Palimpsest

For the thirty-sixth Phantom Monday, critic and curator Olivier Marboeuf invited Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza and Beth Weinstein to put into dialogue their practices around a common object, a complex and opaque place, a political tool of secrets—the Bois of Vincennes. In images, texts and sounds, both explore the unseen and invisible.

At the outset of the evening of May 27, Beth Weinstein welcomed the audience in her immersive installation Palimpsest. The Bois de Vincennes is a palimpsest of forms of invisibility—erased camps and campuses, spaces used to display and disappear particular populations. In Palimpsest (CIV) architect-artist Beth Weinstein explores invisible, obfuscated and erased spaces in the forest produced through government mandate, such as the state of emergency law. Her installation of “notes blanches,” as anonymous letters of accusation are called, plus sounds and images drawn out of and constructed from archival sources, invite a multisensory encounter with the difficulty to pin down a place alternately called the “centre de triage Nord-Africain,” the “centre d’identification” or even the “camp de Vincennes.” The CIV was a notorious site of detention used by Maurice Papon’s police force during the Algerian War of which no trace exists today and which Palimpsest seeks to render sensible. At 8pm Weinstein and then Peñafiel Loaiza presented their works that use the Vincennes Forest and Park as subject and terrain for an exploration.