The group exhibition Verto presents work by four contemporary artists investigating narratives and methods around archeology, producing subjective truths to the past, present and future. Through a shared selective memory, historical truths are shifted and altered depending on the period and author. According to Michel Foucault: Archaeology' is an approach to writing history, it examines the discursive traces and structures left by our ancestors to write a 'history of the present’. By presenting strong symbols of civilisations through visual and written material, the works in the exhibition consider observations from our daily life through the figurative meaning of an artefact and question, in the current climate of constant change, what should be conserved from the past for future archaeologists and how does this influence our historiography.
Patrick Hough explores the archeology of cinema through his film project titled Object interviews. Hough removes faux historic film props from their original context, bringing them to the foreground of the interview and focusing on their biography. For Ken Sortais, the street is a symbolic space, he swabbed samples of memorial architectures in the form of latex moldings and collected objects found in the street of Paris. He then reclaims the story of those objects by recreating an imaginary and fictional narrative inspired by egyptology. In her work Epona’s Well, Karen Kramer brings her archeological finds from the River Thames in London, turning them into an intriguing collection of objects, some identifiable, some abstract and some decoys. Compact discs are placed next to ancient ceramics blurring the pantheon of objects in their hierarchy, narrative and symbolism.
Finally, Theo Michael points to the subjectivity of history. His newspapers present anachronisms by mixing different epochs and writings with blank cut-outs. With the removal of information, Michael questions the viability of historical narration, suggesting it as very biased.
curated by Karina El Helou and Claire Craig