©Victoria Tomaschko / ifa Galerie Berlin

In Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology the ifa gallery Berlin presents for the first time in Europe artists from Cambodia who engage in capturing and archiving the transforming City in their collages, photographs, sculptures, installations and documentations. Starting point is the influential work of Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann, who had a decisive impact an the New Khmer Architecture in the 1960s in Cambodia and remains an important source of inspiration for modern urbanisation developments in Phnom Penh. Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, is the country’s economic and cultural centre. In the past few decades, the city has been developing rapidly; at the same time, it is confronted with the repercussions of its chequered history between the democratisation of the 1960s and the dictatorship of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Until today, the past is omnipresent, influencing artists of all generations. The works selected for the exhibition Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology reflect the artists’ involvement not only with the history of Cambodia, but also with the current political, economical, geographical and socio-cultural changes. The capital Phnom Penh is particularly affected by these transformations. Curator Erin Gleeson, based in Phnom Penh for more than ten years, has selected artists for the exhibition who have given significant impulses for contemporary artistic developments in Cambodia. With the exhibition catalogue, which brings together essays by experts in contemporary art in Southeast Asia, the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa) publishes the first comprehensive book worldwide about contemporary art in Cambodia in German and English language.

Participating artists Vann Molyvann and Svay Ken Chan Dany, Khvay Samnang, Leang Seckon, Lim Sokchanlina, Sopheap Pich, Amy Lee Sanford, Svay Sareth, Than Sok, Tith Kanitha, Vandy Rattana

Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology – Contemporary Art and Urban Change in Cambodia is the fifth exhibition in the series connect:, following the shows Art Scene Vietnam, A Gentil Carioca – An Art Space in Rio de Janeiro, Khoj -International Artists’ Association in Delhi and Rosy Future – Contemporary Art from Tunisia. The connect: series is dedicated to developments in contemporary art that take place in seeming remoteness. It is not only about presenting local art scenes, however, but above all about establishing new connections, forming and expanding networks and receiving and giving cultural impulses beyond local, regional and national contexts.

Guided tours

Friday, 22 March 2013, 17:00
Guided tour through the exhibition with Erin Gleeson and the present artists Khvay Samnang, Lim Sokchanlina, Svay Sareth and Vandy Rattana. The event will be held in English.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013, 17:00 (in German)

Thursday, 13 June 2013, 17:00 (in English)
Guided tour and talk with art educator Annika Niemann. The guided tours take place in the framework of the Asia Pacific Weeks.


Thursday, 25 April 2013, 19:00
connect: Meta House, partner of the Goethe Institute, Phnom Penh
The director of the German-Cambodian Cultural Institute in Phnom Penh, Nicolaus Mesterharm, will present the long-term activities of Meta House, focussing on exhibitions and panel talks and in particular on film productions and presentations. Some of the short films will be presented in a programme compiled for this evening. The event takes place in cooperation with the Goethe Institute Jakarta.

Thursday, 23 May 2013, 19:00
Lighter Than Orange, documentary, 2012/13, approx. 45 minutes
Film and book presentation with photographer Matthias Leupold, professor at Technische Kunsthochschule Berlin.

Thursday, 30 May 2013, 18:00
Negotiating commemoration? Cultures of remembrance and commemoration work – international perspectives Discussion with Anja Bodanowitz, Hamza Chourabi, Constanze Eckert and Dr. Sina Emde; moderated by Annika Niemann. On the basis of examples from Cambodia, Germany and Tunisia the participants, working in the fields of science, art and commemoration work, will discuss the role of artistic strategies and cultural education – between the politics of remembrance and cultural memory, memorial place and negotiation space.
Art Educational Programme With Annika Niemann and Ev Fischer

Saturday, 20 April 2013, 11:30-14:00
Witnesses: About Archiving and dispersing, bequeathing and forgetting
A workshop for youngsters from the age of 12.

Sunday, 21 April 2013, 11:00-13:00
Remnants: About excavating and rescuing, exposing and obliterating
An artistic investigation for children from the age of 6.

Making cities II – Urban excursions with Elfi Müller

Saturday, 13 April 2013, 11:00 Ku’damm 101 Hotel Kurfürstendamm 101 10711 Berlin
Saturday, 27 April 2013, 11:00 Le Corbusier’s Unit d’Habitation Flatowallee 16 14055 Berlin
Saturday, 25 May 2013, 11:00 Hansaviertel Oscar Niemeyer House Walter Gropius