MEMORIA BOX Exhibition by René Koch & William Wetzel

The MEMORIA BOX Exhibition, by René Koch and William Wetzel (Germany), will be opened at 6.30 pm on Friday 28th March at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) Office Gallery. The exhibition will be on view until 23rd April.

The artistic endeavours by René Koch and William Wetzel usually originate from places and spaces to which they are referred. The exhibition at the LCCA Office Gallery takes a look at the City of Riga in its European historical context. In doing so, the artists collected pictures and motifs from cultural memory, displaying a wide range of cross-inter-identities. Motifs from Jewish, Christian and pagan visual history contain mutual perviousness – already from their time of origin. If, for example, an early modern period ethnographic drawing from Riga appeared in the light of an antique Roman catacomb painting, the mobile character of the picture would become alive and present. 

"In combining these different time periods and traditions, the artists are attempting to create a different way of looking at blind spots, which have remained in the collective consciousness in today’s culture according to cogitation history theory and behavioural impressions. The artists are seeking what remains or is lacking beyond the usual everyday and academic categories, which are mainly various -isms, based on the exclusion of contrasting ideas through the methods of visual research," is how curator Ieva Saulīte describes the concept for the exhibition.

René Koch and William Wetzel live and work in Berlin. They both graduated from Professor Ulrike Grossarth's interdisciplinary art master class at the Dresden Art Academy. After completing Masters studies in Dresden, William Wetzel studied religion and culture at Humboldt University in Berlin, whereas René Koch studied the relationship between Judaism and Christianity Relations at the Free University of Berlin. As a result of more intense study, the ambiguous, as well as the unresearched relationship between the history of culture and image have entered the artists’ field of interest.  Both artists are interested in surveying gaps in culture and intend to develop an understanding of them. The most recent projects undertaken together by both artists about the discrepancy between the culture of memory and history are “Chamber of Flowers and Birds” (Kammer der Blumen und Vögel) in Dresden in 2011 and images for the Centre for Jewish Studies in Berlin in 2013 (Bilder für das Zentrum Jüdische Studien).

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