Aram Lee & Rosa Johanna — Domestic Concerns

                                   
Laufzeit: 29.4 – 14.5.2021

For this duo exhibi­tion Aram Lee (NL / KOR) and Rosa Johanna (NL) colla­bo­rated in a project called “Domestic Concerns“, which started with resear­ching about the collapse of the building holding the “Histo­ri­sches Archiv der Stadt Köln” in 2009.

Two thirds of the archival material did survive the collapse of the building, however more than 30km of archival material was inacces­sible after the collapse. Local commu­nities have been highly involved and concerned about the conse-quences of the collapse.

Indepen­dent groups of artists, archi­tects, authors, committed citizens and local initia­tives have been making an effort to find ways to make the former site to a space of collec­tive memory. With much archival material being destroyed or inacces­sible, the world famous archive building in the Severin­straße by archi­tect Fritz Hafer­kamp had a special photo cellar that securely saved parti­cular photo material. Together with the fire brigade, the “Histo­ri­sches Archiv der Stadt Köln” was able to rescue this archival material from the special photo cellar. After an inten­sive corre­spon­dence with the Histo­ri­sches Archiv der Stadt Köln, five survi­ving images from the photo cellar were digitally sent to Aram Lee and Rosa Johanna.

These 5 images are photo­graphs of a sculp­ture in the Rhein­park, Cologne, titled “Huise­lijke Zorgen” (Domestic Concerns) by the Dutch artist Rik Wouters. The sculp­ture is a woman figure with crossed arms, head slightly bent forward, thoughtful. The project traces a histo­rical passage of the statue’s inter­me­diate presence in the Rhein­park since 1957 and in the archive. The images of the statue survived the 2009 disaster in the photo cellar and were rescued and cared for by archi­vists. The material reality of the statue and its image have been inter­woven with an ongoing layered contem­porary (hi)story. 

In the exhibi­tion ‘Domestic Concerns’ histo­rical sequences of the archival object are shaped as a cinema­to­gra­phic concep­tion an associa­tive movement, contem­plated image essay by 270 moving sequence shots as score, as perfor­mance, gradu­ally connected, allowing issues of the collapse of collec­tive memories and archival image’s media­tions, an engage­ment of elabo­ra­ting, constel­la­ting images of place and time like a daydream.

The separ­ately printed sequen­tial images include 3 layers of red, blue and green riso colors. The layers allow to recon­struct time and space in an open duration. The edited sequen­tial images consti­tute a film sequence, it generates the shaken movement of the statue and the lands­cape.

By trans­fer­ring the archival images into cinematic spaces and into the present time, the images become a perfor­mance of histo­ries and of tangible social memories. What forms of remem­brance are needed in today‘s Cologne after the archive‘s collapse? How can we imagine the shape of collec­tive memories together in a process of remem­be­ring, forget­ting or caring?

The repro­duc­tion and publi­ca­tion of this archival material is permitted by the Histo­ri­sche Archiv der Stadt Köln. All material is protected under copyright by the City of Cologne.

The exhibi­tion is kindly supported by Mondriaan Fund