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Foretelling / Vorhersagen

with Renaud Héléna
48 Stunden Neukölln • Schaffen Wir Project Space, Berlin • 14-16 June 2019

The exhibition Foretelling will showcase new works by Jason Harrell and Renaud Héléna. Sharing their interest in spiritualism, the occult and uncanny, they are creating a series of handmade photographs, an installation and a board game for the event 48H Neukölln. It explores the mediumistic aspects of photography and ritual: fortune telling that combines the future and past.

Jason Harrell has created a series of photographic works using historic processes, mostly from the 19th century, to examine various methods of summoning spirits and reading the future. He has chosen these vintage techniques to explore the relationship between believability and authenticity of spiritualist practice. His work questions the capacity of photographs to plausibly capture a moment of reality. Belief in the supernatural has never been greater, as reflected in the large volume of programmes and documentary series based on paranormal investigation. At the same time, faith in the authenticity of an image has also faded as the value of photography decreases due to the ubiquity of cameras and smartphones. Harrell is using techniques from the past in order to reestablish the aura of a photograph, opening the possibility for the viewer to believe in their fortunes again.

Renaud Héléna has created an installation based on objects and tools used by mediums and/or magicians to trick our perception and produce the unbelievable. Only made with cardboard and soaked crepe paper, the strange objects now seem worn-out. What should have been kept hidden will be on display, useless, still preserving the mystery of their purpose. He will also present the board game Untitled (séance) on a table where it will be able to be played by the public. The players shall find themselves in a séance where they will attempt to find out who the medium and the ghost are. They will have to guess and see their futures with the help of their interactions with the other players. The game questions the ability to shape one’s own reality according to one’s desires. With these mysterious tools and some rules for new rituals, the artist invites the public to engage with his work, an experience that is between art and game, where taking part is already a commitment, enclosing the future in the present, and the present in the future.

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