For several years, Philip Topolovac has been collecting Second World War artifacts from construction sites in Berlin. As an archaeologist, he rummages through the ruins in search of historical traces before sites are rebuilt with modern constructions. The objects he accumulates include household items, glassware and war equipment, mostly melted or distorted through the bombing of the city.
For his installation at NuN, Philip Topolovac focuses on the presentation of these artefacts. He created a set of miniature bunkers that remind us of reliquiaries, i.e. shrines that are used for the presentation of sacred objects in religious contexts. Like a visual mise en relief, these containments establish a relationship between viewer and object that oscillates between proximity and distance. By confining and highlighting the distorted items Topolovac points to the multiple identities the war-findings can take in different contexts: regarded as waste on vacant lots, these objects that have been once part of anonymous people's daily life gain an aura when they are transferred into the exhibition's context.
Philip Topolovac (born 1979) lives and works in Berlin. He has had solo shows at Galerie Laboratorio, Prag (2012); Invalidien1, Berlin (2011); Kwadrat, Berlin (2009) and Galerie Czarnowska, Berlin (2008). Recently he has shown his work at "Cumuli", Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz e.v., Berlin (2013), "Berlin.Status1", Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin (2012) and many other venues. He has been the founding member of the project space Tät in Berlin (2007 - 2012)
Photos: Pierre-Etienne Morelle