A Complete Guide to Rewriting Your History


September 4. - October 2. 2004

Rod Dickinson - Pia Fuchs (German identity of Patricia Reed) - David Hatcher - Mejor Vida Corp. - Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, The Speculative Archive - Hito Steyerl

Curated by Sparwasser HQ/Lise Nellemann
Thanks to Jole Wilcke, David Hatcher, Heman Chong, INS/ Tom McCarthy


Evening video screenings - Sundays, September 19./ 26.:

6:00 pm Lee Wen/ James Luna "Alter-Native, dialogs" (Tokyo 2002) 24 min
7:00 pm Hito Steyerl "Die Leere Mitte" (Germany 1998) 62 min
8:30 pm Johan Grimonprez
"Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y" (USA 1998) 50 min
9:30 pm Solvognen/ Jon Bang Carlsen "Dejlig er den Himmelblå" (Denmark 1975) 60 min


A Complete Guide To Rewriting Ones Own History

October 5. video screening at Mercer Union, Toronto, Canada

Hito Steyerl "November" (2004) 24 min 6:30
Jun Yang "Camouflage" (2002) 30 min 7:00
Lee Wen/ James Luna "
Alter-Native, dialogs"
24 min 7:30 and "I bet" (2002) 7 min 8:00



"A Complete Guide to Rewriting Your History" is an ironically inflated, idealistic aspiration to produce a comprehensive guide to the rewriting of history. The exhibition seeks to make visible this desire (and its resulting action) to create an all-encompassing narrative by which one's life is explained. How do the mechanics of such an endeavor look? The exhibition title plays with the notion of autonomy and our capacity to re-evaluate, redefine, or re-map the world.

Investigating the potential for independent thinking and possibilities for autonomous action, the works selected for the exhibition focus, in many cases, on the abuse of power. These works suggest that the control of history may be a strategic practice of governmental or other agencies. The priority of other works is to develop a critical audience. Some real interventions are suggested and so, happily, we do not always have to postpone our self-made liberation to a later date.

The first draft of the guide is ready!



The artists describe their works (abbreviated version):

(click "read more" for full text, high resolution images, artists' CVs)

Hito Steyerl, "November" (2004)
Hito Steyerl's "November" tackles the issue that is today called terrorism and was once called internationalism. "November" deals with the gestures and postures that terrorism/internationalism can create and their relationship to figures of popular culture, namely cinema. "Its point of departure is a feminist martial arts film Andrea Wolf and I made together when we were 17 years old. Now this fictional martial arts flick has suddenly become a document. Andrea Wolf died in 1998 when she was shot as a Kurdish terrorist in Eastern Anatolia." read more

The Speculative Archive, "It's not my memory of it" (2003)
The Speculative Archive's "It's not my memory of it" is an experimental documentary, examining notions of disappearance and of the fragility of historical fact in the present. "We do not consider our work an exercise in clarifying the past, but an historical practice of complicating the present". The work mobilizes specific archival records as memories, which flash up in a moment of danger. read more

Rod Dickinson, "The Milgram Re-enactment" (2002)
Rod Dickinson and Steve Rushtons' film, "The Milgram Re-enactment," is documentation of Dickinson's live reconstruction (at Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, 2002) of the infamous psychology experiment 'Obedience to Authority' by Dr Stanley Milgram, Yale University, 1961. It continues Dickinson's ongoing exploration of the structure and mechanisms that underpin systems of belief and social control. read more

David Hatcher, "Ludwig and Hugh" (2004)
David Hatcher's "Ludwig and Hugh" relocates a figure from the history of western philosophy to a world of surface appearances. Wittgenstein's "duck rabbit" - an optically ambiguous example of the contingency of perception - meets the Playboy logo; the two are pitted against each other in a droll observation of their formal resemblance. Despite seeming closely related, the figures oppose each other across a multitude of divides, as "Old Europe" checks out the New World. read more

Pia Fuchs, dt. id. Patricia Reed, "Plurinaming/ Polyphony" (2001-2004)
Pia Fuchs is the German identity of Patricia Reed. The practice of multiple naming is a by-product of physical displacement and is an adaptive game in negotiating foreign cultural/linguistic contexts. As a derivative of artistic activities, the plurinaming project becomes a tool not only to humorously introduce or adapt oneself in alien milieus, but, more importantly, to acknowledge the influence of experiences accumulated through the nomadic living conditions common to contemporary artistic production. read more

Mejor Vida Corp., "STUDENT ID CARDS"
Student ID Cards are one of the free products offered by Mejor Vida Corp. (MVC). The cards may be used as identification and to get discounts all over the world. MVC analyses specific problematics in diverse social and economic contexts, frequently homing in on the bureaucratic and institutional monsters of the capitalist system. read more