“La vie après la mort”
30 January – 15 March 2009.
Galerie Apart, Grenoble, France.
“Death and the Afterlife”
Pavillon Cosmos, Moscow, Russia.
16-19 May 2009.
Death and the afterlife
Nicolas Malinowsky is a French artist and musician. “La vie après la mort / Death and the Afterlife” is his first solo show.
It was first shown in January 2009 at the Galerie Apart in Grenoble, France, as “La vie après la mort”, and then in May 2009 on the site of the Cosmos Pavilion in Moscow, Russia, as “Death and the Afterlife”.
The show is based on the artist’s take on heritage and transmission, and revolves around a specific event. At his local second hand shop, Nicolas Malinowsky came across a wide-ranging ensemble of objects stemming from an unidentified deceased person. Over a period of time, the artist purchased many of these objects without knowing that they all came from the same man. When he later found out, he realised these items had much to say about this person’s life and passions. The batch was largely made of books and vinyl records that reflected a pronounced interest in world culture and art.
“This man must have been knowledgeable and perhaps well-travelled. He may well have been an anthropologist, or at least a genuinely humanistic person, someone with a passion for the world, particularly India, the Ottoman world, and Central America. Most of his books contain lavish illustrations and the records are rare ethnomusicology research editions. He must have put so much time and care into building up his collection before it all landed between a vintage sofa and a porcelain figurine at my local second hand shop. I wanted to honour this man after meeting him in such an odd posthumous way. Knowing that he was a music lover, I worked from both image and music-based elements – I am influenced by the practice of sampling, which combines, reworks, or even redefines the legacies left by previous musical generations. I hope that he will somehow appreciate this tribute of sorts”.
“Death and the Afterlife” is made of 22 digital collages, which are almost entirely based on archival images belonging the unknown deceased man. Each piece also draws on Nicolas Malinowsky’s own inspirations which include science, mysticism, and surrealism. Just like a classic early 1990s Hip Hop album, the show combines rare samples ranging from music references to iconography. Nicolas Malinowsky’s goal was to offer a poetic contemplation on how the past, past objects, and cultural legacies may be read, consumed, and shared in contemporary terms.