Public Space With A Roof

Relocated Identities Part 1: Overexposure (2005)

Place: PSWAR, OT301, Amsterdam
Date: 29.05.–19.06.2005
Curated by
: Eva Fotiadi, Adi Hollander, Tamuna Chabashvili
Publication designed by: Selina Buetler, Matthias Kreutzer and Paul Gangloff
Exhibition: Yael Bartana, Hala Elkoussy, Meiro Koizumi, Avi Mograbi, Katarina Zdjelar
Film/Video screenings: Julika Rudelius, Els Opsomer, Paul Riniker, Stephane Breton, Yael Bartana, Avi Mograbi, Meiro Koizumi, Pablo Pijnappel
Lecture & round-table discussion: Marko Stamenkovic, Anke Bangma, Tanja Elstgeest, Annie Fletcher, Reinaldo Laddaga, Oliver Marchant, Ruben de la Nuez, Will Holder
Kindly supported by: VSB Fonds, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Stadsdeel Amsterdam Oud-West

In the photographer’s dark room negatives are turned to positives, recorded instances become visual narrations. When a photosensitive surface is exposed to light, the light gives birth to an image. Overexposure to light causes the image to distort. 

The first part of the project Relocated Identities was an exhibition on the overexposure of identity-related issues in art events. It brought together, within a single exhibition space, artists from the Balkans, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Far East. The main question posed was: Can one ever represent overexposure without adding to it? Exhibition making is never a practice within a vacuum. It is an articulation within the past, present and future of other articulations – of other exhibitions, of other exposures, of the totality of the themes explored, of the people involved, of the vulnerability of those referred to, eventually of wounds that no exposure within an art-world context could ever claim to heal.

At present, socio-politically engaged art appears almost to have become the victim of its own overexposure. To what extent has the excess of exhibitions on identity-related themes become a determining parameter, patronising the artists and issues curated? Could overexposure have engendered a negative impact on the meaning and content of this engagement? Or even on the issues handled? Could art have any such power? Or could the context of its staging?

Relocated Identities: Overexposure had two main characteristics:

Firstly, by unwarrantedly reflecting world news through the intentionally simplistic understanding of identity as national origin, the gallery presentation included renowned artists whose national origin constitutes a major contextualising and interpreting tool in the curatorial approaches to which they have been exposed. 

Secondly, by staging the typical ‘parallel events’ of most contemporary art exhibitions – discussions, artists’ presentations, film screenings and archive materials from previous identity-related art events – Relocated Identities Part I asked to be considered within the whole ‘engaged-art-situation’ as it has been (re)presented on art platforms over the past few years. In so doing, it staked its ‘success’ on the possibility of questioning the potential of its own contextualising and contextualised format.