Ant Hampton /

Britt Hatzius

As Never Before /

As Never Again

(Wie noch nie / Wie nie wieder)

Created for Probebühne 4 and Aneignungen / Appropriations, curated by Florian Malzacher - Ethnographic museum, Dahlem

23 September 2014 - 8 February 2015

On display in the Mesoamerica room of Berlin’s Ethnographic museum in Dahlem, a selection of seven lesser-known terracotta figures (soon to be consigned to the depot due to space constraints in the Humboldt Forum, planned as the museum’s future home) have been scanned and replicated using high-quality 3D 'powder printing' techniques, in collaboration with Technische Universität Berlin. These white, larval replicas are positioned on plinths, outside the glass display cases, facing their originals which have been turned 180 degrees. Behind them is another plinth holding a stack of postcards available to take home by the visitor: a photograph of the originals taken from behind, looking over their shoulder – an affective souvenir of their presence in this room since their initial positioning in the 1970's. The replacing of the visitor's usual (frontal) viewing position with a 3D replica becomes a staging of what looks like a strenuous effort by the figures and their replicas to comprehend each other and the situation they find themselves in: a tense moment of mutual bewilderment between ancient and ultramodern. As spectators, we find ourselves outside this dialogue, and yet at the very centre of the conundrum: for us, the unknown goes both ways, into both a lost past and a blind future – inviting us to reflect on how our views, uses and values of material objects might change (both within and beyond the context of museum display), as we move from one form of mimetic reproduction to another.

A collaboration with Britt Hatzius.

With 3D Labor, Technische Universität Berlin

Creative production by Katja Timmerberg

Thanks to Stefan Kaegi

notes on the process of creating the work here