Conversation with Simon Wachsmuth and Nida Ghouse

Instances of Erasure
Video Screening Program 
October 19, 2023 - February 17, 2024

with Bani Abidi, Sena Başöz, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, Guido Casaretto, Isaac Chong Wai, Itamar Gov, İz Öztat, Simon Wachsmuth
Program by: Nazlı Yayla & Marjolein van der Meer

Conversation with Simon Wachsmuth and Nida Ghouse
Thursday, 25 January 2024, 19h
Goethestraße 82, 10623 Berlin

Simon Wachsmuth
As Matter Stands, 2012
Video, color, sound; 20’29’’

In his artistic practice, Simon Wachsmuth researches the blind spots and unexpected epilogues in the grand narratives of history. By dealing with cultural (re)constructions, the artist investigates the relationship between material traces, museological representations, and forms of their present employment. 

The video work As Matter Stands focuses on dolmen sites from the Neolithic era in South Korea in the cities of Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa Island. Various dolmens appear in the film: the ones that are intentionally developed as tourist attractions and those that are concealed within paddy fields or wooded areas. Wachsmuth documents his approach to these impressive stone formations through observational film segments that sync with documentary sequences: museum displays presenting the authentic Neolithic lifestyle play along with a fragment showing a group of farmers who collectively tend to the Dolmen site in present-day South Korea. By further incorporating dioramas in the video, he offers conceptual and visual insights into the approaches employed by ethnologists, archaeologists, and museum curators to integrate these sites into everyday life. Using these parallels, the artist challenges the impression that the Dolmen is just a relic of the past.

Simon Wachsmuth (b.1964) lives and works in Berlin. His works were shown at the documenta 12 in Kassel (2007), Istanbul Biennial (2009), Busan Biennial (2012), Suzhou Documents in Suzhou/China (2016) and the Macao Biennale (2021) in China, and have been included in exhibitions at Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and the ZKM in Karlsruhe, at Steirischer Herbst in Graz, Austria as well as at Gropiusbau in Berlin, Museu Serralves in Porto, Musée de Valence, CAAC in Sevilla, Neues Museum Nürnberg, Kunsthaus Dresden, the Kunstmuseum Vaduz/Liechtenstein, the Museum for Contemporary Art in Siegen, Museum Belvedere in Vienna, Marino Marini Museum in Florence and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and the Egyptian Museum in Turin, among others.

Nida Ghouse is a writer and curator. She is guest lecturer at Curatorial Studies, Zurich University of the Arts, and co-artistic director of the Dystopia Sound Art Biennial Berlin-India 2024-2025. With Vic Brooks, she received the 2021 Andy Warhol Foundation fellowship and the 2023 Teiger Foundation inaugural grant for the exhibition Shifting Center at EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center), where she was curator-in-residence (2021-23). Nida was faculty at the Centre for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, New York (2022-23) and visiting lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities at Princeton University (2022). She was co-artistic director of the Singapore Biennale 2022 and worked at Haus der Kulturen der Welt between 2016 and 2021, where she curated A Slightly Curving Place (2020) in the framework of An Archaeology of Sound, a collaborative project responding to the acoustic archaeologist Umashankar Manthravadi. The project traveled to Alserkal Arts Foundation (2021-2022) and encompasses Coming to Know, a discourse programme with Brooke Holmes; A Supplementary Country Called Cinema, a film programme with Surabhi Sharma; and An Archaeology of Listening, a publication series with Archive Books. Previously, Nida co-curated Parapolitics: Cultural Freedom and the Cold War (2017) and co-edited its accompanying publication (Sternberg 2021), also at Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

Platform 82 powered by Zilberman is a new art space that aims to bring together artists, curators and institutions from different corners of the world, generating dialogue through conversations, presentations, publications, and exchange programs.

Instances of Erasure

Instances of Erasure brings together 8 video works by 8 artists, accompanied by a series of conversations. Running from October 2023 until February 2024, two videos by two artists are on view roughly every four weeks, with conversations between artists and guests.

With films by Bani Abidi, Sena Başöz, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, Guido Casaretto, Isaac Chong Wai, Itamar Gov, İz Öztat and Simon Wachsmuth. Guests include Sam Bardaouil, Zippora Elders, Nida Ghouse, Nav Haq, Hajra Haider Karrar, Füsun Türetken and Marianna van der Zwaag.

Instances of Erasure delves into the theme of erasure. Through their visual narratives, artists invite the viewer to contemplate the delicate threads that connect memory, history, and the shaping of identity. It encompasses urban structures, architectural fragments and unseen traces that enable one to re-read social and personal histories.