Endless Installation: A Ghost Story For Adults

A Research Project and Exhibition Conducted by Public Space With A Roof

"The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from
the innumerable centers of culture. (…)
To give a text an Author is to impose a limit on the text,
to furnish it with a final signified, to close the writing."
Roland Barthes

Endless Installation: A Ghost Story For Adults started out with a research into questions of architecture and the narrative of exhibition making, as well as definitions of authorship. It presents a spatial confrontation between the work of three figures who have become particularly inspirational for this research: Frederick Kiesler, Aby Warburg, and Meir Agassi. The Austrian‐American architect, sculptor, painter, designer, and art historian, Frederick Kiesler (1890–1965) was tireless in his pursuit of radical new concepts of interior spaces. For this project, we were inspired by his ideas that positioned new ways of coordinating architecture with paintings and sculptures, expansion of art forms in the exhibition space, elimination of the frame, coordination of the spectator, and the idea of creating an endless sculpture. In our interpretation, the endless sculpture is translated into a search for forms that provides the basis for endless combinations of its building elements, being able to constantly shift perspective, create new configurations and narratives.   

The narrative construction for the exhibition was further inspired by the work of the art historian Aby Warburg (1866–1929). Warburg consciously refused the approach of aestheticizing art history and a formal consideration of images. By placing together images from different historical periods and cultures on his famous panels, Warburg opened a new space in which to reflect on the human necessity of visual expression.   

Israeli‐born writer, critic, and artist Meir Agassi (1947–1998) developed a specific language during the last years of his life, coming from his impossibility of expressing himself in a united body of work as one artist. He created the Museum of Meir Agassi® which hosted the work of various fictional artists, urging us to re‐examine the common definitions of the author and authorship.

Endless Installation: A Ghost Story For Adults created a non‐linear dialogue with exhibition visitors unfolding around the work of these remarkable individuals, becoming a fictional meeting point for their individual ‘universes.’ This fictional montage allowed to define junctures of their ideas as well as offering new readings on their individual practices. One of our principal guiding ideas when building installations is the specificity of the institutional and architectural context of the space in which our projects take place. For this project, we created different installations in four main exhibition spaces at SMART project space:  

The first room was designed as an introduction or the entrance into the story and consisted of various photo copied images and quotes that inspired us during the process of working on the project. This was accompanied by a sound installation in a form of a short radio drama in loop – made of several human voices reading short quotes and introducing in a poetic way the main framework of the exhibition.

In the second room, we created fictional encounters of our three main characters and photocopied images of their works we obtained at their archives in Austria, Israel, and UK. This was also accompanied by various quotes coming from their writings or texts by other people written about their works. We also produced a multichannel sound installation in the same form as in the first room, only this time we used the quotes from their writings and writings about their works.

The third room consisted of an installation created in a form to represent our symbolic act of giving to the visitor – offering three main lines of individual works of our three characters that were the most important for us at that moment. 

The final point of our project was an architectural structure in the largest exhibition space, which simultaneously functioned as the end of our research and as the starting point for the exhibition. Conceived as the ‘brain’ of the project, it hosted our provisional archive with all the elements we collected during the tours and detours of the research. This structure also functioned as an amphitheatre where people could be seated and took part in lectures and debates.  

For this project, we also produced a limited edition of 400 copies of The Script of the project, which is actually a transcript of the sound installation, accompanied by the selection of photos used in the installation. The Script was placed in the last room of the exhibition space and was to be taken by the visitors free of charge. During five weeks of the project duration, we hosted five events with eight different lectures, twelve events of film screenings where we presented fifteen different films by Alexander Kluge and Jef Cornelis.

Film Endless Installation: A Ghost Story for Adults

directed by Maja Novak and Jose Biscaya, 2009

Location: SMART Project Space, Amsterdam
Date: 21.03.–26.04.2009
Project by: Adi Hollander, Tamuna Chabashvili, Vesna Madžoski
Installation created by: Adi Hollander, Tamuna Chabashvili
Sound installation: Maja Novak
Construction design: Davide Manzoni – RedeeMade Laboratory
Advising architect: Skafte Aymo Boot
Events moderated by: Noa Roei

Lectures, presentations and films by: Naomi Aviv, Koen Brams, Jef Cornelis, Alex Ferquharson, Alexander Kluge, Monica Pessler, Yaniv Shapira, Simon Sheikh and Simon Ferdinando

The project was supported by: Amsterdam Fund for the Arts; The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture; Goethe Institute; Embassy of Israel; De Appel Arts Center; Pregis; Red A.i.R; Jan van Eyck Academie; STEIM; Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation; The Museum of Art Ein Harod; Issta Direct; Argos, Brussels.