From the building of false walls up to the moment the exhibition opens its doors to the public, Sign Space tracks the many considerations, both formal and procedural, that go into staging an art show. An exhaustive observation of this process reveals how, in providing a highly codified type of setting for our apprehension of art, contemporary exhibition spaces are as much a deliberate construction as any artwork. The film meticulously documents what occurs on site, while an accompanying narration reflects on exhibitions as a historical form, recounting the chain of processes which, over time, produced the set of normative architectural and institutional protocols in use today – practices effecting not only what contemporary art exhibitions look like but also how they function epistemologically, and what relation the forms of knowledge they display have to the public at large. In fact, art spaces have played a significant role in the emergence of what we now call the public sphere, helping to create the audience for what they display.
Hila Peleg, Sign Space, Germany 2016, DCP, colour, sound, 70 min
The screening is followed by a discussion with Hila Peleg and artist/writer Michael Baers who wrote the film’s narration.
About Hila Peleg
Hila Peleg (b. 1976, Israel) is a curator and filmmaker based in Berlin. She is the founder and artistic director of the Berlin Documentary Forum, a biennial event initiated at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in 2010 devoted to the production and presentation of contemporary and historical documentary practices in an interdisciplinary context. Her debut feature film A Crime Against Art (2007) screened in many festivals and institutions worldwide, including Berlinale, Hot Docs, Centre Pompidou, New Museum and ZKM. Peleg has curated solo shows, large-scale group exhibitions and interdisciplinary cultural events in public institutions across Europe in addition to serving as co-curator of Manifesta 7 (Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, 2008) and curator of the film program at the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014). She is currently curator of documenta 14, taking place in Athens and Kassel in 2017.