In “ Into Black . . . et pas blanc comme neige ”, the second exhibition in a series of events around the re-use of images, Dazibao brings together the work of Rob Kovitz and Jason Dodge. This work, breaking with the usual narrative systems, focuses on the genesis and development of narrative.
Rob Kovitz took ten years to complete Ice Fishing in Gimli, an ambitious saga constructed out of “desire, ambition, weather and landscapes . . . out of boredom, failure, madness and emptiness”. This monumental and polyphonic 4000-page work is made entirely out of painstakingly assembled quotations and found images. Although each fragment is the result of a fracture, it preserves and continues to bear the promise of the whole: the whole from which it is taken and the whole it helps to construct.
For Into Black, Jason Dodge asked four friends working in four embassies located on the same street in Berlin to expose a sheet of photographic paper at sunrise on the day of the 2006 summer solstice. These four sheets of undeveloped photographic paper, grey and mute, are unable to deliver up their story. Dodge’s work, an empirical inscription presented as evidence, depends for its reading on an epigraph, on a pre-text undisclosed from the start.
The act of reading lies at the heart of these works, and yet what is revealed to us to read, although coherent, remains partially undecipherable. If the mystical, as the Oxford English dictionary tells us, is what transcends human comprehension, then it is in these gaps, these missing pieces and absences, in this search for what is not disclosed, that the act of reading itself contributes to the construction of narrative.