Paper Spirits | Soil Mates | by Suzanne Bernhardt & Didi Lehnhausen
A collection of works made from soil and paper in-between Surinam, Indonesia and the Netherlands.
In the context of political and technical developments of the post-colonial era Suzanne Bernhardt and Didi Lehnhausen worked as artist-in-residence and conducted a material research. Working with archives, collections and mouth-to-mouth information, fragments of history revealed themselves in different forms. Encountering history before through appropriated “artifacts” and “photographic evidence” within institutes in the Netherlands the artists were now confronted with the physical knowledge of the countries. Re-thinking history through materials, pictures and techniques that are adapted and sometimes lost in progress.
Suzanne Bernhardt focused her research on the ancient techniques of ceramics. The rituals of collecting the materials from the natural elements of the country. During her residence she crossed rivers and forests, endlessly in search of the kwepi tree, an essential material for the ceramic process. Information went through people instead of books and learning through the soil of the river. In the works she develops she is looking for the contrast of the age-old techniques and modern daily life.
Didi Lehnhausen started her research in collaboration with AFDRUK 56, they collected glass plate negatives on flee markets and presented those as the project “leftover images”. Trying to understand ways of dealing with ancestors Lehnhausen started to execute rituals with some of the glass plate negatives. She continued collecting more abandoned family pictures of unknown faces and ultimately creating new portraits with old techniques again. Instead of discovering a linear story, the complexity of the past and the effect of the present grew with new layers every day within her research. In the exhibition PAPER SPIRITS / SOIL MATES the artists invite you to take a tour through their archive of otherwise. Exposing the behaviors and rituals that objects create or take part in. For each tour we invite a different “Insider” that departs from the archive through a specific object, a line go thoughts or a memory and is free to build his or her own narrative upon.