The Impossible Collection
Curator as Translator | Where have all the workers gone... When will we ever learn?
Networking Meeting and Workshop
22-23 November 2007, Wyspa Art Institute, PL
There is always trouble with a historic place. Even if we can easily identify with its auratic quality, we might be deeply
disappointed by its narrative one: Yes, it is great to be here, but why actually? Why is the shipyard in Gdansk so important?
Communism ended here. Yes, but what has then started here? The workers won their freedom here. But where have they disappeared
thereafter? History has happened here. Only to never happen again?
Every answer is automatically followed by another question. The reason is obvious: there is no master narrative to forever
fix the meaning of a historical event. Neither is there a subject of history to make experience of it. What we have got instead
is cultural memory. It never recalls the event in its alleged original meaning but rather through different forms of its cultural
articulations, in short, through its cultural translations: the culture of everyday life, cultural effects on gender formation,
literary and visual culture, etc. This is where this atmosphere of uncanniness evoked by historical places comes from. They
are familiar, yet strange because we perceive them always in a (cultural) translation of what is giving them the actual meaning,
namely the original event.
The workshop will deal with this trouble in the form of short presentations and discussion.
Dorothee Bienert, Boris Buden, Galit Eilat, Borislav Mikuli?, Stefan Nowotny, Livia Paldi, Els Roeland, Alina Serban, Simon
Sheikh, Alexander Skidan, Aneta Szylak, Antje Weitzel, Luisa Ziaja