About the part that art plays in a globalising society

Framer Framed

Presence of an Absence door Sophie Ernst & Taha Mehmood. Foto: Cas Bool

2 Jul 2011 – 12:00

Presence of an Absence

Booking recommended

Start: 14:30 Free entrance   Scheltema Complex Marktsteeg 1 2312 CS Leiden   071 5161887 www.scheltemacomplex.nl

On the 29th of May and the 2nd of July in the Scheltema Complex (Leiden), the artist Sophie Ernst and the researcher Taha Mehmood will enter into a dialogue about their installation Presence of an Absence.

Artist Sophie Ernst collaborated with Taha Mehmood on an investigation into the relationship between objects, experiences and identity. Presence of an Absence has a strong connection with the themes of Framer Framed, a series of debates and lectures on trans-cultural developments in art. What is the role of museums in the multicultural and globalised society? Artists, curators and scientists talk about the boundaries of art. Ernst and Mehmood’s investigation resulted in an installation with video and objects in which storytelling is the focal point.

Storytelling is important in any community. Retelling of a story allows its circulation along a social network. What kind of stories gets remembered and what gets overlooked or forgotten determines the kind of self. These stories reiterate the fading shadows of a past, revisit impressions left by an experience and rearrange objects idiosyncratically. Such stories transfer meaning, create alternate systems of knowledge and help create maps of intimate encounters.

For their installation Ernst and Mehmood travelled to Indonesia. The colonial encounter between Europe and Asia left thousands of stories in its wake. Intimate, regional and national stories in which the memory of those times are remembered and passed on.

In conversation with different guests Ernst and Mehmood want to investigate the ways in which historical and contemporary social realities are shaped in Europe and Asia. The following topics may be discussed: the role played by stories in the making of memory, identity and culture, colonial stories in a mediatised post-colonial world and stories, popular culture and aesthetic transformations.

The dialogue will be conducted in English.

Guests, May 29th

Shaheen Merali – artist and curator
Astrid Weij – Erfgoed Nederland
Leontine Meijer-Van Mensch – heritage studies, Reinwardt Academie and PhD candidate
Wim Manuhutu – former director of Museum Maluku, PhD candidate

Guests, July 2nd

Iftikar Dadi – Professor of Art History, Cornell University
Roy Villevoye – artist
Kitty Zijlmans – Professor of Contemporary Art History, Leiden

Indonesia / Shared Heritage / Colonial history /


Foto: Floren van Olden

Shaheen Merali

Curator, Author, Artist

Kitty Zijlmans


Roy Villevoye

Artist, Filmmaker

Taha Mehmood

Media practioner, researcher and filmmaker

Sophie Ernst


Wim Manuhutu

PhD Candidate

Astrid Weij

EU Representative

Iftikhar Dadi

Professor History of Art, Curator, Artist

Léontine Meijer-van Mensch

Deputy Director at Museum Europäischer Kulturen Staatliche Museen