging the way we live, and the things we accept as normal. Here, they collaborate to explore a common theme in their work and their lives: Value. What is it to different people, and who determines the scale of it? Are objects valued for the raw material that came from the earth, or are they valued for the human effort that went into making them useful objects, or even for the role they play in an individual’s life? And what happens when someone stops seeing the usefulness of an object, does it lose its value? The used, discarded objects are displayed as valuable pieces of art, acknowledging their existence and importance enough to be placed on a pedestal or in a frame. Their descriptions are the stories of the role they played in the lives and identities of the people that once owned them. The artists propose that these objects have a life and identity of their own, a story that involves the people who came across them and gave them purpose, but from whom they had to move on to the next phase of their lives, where they leave one owner in search of another. With them, however, they take their memories and experiences with their past owners forward into whatever future awaits them. Here, they pause to be acknowledged for their value, and all they have already added to the world by their existence. The artists re-evaluate the value of the physical objects in our lives, proposing this value system as a new and normal part of societal culture to aspire to, as a part of healthy living together on a planet we share and not just as disconnected individuals consuming and taking whatever we want from the earth.
About the Festival „What's the deal? - Moving Urban Cultures“ at Kreativquartier, Munich
What's the deal? is a multi-disciplinary project that wants to artistically explore sustainability in connection with young urban cultures such as mural art, design, urban sports (skateboarding, biking) and digital media. Between 2013 and 2015 five partners from four European countries (Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia) will collaborate across borders and organize a series of activities in all partner sites involving international artists: from theme-related mapping of the respective scenes via art intervention workshops to creative art work and installations (like bike art created entirely from sustainable materials or a skateable sculpture in an abandoned city area) - made visible in public events. The project aims to bring the idea of sustainable lifestyle to the young urban scenes in European cities. It wants to inspire them to create new perspectives and link them together transnationally, thus strengthening the multiculturally permeated urban scenes.
The Rietveld in the Oude Kerk is a recurring event for 15 years, giving students the opportunity to present their work on a historic location. For selected students it is one of the first experiences with creating an exhibition. For visitors it is an unique insight into the world of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Oude Kerk. Every year the ‘Rietveld in de Oude Kerk’- committee thinks up a theme for the exhibition. From April 10 to May 3 this year students presents performances, installations, videos and sculptures under the title wonder & Wander.
The theme of this years ́ exhibition is the col- lection of the Oude Kerk. What are collections? Who is the collector? How do we communicate the value of the objects in the collection? How do we define the world we want to live in through objects? For my work for the Oude Kerk I make a catalogue about the “collection of the Oude Kerk”, which is actually only a bunch of old and broken objects the Church does not want to throw away. These objects are quite useless and worthless yet I want to present them with a description as if they are valuable objects.I want to blend in true facts with made up stories for the description. Furthermore I would like to “perform value” by being present during the exhibition to sell” the official Oude Kerk collec- tion catalogue”, wearing the typical Oude Kerk employee clothes. Collecting describes the systematical search, acquisition and storage of objects and information. Just through the per- sonality of the collector the random objects be- come part of a story. But in the case of the Oude Kerk it seems there is no collector in the classi- cal sense, people working in the church simply collected objects they found valuable keeping. When I studied history I was told if someone is interpreting found objects from a certain centu- ry he is mainly telling something about the time he himself is living in. With the research about the collection I want, at the same time, find my own boundaries of objectivity.
Subject or Object Performance Research
What is needed to communicate that you became part of something which is not the every day life? Who becomes the subject and who is the object? If something unexpected happened to you, maybe you were part of a performance. According to Peter Brook “A man walks across an empty space whilst some- one else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.” Yet that man watching can be the man walking himself if he is in a self-reflected mood. Thus, a performance starts if participants reflect upon themselves. The Performance Research Blog serves to document a row of performances, taking place in Amsterdam, which have the goal to connect with people in the public sphere who, without knowing beforehand, become the audience and as well the subject of observation. We aim to engage with people on an equal level, we as well as the viewer become part of the action. We aim for a row of short interactions to get people into a conscious mode by breaking their comfort zone. Our aim is to challenge us to use our body as material, and experience the unpredictable reactions of the visitors. We will document our experience, process and ideas on:
Subject or Object Performance Research will take place during ARE YOU ALIVE OR NOT? Looking at ART through the lens of THEATRE, the Studium Generale Festival of the Rietveld Academie at Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond.
This project is developed in collaboration with Jenella Kostova and Milean Naef.