Video and 16mm film as part of a site-specific installation at Dahlem Ethnographic Museum Berlin, commissioned by Humboldt Lab Dahlem, including 3D powder printed copies of original objects in the collection positioned opposite their originals.
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 an unknown past and a unknown future – forcing us to think about 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.
The video (left) shows a selection of Museum objects/ figures being scanned, the 16mm film (right) captures a printed figure being ‘excavated’ from the 3D powder printing chamber by a lab technician using a vacuum pipe and brush. Following the original’s first emergence from the earth and kiln, as well as their second (when discovered and excavated in the late 19th century) it’s hard not to see this moment as a third – a futuristic, white on white, dream-like re-enactment.
Concept – Britt Hatzius and Ant Hampton
Direction film / video – Britt Hatzius