Matthias Wollgast in conversation with Dorothée Cossmann and Gregor Jansen about his work "l'archive d'Amuse" in the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf.
Opening: 10 March 2023, 6 p.m.
The exhibition L’archive d’Amuse in the foyer of the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf is part of Matthias Wollgast’s current project Collection d’Amuse: Nachlass eines Mäzens, which engages in culturally and socially critical storytelling in the form of an extensive monograph on a collector. The protagonist of this story is the fictional collector Jean-Paul d’Amuse, an entrepreneur who made a name for himself at a young age through clever marketing and establishing his own cosmetics brand.
Wollgast will create an archive room for the d’Amuse Collection, which will also serve as a backdrop for scenes with the actor Stefan Lampadius playing Jean-Paul d’Amuse. The archive room will include a specially made shelf stocked with a series of labeled boxes, crates, and individual sculptures. On the walls will be large-scale canvases that use minimal means to create the impression of archive cabinets, and a seating area will invite visitors to linger.
Matthias Wollgast’s work is characterized by the deliberate reinterpretation, concealment, and questioning of authorship. Reality and narrative merge so that one can never be quite sure which elements of his work belong to which of these spheres. Who is the author of the artworks we see: Is it really the artist who is presented? Who actually collects here, and what do they collect? In the end, everything points back to Matthias Wollgast, who repeatedly re-contextualizes the works (from the supposed original to the archive to reproduction and documentation in film, photos, books, and websites), dissolves their origins, and thus makes the process the work itself. The ability to differentiate into categories such as work and archive, event and document, and even author and recipient is deliberately made impossible.
Along with the presentation of the interior, events, and exhibitions, as well as their documentation in film and photographs, a series of works created in the name of different fictional artists is also planned as part of the project Collection d’Amuse. A selection of these works will be on view in the archive room at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf as well as in a small publication and on a website created for the project. The work exemplifies an all-encompassing artistic concept that Wollgast has successfully used in previous projects.
Matthias Wollgast (*1981 in Bonn) studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne.
Matthias Wollgast: L’archive d’Amuse is the fifth project in the series IM FOYER at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, which began in October 2019.