On Translation: Stand By
On Translation: Stand By
On Translation: On View
On Translation: Listening

Protokolle, 2006

With regard to content as well as to architecture, the section of the exhibition entitled “Protokolle” represented the interface between “On Translation: Die Sammlung” and “Stadium XII”.

On different levels it reflected the results of comprehensive research which was initiated within the framework of the project on the concept of protocol. Here, the protocol was investigated in all the far-reaching facets of its significance: as a format for bureaucratic recording as well as a diplomatic, religious or military behavioural codex. It refers to the rules deriving from courtly and civic life, dress and seating order, and from agreements such as the “Kyoto-Protocol”, conspiracy theories such as the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” or internet protocols.

Muntadas is interested in the way in which protocols regulate both public as well as private life. Which functions do they assume, not only within but also between societies whose forms of social etiquette are known to significantly diverge? The artist bases his research both on the linguistic connotation as well as visual representation of protocols.  Which associations admit of the concept? In which way are protocols inscribed in mass media, in architecture, furnishings, design or in institutions? Which codes do they make use of? Whereas with “On Translation: Die Sammlung” and “Stadium” two distinct social territories are reflected according to their inherent set of rules, in “Protokolle” Muntadas opens a view to the broad field of social behavioural norms. A hybrid space emerges from this which comprises both Muntadas’ research material as well as his own works. Namely, he also undertook a revision of already existing work.

A central element of “Protokolle” consisted of a wall paper containing the commentaries of persons from various countries and professions who Muntadas had questioned with regard to their understanding of “Protocol”. The commentaries were published unaltered and yet in anonymous form and with particular highlighted sections.

The visual material – photographs, books journals, documents and such like – was arranged in a vitrine according to various aspects and concepts which, in turn, corresponded to the highlighted sections of texts on the wall. Conversely, a selection of visual research material was also integrated into the wall paper such that the linguistic and pictorial investigations of the concept of protocol meshed.

Furthermore, Muntadas divided the space by means of a visitor’s guide system such as those with which one is familiar at airports, stadiums or museums. This runs through a number of works in which he observed the control of persons waiting in public spaces.

(Iris Dressler, excerpt, catalogue)

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