The exhibition Data Recovery, curated by Övül Durmusoglu, the winner of the fourth Lorenzo Bonaldi Prize for Art – EnterPrize, will be held from 30 May to 27 July 2008 at SpazioZero at GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo. Proposed by Sabine Breitwieser (independent curator, Vienna), Övül Durmusoglu was chosen by an international panel composed of Dan Cameron (Director of Visual Arts CAC – Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans), Ralph Rugoff (Director Hayward Gallery, London) and Giacinto Di Pietrantonio (Director GAMeC, Bergamo) in June 2007.

The project proposed by Övül Durmusoglu has taken its original inspiration from the story “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” by the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, in which a non-existent place mentioned in an encyclopaedia article becomes increasingly real to the point that it replaces it completely. According to the curator, the performative trajectory of this story could offer a key to the interpretation of some contemporary artistic practices linked with knowledge production and to the questioning of how this affects our conception of memory, history and actuality.

Processes of knowing and non-knowing become more involved with artistic strategies and research in contemporary art. Particularly, artists -positioning themselves with changing realities and circumstances of the day- attempt to recover some certain histories untold and deliberately disregarded. In the days where media at rapid speed manipulate and circulate information, stabilizing knowledge as commodity, the artists process hidden and non-privileged data and information that constitute history. That’s why Data Recovery takes its title from the performative process of salvaging data from damaged, failed, wrecked or inaccessible primary storage media, when it cannot be accessed freely or simply gets lost. The curator underlines the performance of “cover” here referring to the unique methodologies of recollecting and recording information and links it with the potential of producing new knowledge.
The artists contributing to the project – Julie Ault and Martin Beck, Michael Blum, Banu Cennetoglu, Goldin+Senneby, Klub Zwei, Susanne Kriemann – engage themselves with information following fresh methodologies of research and process, thus open up a discussion of performative action as a new potentiality of knowledge-production oriented contemporary art practices. Julie Ault and Martin Beck’s super sized mural Information -using the data of poverty policies deployed by US government since 1964- negotiates the rendering of such social economic data in an artistic format while taking an open position against governmental policies, Michael Blum performs his absurd and witty fairy tale about the failures of grand ideologies of 20th century – communism, social democracy and capitalism- merging the streets of Malmoe, Riga and New York in his essay performance video The Three Failures, Banu Cennetoglu’s photo installation Determined Barbara demands us to confront the existence of a SFOR military training ground -called Determined Barbara- constructed in Glamoc evicting its pre-war habitants in ex-Yugoslavia, Goldin+ Senneby stages the new step of their performative research in progress Looking for Headless – with their work Gone Offshore – inviting their collaborator novelist John Barlow to talk about his Bahamas trip “looking for Headless” and his travel journal published in Italian for this occasion with the curator during the opening. The conversation will be filmed and the video will be shown during the exhibition. Klub Zwei points towards how some histories like national socialism’s are very alive today shaping perpetrators’ descendents’ personal lives in their video installation Väter Täter,Susanne Kriemann’s 1,6 kilograms new artist edition 12 650 000 –produced for Data Recovery- reframes Berlin’s load test body “Grossbelastungskörper” in Tempelhof district commissioned by Albert Speer in 1941, writing its alternative history in an unexpected format.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a bilingual publication containing Jacques Rancière’s comment given in the framework of “Klartext! The Status of the Political in Contemporary Art and Culture” in Berlin 2005 and a new text written for Data Recovery by theorist and curator Stephen Wright alongside an introduction by the curator Övül Durmusoglu.

Data Recovery is realized with the support of: IASPIS (International Artists’ Studio Program in Sweden), The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts and Austrian Cultural Forum in Milan.