press release

Romain Kronenberg
February 11–April 30, 2022

La Kunsthalle Mulhouse welcomes Boaz, an exhibition of the artist Romain Kronenberg and his characters.

Boaz is above all the story of a story. It is a story he stumbled upon in the souvenir shops of Procida, a small island off the coast of Naples; the story of a voice forgotten on an old tape recorder and rediscovered by chance. On an abandoned cassette, a child’s voice, quiet yet impossible to ignore, recounts the life of a young orphan, loved by all, and whose mere presence leads to signs or scenes of devotion. This is the story of Boaz and his adopted family, his brother Malachie, their sister Deborah, and Amos, the father of the three children.

This complex project developed by Romain Kronenberg is centred on the question of the sacred, which he explores through the story of Boaz, with a quartet of characters. These characters represent figures—the legend, the mystic and the sacrificed—whose unveiling begins in the novel and continues in the exhibition through a set of sound pieces, visual artworks and documents. The exhibition amplifies the book; the interplay of visual and narrative forms deepens the exploration of the origins of a myth with an unavoidable ending.

Fiction allows Romain Kronenberg to observe the strength of a myth and its repercussions for a community seeking direction and transcendence.

Boaz, the novel
Romain Kronenberg’s book is short, rhythmic and precise. It can be read as a preamble to the exhibition but also as a stand-alone narrative.

Romain Kronenberg, born in Paris in 1975, is an author, photographer, video artist, visual artist, composer, guitarist and sound designer.

After studying theology at the University of Geneva, Romain Kronenberg studied composition, electro-acoustics and jazz at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève. In 2001, he joined IRCAM where he worked as a sound designer and composer until 2005.

His first contribution to the field of visual arts was the Dérive performance in 2005 at the Fondation Cartier. In 2007, he joined the Pavillon du Palais de Tokyo where he made his first videos, in a contemplative style. In 2009, he was artist in residence at Villa Kujoyama. This is where his desire for storytelling emerged. From 2011 to 2017 in Turkey, he imagined a series of projects where the narrative aspect took on its full dimension. In 2018, he imagined Tout est vrai, a project that unfolds over a whole network of artworks, performances, screenings and readings that he created in collaboration with the characters of the project themselves. Boaz, initiated the same year, is his second project developed in this mode. As narrative never ends, both projects are by nature unfinished.

The Boaz project has been selected by the patronage commission of la Fondation des Artistes, with the support of Regional Cultural Affairs Office of Ile-de-France—French Ministry of Culture.