HAUNTOPIA / WHAT IF
Exhibition Guide and Glossary
Preface The exhibition HAUNTOPIA / WHAT IF is the contribution of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna to the second Research Pavilion organized by Uniarts Helsinki in the vicinity of the Venice Biennial. We happily accepted the invitation for several reasons: first, because the context of the Research Pavilion is perfect to present works by the artistic researchers in our PhD-in-Practice program. Second, the invitation was the ideal way to continue celebrating our 325th anniversary – the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna was founded in 1692 and is therefore one of the oldest art universities in Europe – especially with the topic of the Pavilion being access: how do we grant access to art universities to all those who want the education offered here? And more specifically, regarding the topic of HAUNTOPIA: imagining a future (for art universities) also entails the reflection of the past (of art universities) and the confrontation with that which haunts us in the present. Looking at these topics is not only the focus of the exhibition, but also the issue raised at the EARN conference, which we are organizing in connection with the exhibition, also at the Research Pavilion in Venice. We are very happy that this cooperation could take place and thank the Pavilion’s commissioner, Anita Seppä (Uniarts Helsinki), for inviting us. We thank all those who have worked on making the exhibition and the conference happen, especially the curators, Anette Baldauf and Renate Lorenz, as well as Moira Hille, Martina Huber, Claudia Bauer, and all the artists and presenters for being part of the event. Eva Blimlinger, Andrea B. Braidt, Karin Riegler Rectorate of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
HAUNTOPIA / WHAT IF
Concept: Anette Baldauf, Renate Lorenz and the PhD-in-Practice Program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna Research Pavilion, Campo S. Cosmo, Giudecca 621, Venice (Vaporetto stop Palanca) Opening hours (May 11-October 15): Tue-Sun, 10am-6pm Exhibition, September 8-October 15, 2017 Opening, September 7, 2017, 7pm In times of violent political upheaval, the exhibition explores the conjuring of specters as a proper method of arts-based research. They welcome the appearance of ghosts—events, signs, images, practices and objects that recount the ferocities of the past, while also holding the potentiality of a different future. Building on a glossary of hauntopic devices, the exhibited works make use of formats that employ ephemeral, opaque, or sci-fi elements and explore a range of ghostly aesthetics. Artists: Aline Benecke, Katalin Erdődi, Zsuzsi Flohr, Sílvia das Fadas, Moira Hille, Zosia Hołubowska, Hristina Ivanoska, Janine Jembere, Ruth Jenrbekova, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Rafał Morusiewicz, Lisa Nyberg, Read-in, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Masha Godovannaya, Keiko Uenishi. Conference, September 8-9, 2017 The conference employs the concept of haunting to create a language for the ways in which an unfinished past makes itself known in the here and now (Avery Gordon) and violent histories, or stories, initiate ongoing disruptions, wronging the wrong (Eve Tuck). Haunting often takes place when an official narrative insists that the violence of subjection and injustice is overcome (e.g. after the liberation from colonialism, after Stonewall, at the end of a war) or when their oppressiveness is strictly denied. Now ghosts “appear” as agency in-between subjectivities, images, and spaces and insist on a response. As the haunting becomes real, it stimulates an imagination of how things could be otherwise. What are the means and possibilities of our inquiries to welcome the specters of the past and make unresolved social violence demand its due? Keynote lectures: Avery Gordon (UC Santa Barbara) and Eve Tuck (University of Toronto) Lectures_performances_artists’ presentations The conference is organized in collaboration with the European Artistic Research Network (EARN). The Research Pavilion: Utopia of Access is created and hosted by Uniarts Helsinki and realized together with the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and the Swedish Art Universities’ collaboration Konstex in co-operation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Zurich University of the Arts. www.researchpavilion.com #researchpavilion
Exhibition and Conference Program Thursday, September 7, 2017 7:00 exhibition opening on-going memorizing choreographed by Read-in In Circulation 8:00 presentation of the zine by Katalin Erdődi 8:30
performance by Keiko Uenishi Listening Experiments of 罔両 (Mouryou, translated as Penumbrae)
9:00 drinks Friday, September 8, 2017 1:00 performance by Janine Jembere and Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński In the Breaks No. 3—On Violence 1:30
keynote lecture by Avery Gordon moderated by Sílvia das Fadas and Katalin Erdődi
3:30 break (guided tour of the exhibition, upon request) 4:00
session 1 (7 x 10 min inputs) moderated by Sharon Morris - Anna Bunting-Branch (Slade, London), From Specters to Speculations: Feminist Failures and Future Fictions - Moira Hille (Academy, Vienna), Ghost Ship - Andrea Ray (Malmö Art Academy, Malmö), ReCast LIVE ON-AIR - David Steans (FAHACS, Leeds), The Making of The Making of The Make-Up Scene - Alaena Turner (FAHACS, Leeds), A Guest + A Host = A Ghost - Rafał Morusiewicz (Academy, Vienna), Queering/Reading/Editing Tadeusz Konwicki’s How Far Away, How Near (1971) - Hristina Ivanoska (Academy, Vienna), Document Missing: Performance no. 6 (Her Name Was Hope)
