Tuesday, 26 February 2008

On Mountains

Twelve steps cuts, images, imaginations, carving out the rhizomes that are inherent in the mountains’ structure to reach a rhizome of the female techno body and the scattered surface of the rock, zigzagging through it, jumping, letting fall, using the sticks and bricks and metal picks like teeth and finger nails, using teeth and nails and fingers to dig into holes, to feel the bodies weight against the rock’s sediments, will they hold, will they turn into body mass or will they crush the body into stone mass? It is a question of speed and slowness, just the right ingredients for a becoming, a becoming stone goat bird machine, the endorphin danger fear oxygen drug exhilarating the speed till it becomes part of another sphere just like performing a musical piece without controlling the fingers’ movements anymore performing the whole act of climbing a performance that cannot be taken back no return point every passage looks different when going backwards the impossibility to take back going backwards in the mountains the dead end that makes you lean back against the mountain and feel about death when you look at the scale a dimension that was not obvious step by step breath by breath only focussing the stones and path and little area of attention incapable to perceive the whole, the ensemble without you without humans just two meters too high enough to break down into the ice when falling to be caught in the inside of a glacier a rock a river to be cut off what is still counted as valley as landscape as humanised. Where is the invisible border between up there and among others between the mountains on their own and the assemblage created with animals, humans, cottages?

(Extract from a text on recent works of Alexandra Ferreira)

Monday, 18 February 2008

a little act of sabotage

When I lined up the little acts of sabotage I had committed during the last year, it soon got clear that they had been quite a failure: they had never attacked the heart of a project I had been invited to but then felt the urge to criticize. Instead, my little acts of sabotage appear as post scriptum, as last remark that goes against the grain, a gesture of final relief from a system or a rule I could not entirely identify with but got money from.
Did my acts have a destabilizing effect? And on whom: the system or myself? Will I continue this year without committing little acts of sabotage, and does this mean that I won’t earn money with projects I don’t agree with? Am I going to found a movement in order to perform collectively big acts of sabotage in a system or will we stay away from it anyway? And will you join us?

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Sculpture under working conditions

A pistol of grey marble is lying on a wooden pallet that composes a rough, yet symmetrical background. A clear image, it seems at the first glance: Figure on Background. But as soon as we regard how the material has been used, a paradoxical twist starts to turn the image around: How to connect the heavy weight of the pistol’s material with its (imaginary) use? How to understand the rough materiality with the clean surface in mind that constitutes sublime sculptures of marble? How to decipher the hidden narrative every pistol is pointing to – a trace of the deed – when the traces of work on the pistol itself remain so dominant?

Maybe a look on the second photo can lead us further:
We see the pistol with books, the classical arrangement of a romantic writer’s desk. This time, the background tells more about the setting: a working place of sculptors, a blurred image of other works and pallets that are used to carry stones and sculptures. The photo focuses on the works but does not leave the working frame, the working chain apart. Read from that background the arrangement of book and pistol tells about a transformation: the material that still carries the traces of its process of making is taken out of its frame, is transformed into a small narrative, a metaphoric scenery that does not longer belong to the space of work, but the sphere of art. Just as a writer might have left his notes and lines inside the books, the sculptor has left traces on the hard but smooth looking surface carved of the books; an own texture, an own style realized on a writer’s book, the old symbol for creative expression. The objects still show traces of the industrial act of machines carving the stone, but also of the intimate choreography, the movement of hands forming the stones by holding the machine like a pencil. The sculptor as writer, the writer as worker. In that sense, the sculptures can be read as a double portrait of their maker, exposing their hard materiality that needs to be worked on and the soft line of thought immerging in the act of transformation.

Let’s come back to the pistol: By exposing its materiality in a clear, yet paradoxical way, the pistol lying on a pallet questions its own classical, yet hidden discourse of stone and crime. By being part of the work arrangement pistol and books leave their classical frame and get closer to the sculptor herself, charmingly, ironically pointing out how sculpture is made “under working conditions”.

Let’s see what image will follow next.

(Text about sculptures and photos made by Alexandra Ferreira)

The Waves

Map on the psychological and dramaturgical development of the characters in Virginia Woolf's novel "The Waves"

Construction of the Other

Map of the Essay "Who sings the Nation State", part of Judith Butler