Opening: Thu. May 5th, 16h00-21h00
The World is Round and People Meet in the Corners is a result of Assaf Gruber’s ongoing investigation of how politics intersect with art and its institutions. It reveals the human stories and shifting ideological values at the “back-end” of cultural institutions. His exhibition at KRIEG? will consist of a video installation, a sculpture and a series of photographs.
Structured into two parts, Transient Witness explores the common features and necessary distinctions between art collections, archives, as well as the various materials and cultural substrata that enable their existence. The film unfolds a complex story, navigating between historical facts about the Baroque and the Avant-garde; art and its politics.
It is a fictional story of the transfer of the objects from the private house of avant-garde-collector Egidio Marzona in Berlin to their new domicile – the Japanisches Palais, a Rococo building that belongs to the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD). Fiction meets reality: the film takes place on 25 November 2019. On that day, priceless jewellery of immense cultural value was stolen from the Green Vault in Dresden in one of the biggest art heists in history, causing a national shock in Germany.
The sculpture Präsens abstractly unites the common features and inevitable distinctions of Baroque and Avant-garde that coexist within the SKD. Its preliminary inspiration is the prominent appearance of rare red corals in the collection of the Green Vault. The most famous red coral object is the statue of Daphne, crafted by silversmith Abraham Jamnitzer in the late 1580s.
The photo series Movement was shot inside the Green Vault with a selection of photographs from the Archive of the Avant-Garde. It juxtaposes images that Gruber found in the archives’ folders entitled Demos and Protests, with real red precious corals decorating objects at the Green Vault.
The ensemble of works in The World is Round and People Meet in the Corners confronts art museums with their future role in society through their metamorphosing present and unexpected past.
Transient Witness is co-produced by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, KRIEG? (Hasselt, Belgium), the Botín Foundation in Santander (Spain), CCA Tel Aviv, and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.
25 March, 20h00 – Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) – Stolen Gems Found Identities: A Cumulative Colloquium
5 May, 18h00 – KRIEG? (Hasselt) – Opening of Assaf Gruber: The World is Round and People Meet in the Corners