6:00 picnic in the garden 8:00 performance by Masha Godovannaya and Sílvia das Fadas Her* Hands and his Shape followed by Haunting Parables, a film program curated by Sílvia das Fadas
Saturday, September 9, 2017 12:30 performative screening by Naomi Rincón Gallardo The Formaldehyde Trip (excerpts) 1:00
keynote lecture by Eve Tuck “I don’t want to haunt you, but I will,” and other admonitions from future ghosts moderated by Moira Hille and Janine Jembere
performance by Jeremiah Day Ghost Dance Song
break (guided tour of the exhibition, upon request)
session 2 (7 x 10 min inputs) moderated by Henk Slager - Christian Bili (Head, Geneva), Salvialand. Mapping the territories of the Salvia Divinorum - Yvonne Feng (Slade, London), Tracing the Unspeakable - Zsuzsi Flohr (Academy, Vienna), Grandpa’s Backpack - Irina Gheorghe (GradCam, Dublin), The Treason of Presence - Zosia Hołubowska (Academy, Vienna), Singing as An Analytical Practice. Wandering Spell. - Ilya Orlov (Academy, Helsinki), Political Occultism in the Eve of the Centenary of the Revolution - Ioana Marinescu (Slade, London), A Writing of Erasure. Bucharest
performance by Lisa Nyberg and Julia Giertz Guided Meditation for Un-settling Rhythms
The HAUNTOPIA / WHAT IF Conference is organized by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna as the annual event of the European Artistic Research Network (EARN). The Research Pavilion is created and hosted by Uniarts Helsinki and realized together with the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and the Swedish Art Universities’ collaboration Konstex in co-operation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Zurich University of the Arts. www.akbild.ac.at, www.researchpavilion.com
HAUNTOPIA / WHAT IF: A Glossary Katalin Erdődi In collaboration with Aline Benecke, Zsuzsi Flohr, Sílvia das Fadas, Masha Godovannaya, Moira Hille, Zosia Hołubowska, Hristina Ivanoska, Janine Jembere, Ruth Jenrbekova, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Rafał Morusiewicz, Lisa Nyberg, Read-in, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Keiko Uenishi. Inspired by Eve Tuck and C. Ree’s A Glossary of Haunting,1 this glossary of sorts accompanies the visitors to the exhibition, offering them a collection of keywords and notions that have inspired or are associated with the artworks shown. It can be used as a guide, but it is also a remainder, a remnant of the exhibition: “its own form of haunting, its own lingering”2 as Tuck and Ree say. Between glossary terms and descriptions of their work, the contributors strive for a language that reflects their diverse practices and approaches, but also connects to the core theme of the exhibition, HAUNTOPIA / WHAT IF. Texts are combined with selected images, designs and drawings, so that each page mirrors the subjectivity of its author. The glossary is fragmented, always incomplete, and invites the readers to invent further terms while encountering the works, or when flipping through these pages and remembering them later on. We cannot know what will remain, which images, words and thoughts will linger, but we hope that something will stick:
“I am a future ghost. I am getting ready for my haunting.”3
The glossary was born from a collaborative effort and includes contributions by each artist participating in the exhibition, as well as information about each artwork. Its making was coordinated by the PhD-in-Practice fellow and curator Katalin Erdődi, whose practice focuses on cross-disciplinary collaboration, politically engaged artistic and curatorial strategies, and art in public space, understood in the broadest sense as social, architectural, and discursive space. Interested in art as a social practice and as a tool for knowledge production, she researches artistic and curatorial interventions in post-socialist rural spaces in Hungary, exploring processes of social and political change from the vantage point of rural subjectivities.
1. Eve Tuck, C. Ree, “A Glossary of Haunting” in Handbook of Autoethnography, eds. Stacey Holman Jones, Tony E. Adams, and Carolyn Ellis, (Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press, 2013) 639–658 2. Ibid, 640. 3. Ibid, 648.
In this dream, I try to board a train that never leaves the station. The train does not leave, but I am in motion. It is early morning. Neither of us slept last night. With bloodshot eyes, we both look at the clear blue sky. (An obnoxious radio voice screams, “Morning! Today’s forecast calls for blue skies.”) You turn away and sit down to roll the last centimeters of the audiotape onto the reel. You slide it into the box and choose to record a few more words. I cannot turn my eyes away from the clay horse figurine on the windowsill. Behind you, to your left, there is the only non-blue element in this room: a golden plate that looks like a meteorite. Seeped in your blue, I depart. I reach the first crossroad. I pause. A detour has already begun. Would you like to hear a story?
I am so paranoid that I think this text is about me. Being paranoid blocks my affect. I guard myself. A paranoid reading of facts, as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (2003) writes, obsesses about proving the “truth,” thereby forcing the choice of one out of the always two options, reductive and false: yes or no, true or false, gay or straight. This interpretative mode facilitates the creation of myths, dogmas, and conspiracy theories, which, though asking potentially complex questions, neglect to notice and care about the realities beyond their scope. I write with black ink on my sweaty left wrist: “paranoid.” As soon as I stop paying attention, I smear it off with my right thumb.
