An artist's book on photography, cemeteries and museum archives.
Who owns the past? Are museum archives and their re-collections of cultural heritage a cult of the dead-and if so, are we living in a necropolis? This book on photography, cemeteries, and the archive evolved out of an experimental research project at the Bibliotheca Hertzianain Rome, with its immense collection of canonic photographs from the history of art and architecture. An artist's book, it takes on the form of a description of an unfinished film in five acts-a cinematic fragment, so to speak: DOPOSTORIA. The title essay by Christoph Keller is complemented by two contributions on burial cultures in prehistory and in modernity from the archaeologist Maria Clara Martinelli and the modern historian Carolin Kosuch. A sequence of collages at the back of the book conjures up a phantasmagorical journey through an ancient-modern Rome.
In his installations, frequently resembling experimental configurations, German artist Christoph Keller (born 1967 in Freiburg) uses the discursive possibilities of art to investigate the themes of science and its utopias. The Cloudbuster Projects
involve reenactments of Wilhelm Reich's experiments for influencing the atmosphere with orgone energy. In Encyclopaedia Cinematographica
and Archives as Objects as Monuments
, Keller focuses on the archaeology of scientific film, the impossibility of objective documentation, and the problem of the archival urge to bring order to comprehensive knowledge. Despite all methodological objectivity, a selective and deliberate design is always at work here. In Expedition-Bus and Shaman-Travel
, a mirrored camper van for research trips, the ethnographic viewpoint of science is exposed as a projection of its own culture. The viewer is drawn into the installation and becomes a field investigator, for Keller is ultimately concerned with linking the methods and procedures of scientific work with a spatial but also psychological-physical experience of art.
His works are present in many international exhibitions like the Lyon Biennial, 2011
, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, 2010; the Bienal del Fin del Mundo
, Argentina, 2009; Bienal do Mercosul
, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2009; Dreamtime
, Musé des Abattoirs in Toulouse, 2009; Artfocus
, Jerusalem, 2008; Made in Germany
, Hannover, 2007; the solo-exhibition Observatorium
at the Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2008; LIAF Biennial
, Lofoten, Norway, 2011; Sharjah Biennale
, 2017; Anarcheologie
at Centre Pompidou Paris, 2017; or Il mondo in Fine
at the Galleria Nazionale di Arte in Rome, 2019. Æther – between cosmology and consciousness
, 2011 at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris was his first large-scale artistic and curatorial project in an institutional context. He received several awards and grants for his work like the Ars Viva-Preis for art and science, the P.S.1 studio-grant in New York, Residences Internationales aux Recollets, Paris; BM Suma in Istanbul; Capacete in Sao Paulo; German Academy Rome Villa Massimo, and Villa Aurora in Los Angeles.
See also Christoph Keller
(homonym, born 1969).