Le Crédac

Mental Archaeology

Matti Braun, Thea Djordjadze, Jean-Luc Moulène

Curatorship: Kathleen Rahn and Claire Le Restif

Exhibition made in partnership with the Kunstverein of Nuremberg
Exhibition at the Kunstverein of Nuremberg from 9 October to 5 December 2010.

Mental Archaeology is the title that Kathleen Rahn and Claire Le Restif (directors respectively of Kunstverein Nürnberg – Albrecht Dürer Gesellschaft, and the Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac) have given to a show featuring three artists whose work is especially close to their hearts.
First, there is the Georgian artist Thea Djordjadze (born in 1971), whose sculptures, generally done in small formats and in extremely fragile materials, express the instability of matter (clay, plaster, papier mâché…). For each new exhibition, Djordjadze likes to develop new dialogs between her pieces. The artist also infuses her works with memory and forgetting without summoning these notions explicitly. Collection of objects, fetishes, reinvented “ethnographic” displays, Djordjadze’s works reveal their own archaeology, partially constructed or, paradoxically, partially destroyed. There is one piece, for example, that she created to be burnt and the ashes then buried.
If archaeology is inverted in Djordjadze’s art, it is reinvented in the work of Matti Braun (born in 1968) with the installation Ozürfa (a part of which was shown in the 2009 show Le Travail de rivière at Crédac). The title of the piece here translates as “the real Urfa”. The mythic city of Urfa, in Turkey, is considered the site of the Biblical Garden of Eden. Like an explorer sharing the rediscovery of a site, Braun has in fact invented various relics of an authentic Urfa. He brings together and fuses disparate stories, conjuring up, for instance, the miracle of Abraham through the skeletons of three carp placed in a copper display case, elements that exist side by side with a copy of the film Yol by Yilmaz Güney (1937-1984), the 1982 Palme d’or at Cannes.
Jean-Luc Moulène (born in 1955) is exhibiting a number of different elements from his work. Two sculptures, four monochromes done with Bic felt-tip pens (black, red, and blue and green), four drawings “in motion” done in black lead pencil, and a range of photographs, including a series of seven of a stone that makes a complete circuit around the subject. “Archaeology” in this show isn’t taken literally then, as the science of ancient objects. It is understood more as a movement of the mind that invites artists to “dig up” undiscovered elements or force the events of the matter of the mind to leave a trace on the surface of things.
What this archaeology reveals springs indeed from the artists’ mental world. It is archaeology as “cosa mentale”.


Film of the exhibition © Claire Le Restif / le Crédac

Artists biography

  • Matti Braun, born in 1968 à Berlin, lives and works in Cologne.

  • Thea Djordjadze, born in 1971 in Tbilisi, Georgia, lives and works in Berlin.

  • Jean-Luc Moulène, born in 1955 in Reims, he lives and works in Paris.

Curator biography

  • Kathleen Rahn, Director of Kunstverein Nurnberg – Albrecht Durer Gesellschaft.


Exposition en partenariat avec le Kunstverein de Nuremberg
Avec le soutien de la Fondation culturelle fédérale allemande et du Ministère des affaires étrangères français D.C.A et Termostat
Media partnership : Le Journal des Arts, Kaléidoscoe, art21

    Share this page on:FacebookTwitter