A central aspect of ‘The Memories Are Present’ is the interest in the institutional accumulation of objects, the categorization and display of them, and the objectives related to that. Artun Alaska Arasli, Pauline M’barek and Christoph Westermeier engage with display strategies linked to anthropological institutions, such as the diorama and the practical devices used for the presentation of photographs, masks or statures. In M’barek’s work African objects and the evaluation of them play the central role. Arasli takes the personal environment in consumer society as a point of departure and explores it in a quasi-anthropological way. Through his work he also interrogates the effect that the art institution has on the perception of objects displayed in exhibitions. Westermeier’s Barbarians & Classics (2012) installation references the structure of ‘The Family of Man’ exhibition curated by Edward Steichen for the MoMA in 1955 and re-uses it as a setting for a series of new photographic collages made by Westermeier.
SMBA is the project space of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam