Archive / In Memory of Agnès Varda

Cutting the name of late director Agnès Varda in canvas felt like a very special moment to me, because her work has always been a rich source of inspiration to me. The marginal, the residual and the invisible, notions that Agnès engaged with, all resonate with my work.⁠ ⁠ Thus, in 2017 I chose to screen documentary "The Gleaners and I" by Agnès in my solo-show "This Drove my Mother up the Wall" at the South London Gallery. Filming with a hand-held camera and narrating the film herself, Agnès travelled around France, profiling gleaners. She reflects on the leftovers or residues that we produce in our society and how people transform these things into a meaningful way to live. She expands the idea of gleaning, by going into poetry, art and visual experiences that go beyond just having something to eat or having shelter. She even sees herself as a gleaner. In my work there is always something that is there and another element that is not there, and these two are very important to one another. Covering an area of the floor is a kind of filtering or gleaning. When you see the uncoloured background of a canvas or an architectural structure you are left with a strong sense of absence. ⁠ ⁠ So I was as thrilled as honoured when Hans-Ulrich Obrist asked me to contribute to his third Archive Chapter at LUMA which evolves around his encounter with Agnès.