Is a brochure an innocent piece of paper?
How long does an image stay in our mind?
What is its imprint?
After Looking into the MARKK’s historic archives of ephemera, brochures, booklets, and posters for weeks, visual artist Enrico Floriddia uncovered social attitudes and biases in the MARKK’s collection in conversation with the Impossible Library stacks.
Confronting this dense archive of pamphlets allowed reflections, shared in a conversation between artists Enrico Floriddia and Si-Ying Fung. The artists guided us through a selection of very graphic material and content from the MARKK's archive. The historic material necessitated a trigger warning as many of the images othered or approbriated cultural identities and were indisputably racist and colonial.
Enrico Floriddia's practice sits in displacement; it leans towards relational works, offering situations of common knowledge building, tender invitations to contexts of idleness, uplifting kinships. Reciprocity, equity and agency are his constant preoccupations.
Si-Ying Fung is a visual artist and art educator whose work often finds it starting point in drawing. She is interested in different material qualities in colour and structure. The realtionship between location and identity is part of her art and research, in collaborations with other artists, workshops and teaching. Below: „Good Friday“Steinzeug, 2021, photo Louise Preuss, courtesy Si-Ying Fung
More Questions than Answers
The deep-dive into the archive excavated more questions. Finding careful and responsible way of addressing them with the right tools, words and methods remained a discoursive challenge.
How does the representation of the body translate into its objectification? How not to make bodies and their dignity invisible? Who owns the means of production and reproduction of images? How to show the biases in the brochures and at the same time not expose derogatory and undignified representations? Can these forms of toxic graphic, textual and visual commentary allow for discussion and exposure without harm? How to develop anti-bodies to such material?
Enrico Floriddia created a series of interrogating poems, collaged from the flyer’s texts and shared on the social media reminding of ransom notes.
Enrico Floriddia addresses these to MARKK and the public in general.
His research on these matters was conducted at the Impossible Library facilities in which he produced video footage. The fragments of film scan and document the materials and tools at hand. Sponges, erasers, pencils make cameos in the piles of printed matters and fabrics, calling to action to create counter narratives. Check out more of Enrico's films here.
Furthermore, Floriddia found relevant readings to the questions at hand in the Impossibile Library stacks. He fashioned these into booklets, using a common but time-consuming binding technique, elaborating on his ongoing project: biblioteca pirata. Though the MARKK's disturbing visual history of pamphlets remained an unsolved problem, in the meantime, these readings are now supplied at the Impossible Library to activate visitors and reflect on such issues in their own time.