Source: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Touching feeling. New York: Duke University Press, 2003, 123-151. Image: Arrebato (dir. Iván Zulueta, 1979), Production Company: Nicolás Astiarraga P.C.; Distributors: Framax Film S.A. and Globe Films S.A. (theatrical); Alive Vertrieb und Marketing (Germany, DVD)
Broom A long-handled brush of bristles or twigs, used for sweeping the footsteps of the (already) forgotten.
Cover page of the personal dossier of Rosa Plaveva Courtesy of Institute of National History, Skopje, Macedonia Hristina Ivanoska
a te r that p m c h o r e ro p o s e s o memo graphies o f r r e a d i n i z i n g t h ro u gh g / l i s te writin ning/s g/ p t h e m c o py i n g / t r a e a k i n g / argins nscrib an ing in lines w h i l e ex d b e t w e e n t h h omiss ions o uming frag e i f l e fi secon r dhand sthand, , and c o n te s te d t ex t s .
Incantations Cinema is an art of ghosts. It carries the potential to conjure and bring back the dead. Through a process of incantations, a series of images and words, we conjure past and future ghosts of women who did not refuse to look, women who have made films that affected us. Their doubles will appear intertwined with landscapes and objects that once haunted us and will continue to do so every time they are taken out of their suspended animation through projection. We refuse to forget. We refuse to participate in the disenchantment of the world. Therefore our hands scratch and shoot new images while stealing and superimposing images from others, our eyes widen in view of the spectral images appearing on the surface of the films stills, and each time our disquiet hands interfere and throw color and light onto those images on screen. There is no avoiding the ghosts in the machines, all is doomed to disappear and return in other shapes. As soon as she crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet her...
Masha Godovannaya & SĂlvia das Fadas
Imagine a body haunted by the past and the absence of a future without it. While timelines are crisscrossing, realities disappearing, reappearing, fading, it will not stop the moment from unfolding. And as Hannah Black says: Both the apocalypse and utopia are already here. Imagine a body interfering and being interfered with. Shaped and shaping. Calling on courage to be fragile and persistent like waves, not cancelled out, but amplified.
Penumbra / 罔両
罔両(Penumbra) is the shallower shadow that outlines a shadow (a shadow’s shadow) that made an entry in the well-known fable by 荘子(Zhuangzi) in his 斉物論(The Adjustment of Controversies), which depicts his proposal to abandon the “subject-object” standpoint by effacing. In the fable by Zhuangzi, the penumbra asks a shadow, “Why is it that you have no fixed course of action?”1 The shadow answers to the penumbra, comparing itself with a scale of a snake or a wing of a cicada, and says, “I’m like them and yet not like them. With light and sun I make my appearance; with darkness and night I fade away. Am I not dependent on the substance from which I am cast? But that substance is itself dependent on something else! How can I tell why I am what I am? How can I tell why I’m not what I’m not? What occasion is there for you to ask such question to me?”2 Upon observing the above fable, Ott suggests “what is important is not knowing or not-knowing by themselves, but the capacity to change between these two modes, the capacity to keep the knowledge in touch with the ‘not-knowing’.”3 It was the penumbra that raised the question to its (supposedly) higher hierarchical level “the shadow”. The shadow refuses to accept the validity of questions based on causality, nor is it interested in being in search of the source. The penumbrae’s voices keep seeping through the ambiguous outlines of the shadows. Liu, Parry & Ding merely pointed out the “positions being questioned” and the “text appears outside the binary relationship of the sound and where the sound is being “identified.”4 The penumbra does not dissolve into a simple shade of greys. It was thought to be a homophone of the “spiritual presence of deceased natural forms”5 and further, appeared as a water ghost/monster.
Has the shadow’s voice reached the 罔両(penumbra)? Would the shadow hear the 罔両(penumbra)? Are the questions of “not-knowing” leaving any traces?
Brook Zipporyn, The Penumbra Unbound: The Neo-Taoist Philosophy of Guo Xiang, (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2003) 100. 2 Chuang Tzǔ, The Writings of Chuang Tzǔ, vol 1, part II, The Texts of Táoism, (tr. James Legge), (New York: Dover Publications, 1962) 147 3 Margus Ott, Penumbra-and-shadow, Shadow Play (accessed August 2, 2017) https://sites.google.com/site/motlus/english2/penumbra-and-shadow 4 劉人鵬(Liu Renpeng), 白瑞梅(Amie Parry), 丁乃非(Ding Naifei), 罔両問景: 酷兒閱讀攻略 (Penumbrae queries Shadow: Queer Reading Tactics) (Taiwan: The Center for the Study of Sexualities, Dept. of English, National Central University, 2007) Introduction iii 5 Timon Screech, The Lens Within the Heart: The Western Scientific Gaze and Popular Imagery in Later Edo Japan, (Honolulu, Univ. of Hawai’i Press, 2002) 112
Me arriving in Algiers with my aunt in 1981. I am far in the back, behind the fence, under the palm tree. Your father is sitting next to me; he turns his back. Our favorite activity is playing battleships on hot Sunday afternoons. Algeria is a socialist republic at the time. The man in the back bends his upper body and stretches his arms as if he was ready to jump into the water. Almost 20 years have passed since the massacres in Akbou against mercenary soldiers and their families happened. The water looks much quieter today than yesterday, donâ€™t you think?
