A Pledge. The First Part of a Trick – 04 – Kiva

Aymeric Ebrard

On the 30th August, 2013 at 5 pm at Klaipeda Art Center – KCCC (Didzioji Vandens str. 2, Klaipeda) the fourth exhibition/episode of a project “A Pledge. The First Part of a Trick” called “Kiva” will be presented. The project will proceed till the end of the year 2013 and one after another will present cycle of exhibitions or episodes, if we consider it as a series.

Author of the exhibition “A Pledge. The First Part of a Trick – 04 – Kiva” is a French artist Aymeric Ebrard (born 1977), who is based in Paris, but has lately spent some time traveling in Arizona (USA) and Lithuania. He looks at foreign lands trying to hear a resonance of stories, fables and myths from different layers of time. Collecting things as signs of communities as well as landmarks, the artist tries to grope a point of origin, a starting point which lastly appears being inevitably dynamic and can only generate new though never ending systems of coordinates.

A Pledge. The First Part of a Trick

We might think of a trick as something fraudulent. But then, as with a modern conjuror, fraud too requires an exact mimesis of nature. Think of the airplane wing. Think of the blue feather ensuring that the arrow flies straight. So we need to be thinking of the trick as something scientific and real, bearing a scrupulous understanding and manipulation of things, including the human body in relation to such things. But the trick slides, it seduces, it cajoles (“Hey Duchess!”), it knows and enjoys the leap beyond the thingness of things.

Michael Taussig1

A plasterboard box, four and a half meters long, two and a half meters wide and of the same    in the grand floor of Klaipeda Art Centre, is actually a room in a room. The space isolated from the inner space of the building is as an island. A bit like a boat, I would say. Just like a boat, it is stimulating imagination.

Physically it is the remnant from the French-Lithuanian exhibition “Prestige: Phantasmagoria now”, that was held in the autumn of 2012. Art critic Nicolas Bourriaud in his text, published in catalogue of the exhibition2, adverts that the term ‘prestige’  came from the vocabulary of illusionists and is one of three component parts of a magic trick; its outcome, to be more precise. A prestige follows a pledge, when at a first glance ordinary objects are presented in a particular situation; and the trick itself that transforms conventional situation into an extraordinary moment.

I do not consider magic literally. I think about things, about stories things tell, how they tell them; about   relations of those objects, stories and storytelling techniques (with subjects), and dynamics between them.

I am thinking about situations that have the ability to create a pretext for rapture or difference to occur in a flow.

The box left from the latter exhibition (being part of the last stage of the trick) here, through the trick itself, turns into its germ – the pledge.  Now it is a trigger for another project, which is extended in time for a season, like TV series.

04 – Kiva3

Tovar [the leader of the Spanish] and his men were conducted to Oraibi. They were met by all the clan chiefs at Tawtoma, as prescribed by prophecy, where four lines of sacred meal were drawn. The Bear Clan leader stepped up to the barrier and extended his hand, palm up, to the leader of the white men. If he was indeed the true Pahana, the Hopis knew he would extend his own hand, palm down, and clasp the Bear Clan leader's hand to form the nakwach, the ancient symbol of brotherhood. Tovar instead curtly commanded one of his men to drop a gift into the Bear chief's hand, believing that the Indian wanted a present of some kind. Instantly all the Hopi chiefs knew that Pahana had forgotten the ancient agreement made between their peoples at the time of their separation. Nevertheless, the Spaniards were escorted up to Oraibi, fed and quartered, and the agreement explained to them. It was understood that when the two were finally reconciled, each would correct the other's laws and faults; they would live side by side and share in common all the riches of the land and join their faiths in one religion that would establish the truth of life in a spirit of universal brotherhood.

The Spaniards did not understand, and having found no gold, they soon departed.

Frank Waters4



Author of the exhibition: Aymeric Ebrard

Curator: Neringa Bumblienė

The exhibition will be held until 20th October, 2013


Organizers: The Purple Swamphen, KCCC

Sponsors: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Klaipeda City Municipality, L’Institut français de Lituanie, Ambassade de Lituanie en France

Special thanks to general “JCE” curator Andrea Ponsini


1 Michael Taussig, The Stories Things Tell And Why They Tell Them, e-flux journal#36, 07/ 2012, www.e-flux.com

2 Prestige: Phantasmagoria Now, exhibition catalog, Klaipėda: KCCC, 2012, p. 24.

3 A kiva is a room used by modern Puebloans (Native American people in the Southwestern United States) for religious rituals, as well for other social profane activities. They are specific to each clans and community, and each of them represent the world itself and show the point of emergence.

4 Frank Waters, „Book of The Hopi“, 1963, p. 252.