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About the art project “Place of Art”

ESTHER SHALEV-GERZ

Esther Shalev-Gerz is Israeli artist, born in Lithuania. Lives and works in Paris. Creating monuments, installations, videos and sculptures, Shalev-Gerz explores the theme of memory, history and time. Together with the artist Jochen Gerz, she created the Monument Against Fascism in Hamburg. In addition, the artist studying the understanding of artwork as a social practice.

 

In 2006 Esther Shalev-Gerz conceived of the Place of Art as a means to profile divergent perceptions of art and its societal position — physical and ideological. Having developed a partnership with cultural practitioners, art institutions, housing companies and municipal departments Shalev-Gerz then interviewed 38 culturally diverse artists resident in Bergsjön, a suburb of Gothenburg.

 

http://www.shalev-gerz.net

She asked: “How would you define art?” and “Where would you locate the place where it happens?”. Whilst considering their individual responses in relation to their pasts, cultural traditions, lived experiences and perceptions of the value of artists each began to also suggest how they would articulate and locate the future place of art.

Shalev-Gerz conceived of her exhibition as bi-sited with complementary components exhibited at the Göteborgs Konsthall and at the Rymdtorget’s shopping centre in the participating artists’ neighbourhood. Traversed across the institution and the city, The Place of Art suggested that there are plural contexts to which art belongs and cultures to whom it is meaningful.

 

In the shopping centre a silent video projection depicted the artists listening acutely to their answers. Between these sequences quotes, by diverse artists on art from the controversial post-colonialist exhibition Magiciens de la Terre had been inserted. In an installation at the Konsthall the participants’ voices could be heard alongside four projections, each offering a computer generated architectural representation of their imagined places of art and its future location.