Arnold Dreyblatt | INVENTORIES | Kang Contemporary
April 21 @ 6:00 pm - June 16 @ 6:00 pm
Arnold Dreyblatt – Inventories
21.04.23 – 16.07.23
KANG Contemporary is pleased to present the exhibition INVENTORIES with US-American multidisciplinary artist Arnold Dreyblatt, which showcases recent and rarely exhibited works. New lenticular artworks reference crisis of Europe in texts by historical and recent visionaries and critics. The artist Arnold Dreyblatt interrogates ways of remembering and the archive as a space. In his installations of information and text he poses the question of how information and stories are told, saved and erased and why certain information persists over others. As the mind attempts to focus, isolate or connect the textual fragments in the exhibition they stand as a union that lifts these components taken from documents, records, and inventories into a metaphorical sphere.
Included in this exhibition is the artwork The Black List based on the original site-specific memorial by the artist on the Königsplatz in München that was inaugurated by the Munich City Council in 2021. The new immersive staging of The Black List makes it possible to experience this profound artwork in Berlin for the first time. A spiraling sequence of words taken from booktitles by the 310 authors who were outlawed by the Nazi regime and whose books were burned across Germany. For each author Dreyblatt selected the last published work up to and including 1933. What unfolds is a passionate discussion of the archive as a space that carries history, that can be mobilized to express new meanings but that can also be manipulated. The upper level of the gallery showcases the digital installation Inventar/ Inventur. In his 2008 artwork Dreyblatt dives into the sea of information that are the records of the 1938 auction of the entire estate of Berhard Altmann’s Vienna villa. To take on the inventory becomes a much larger task in which one has to combat storytelling that prioritises data over people. On a white wall the individual items that were part of the circa 1400 auctioned objects are projected suggesting a literal past space. As the words on the wall are positioned at the relative height of the objects they describe we are reminded that these objects that scroll across the gallery wall carry meanings and memories. The passive descriptions from the auction records are transformed and activated. Instead of centering the narrative on the auction as a moment of injustice and crime, the inventory here becomes a story about a life that was lived, a home that was built. It transforms the narratives and shifts the focus to the people as the subjects instead of the systems that foretold their end.
Text Paula Böke
About the Artist
Arnold Dreyblatt (born 1953 in New York City) is an American media artist and composer. He has lived in Berlin, Germany since 1984. Dreyblatt has been a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, since 2007 and recently appointed Vice Director of the Visual Arts Section. He was professor of media art at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts in Kiel, Germany from 2009 to 2022. His artistic practice over the past 30 years ranges from multi-day performances, to digital installations to interactive artistic research projects such as “Performing the Black Mountain Archive” (2015) at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwartskunst. At the same time, he has continued to develop his unique avant-garde music composition and performances.