Romain Kronenberg & ses personnages “Boaz” at Kunsthalle, Centre d’Art Contemporain Mulhouse


Terms left unsaid are misplaced.

Boaz is previously mentioned all the story of a tale. A story found by chance in the memento outlets of the little island of Procida, off the coast of Naples, the story of a neglected voice on an previous recorder that was amazingly obtained. On an abandoned tape, the peaceful but considerable voice of a baby tells the story of a younger orphan, liked by all, whose mere existence prompts signals and functions of devotion from those people all over him. This story is the tale of Boaz and his adoptive relatives : his brother Malachie, his sister Deborah, and their father Amos.

Romain Kronenberg started to establish this elaborate undertaking in spring 2017, when he initial arrived throughout the tape-recorder. A undertaking that centres on the issue of the sacred, which is omnipresent in Boaz’s opportunely rediscovered tale, initial and foremost in the pure but ambiguous romance gathering the two inseparable brothers. For one is the Prophet, and the other 1 the Mystic. The sacred appears gently in the lifetime of the young boy, Boaz, who we by no means see but who is unanimously admired. He is invisible, but alive. If Boaz is the Legend, Malachie, the Mystic, is the reflection of the collective fascination that coalesces all-around the orphan and the youthful man he results in being, a fascination that intensifies with the passing of time. Boaz will at some point turn into the inclined martyr of this quest, the collateral destruction of a piety that proves also terrific. This easy tragedy unfolds serenely, as all of its actors know total perfectly what is to occur, for the Legend are not able to reside.

The exhibition delivers alongside one another a collection of functions, films, objects and paperwork that retrace Kronenberg’s exploration, each of which relates to the central novel that buildings the whole. Operating outwards from a methodology formulated for his 2019 exhibition, Tout est vrai [All is true], Kronenberg unfolds this new proposition around a narrative backbone that shapes the performs and images that are created. The end result, Boaz, is a dense project in which kind and narrative are inseparable and wherever it is extremely hard to identify which a single precedes the other. The exhibition sets up a mise-en-abime of the first story to take a look at the system of mythmaking. This fragmented hagiography has its have discreet relics: crosses traced on partitions as symptoms of devotion, dolls as believers inspiring exclusive feelings, as perfectly as family pictures, icons in Prussian blue, and sacred words that swarm across the walls. Boaz, film is the film of a film: it documents the development of Boaz, their film by linking it to the story specified by a mysterious investigator who, 20 yrs on, is nonetheless hunting to make clear that which can not be stated.

Boaz is manufactured as a modern day fantasy that draws on Mircea Eliade’s investigation into the rituals and beliefs as well as the Melanesian Cargo cult. The sacred aura that surrounds this project is neither extreme nor stunning, but alternatively a modest, day-to-day form of sacrality: mystic, but without having secret. It is the future of those people who bear the excess weight of a society that lacks guiding lights and that longs for transcendence.

— Coline Davenne, curator

At Kunsthalle, Centre d’Art Contemporain Mulhouse
until finally April 30, 2022


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