PRESENCE OF AN ABSENCE

Artist Sophie Ernst collaborated with Taha Mehmood on an investigation into the relationship between objects, experiences and identity. Storytelling is important in any community. Retelling of a story allows its circulation along a social network. What kind of stories gets remembered and what gets overlooked or forgotten determines the kind of self. These stories reiterate the fading shadows of a past, revisit impressions left by an experience and rearrange objects idiosyncratically. Such stories transfer meaning, create alternate systems of knowledge and help create maps of intimate encounters.

In conversation with different guests Ernst and Mehmood investigated the ways in which historical and contemporary social realities are shaped in Europe and Asia. The following topics were discussed: the role played by stories in the making of memory, identity and culture, colonial stories in a mediatised post-colonial world and stories, popular culture and aesthetic transformations.

Guests:

Shaheen Merali – artist and curator
Astrid Weij – Erfgoed Nederland
Leontine Meijer-Van Mensch – heritage studies, Reinwardt Academie
Wim Manuhutu – former director of Museum Maluku
Iftikar Dadi – Professor of Art History, Cornell University
Roy Villevoye – artist
Kitty Zijlmans – Professor of Contemporary Art History, Leiden

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