My beloved parents, I ďŹ nally have a moment to send you a picture of myself as I have promised. My comrades say that it turned out very good. I hope it ďŹ nds you in good health. I donâ€™t think that I have changed a lot, disregarding the little changes of age. My heart is still young and dynamic and this youth will help me face and conquer destiny, regardless of the form it might take.
Re-constructed To re-construct something means to bring it to life, to reanimate, to visualize the absent, or in this case to build a story from fragments, such as storytelling, archive materials, drawings. To reconstruct the un-reconstructable period of my grandfatherâ€™s life during the Shoah, after it was damaged and buried for so many years.
Resonance Can a melody be haunted? Can I be haunted by a melody? 1. The quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating. 2. The reinforcement or prolongation of sound by reﬂection from a surface or by the synchronous vibration of a neighboring object. The song is making itself known through vibrations. I let it visit me. I take a deep breath and use my bones as resonators. To emit a sound that can make your skeleton reverberate. I need to make myself vulnerable to do so and connect with my emotions. With the pain that I don’t understand and haven’t experienced but I know that I know. It is in my muscles.
Serfdom – Mom, did grandma ever sing songs to you, that she knew from her mom? – I don’t think they had the time to sing back then. Just worked till the sweat was dripping from their backs. Economic system originating from feudalism, forcing peasantry to work for the landlords without pay. It was ﬁnally abolished in every form in Poland only in 1930. Initially, labor was a form of payment for protection and the use of land but became a speciﬁc form of slavery. It was fueled by a constructed race division between peasants and nobility and founded class divisions still present in contemporary Poland. No reparations have been paid yet.
Sticky / Stuck
STUCK Verb, past simple and past participle of stick 1. unable to move, or set in a particular position, place, or way of thinking 2. in a difficult situation, or unable to change or get away from a situation 3. not able to continue reading, answering questions, etc. because something seems too difficult 4. to have to deal with someone or something unpleasant because you have no choice or because no one else wants to
STICKY adjective, stickier, stickiest 1. made of or covered with a substance that stays attached to any surface it touches 2. potentially difficult to escape from 3. climate situation; of weather 4. persistent, unwilling to agree
Source: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/ and http://www.dictionary.com (accessed August 2, 2017)
Underexistence – (from under — not enough, below, and existence — the fact of having objective reality) a form of existence that lacks tangibility, presence, recognition, and/or capacities to make an impact or leave noticeable traces.
The term may be applicable to various instances of the illusionary, obscure, virtual, or repressed. It is meant to contribute to the project of emancipation of the imaginary from its closeted condition of essential absence, where the status of “immaterial” in effect means “powerless.” The main intention here is to destabilize the binary of being and nothing, introducing the twilight flickering reality of not-yet.
Thus underexistence blurs the demarcation line between what is and what is not, returning to the ontologically excluded their right to be present and to share a common pluriverse within conceptual frameworks of flat ontologies and monist materialisms.
This is an invitation to study the variety of liberating processes by which what is counted as unreal, impossible, or failed may find its way into everyday reality.
Introduction of this term may grow relevant and important through subjective experiences arising from various forms of oppression, coercive othering and disablement, exclusion from vital public spaces, and infringement of rights. These experiences are often characterized by states of dissociation, derealization, or depersonalization.
Traditionally viewed from psychological and psychiatric perspectives, depersonalizationderealization symptoms and similar conditions of a dissociative disorder spectrum acquire an onto-political dimension when considered in correlation with biases in social distribution of accesses.
Examples of the underexistent may be manifold. Along with words such as “underachievement” or “understatement,” underexistence can also be applied to all sorts of things in a figurative sense.
The moon is not more real than my beliefs about it; it does not have more right to be treated as existing - Markus Gabriel, Why The World Does Not Exist1 Potentially, the term might be applied to anything that has been considered non-existent, like dinosaurs, social justice, fictional characters, the future, mythological creatures, as well as imaginary numbers (e.g. solution to the equation x^2+1=0), hypothetical or virtual particles (e.g. tachyon), mathematical objects, and so on. Perhaps the physical notion of vacuum energy can serve as a natural trope for underexistent matter. (See also Underworld Storage). To make this term visually graspable observe the black square below. It exists in a full sense. But what about pink triangle inside it? Empirically such a figure is absent on this page, but not completely anymore. Being introduced with language, it is granted the initial access to reality and falls into the category of underexistent.
1. Markus Gabriel, Why The World Does Not Exist, trans. Gregory Moss, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2015) 6-7
Underworld Storage According to Mesoamerican worldviews, the underworld is a cold and dark, nonetheless, lush place where bones and ashes of dead bodies blend together in nourishing clay. A rooster and a dog guide the journey of the spirits through the nine floors of the underworld. Dead people lose their individuality, while their hearts become seeds underneath the earth. The underworld is described as a storage area of a great variety of materials and substances that form the cosmos. Marginal lives are bound to be forgotten and remain left out of historical records. Writing them into the future could perhaps open up potentialities to make them come back from death and silence. The underworld would become a utopian subterranean reserve of dignified seeds, germinating to sprout a burning revelation, making cracks in the world as we know it. What if this journey, between the death and the apparition of the ghost, was a pedagogical experience to articulate silenced stories and pending moments of struggle? The black night has been our home for some time now.
