Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan

Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan

Project Arts Centre

Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan
‘Revolt of the Giants’
35mm film, 2008

December 2, 2008

Monument to Another Man’s Fatherland
Lonnie van Brummelen
& Siebren de Haan

12 December 2008 – 31 January 2009

Opening 11 December 2008

39 East Essex Street
Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland


Project Arts Centre is proud to present the newly commissioned installation of two films by Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan, in the exhibition Monument to Another Man’s Fatherland.

Triggered by the invitation to make a new work for Dublin, the two collaborating Dutch artists followed a trail of migrating Celts to Berlin, where a victory monument commemorates a battle of this ancient people. The artists’ 35mm black and white film slowly follows the surface of the monument’s frieze bringing us into an intimate encounter with a global treasure. Depicting the gigantomachy, or struggle between gods and giants. The frieze is also the receptacle of another tale – that of imperialism, cultural looting and the re-appropriation of national treasures, cultural heritage and the spoils of war.

Initially they planned to film the sculptural battle scene in the Pergamonmuseum, however the museum did not want to collaborate with an art project addressing the fact that the monument originates from somewhere else. This might ‘stir the debate about repatriation’, something the museum was ‘not interested in’.

Numerous images of Pergamon’s Gigantomachia frieze circulate in academic books and guides that have been published throughout the years. Appropriating these existing reproductions, which were printed in different epochs and different periods, with their diverse grids, qualities and illumination, the artists reconstructed the entire sculptural battlefield, and this is what we see on film.

The second element in the Monument to Another Man’s Fatherland exhibition, is another tonal interpretation of the sculptural relief, presented this time not in image but in language. The artists have collaborated with participants of an integration class in the Goethe-Institut in Istanbul. Motivated by rising nationalism and in response to integration lagging behind, many European countries have recently introduced a proficiency integration exam. Only after passing this exam can applicants obtain their papers for migration. This prepares new migrants for the difficult task of learning the language and culture of their new fatherland, in their country of origin. While on residency with Platform Garanti, van Brummelen & de Haan asked these prospective Germans, who were preparing themselves for the integration exam and still knew only very basic German vocabulary, to read out loud a German art historical description of the sculpted myth that travelled ahead of them. In front of a 16mm camera, and whilst grappling with difficult pronunciation and terms that are not taught in the course (such as serpent’s leg) the aspirant migrants describe each of the scenes of the sculptural battlefield in their fledgling German.

As with many of van Brummelen & de Haan’s collaborative works there is a long and twisting tale behind these films. As the migrants in Istanbul’s Goethe Institut argued about the relevance of them describing a ‘Greek’ sculpture, and the Pergamonmuseum denied their request to film the frieze, the artists’ formal trajectory developed into an increasingly layered illustration of the complex historical subject matter. In an age of globalization, the relationships we have to language and to national artistic and academic heritage have becoming increasingly nuanced and conflicted, creating open spaces for artistic reading and interpretation. The artworks of van Brummelen and de Haan actively inhabit these disputed grounds.

Curated by Tessa Giblin

Saturday 31st January from 1pm
Screenings and Dialogue with Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan
The Politics of Landscape lecture by Christophe Gallois – curator at Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean and writer for Redrawing the Boundaries
Redrawing the Boundaries, book launch with Astrid Vorstermans, Valiz publisher, Mariska van den Berg, editor, and Louis Lüthi, the book’s designer at 5pm
(launched with Permaculture, Project Press, edited by Sarah Pierce and Grant Watson, celebrating the exhibitions presented and commissioned by Project from 2001 to 2006)

We are delighted to present a day of screenings and dialogue with the artists to close the exhibition at Project Arts Centre. Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan will be showing a selection of films on both 16mm and 35mm, accompanied with discussion and a lecture on their work by Christophe Gallois. This will also be a celebration of the launch of their artists’ monograph Redrawing the Boundaries, published by Valiz and edited by Mariska van den Berg, with texts by Christophe Gallois, Tessa Giblin and Andréa Picard.

The new films of van Brummelen and de Haan have been supported in their production by the Dutch Film Fund, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, Goethe-Institut Istanbul, Platform Garanti, Kodak: Global Images in Motion and Project Arts Centre.

Monument to Another Man’s Fatherland has been generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation.

Project Arts Centre | 39 East Essex Street | Temple Bar | Dublin 2 | Ireland
+353 881 9613 gallery@project.ie www.projectartscentre.ie
Gallery open Monday – Saturday, 11am – 8pm

Please contact publicist Aisling McGrane for further information: aisling@project.ie

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December 2, 2008

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