Opening of Michal Rovner: Current. Video installation at Mischanlage, Kokerei Zollverein, Essen

18 August 2012

Duration: 18 August till 30 September 2012

Israeli artist Michal Rovner inaugurates a new site specific work at the UNESCO world heritage Zollverein in Essen on August 18, 2012. Beginning operation in the 1960s, this site once was an industrial plant used to mix different types of coal; the walls of its huge funnel bear the traces of this production process. Each year the Ruhrtriennale 2012 – 2014 invites a contemporary video artist to engage with the space of the industrial monuments and present new works for the site.

Heiner Goebbels, Artistic Director of the Ruhrtriennale: »Michal Rovner invests the inhuman architecture with pulsating life. Is Rovner’s work a video installation or is it a work of art in motion or a piece of theatre projected onto a surface?«

Masses of people emerge from the walls and activate the space. They take on the architectonic shapes and the residue of coal become part of their landscape. The people are moving with the flow and against it. The work creates a chain of associations from the poetic to the political. The title Current refers to a flow of energy or substance, in concrete and metaphorical or ideological contexts. Current also relates to the present time in its most immediate sense.

The installation combines footage from different places in which Rovner filmed and, occasionally, documentary news coverage. In this way, it generates an almost archaeological view of our life as it is today, as if we were looking back at ourselves from the future.

David Grossman, the Israeli writer and peace activist, wrote about her work in the catalogue of Histoires * for Rovners exhibition the Musée du Louvre: »There is something familiar about the people, mundane, touchingly simple. [...]The movement is almost ritualistic, an illustration of the nomadic impulse of mankind: endless wandering, annihilation and renewal. Movement that is the essence of exile, of the refugee, but also of progress, of searching and discovery. In this almost magical flow of time into time, culture into culture, within this process

that is the living breath of the oeuvre of Michal Rovner we suddenly sense: this is us. We are passing through. We are gone. This is how future generations will remember us, or, almost certainly, forget. «

Rovner’s work in video, sculpture, drawing, sound and installation has been exhibited in over fifty solo exhibitions including 2003 Against order against disorder at the Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2005 Fields at Jeu de Paume in collaboration with Festival d’Automne on Fields of Fire (sound composed by Heiner Goebbels). 2006 beginning of Makom (place) series, stone structures built with Israeli and Palestinian stone masons  using stones of destroyed Israeli and Palestinian houses. 2011 a solo exhibition Histoires in three parts at the Musee du Louvre in Paris.


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