The Castle in the Air. Séance of Imagination

The Castle in the Air. Séance of Imagination

Centre of Culture ZAMEK

November 14, 2012

The Castle in the Air. Séance of Imagination
November 23–December 21, 2012

Centre of Culture ZAMEK
Saint Martin Street 80/82  
61-809 Poznan, Poland

Centre of Culture ZAMEK (the Castle) in Poznan, Poland is proud to present the exhibition The Castle in the Air. Séance of Imagination to celebrate the inauguration of newly renovated interiors after the project of “conversion of the Great Hall” as an effective usage of a cultural heritage. 

The Castle—a former imperial palace, built in 1910 as a residence of Emperor Wilhelm II—was the largest and most important building erected by the Prussian authorities in the early 20th century to raise importance of the western Polish city of Poznan. Designed by the master of the historicist architecture, German architect Franz Heinrich Schwechten, the Castle is a prime example of Neo-Romanesque style, considered to be the most “Germanic” and representing the glory of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1939, soon after the incorporation of Greater Poland into Nazi Germany, the authorities decided to convert the Castle into Adolf Hitler’s residence. This mission was challenged by Hitler’s “court” architect, Albert Speer who redecorated the former imperial apartments to suit the needs and taste of the Third Reich’s Führer. Thus the Castle’s chapel was transformed into Hitler’s private cabinet which copied Hitler’s room in the Reich Chancellery and whose balcony was equipped with electric-heated floor. Severely damaged during the liberation of town, the Castle was eventually renovated and subtly redesigned. In the early postwar years, the Castle served the University, soon to become the seat of the municipal authorities. Since 1962, it has been a cultural establishment. Granted the status of a monument, in recent years the Castle has been undergoing systematic redecoration. 

The exhibition The Castle in the Air. Séance of Imagination is a subtle projection of a hidden (other) life of the Castle. In this choreography of imagination, the Castle is a phantasmagoria and a mirage: oneiric theatre of a soul, a possible abstraction of a thought and a symbol of a fantasized encounter – outside of a history, beyond time and memory, on a margin of reality and representation. Embraced at twilight, wrapped in a post-heroic, uncomfortable silence, it is an unspoken space of the air, “principal chamber of the confused clepsydra,” shamelessly ornamented by tattoos of the past, folds of destiny, shades of immature pathos. Here and now, the Castle is an imprint in the air, an outline of a faded memory, shaped by the whisper of its rooms and the breath of a delayed inhabitant, a cryptic trace on a skin of once glorious walls.

This exhibition invites behind the backstage of a truth and fiction, there, where the immaterial and ephemeral corresponds with the sensual and imagined; where the real and unreal, the present and absent collide in shaping a habitat of the phenomenal, magical and irrational. The Castle acts as a phenomenological frame of fiction and fantasy; a test for a capacity of senses, a medium and an illusion, a haunted place of specters and half-shadows, swirled in their hysterical dances, innocent sunlight and absent protagonists in a search of a master-narrative and a cancelled spectacle of history; here, the mechanics of wonder and a mystery of a daydream generate eurhythmics of ephemerality and enigma—appearance and disappearance, lightness and transparency, delirium of delusion. A cloud, a mist, a veil, a mirror reflection of a blurred silhouette at a distance, a choral music, echoed in an endless corridor—these are the enchanted landscapes of mind and body, sites and props of suspended disbelief.

The artists, invited to this exhibition, consider architecture as a psychological construct and a deranged partner. Their poetic works (woven of image, sound and light) analyze subconscious layers of a historical space and perception. As a labyrinth of lost identity, The Castle in the Air. Séance of Imagination constructs a history of an unfulfilled desire and collective hallucination; an ultimate (desperate) attempt at writing a new (re-imagined) history.

Artists: Kai Althoff, Francis Alÿs, Michel Blazy, Ulla von Brandenburg, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Thea Djordjadze, Cecilia Edefalk, Tim Eitel, Cerith Wyn Evans, Spencer Finch, Adrian Ghenie, Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys, João Maria Gusmão / Pedro Paiva, Diango Hernández, Ann Veronica Janssens, Sergej Jensen, Dorota Jurczak, Tomasz Kowalski, Gabriel Kuri, Elad Lassry, Maria Loboda, Ursula Mayer, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Navid Nuur, Susan Philipsz, Josef Strau, Javier Téllez.

Curated by Adam Budak




The Castle in the Air. Séance of Imagination at Centre of Culture ZAMEK
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November 14, 2012

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