January 19th- March 3rd 2019
“What if silence were rendered as material, and what if that material accumulated over time, like sediment? And what if there were persons who worked as archeologists or archivists of silence, finding it in unexpected places, distinguishing between the silence of attention and the silence of repression, the silence of omission and of commission; silence among the living and silence of the dead? Our sense of transparency and invisibility would be altered; our understanding of the mute world of dreams and graves, of rooms and their objects, paintings, and chairs, of history itself, would be reconfigured, and the abstract noun, silence, would be given a new taxonomy to locate and define the myriad ways in which it has occurred through the ages.
Silence cannot be copied because it has no original. Each instance is unique, framed by the noise of the world, birds and bombs, voices and machines, contingent always on the actual space or place in which it occurs. Silence can exaggerate; it can be pregnant with the unsaid, and the unsaid easily registers as the forgotten or omitted. Indeed, history is pregnant with all that has not been mentioned; with the shame of omission, of turning away. We live on these stepping-stones on which we cross the terrains of life, but all around us are depths and breaches, quicksands and currents of uncountable and unaccountable histories that have never been submitted to the human desire to leave physical marks of presence. Johanna Tiedtke’s aged great-aunt, suffering from dementia, makes an embroidery. This embroidery is the emblem of her presence, even as it attests to her increasing absence. Her mind may no longer give forth thoughts, but her hands remember how to sew.”
Ann Lauterbach, ‘Rescuing Silence’, 2015
The Artisans’ Suite
Opening Saturday, November 17th 19-22
The exhibition runs through January 20th
Two years ago I did an Exhibition based around the myth of the so called Fons Salamandra (Salamanderbrunnen). Young as I was, I thought fictionalising a once existing architecture, this fountain, might be the right move at that point in my career. Fiction as something I was interested in back in the day.
Revisiting this moment I feel I was wrong doing this and caused confusion surrounding this magnificent architecture. Here, with the show at Eclair, I feel it is my responsibility to make a correction in my own vita and tell the truth of this once existing structure and its holy waters. Dear audience, sorry that i have misled you.
– Veit Laurent Kurz
When Pompeii and its citizens were covered by the ashes of the Vesuvius Volcano in 79 AD, a fountain disappeared forever, the so called Fons Salamandra (Salamanderbrunnen).
A myth says that this fountain was connected to a holy spring that would lead to immortality and infinite youth.
For Centuries this myth was passed on in various greek, etruscan and roman texts that circulated around Naples. The name of the fountain stems from a unique population of rare riparian Salamanders, known as „Schleimteufel“ that thrived in the waters.
Records dating back 500 BC, tell stories of how the Salamanderbrunnen attracted injured cats, unwittingly teaching people about the healing powers of the hot water, warriors recovering from their wounds after a long soak and gods guiding knights to the spring, purported to cure more than 40,000 different types of illnesses and disorders.
When the area was christianized, the attribution of healing qualities to the water made the spring more widely famous. Vegetarian Guardian dwarfs, known as the Dilldapp, made the water flow by intriguing, musical rituals – a theme familiar to the hagiography of the Celtic saints.
Significant for the Salamanderbrunnen, whose hot water is pooled deep below the surface of a volcanic archipelago, are the hallucinogen effects that come from algaes and underwater plants. The genealogy of those plants has never been fully possible to decipher. Records of species include Amanita muscaria, Psilocybe cubensis, Ephedra sinica, Cannabis sativa as well as Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis.
Scientists like Amadeo Maiuri and earlier Giuseppe Fiorelli, the only Pompeii specialists who ever found evidence of this structure, pointed out that the temperature of the unique environment dissolves and extracts minerals as well as chemicals from the plants to create a “broth”. Visual and auditory stimulation, the mixing of sensory modalities, and psychological introspection that may lead to great elation, fear, or illumination were reported from the consumption of the water.
In the 1970’s, the surrounding land, including the fountain`s position, was bought and supervised by an international health and extropian products company that tried to take care of the holy waters. Recent examinations have revealed that the surrounding rocks, as well as the water itself, show traces of radium and uranium.
– Vampiro Il Bavarese
Éclair presents Kangaroo Stele, a new body of work by Jason Loebs. For the exhibition, Loebs has taught himself Teeline, a shorthand writing system commonly used in courtrooms and police-evidence recordings. The practice of writing in shorthand (formally known as stenography, from the Greek stenos, meaning “narrow”) allows a writer to take down information more rapidly, using abbreviated symbols. It’s an ancient practice; there are shorthand notes inscribed in marble on the Parthenon. Here, the artist borrows a method from antiquity: Loebs has etched stock phrases from English-speaking courtroom trials (drawn from his handwritten shorthand notes) into marble: “The exhibit is accepted into evidence”; “As jurors, you are not to be swayed by sympathy.” Using this judicial form of record-keeping, the artist considers the democratic judgment of art. By recasting the experience of contemplating art as a hypothetical trial, Loebs asks: Who might the prosecutor be? The accused? The exhibition’s title recalls kangaroo courts—a judicial assembly that ignores recognized standards of law or justice, and carries no official standing in the territory in which it’s carried out.
On display in a second room is a series of photographs of smartphones laid on a workplace table. The phones reflect images of Berlin’s Moabit Courthouse, disclosing an anterior source for the image on their surface. Loebs has lit Éclair by installing cleanroom lighting typically used in labs for manufacturing and photo developing. The lighting comes to stand in as a generic site for scientific procedure and production—pointing to the double meaning of the word “trial”—both experiment and as tribunal.
The Flute / St. Lucy
February 16th – March 18th 2018
trailer St. Lucy