With: Agency, Daniel Boyd, Peggy Buth, Jimmie Durham, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Camille Henrot, Patrizio di Massimo, Uriel Orlow, Francis Upritchard, Françoise Vergès (Maison des Civilisations et de l’Unité Réunionnaise), Susan Vogel.
"When men die, they enter history. When statues die, they enter art. This botany of death is what we call culture."
Statues also die (1953), Chris Marker and Alain Resnais
One caption hides another aims to expand the field countering official history by taking as a departure point a key topic in current museological debates, that of anthropological restitution. Inspired by the recent repatriation of the Maori warrior head from the Museum of Rouen to its ancestral home, New Zealand, this exhibition and series of events propose an exploration into the ethical, scientific, political and legal issues arising from cases of restitution.
One caption hides another further aims to problematise the displacement between traditional and cult object, on the one hand, and historical and museological object, on the other. Can an object have different statuses? Who can legitimately make this decision? Are there different possible narratives to understand and read these objects? A critical deconstruction of these questions will make visible and legible the fact that a caption on an exhibition label often hides another beneath it.
Addressing the topics of collective memory and heritage, One caption hides another creates a meeting point for artworks, ethnographic and juridical documents, films and museographic projects. Documenting real situations, making use of fiction or radicalising one’s relation to heritage, the artists, researchers and platforms invited in this project are all engaged in reflexive endeavours concerning the museological object and challenging ethnographic representation.
Curated by Mélanie Bouteloup and Anna Colin.
Top: Jimmie Durham, Maquette for a museum of Switzerland, 2011. Courtesy Jimmie Durham and Galerie Opdahl, Berlin.
Bottom left: Francis Upritchard, Christopher, 2011. Courtesy Francis Upritchard and Kate McGarry, London.
Bottom right: Kiluanji Kia Henda, Balumuka (Ambush) (detail), 2010. Courtesy Kiluanji Kia Henda.