The day that was the day was night Third World lesbian* feminists subterranean reserve burning revelation Fire!
Naomi Rincรณn Gallardo
“... there is a connection, something that clings to me— the immediacy of a colonial flashback. An uncanny familiarity lingers...” (Excerpt from Unearthing. In Conversation. 2017)
: to dig up and bring into light, to uncover
To unearth something means to bring it to the forefront, to dig up what has been buried in the past but was nevertheless lurking right underneath the surface, sometimes popping up, unrecognizable to some, impossible to shake off for others. The aim is to deal with whatever it is that becomes visible, to find expressions for the unspeakable. Unearthing here is not a lone practice; it is a shared activity, a conversation that connects different temporalities. Far from being able to become complete and therefore to console, it is doomed to stay fragmentary and incoherent.
Unsettling unÂˇsetÂˇtling : having the effect of upsetting, disturbing, or discomposing1 Unsettling can be a response to settler coloniality. Unsettling as an earthquake; the ground is trembling, shaking the settlements built on sacred ground, making cracks in the walls, turning the earth inside out, bringing old bones into daylight. To unsettle as a decolonizing method can entail: to refuse to offer a hopeful solution,2 to resist the urge to mend what was broken, to refuse to reconcile, repair and re-settle. Making common cause with the brokenness of being.3
“In both the stories they tell, change begins slowly with individuals who are unsettled and haunted by forces that are much greater than themselves and barely visible.”4 Unsettling offers the possibility of a de-centering of a privileged position. To be unsettled is to be shaken, to be moved, to be changed by an encounter. To welcome unsettling can entail bringing your worldview or core beliefs into question; to be off balance, de-centered, uncomfortable; to rest in uncertainty; to unlearn. To study how to be of the world and not the center of the world. To start moving. 1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsettling (accessed May 12, 2017) 2. Saidiya Hartman and Frank B Wilderson III, “THE POSITION OF THE UNTHOUGHT,” Qui Parle (University of Nebraska Press) 13, no. 2 (2003): 183–201. 3. Jack Halberstam, Introduction to The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, by Stefano Harney and Fred Moten (Wivenhoe: Minor Compositions, 2013) 11. 4. Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, vol. 2008 (Minneapolis: New University of Minnesota Press) 202.
Word-making, World-making “How does one revisit the scene of subjection without replicating the grammar of violence? (…) What is required to imagine a free state or tell an impossible story?” Saidiya Hartman in Venus in Two Acts1 Somewhere between narrations and counter-narrations, histories and counter-histories, language leads us on with its seductive abundance of words, with its readiness to be formed and shaped. It holds the promise that we will find words for everything we want to say—as soon as we know what it is, we need not bother with the how. But is this actually so? In Venus in Two Acts Saidiya Hartman suggests that we remain suspicious of language as an allegedly complete project and invites us to explore another mode of writing, another grammar: “to write our now as it is interrupted by this past, and to imagine a free state, not as the time before captivity or slavery, but rather as the anticipated future of this writing.” What language do the ghosts that we conjure up speak to us? How do they try their tongue with our help? How do we write a history of the present with their help?
“Word Sword. Sword Word,”2 writes the Azeri artist, poet, and migrant activist Babi Badalov, and his words linger with me, because I like the idea of language being a weapon that we can wield. I savor the obscure and hybrid poetry that he creates from willful mispronunciations and mistakes, so typical of migrants trying their tongue with foreign languages, inventing a language of their own, one that transgresses borders and explores limits, not shying away from appropriation and negotiation, from claiming the foreign as its own and transforming it on its own terms. This language starts to form where the words don’t come out just right, where the stuttering starts, where our breath is caught, where silence is contemplated, but then broken. I wonder why so many words in our glossary start with un-. Are we in the phase of uncovering, unsettling and undoing—and if yes, what comes after? Is word-making world-making?
“The l lies between the words and the worlds. Between the words lies the world. Between the worlds lies the word. The l between the words and the worlds lies. As anything placed in between, its character is ambiguous. The uppercase of i overlaps the lowercase of L, creating an imprecise zone of contact between the upper and the lower. As above, so below.” Irina Gheorghe in Foreign Language for Beginners
1. Saidiya Hartman, “Venus in Two Acts,” Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism 12, no 2, (June 2008) 1-14. 2. Babi Badalov, Eastanbul Westanbul - Visual poetry of encounters between cultures and languages, (Berlin: Zirkumflex, 2016) http://zirkumflex.com/studio/eastanbul-westanbul 3. http://www.workspacebrussels.be/nl/productions/foreign_language_for_beginners-2468.html
We Could Have Met Aline AlineBenecke Benecke In her lecture performances, Aline Benecke creates essayistic, narrative formats based on found photographs, establishing a field of tension among memory, subjectification, and cultural identity. This project is unsettlingly intimate for her as she uses pictures from her family archive in order to investigate the unexpressed ambivalent perpetrations of both of her grandfathers. One served in the Wehrmacht in WW II, the other one was a mercenary in the Algerian War. By montaging the material and putting it in conversation, Aline asks how the re-mapping of family photographs is a chance to fabricate different meanings of identity.
