Today, I saw Maya Schweizer in her studio in Neukölln. We originally met a few years ago when she and Clemens von Wedemeyer participated in Of Other Spaces, which included a screening of their film Metropolis: Report from China (2006). Metropolis is coincidentally showing now at the Berlinische Galerie as part of the museum’s 12 x 12 film exhibition series.
Maya will participate in the upcoming exhibition Last Year at Marienbad redux, which I am organizing for the Project Space at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York City in fall 2013. The exhibition will explore the sometimes mysterious social connections and forgotten shared associations among friends, individuals and groups. How do we know one another? While the exhibition takes its inspiration from the elliptical conversations in Alain Resnais’s 1961 film, the changing definition and use of the word “friend” is topical today. For instance, digital connectivity and social networks have increasingly transformed it from a noun to a verb, thus changing its original meaning—into what I’m not sure. That is one of the questions the exhibition will consider.
Maya’s recent film Manou_La Seyne-sur-Mer_dec 2011 (2012) is based on a conversation she had with her grandmother who is now living in a retirement home in France. The film is a series of slow pans of typewritten sentences based on this conversation. Its loose narrative draws on subjects related to memory, loss of context and the inherent fading our recollections of relationships, events and people.
In 2010 Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster presented a solo exhibition of Maya’s work. The museum made an incredible publication to accompany it. The book combines the casual form of a magazine with nice design for images and accompanying critical essays.