Fossils - Layers of Intimacies

performance & installation / variable / 2022
silicone, aloe vera, memorabilia

Kunstmuseum Appenzell, CH

Martina Morger opens a time capsule - a hole in front of the art museum, from which finds are brought into an exhibition room. The excavation site, which is reminiscent of building holes in which things of archaeological significance could appear, emphasises the function of a museum as an archive, as a preserver of cultures. In this respect, visits to museums are always journeys through time as well, regardless whether these are houses for historical epochs or contemporary art: Artefacts always form the present, or rather better said, they exist simultaneously at different points in time.


The here and elsewhere, the presence and absence create the basic tone of Martina Morger's intervention. The path the artist takes on the opening day - the transport from the outside to the inside - marks the transition from the meaninglessness of things to interpretation, which gives historical or cultural significance to them. Only then the social willingness to "take care of it" arises.


The excavation objects fabricated by Morger, condensations of technical and natural forms, which one encounters on the tour of the exhibition are fundamentally nothing - and yet so much, since they are already enriched by a specific attitude of expectation that each person brings to a museum visit - even if it is only manifested in the recurring question: "What is that supposed to mean?". The resonance space, the museum, is an "other-space", a "heterotopia". In this in-between place, which is "heterochronic" per se, norms, conventions, rituals overlap and change - simply because that which seemingly has nothing in common, in infinite combinations, in ever newly created semantics (text by Roland Scotti).

The good-luck piece conformed to close tolerances and surrounding clearances in a way that would have pleased a Swiss machinist. (in: Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut)