Video Art Programme:  
Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani
“Toute la mémoire du monde” 2006

Fischer und el Sani “Toute la memoire…” 2006

Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani, Toute la mémoire du monde – Alles Wissen dieser Welt, 2006, 35 mm transferred to HD, 2 channel video installation, colour, stereo, 7 min., © Fischer & el Sani and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

The old Bibliothèque Nationale de France in the centre of Paris is currently vacant in major parts. The eleven floors of the stockroom and a capacious reading room are left unexploited. In 1956 this library was the setting for a movie of Alain Resnais, the director of “Hiroshima mon amour” and “Last Year in Marienbad”.

In his 20 minute documentary “Toute la mémoire du monde” Alain Resnais shows how the library functions as a storehouse of the world’s knowledge; how, on an ordinary day books, magazines, plans and other treasures arrive, get catalogued and find their way into the archives, to be available for the reader in the reading room, who, as he says, internalises a part of the universal knowledge by reading and thus receives a “key”.

50 years later: We find the location vacated. An apocalyptic scenery. The knowledge has disappeared. The pictures of the empty reading room and the empty stockroom immediately imply the loss of that “key”, the gateway to knowledge.

Nina Fischer (*1965 in Emden) and Maroan el Sani (*1966 in Duisburg) have been working together since 1993 in film and photography projects that focus primarily on urban spaces and collective memory. As a duo, they have participated in numerous international exhibitions, including Manifesta 13, Marseille 2020, Videonale, Bonn 2019, Media City Seoul Biennale 2014, 2012, Istanbul Biennale 2007, Liverpool Biennale 1999, and the Berlin Biennale 1998. Fischer and el Sani live and work in Berlin.