Bureau of Implicit Activities: archives and projects

Tatiana Trouvé

March 28 - June 21, 2009


The Kunstverein in Hamburg presents a solo exhibition by the French artist Tatiana Trouvé (*1968, lives in Paris) with three key works from her Bureau of Implicit Activities.

The comprehensive project, on which she has been working continuously since 1997, is composed of various sculptures and installations – so-called modules. The point of departure for the work are the numerous disappointments, rejections, and unanswered advances that marked the beginnings of Trouvé’s artistic career. She has collected project ideas, drawings, and potential titles whose realisation had ground to a halt in the machinery of applications and bureaucracy. The sculptures, which recall waiting rooms or archive furniture, create a tense atmosphere of persistence and standstill while questioning the artist’s view of herself: is someone who does not exhibit and realises no projects an artist at all? To be an artist, does it suffice to have ideas or is a person’s identity as an artist tied to a certain social status? By steadily supplementing and expanding the work, Trouvé combines past and future of her artistic work.

At the heart of the exhibition on the ground floor of the Kunstverein is the extensive model of the bureau (Model of the Bureau of Implicit Activities, 2007), which assembles scale copies of modules from the work group on a table top. The interstices of architectures and furniture, which are abstracted and strongly emotionally charged through the choice of material, are filled with small objects or drawings that point to human presence and activities.

The model is complemented by two further pieces from the work group: Bureau of Implicit Activities, Archives Module (“Drawings”) from 2003 assembles copies of Trouvé’s drawings, which, together with sculptures and installations, are an important component of her oeuvre. By copying her own drawings, she returns to the original circumstance of creation. Potential ideas innate in these drawings can be brought to light to serve as points of departure for different forms.

Bureau of Implicit Activities, Ghost Matrix (1999) also has to do with the activity of copying. Part of the module are ghosts – sculptures of transparent adhesive tape resembling pieces of luggage in which drafts of not yet unrealised projects and ideas are stamped. The fragile objects and the almost invisible linework of the perforations tell of continual disappearance. All the modules on exhibition revolve around individual wishes and dreams in which the struggle for realisation is engraved. Through the processes of copying and recording, standstill is countered by the positivism of the artist’s own idea. It is fixed on a future closely tied to the past: the archive as a necessary condition for the whole project.

The exhibition is funded by Institut français and CULTURESFRANCE.