curator’s tour through the exhibitions
A guided tour by curator Noor Mertens.
Patricia Esquivias - Cardón cardinal
Patricia Esquivias (Venezuela, 1979) builds her work from memories, anecdotes and conversations. In her video works, she narrates by herself while presenting documents, photos and objects in front of a steadily installed camera, avoiding any post-processing. In the spirit of storytelling, these are oral summaries that the artist has researched extensively and translated into conceptual maps and image archives. In addition, Patricia Esquivias creates objects in which she incorporates significant images, symbols and fragments from the cosmos of her stories, to then embed them in a spatial context with her video works.
A historical narrative is only as convincing and credible as its author. Esquivias' work is like looking into the thoughts of an artist whose works examine historical theories that have been filtered through an idiosyncratic, hilarious, and highly subjective belief system. This creates a new and fascinating form of fact-based, self-critical fiction. An important part of the work of the artist, who was born in Venezuela and now lives and works in Madrid and Guadalajara, is the relationship between the old and the new world with indirect commentaries on colonial history.
In her work, micro-stories mix in an apparently random way with big narratives and reveal the impossibility of telling stories in a linear, simple and objective manner. For the exhibition at Kunstverein Langenhagen she developed a new work in which Mexican cacti play a leading role. “Cardón cardinal” is the story of the giant cactus that was unearthed in the Mexican desert on the occasion of the Expo92 World Exhibition and flown to Seville by plane - which is still standing there today, but is slowly but surely drying up. Without presenting her own interpretation, Patricia Esquivias tells this story, which on the one hand refers to colonial practices, but on the other hand also illustrates how, after a (larger or small) representative spectacle has subsided, responsibilities can be blurred, buried or pushed aside...
Temporary Heimatmuseum (working title)
Homeland is a constructed term with a -especially in germany- rather bitter connotation. In the winter of 2020 Kunstverein Langenhagen is going to transform into a museum of local history (german: Heimatmuseum). With this Project the problems and possibilities, the nostalgia, the pain and the longing surrounding the concept of “homeland” aber being displayed and confronted in a provocative and playful manner.
Something which is received as a rather old-fashioned Institution is being transformed into a different and hopefully more relevant form. The temporary museum of local history is going to focus on the local, regional, and international meaning of the concept of homeland. In the preparation of the Project, Alistair Hudson’s “useful museum” (which explores and acknowledges the social function of cultural institutions) is going to be inspirational. With the temporary museum of local history we aim to build an Institution which will manifest through the various communities that create it.