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Memory Matter.
The Relationship Between Objects
and Our Self

06 November 2022 - 12 February 2023

Memory Matter.
The Relationship Between Objects and Our Self

06 November 2022 – 12 February 2023

Things are objects with and from which we „make“ or “do” something. Whether clothes, toys, machines, utensils, or boxes full of odds and ends, they can all activate memories, stories, and experiences that are meaningful to both individuals and collectives. Thus, in our everyday lives we encounter objects through which a memory from our childhood, the past summer holiday or the visit to our grandparents is abruptly imposed on us. Other objects are associated with entire cultural histories. They then stand symbolically for certain groups of people or an era, such as the Trabant – or „Trabi“ – which was celebrated as the „people’s“ car of the GDR when it was introduced, but became a symbol of the country’s stagnating economy due to its production difficulties and delivery bottlenecks.





© Michaela Putz
In some cases, however, we also imagine supposed memories and make references to objects that have only been created by our imagination. Things are, as Sherry Turkle aptly describes it, „goods to think with and good to think with. “ Our relationship to objects is thus a story of ourselves.

The exhibition illuminates precisely this connection between us as human beings and the objects surrounding us, as well as its limits and potentials. The artworks on display offer us the opportunity to explore the different functions of objects for our memory processes in a variety of ways. They provide personal insights into the biographies of the artists, examine the materiality of historical discourses, challenge our own capacity for memory, and demonstrate how our interaction with objects creates “memory matter.” Some of the artworks presented examine the man-made materiality of the object and ask to what extent the use of an object not only creates traces of wear, but also traces of stories. Others are dedicated to the relationship between memory, knowledge, and imagination. They challenge us to create new contexts of meaning when our knowledge reaches its limits. A selection of artworks also addresses national and transnational memory cultures. Here, artists often play an important role as descendants of contemporary witnesses.

What the presented works of art have in common is their ability to make us remember, imagine, and marvel. They show us how much our interaction with objects can say something about ourselves.



(c) UNTREF / Wikimedia Argentina (CC BY-SA 4.0
Christian Boltanski

Christian Boltanski (*1944, †2021) was a French sculptor, photographer, painter, and film maker. From 1986 on, Boltanski created mixed media/materials installations with light as essential concept. He worked with tin boxes, photographs, and lightbulbs as well as clothes sculpting altar-like constructions and spaces which served as a deep contemplation regarding the reconstruction of the past. 
Boltanski participated in over 150 art exhibitions throughout the world. Among others, he had solo exhibitions at the New Museum (NY), the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein,  La Maison Rouge Paris, Magasin 3 in Stockholm, and many others.

Jan Borreck
Jan Borreck

Jan Borreck (*1985) studies photography at the FH Bielefeld. He is interested in the materiality of photography. He moreover examines the complex uses of the medium as well as the different modes of transfer and presentation of photography projects. In a kind of forensic approach, he visits flea markets searching for forgotten photographs and picture frames while addressing questions on materiality and memory. Other art projects include long-term self-portrait series examining biographical topics. A recurring theme is the perception of the body through the forced changes by alopecia areata.

Sara Cwynar

Sara Cwynar (Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1985) currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She holds an MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT; a Bachelor of Design from York University, Toronto, ON, Canada; and studied English Literature at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Sara Cwynar’s films and photography have been described as building on the legacy of the 1980s Pictures Generation. The artist is interested in how design and popular images work on our psyches, in how visual strategies infiltrate our consciousness.
Selected exhibitions include: “Source,” Remai Modern, Saskatoon, SK, Canada (solo) (2021); „Collection 1970s–Present: Search Engines,” MoMA, New York, NY (2020/21); “Sara Cwynar,” The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (solo)(2019).
Cwynar’s works are in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum, New York; MoMA, New York; MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Centre Pompidou, Paris among others.

Cinzia Delnevo

Cinzia Delnevo has an MA in Visual Arts at IUAV University of Venice and a BA at Fine Arts Academy of Bologna. Her art practice configures strategies to access collective/epochal events, but through the filter of subjective and intimate perspectives. Video, photography, contextual installations and drawings are the media of her investigations on the crossroad between the private sphere and the public one. Her work was exhibited at IstStor, Roma; M-museum, Leuven; L’Entrepot Gallery, Principality of Monaco; Project Space Römerstraße and Schauspiel, Stuttgart; and during I dreamt of a Posidonia prairie, solo show and three weeks collective drawing performance at Fruit Gallery, Bologna.

