Site-Specific Performance / WetFloor Stand
Summer 2023, I attended the "Leaky Archive" seminar , led by Sam Hopkins and Agustina Adreoletti. The goal was to collaborate on an exhibition at RJM with students from Kunstakademie Münster, with Mariana Castillo Deball. At the time RJM was actively discussing the restitution of Benin bronzes—artworks looted from Nigeria. We also had the opportunity to explore RJM's archive, containing around 65,000 objects and 100,000 photographs, which served as a source of inspiration for our exhibition.
While browsing RJM's inventory and talking with Chaya, I came across the questions of how and what to present in ethnographic museums and what our role as student artists is? Initially, I want to play with the word "leaky," symbolized by a dripping machine. However, we discovered the building already had multiple leaks. I then had several interesting encounters. Spoke with ticket collectors and the cleaning staff about the leaks, the cleaning lady even gave me a tour on all the leaky areas. When I tried to position my floor stand, nobody noticed, but when I attempted to remove it, I was accused for taking things away. This for me revealed the system's one-sided nature: you can contribute but not withdraw. These incidents highlighted the institution's lack of control and the ambiguity in everyone's roles. And led to the idea of creating custom wet floor stands and mopping the museum floor as part of the exhibition.
In one conversation Dennis suggested me using the word “Verwischung" means blur or obliteration, without the prefix, "Wischung" signifies mopping. As a student artist invited to participate in an ethnographic museum, I wonder how we were instrumentalized in supporting the role of “we are doing good things” in the museum. Moreover, anything we contributed to the museum, institution, or system raised again questions. This led me to the concept of simply mopping an already clean floor—a seemingly inconsequential act that paradoxically became "an art project" for the exhibition.
thanks to photo from @joshua_karan_singh and @juanfrocu
Image of stacked code