On 25 November Tate and EDF Energy will unveil an art project specially commissioned from Danish artists Elsebeth Jørgensen and Pia Rönicke for the hoardings on the south perimeter of Tate Modern.
The artists have created a gigantic bulletin board, or montage, from a fascinating array of material including old photographs, newspaper clippings, historical documents and maps which all relate to the Southwark area. The material has been selected from their research in the archives of the Southwark Local History Library on nearby Borough High Street. Jørgensen and Rönicke have also invited members of Tate Modern’s Community Film Club to contribute material which will add to the project’s visual narrative about Southwark such as photographs, texts and reminiscences.
The project, Unofficial Deposited Records, questions how we represent history, demonstrating how fact and fiction can combine to provide fertile ground for imaginative exploration.
Elsebeth Jørgensen and Pia Rönicke’s interest in archives focuses on how facts and narrative interweave with official and unofficial records. Like museums, archives contain cultural data and can be viewed as deposits for memories, where meanings are constantly shifting in relation to the context in which material is seen. The artists’ montage suggests narratives by triggering the viewer’s imagination and highlighting the tenuous link between fact and fiction in our reading of history.
Jørgensen and Rönicke both live and work in Copenhagen. This is the first time they have collaborated on an art project, although they have worked together for several years to establish with Lotte Boesen and curator Jacob Fabricius, Appendiks, an artists’ space and archive in Copenhagen. They have both recently had solo exhibitions in Copenhagen; Jørgensen at Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art and Rönicke at Andersen’s Contemporary Art. Jørgensen is about to embark on a residency at Deveron Arts working with the community of Huntly, a small town in North East Scotland, and Rönicke will be exhibiting in a group exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, in At the Same Time Somewhere Else, opening in December 2005.
Unofficial Deposited Records is curated by Maeve Polkinhorn, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern, and is the second in the a series of commissions for the hoardings funded by EDF Energy. The first in the series was a work by the artist, Lisa Ruyter.