View online in the journal Cultural Anthropology (till February 11, 2015): "Collecting in the Collection: 46 Inuit Artifacts in the Berlin Ethnological Museum from Franz Boas's 1883–1884 Baffin Island Expedition" by artists Rebecca Sakoun (admissions co-ordinator and tutor at DAI) and Florian Göttke (associate PHD researcher and tutor at DAI); a video-essay.
Image: Sakoun & Göttke, "Untitled [IV A 6703 bear tooth (salmon bait)]"
from the "Screening Room":
For the next four weeks (January 14 to February 11, 2015) we have the pleasure of screening the premiere of "Collecting in the Collection: 46 Inuit Artifacts in the Berlin Ethnological Museum from Franz Boas's 1883–1884 Baffin Island Expedition" by artists Rebecca Sakoun and Florian Göttke. "Collecting in the Collection" is a luminous photographic slide show that moves between landscapes of Pangnirtung, archives of the Dahlem Museum, and pages of The Central Eskimo. Through the progression of images, subtle sound and careful narration, and techniques of cut-out and juxtaposition, the video explores collecting as a practice of relating objects to culture, people, and place. Yet, as Sakoun and Göttke show, collecting also involves critical and creative possibilities, ways of remaking materials and relations. The sense that collecting involves approximations is a refreshing approach to recurring themes in art and anthropology: What is a valuable object of material culture? How to depict tactile and nonverbal ways of knowing? What are the politics of encounter across uneven postcolonial terrains? How to relate to a surprising history, in this case, where contemporary artists find parallels between their interests and methods and those of Franz Boas?
In addition to "Collecting in the Collection", we have an interview with Sakoun and Göttke that centers around their artistic process, the larger project of which this video is a part, and the "46 Inuit Artifacts" themselves. We include the bibilography from the video, and additional suggestions for related viewing and reading.