I. I. I. I.

1 June to 31 July 2010

I do like the way they’ve exhibited the museum collections. Historical reconstructions have been set apart. The first room is full of magnificent charts showing how they were constructed. Large diagrams composed of perfectly arranged geometric shapes have been painted side by side on the walls. On closer inspection you can see they’ve used a colour coding system corresponding to each time period.

In the second room a dramatic lighting scheme accentuates and offsets the archeological artefacts. The spectator, in semi-darkness, can reconstruct an historic period by operating the lights. If the first light is switched on, you are in the 8th century. Turning on the second switch suddenly throws you into the 5th century. In this way you can be transported from one century to the next, at the whim of the coloured lights. This simple arrangement therefore allows you, in a sense, to time travel.

 – Excerpt from the scenario of A recess and a reconstruction

During our residency at Raven Row, we will be preparing the project A recess and a reconstruction. This involves an 8mm film and a performance. We’ll try using archeological methods to explore 18th century gothic novels. We will unpack artefacts in the storage facilities of museums. We will interview scientists, and we will crawl into crypts. We‘ll learn more about the basement of Raven Row. Our performance will take place in July, and there will be medieval music.

About I. I. I. I.

The International Institute for Important Items is an administrative platform, which allows us – the two of us have been working together for more than eight years – to devise a range of projects that relate to this kind of archaeological reasoning. These projects mainly result in performances during which we accumulate documents, literary references and objects. These elements are only linked by what we say. The performances have come to be accompanied by historical reconstructions.

For a few years, we have also been writing and directing films, mainly fictions, which are closely linked to these performances. These films, in their turn, have originated a new series of performances, which explore elements and situations related to showing film, such as trailers, cine-club debates, or DVD special features.

By weaving historical facts, autobiographical data, or excerpts from science fiction films or educational books, we think up fictions and stories that, in a way, allow us to try comprehending coincidences, in the past (and in the future).

Chloé Maillet and Louise Hervé