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.