Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp
The title of the project addresses the term ‘chronicle’: a historical account of events arranged and recorded in order to document, trace, study and map. Scholars categorize the genre of chronicles into two subgroups: live chronicles and dead chronicles. A dead chronicle gathers past events up to the time of conclusion, while a live chronicle is where one or more authors add to a chronicle, recording the sequence of events in a dynamic, contemporary and fluid principle. ‘A Parallel Chronicle’ corresponds with an historical event that accrued in September 1937 Berlin: a forced art auction of one of the largest private art collections auctioned during Nazi Regime. The project’s point of departure is the original catalogue of the auction: Die Sammlung Frau Emma Budge (Mrs. Emma Budge’s art collection), a Jewish art collector from Hamburg. The raw materials for the project were obtained as a result of an on-going correspondence between the provenance researcher of the collector's case and myself. Together with researchers and expert lawyers, the researcher is working on reclaiming the missing art works to the collector’s heirs. By different visual actions, the project assigns the missing artifacts and art works a new function, while offering alternative ways of collecting, cataloging and preserving. In order to obscure the timeline, the sequence of events and to emphasize the photographic material as a tool that makes these transitions possible, the works are made by a variety of techniques: from editing archival raw materials and original photography works, to collages and 3D modeling imagery. As part of the project, there’s a series of images under the (sub) title ‘Parallel Catalogue’. The series is based on the skeleton and structure of the original catalogue and contains original photography, collage and manipulations I made on the raw materials. Instead of producing a physical book, I produced a 3D model of a fictional, hyper-realistic digital one. (the work is realized as framed 2D images). Beside this particular case and the collective connection to the aftermaths of war, the project addresses thoughts regarding the photographic act as an intersection between documentation, preservation and presentation.