Julieta Aranda

Publick Occurrences both Forreign and Domestick
Berlin, September 5 - October 18, 2008

Press Release

Galerie Michael Janssen is pleased to present the first solo exhibition by Julieta Aranda in Berlin in September 2008.

Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick
(named after the first newspaper published in the Americas in Boston, on Thursday, September 25th, 1690), is an exhibition that looks at the poetics of transformation of temporal historical narratives, and their process of reanimation as physical objects.

A special newspaper, compiled and printed by the artist comprises dated news items ranging from the imprisonment of the Russian Tsar in 1917, the moonwalk of 1971, the bombing of TWA jetliner in 1986, the demise of Laika the space-dog, the 1952 atomic bomb test in Nevada, among many other items.

This newspaper has become the subject for a series of life-size photographs, installations and sculptures depicting private uses of this printed object --as a drop cloth, food wrapping, a sponge to dry wet shoes, a window covering, a mop, and finally as paper pulp for the production of hand-made blank paper.

Like many newspapers of the day, Publick Occurrences originally had an extremely short life span: in fact it was withdrawn from circulation the day after it was printed, due to censorship. Similarly, the artist will not make public the newspaper she produced (although one copy will be preserved to be viewed in the gallery, by appointment only.) Instead, the works that conform the exhibition allow for a partial reading of the textual content, rendering the act of reading a performative task that engages the reader’s will to actively participate.

Such playful reworking of history follows a recent group of works the artist made using as a base material the dust collected from sanding down hundreds of science-fiction novels, with narratives that take place in a time period that spans between 1870 and 2008.

The dust and bits produced by the destruction of these publications, containing fragments of letters and words, swirl endlessly in a vacuum cube, as dust floating in a place of limbo, suspended between a past future that never was.