The text is a reaction to the exhibition statement: ‘Bread and salt are gifts that stand for good neighbourliness, for hopes of prosperity and for the notion of extending hospitality and protection to strangers’.
Further text material (PDF):
The series of seven photos shows details from abandoned clothing, furniture and other household articles. These personal chattels are located in an industrial building in Tivoli, Italy, which has long been empty. The images document one small part of the disintegrating former paper factory where discursive personal narratives of place, time and intention intersect with the more general categories of history, migration and homelessness. Who left these things here? Who regarded the space as a refuge and under what conditions did they leave? Despite the wealth of detail provided by the images, the series raises more questions that it can answer. They are evidence without explanation, a story with an open end. Read More…
High up on a cliff on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal, there is a disused public building, the old Palais de Justice. It was built during the last years of French colonial occupation and for more than quarter of a century has ceased functioning as the civil and criminal court it once was. It forms the core of the video installation that reflects on the building itself, its erstwhile function as well as wider issues and associations such as the nature of memory, historical contextualisation, biographical recollections and record keeping as a means of imposing and maintaining control of a (colonial) population.
The photo collage is based on reproduced material relating to the old French colonial Palais de Justice. The building housed birth, death, marriage and criminal records of the colonial administration.