We could have met (2017). Slide projection, 10â€™. Images, composition, dramaturgy: Aline Benecke Technical support sound, slide projectors, programming: Martin Embacher
Unearthing. In Conversation. Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński
Working with photographs that Paul Schebesta, Austrian-Czech missionary, writer and ethnographer, took in former Belgian Congo (today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo), Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński’s work deals with the violent history of archival material and the trauma of colonization. Bringing to the forefront the haunting qualities of colonialism, the artist engages in an uncanny dialogue that negotiates strategies of representation, the reproduction of the colonial gaze, and the trauma of being made Other in the here and now.
Unearthing. In Conversation (2017). Video loop, 15’. Performance/Concept/Editing: Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński Camera/Editing: Sunanda Mesquita Sound/Light/Editing: Nick Prokesch Production/Assistant Director: Liesa Kovacs
Document Missing: Performance no.5 (Three Actions) Hristina Ivanoska
In the video work “Document Missing: Performance no. 5 (Three Actions)” Hristina Ivanoska reenacts three imagined actions performed by Rosa Plaveva in 1903. This is the first video work in the series of performances that Ivanoska is conceptualizing, writing, and executing as part of her PhD artistic research titled “Document Missing: The intricate sense of truth in oral histories.” Her research interest and artistic practice are tied into the issues of suppression, control, and construction of collective memory in regard to women’s resistance strategies and politics. Reduced to a personal level that starts with the question “Who am I?”, Ivanoska found her counterpart in the character of Rosa Plaveva, a revolutionary woman from the turn of the 20th century who was forgotten in the archives of the past. Document Missing: Performance no. 5 (Three Actions) (2017). Video, 5’45’’. Video and photography: Yane Calovski Editing: Gjorgje Jovanovik
Interference Janine Jembere A 1978 superhit by ( يلدنب ةلئاعthe Bendali Family) asks in its lyrics three simple yet urgent questions: Do you love me? Do you need me? Do you want me? Challenged by these questions of relation, Interference looks at what being loved, needed, or wanted is translated into when negotiated between differing bodies and positions. Janine Jembere’s works revolve around senses and the body, mainly questioning concepts of representation/translatability, race, and gender. She is interested in the resonances of embodied knowledge, sensual hierarchies, and the concept of dissonance as a tool to think and live within difference.
Interference (2017). Videoloop HD 4’42’’. Concept/Editing: Janine Jembere. Soundtrack with Claire Egan (Cunt Roaches). Based on the original version of “Do you love me” by ( يلدنب ةلئاعThe Bendali Family). Thanks to Dima Hourani.
Listening Experiment of 罔両(Penumbra) Keiko Uenishi
Through an experiential performative presentation, 罔両 (Mouryou/Penumbra) is to be summoned. The project is prepared in two phases prior to the live performance. Numerous hollow objects are collected, echoing people collecting stones in attempts to pile them up to complete a tower alongside 三途の川 (Sanzu River), which is believed to separate “life” and “death” at 賽の河原 (Sai-no-Kawara/Sai-Beach). Sai-no-Kawara is considered to be on the side of “life” (more like the area where ghosts reside who are not allowed to cross the river), following the old Japanese folktale of deceased children attempting to complete the tower so that they are rewarded by crossing the river to the “death” side (and thus rescued from suffering). The collection of the objects is done through collaboration with local activists who have been working at an abandoned theater (Teatro Marinoni), hospital (Ospedale al Mare) and ex-military barracks (Caserma Pepe) in Lido, Venice. Over the course of the collaborative search for the objects, audio recordings of “aural memories” (in the form of speaking voices) are also collected from the participating activists and those who use the area as a temporary hideout. In the live performance, the objects are gradually shaped into ever-unsettling “resonating” landscapes and chambers that loosely accommodate the collected aural recollections as if the murmurs of penumbrae were seeping through along the wet edges of the canals of Venice. The resulting structures are installed within the exhibition, attempting to follow the traces of the penumbrae and shadows. Uenishi is in search of memory formed through hearing/listening and how the memory is constructed, memorized or forgotten. She is interested in hollow objects, objects with a cavity that she sees as an extended image of a mouth.
Listening Experiment of 罔両 (2017). Installation with found objects and audio recordings. Live performance on September 7, 2017, 30’. Collaborators in Venice: Giovanni Dinello, Riccardo Sellan, Biennale Urbana (Andrea Curtoni and Giulia Mazzorin) Collaborator for on-site documentation: Sílvia das Fadas Technical assistance and logistical support: Department of Electronic Music, Conservatoire “B. Marcello” of Venice
Unsettling II: A guided meditation to the sea Lisa Nyberg The work deals with unsettling and de-centering by means of meditation. A voice guides the listener through an awareness exercise, where one’s body is soaked into the sea, and the rhythm of one’s body is disrupted by a call from the deep. There is an element of ”soft cohesion,” a persuasiveness of the voice, guiding the listener to dispossess the current reality, falling into another rhythm, to be possessed and unsettled. In the process there is also space for negotiation and resistance. Lisa Nyberg’s research deals with pedagogies of the unknown, and this work is part of her exploration of guided meditation as performance and pedagogy.
UNSETTLING II: A guided meditation to the sea (2017). Soundpiece for headphones, 18’. Text and voice: Lisa Nyberg Sound and mixing: Julia Giertz Soundbox: Terje Östling
Stuck Moira Hille
STUCK is an installation of everyday objects, pictures of the sea, sunlight sparkling in the water and a demanding sound. While following the seemingly innocent and neutral objects and pictures, the installation links them to murders at sea. The continuous attempt to hide past and current violence at sea in the waves is disrupted by the inadvertent and uninvited appearance of the ghost ship. Moira Hille researches the 18th century ghost ships that appeared mainly on the North American coastline. She investigates how historical discourses about these ships relate to current articulations of illegalized ships in the Mediterranean as ghost ships. Therefore she follows traces of various ghost ships throughout different times and examines them as a visual phenomenon that appears during most violent events and their continuities. Stuck (2017). Video installation. Concept, camera, text and editing: Moira Hille Sound: r:uds
Axolotl Healing Capsule (From The Formaldehyde Trip) Naomi Rincón Gallardo The Formaldehyde Trip is a piece of speculative fiction comprising a cycle of songs and videos imagining murdered Mixtec activist Bety Cariño on her journey to the underworld, where she finds women warriors, witches, and widows, both-sexed deities and animals preparing her re-birth party. “Axolotl Healing Capsule” is a scene from The Formaldehyde Trip, in which Bety leads an axolotl-ship dwelling in a lake. The ship is a healing capsule for a Third World Lesbian* Feminist mestiza companion who is conjuring up a burning sign for a revelation to come.
Naomi Rincón Gallardo’s work addresses initiatives concerning the creation of counterworlds within neocolonial contexts. Through masquerade lenses she integrates her interests in music, D.I.Y. aesthetics, sci-fi, theater games, humor, decolonial and antiracist feminisms, queer theory and critical pedagogy. Axolotl Healing Capsule (2017). Video HD 4’21’’. Lyrics: Naomi Rincón Gallardo. Composition and production of music: Federico Schmucler. With: Bárbara Lázara, Liz Misterio, Betza mee, Sure Elizabeth and Dayra Fyah. Production manager in Mexico City: María Fernanda Ayala. Cinematography: Dalia Huerta. Vocalists: Danishta Rivero and San Cha. Recording engineer, co-arranger and musician: David Molina. Video editing: Dalia Huerta and Naomi Rincón Gallardo. Photo documentation: Fabiola Torres-Alzaga. Props: Emilio Converso and Naomi Rincón Gallardo. Seamstress: Blanca Escandón. Make-up: Tae Solana. Naomi Rincón Gallardo’s The Formaldehyde Trip was commissioned by SFMOMA, part of Performance in Progress. Co-curated by Frank Smigiel, associate curator of Performance & Film, SFMOMA and Ani Rivera, executive director of Galería de la Raza.
Uprooting Ghosts: A Queer “Fantasia on National Themes” Rafał Morusiewicz This film is built out of multiple mashed-up layers, references, threads, sounds, and digressions. Its narrative point of departure is footage from three films invoking, diegetically and/or non-diegetically, moments of discord in the 1952-1989 realities in Poland and Hungary: Hands Up! (dir. Jerzy Skolimowski, 1967/1981), How Far Away, How Near (dir. Tadeusz Konwicki, 1971), and Another View (dir. Karoly Makk and Janos Xantus, 1982). The films present stories of individuals who are emblems of specific chronopolitical moments in the heterogeneous histories of Poland and Hungary. A theme that binds and informs my reading of, as well as the interventions into, the source material is uprootedness: in the stories narrated, of the characters’ features, of the films themselves. The film propels the action of uprooting, with the multiple layers of sounds, images, text, and narrations. These are the voices that digress, that fight for prominence, that fleet. Rafał Morusiewicz’s research and film practice is informed by auto-ethnography and mixtape editing aesthetics as the methods of queering the chronopolitical quality of the found footage material. Uprooting Ghosts: A Queer “Fantasia on National Themes” (2017). Video loop, 46’58’’. Image: Hands Up! (Polish title “Ręce do góry”, dir. Jerzy Skolimowski, 1967/1981) Production Company: Zespół Filmowy Syrena and PRF Zespoły Filmowe Copyright: Studio Filmowe Kadr
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Nobody with a Movie Camera (In Search of Lost) Ruth Jenrbekova The film comprises static and panning shots of central streets and parks in Almaty. This is an attempt to capture ghostly life—not that of the city, but of the one who observes it. What do the cityscapes look like from the viewpoint of the underexistent? This film inverts relations between disembodied ghosts and their corporeal vis-à-vis that used to be relations between spectacle and spectator. In popular culture ghosts have been demanded, due to the exotic aura of mystery that surrounds them. They are searched for, photographed, studied, even hunted. But what are their perspectives?
