Submission
Jil Lahr

Things That Found No Space


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Jil Lahr, Things That Found No Space, 2022, Installation view Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Photo: Maik Gräf
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Jil Lahr’s artistic practice is characterized by a fascination with the act of collecting. In her installations, found objects are gathered and playfully rearranged. Selecting, bringing together, and storing objects can bear witness to one’s own experience and observation. Moreover it brings forth new forms of order and knowledge. The showcase exhibition is dedicated to a personal collection which is linked to the exhibition site in a special way. Souvenir objects shown symbolically represent vacation destinations and lend an air of permanence to the fleeting impressions of a trip. Simultaneously, the intention of materially recording an individual experience is reduced to absurdity by the mass production of interchangeable souvenirs. As a dutifully purchased souvenir, it serves at best as a keepsake, but often it reveals to be merely a superfluous knickknack. The installation humorously gives the objects a new structure of meaning.

The collection shown is a selection of refrigerator magnets that pouch upon touristic places and sights, often reproducing stereotypical representations. Motifs include beaches and buildings, culinary specialties, animals or celebrities. Amongst junk and rarities, the magnets include hand-painted one-offs and industrially manufactured mass products. The non-hierarchical arrangement draws attention to the special features of the individual objects and opens up new readings in the moment of their interplay. Personal experiences linked to the purchase of the souvenirs – whether actually experienced or invented – remain hidden from the viewer. Moreover the exhibition addresses the experience of purchasing souvenirs. The density of souvenir stores can be perceived as an indicator of how worth while a place is considered to be. With reduced means, Jil Lahr simulates a retail store that aesthetically takes up the abundance of touristic consumer items. The showcase is a popular form of presenting collections in museums as well as in private spaces. In Jil Lahr’s exhibition, this context resonates and simultaneously maintains the functional nature of the objects as magnetic objects. The exhibition addresses the journey of things from their purchase to the question of their whereabouts.

01.07.22 | 7 pm: Taverne des Voyageurs – Bar evening accompanied by music

Curated by Marie Kuhn.

The program of the Kunstverein is made possible by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, and the Liebelt-Stiftung, Hamburg.