Sinje Dillenkofer

Sinje Dillenkofer (*1959 in Neustadt an der Weinstraße) is a German visual artist and photographer. She lives and works in Berlin and Stuttgart. She graduated from the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart in 1988 and has been working as a freelance artist ever since. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the Victoria & Albert Museums London (since 2018), the NO’PHOTO Biennale de la photographie in Geneva (2021) and the Muséum-Aquarium de Nancy (2020). Dillenkofer’s work is represented in numerous public and private collections. Her photographs are the result of artistic investigations on our perception and make reference to cultural, political and social conditions in Western society. With the beginning of the series CASES in 1999, she examines the archive and its artistic ‚vivification‘ as well as the museum as a place and repository of the largest collective memory which repeatedly becomes the starting point of her multi-layered research.

Johannes Gramm

Johannes Gramm, born in Essen in 1964, lives and works in the Ruhr region and in Zeeland in the Netherlands. He studied philosophy, German language and literature, mathematics, painting, graphics, and photography in the classes of László Lakner and Helmut von Arz at the University of Essen. He participated in numerous exhibitions, stage designs, and performances in Germany and abroad. With an artistic poster campaign – various motifs from a self-portrait series in alienating versions – Johannes Gramm stood as a non-party direct candidate in the 2013 Bundestag election for the Essen III constituency. In 2021 his book „Dinge“ (Things) was published, awarded the German Photography Book Prize in silver. In 2022 he received an arts scholarship of the Kunstfonds Bonn.

Chris Harrison

Chris Harrison is a photographic artist from the North-East of England. His work combines image with text to explore ideas of home, history and class, positioning memory and storytelling at the centre of his practice. Before graduating with an MA in photography from the Royal College of Art, he worked as an apprentice at the local shipyard when he was 15 years old. His work has been shown widely including Arles Photo Festival, the Barbican, Tate Britain, the German Historical Museum and the Imperial War Museum, while his photographs are included in the collections of the V&A Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the National Media Museum, among others. Harrison is based in Norway and is a member of the Fri Fotografers Forbund and the Bjørka Kollektiv. He is currently Head of Photography at Bilder Nordic School of Photography, Oslo.

Damian Michael Heinisch

Damian Michael Heinisch was born in Poland in 1968 and grew up in Germany. He has a master’s degree from the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. After moving to Norway in 2001, he has served as permanent teacher and mentor in several of Norway´s foremost educational institutions. Receiving several scholarships, his work has been exhibited widely and is included, among others, in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Heinisch’s first book «45» was awarded the «Mack First Book Award» following the four book publication “Erde, Feuer, Wind, Wasser” in 2021. He serves as ambassador for Leica in Norway.   

Barbara Iweins

Barbara Iweins is a Belgian photographer who has started her artistic career in Amsterdam where she has lived for a number of years. A collector since a tender age, Barbara continues to classify, gather, and archive her photographic subjects according to strict criteria. 
Fascinated by the vulnerability of humans, she passes her time to push the boundaries of what is intimate like in her series “Au coin de ma rue” where she entered bit by bit in the private life of strangers. Or her project 7AM/7PM where she invited these same strangers to sleep at her house to capture the innocence and fragility just as they wake up. Her series “Bath” where she captured the moments of quiet solitude characterize her quest for innocence and the beauty in imperfection. Since her return to Brussels, she has retreated into her own world where she lives like a hermit working on her new project KATALOG. It’s the first time she uses her private life as a case study.

Michaela Putz

Michaela Putz finished her Master’s degree at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Her focus lies on photographic images, found footage archives and (future) memories. Her works have been shown in various gallery and institutional shows in Austria and abroad, including Bildraum 01 (solo, AT), Ars Electronica Festival (AT), Unseen Amsterdam (NL), Vent Gallery / Parallel Vienna (AT), Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo (URY), Biquini Wax EPS (MEX), Beton 7 / Athens Photo Festival (GRC), U10 Artspace (SRB), a ilha (PRT), Yassi Foundation (IRN), and more. Her works received several grants and awards, like the Starts Grant (Austrian Federal Chancellery, 2019) and the Annual Award for Visual Arts (Burgenland, 2018). Michaela Putz was born in 1984, she lives and works in Vienna.