The exhibition by Rosângela Rennó takes place as part of the “Artist Meets Archive” residency program of the International Photoscene Cologne. In its second edition, the program brings internationally active artists into contact with photographic archives. Her work is exhibited at MAKK from May 22nd to July 4th, 2021.
As an invited artist, Rosângela Rennó dealt with the foundation Rheinisch-Westfälisches Wirtschaftsarchiv zu Köln. It follows the success story of the Cologne original Eau de Cologne and asks questions about the gaps in conventional historiography. A timeline should recapitulate the creation of the “original” and its countless plagiarisms, appropriations, and reinterpretations. A world map made up of around 150 bottles depicts the territorial expansion of the Eau des Colognes around the world. In this archive, the gaps and information of dubious origin are just as important as the documents supporting certain facts.
The work of the Brazilian artist Rôsangela Rennó is shaped by the handling of discarded pictures that she finds on flea markets around the world or found picture material from private and public archives or newspapers. In her longstanding artistic work, Rennó investigates the relationship between memory and forgetting. In doing so, she takes a critical look at the past of Brazil and investigative works out hidden information from the images of popular photography collections.
By appropriating found images, she works against forgetting. She transforms small flea market prints into large museum prints. She transfers stock of images into complex installations, partly as projections or in connection with the film. In doing so, she not only creates an encounter with anachronistic image carriers and historical artifacts but also exposes new readings and alternative narratives.
“Since the 1980s I’ve been drawn to found images and, a little later, to archive images, because I always thought that through these types of images I could create a connection to people and humanity. Especially in Brazil, I think our story is written by the lack of information and pictures and not by the moments that are well documented and narrated by the people. “
Rosângela Rennó from the video: Rosângela Rennó – at the Rio Montevideo, The Photographers Gallery, 2016
MAKK (Museum of Applied Arts Cologne)
An der Rechtschule 7, 50667 Köln, Germany
Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.