Mercury in Retrograde at De Appel
April 8- June 4, 2006
Opening: April 8, 6 pm
Main Entry: Mer·cu·ry in Ret·ro·grade 1 a capitalized : a God of commerce, prince of eloquence, travel, cunning, and thieves, conductor of travelers, messenger to the other gods.
b illusory planetary motion, when Mercury appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac across the night sky. This presages a period of revisions, full of opportune moments for insertions.
c an exhibition that oscillates between a and b.
Mercury in Retrograde is an experiment from which to lift off to expeditions into vanished histories- a momentary repository for new thoughts gleaned from sedimentary deposits in time. Mercury in Retrograde cracks open the notion of authorized collective histories and maneuvers through twisted timelines, hallucinated futures, and historical chain reactions.
In a spirit of exchange with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, a prized selection of 16th century objects excavated from the ice of Nova Zembla is presented at De Appel. The myth of the collective wintering of Dutch explorers in the severe Polar environment has been studied by generations of writers, explorers, and adventurers. Select navigation tools are accompanied by Sven Johnes double images that tell the stories of people whose various endeavors ran aground on the tiny Baltic island of Vinta.
An untapped history of the building of De Appel is unearthed in an installation by Michael Blum, re-staging the established bank Lippman, Rosenthal & Co. Mariana Castillo Deball traces colonial history and inserts the story of the relocation of the giant stone of the God Tlaloc in an audio piece, as the listeners weaves through the antique shops of Spiegelstraat in Amsterdam.
Omer Fast implodes viewers definition of time with his re-sampled interviews with living-history museum interpreters, while Missingbooks revives the story of the disappearance of radical Argentine intellectual Rodolfo Walsh, and the subsequent eradication of his subversive short story. Aurélien Froments trompe-l’il constructions set the stage for a guided tour through a mysterious landscape, while Ohad Meromi proposes the Moon a new site for fiction. David Maljkovic revisits cultural heritage by alighting from the future, and excavating a monument.
Exposing production of myth and reality, and the re-writable nature of history through time, the expedition-exhibition ranges from Fernando Sánchez Castillos operatic saga of an allegorical and standardized coup détat to Khalil Rabahs investigative re-appropriation of the tulip in collaboration with Dutch institutions; from Dmitry Gutovs poetic criticism of Western art history with the activities of the Lifshitz-Institute to the incongruous mix of authority and popular imagination in Tilmann Meyer-Faje’s publication on the occasion of the 400th birth anniversary of Rembrandt. Stephan Dillemuths explorations of 19th century reform movements look into the archives of Dutch social visionary Frederik van Eeden. Throughout the exhibition emerge the still unopened envelopes from1983/84, of Johan Cornelissens journey along the ever-elusive line of the equator.
Please check www.mercuryretrograde.org for detailed information about public programs and performances by artists including Michael Blum, Mariana Castillo Deball, Aurélien Froment, IRWIN, Chris Kubick & Anne Walsh (live stream from Again for Tomorrow, RCA, London), Ohad Meromi, Missingbooks, Bik Van der Pol, Khalil Rabah, with Joeri Boom (journalist/editor, De Groene Amsterdammer) and JaapJan Zeeberg (explorer / author Into the Ice Sea).
Artists: Michael Blum / Mariana Castillo Deball / Johan Cornelissen / Stephan Dillemuth / Omer Fast / Aurélien Froment / Dmitry Gutov / Sven Johne /
David Maljkovic / Ohad Meromi / Tilmann Meyer-Faje / Missingbooks /
Khalil Rabah / Fernando Sánchez Castillo /
Mercury in Retrograde is curated by Defne Ayas, Tessa Giblin, Stefan Rusu, Laura Schleussner, Angela Serino, Diana Wiegersma (CTP 05-06)
Mercury in Retrograde is supported by the Amsterdams Fonds voor de
Kunst and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. The exhibition has also received support from Antenne de La Haye – Institut Français des Pays-Bas, Fonds Roberto Cimetta, Ford Foundation, Harris Lieberman, Maison Descartes, Art School Palestine, Embassy of Israel, Embajada de España, Anything is Possible, Gerritsen Theatercostuums, HWW Mannequins, LOODS 6, SEACEX, and private individuals. The Nova Zembla project is co-commissioned by Het Nieuwe Rijksmuseum.
Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10
1017 DE Amsterdam
Open Tuesday – Sunday 11am 6pm