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Soniferous Aether



Commissioned by the KW Berlin in partnership with the National Gallery of Art, Canada and The Courtauld, No6092 is an online archive of the research into Sir Anthony Blunt as double agent for both military intelligence operations and art curating.


Revealing the entwined origins of connoisseurship and forensics in the 17th century, Nº6092 dissects an evolving archive. At the centre of the investigation lies a double knot: the debated authorship by Nicolas Poussin of the painting Augustus and Cleopatra [accession Nº6092] and the dual identity of curator and spy Sir Anthony Blunt, who originally discovered the work in a cloud of controversy. Originally a research exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada (for which Blunt acquired painting Nº6092), the following online project by Charles Stankievech reopens the unsolved case presenting collection masterpieces, archival documents and artistic interventions using a networked exhibition design that combines strategies from Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne and his ‘Law of the Good Neighbor.’ Beginning with materials dating back to the 1620s, the multimedia content that is gathered here traces evolving media and geopolitical spaces: from court painting, through academic slide lectures, to PowerPoint presentations. Weaving a dense network of associations and speculations, the case of Nº6092 questions straight-forward notions of agency, authorship and attribution that resonate beyond the painting and Blunt’s particular circumstances into contemporary questions of CryptoArt and black market freeports.