The so-called ghost cities are also getting popular worldwide, becoming tourist attractions and subjects of eerie documentaries. However, there are spectral entities in full-blooded living cities, too. For them there is nothing exotic or eerie in being kept away from what rightful citizens and entitled humans consider their own vested habitat. Perhaps what we call haunting is just a manifestation of a desire to reconnect.
Nobody with a Movie Camera (In Search of Lost) (2011-2017). Video documentary, 60’. Idea, editing, sound: Ruth Jenrbekova Photography: Morris Getman Commissioned by Creolex centr, Almaty
Her* Hands and his Shape: Incantations Masha Godovannaya & Sílvia das Fadas
Through the process of re-photographing images that portray women filmmakers from a varied cine-geography and film stills taken from their works, Masha Godovannaya and Sílvia das Fadas summon a shared but less known lineage of avant-garde cinema from a feminist perspective. Experiential and transformative, the images engendered by these women filmmakers visit and implicate the artists, urging them to acknowledge a plurality of visions and struggles, while superimposing, disrupting and fusing them with images from their personal archives. The chosen apparatus of conjuring — two 35mm slide projectors on loop and one portable screen — charm the viewers into embracing gaps and ruptures, foreground mattering. It is a project of re-enchantment: seeing things, hearing things, possibly crossing worlds.
Masha Godovannaya and Sílvia das Fadas are both interested in the politics intrinsic to cinematic practices and in cinema as a way of being together in restlessness and brokenness. Their collaboration aims to interrogate and unsettle the terrain of politics and feminist cinema.
Her* Hands and his Shape: Incantations (2017). Two carousel slide projectors, asynchronous loop, one hundred sixty 35mm color and b/w slides.
Resonance: Serfdom Zosia Hołubowska The sound installation is organized around a song, arranged and performed by Hołubowska. This melody has been present in their family for at least two generations and is about the hardship of working in the field. The very same song was used by the socialist regime propaganda and performed by a folk band “Mazowsze”. Referring to D.I.Y. and punk aesthethics, Hołubowska uses this song to conjure ghosts of their female relatives and sing about the serfdom past of their family. This opens up a space for a different kind of understanding / meeting that can only be sung out. Hołubowska engages with traditional ways of singing and understands this as a practice of creating knowledge and an analytical tactic. Their artistic research seeks to create queer safer spaces through music, where diverse experiences are cherished and privileges challenged.
Resonance: Serfdom (2017). Sound installation. Hand cut vinyl with a song arranged and performed by Zosia Hołubowska, wooden table, record player, splitter, headphones. Vinyl cut: Natascha Muhič / Vinylograph Recording amd mixing: Jacek Szabrański / Latające Studio Table design: Frederik Marroquín / Nordpol Art Studio
Grandpa’s Backpack Zsuzsi Flohr “Grandpa’s backpack is one of the absent objects carrying magical power in my family. These phantom objects are the main protagonists of the legendary story of my grandfather’s survival during World War II. Despite the fact that I have never seen them, these objects are the family parable. The message behind this parable is: be prepared, think about details, be precise, be smarter than others, invest in details that other people do not consider relevant, and for me they are a memento with the message to never give up.” In the framework of Grandpa’s Backpack Flohr reproduced her grandfather’s backpack based on family memories. Through this process Flohr reconstructed the story of her grandfather’s life during World War II, his life in the copper mines of Bor as a slave laborer. Flohr departed from the fragmented family anecdotes. In the past years she has been going through archives and libraries all around the world to find written evidence of her grandfather’s slave labor in Bor that supports the family parable. Flohr’s artistic practice and research deals with the issues of the “third generation after the Holocaust” in terms of personal narratives, commemoration, trans-generational trauma and examining the possibility of a shared politics of memory. Grandpa’s Backpack (2017). Installation with backpack and research book.
HAUNTOPIA / WHAT IF Exhibition Guide and Glossary
Concept, coordination, editing: Katalin Erdődi Texts & images © Aline Benecke, Zsuzsi Flohr, Katalin Erdődi, Sílvia das Fadas, Masha Godovannaya, Moira Hille, Zosia Hołubowska, Hristina Ivanoska, Janine Jembere, Ruth Jenrbekova, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Rafał Morusiewicz, Lisa Nyberg, Read-in, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Keiko Uenishi. Design: Julia Zastava Proofreading: Emily Lemon Published by Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, PhD-in-Practice Program © 2017 Academy of Fine Arts Vienna All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
HAUNTOPIA / WHAT IF is realized with the kind support of
The Research Pavilion: Utopia of Access is created and hosted by Uniarts Helsinki and realized together with the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and the Swedish Art Universitiesâ€™ collaboration Konstex in co-operation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Zurich University of the Arts.
Keiko Uenishi acknowledges the support of
Serena Lee/Read-in acknowledges the support of
HAUNTOPIA/WHAT IF, Exhibition and Conference, Venice 2017, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna