Curtain rod, cotton, hooks, rope
HD video, 17 min
Claire Waffel employs different media such as film, photography, drawing and installation to create an interplay of temporal levels which we usually perceive separately. Her art combines biographical motifs and narrative elements with her interest in abstract and formal examinations and their results. She predominantly deals with the question of ›how to visualise different levels of time that are inscribed next to each other in people, architecture or places‹.
Claire Waffel’s previous exploration of historical presences in our time is set in a biographical relation in the show Vot ken you mach?. A 17-minute speech on the occasion of his departure from professional life held by the executive director of the Employers’ Federation of North Rhine-Westphalia (representing employers’ interests vis-à-vis the unions and the government), who is also Claire Waffel’s father, is the starting point of a video work. The speech was held and recorded once more in the empty auditorium of the House of World Cultures in Berlin. In the original speech, Claire Waffel’s father had wanted to look back on his professional life and also take a stand on personal mistakes. For example, he deemed it an act of omission never to have mentioned the Jewish identity of his wife and children throughout his entire career.
In the actually held speech and in the re-enactment in the House of World Cultures, this omission is upheld, the family’s Jewish identity is not addressed. How is Jewish identity lived in Germany/Europe and in which way is it made a theme in society? The twice repeated omission gives rise to questions on the cause of this void and the attendant social context.
A further work consists of several lengths of fabric crossing the gallery space of the Kunsthaus from ceiling to floor. The individual lengths are attached to rails and therefore potentially moveable. The installation Interior Curtain enables approaching the question of identity in an abstract way – moveable components of a permeable structure that have no essence, no secret core, merely an alterable constellation of elements in a given space.
Claire Waffel (*1978 in Lüdenscheid) lives and works in Berlin.