March 26. - April 29.

A complete Guide to Rewriting Your History 2.

François Bucher, Carola Dertnig, Maryam Jafri, Little Warsaw, Ming Wong, Rethinking Nordic Colonialism and Lucas Bambozzi/ Cao Guimaraes/ Beto Magalhaes

Curated by Lise Nellemann
thanks to Andreas Fogarasi, François Bucher and Jole Wilcke


March 28. at 8 pm: ArtistsTalk with Little Warsaw (and more DOWDOS)

in Sparwasser HQ
Offensive for Contemporary Art and Communication
Torstrasse 161, 10115 Berlin


This exhibition is a second comprehensive guide to the rewriting of history, a desire to create an all-encompassing narrative with which one's life is explained. This time the focus is (the public monument as an accessible icon of) collective memory and also: the re-writing of these common grounds and references.

All together 5 exhibitions with the same interest took place in the period of April 2006 at other sites within our reach. We managed to have two of the exhibitions as participants in / working in reference to Sparwasser HQ's not so Complete Guide: "Rethinking Nordic Colonialism" (NIFCA in 5 Nordic cities, Reykjavik, Island during April) and "Again for Tomorrow" (RCA London). The exhibitions "Mercury in Retrograde" at De Apple, Amsterdam and "What If" in JET, Berlin we learned about during our exhibition opening and "Interrupted Histories" in the Moderna Galleria, Ljubljana we heard about/ saw later that month.

Works at Sparwasser on the occasion of A complete Guide to Rewriting Your History 2:

Little Warsaw presented a single statue in the Hungarian Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale, The Body of Nefertiti. It is a contemporary complement to the famous female portrait in Berlin,s Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrus Sammlung. In Sparwasser HQ the artists will show the video made in Berlin, where the head is finally placed on the body.

Little Warsaw simultaneously produces works of art and the peculiar systems of reference that stand behind them. The public sculpture is especially important as something that in its message and appearance seeks to be 'communal', the vehicle of ideas and aesthetic values whose tradition greatly relies on the notion of consensus, agreement on aesthetics and content. The artists are interested in popular and historic symbols, the chance to revitalize them, and put them in contemporary contexts. With such gestures, Little Warsaw tries to establish a connection between the present and the temporality of art, as well as its potential for mediation, to use forms that ensure the references of the work are comprehensible to more than a select minority. (by Zsolt Petrányi)

see text from Little Warsaw

Carrying out an investigation into performative strategies from recent decades, Carola Dertnig presents a critical feminist perspective of viewing the female body. In the work, the Austrian artist places the female actor into the central area of interest, when she re-writes photo works of the Vienna actionists (Wiener Aktionismus). She intervenes into a canonised genre within recent art history, changing the content of the work, and in this way bringing the photos into a contemporary context.

see text from Carola Dertnig

Shakespeare holds a place in collective memory and as such may be considered a monument. In the video work "Ham&cheesomelet" from 2002 the Singapore artist Ming Wong reinterprets the great existential question as uttered by the Danish prince Hamlet, "To be... or not to be..." etc, and articulates his inarticulateness in grappling with questions of existence and identity. New patterns of meaning begin to emerge.

see text from Ming Wong

François Bucher (Colombia) re-enacts a piece of European literature by having Franz Kafka,s allegory "Before the Law" interpreted live over a telephone line by Katharine Gun. Gun was a translator, working with the British secret service who chose to leak information, compromising the U.S. and U.K. governments in their push for a U.N. resolution on the invasion of Iraq. Gun disclosed their plans to illegally wiretap the delegations of the Security Council holding the balance of power at the U.N. building. She was acquitted by the U.K. government when it became clear to them that her court case would become a trial on the war,s legality.

see text from François Bucher

Maryam Jafri, an artist with Pakistani and American roots who lives in Denmark, shows a work that examines the narrative arc of earlier colonial wars of conquest, showing the Iraq war and the war on Terror to conform to this predetermined script. A photo collage and a poster, it features an iconic image from the toppling of Saddam's statue in April 2003. The text is an excerpt from The Times of London reprint of Lt. General Sir Stanley Maude's proclamation "Freedom for the Arabs" issued when British occupation forces conquered Baghdad in 1917.

Maryam Jafri's work is a loan from the exhibition Rethinking Nordic Colonialism: A Postcolonial Exhibition Project in Five Acts which opens its first station in Reykjavik on March 24. Rethinking Nordic Colonialism takes as its central concern the missing self awareness and discourse in a postcolonial Nordic region. In Sparwasser HQ a computer with the extensive homepage and a user guide to the 4 stations will be exhibited.

see text from Maryam Jafri

The exhibition in Sparwasser HQ will include the film The End of the Endless, a documentary film that has uses the scenery of the upcoming disappearance of some jobs and professions in Brazil. The film is by Lucas Bambozzi, Cao Guimaraes, Beto Magalhaes. It is part of the screening series "portraits in film" of the exhibition Again for Tomorrow, which recently opened in RCA, London.

see text from Lucas Bambozzi, Cao Guimaraes, Beto Magalhaes