Hanna Install 2

Continuing from my first install, I have developed my idea of using dough and performance to explore my relationship to my body. I have experimented with placing dough on various parts of my body and found it was my chest that I was most drawn to covering. I wanted to recreate and amplify the ways I feel my chest, both psychologically and physically, weighs me down and show this through a messy and animate substance.

In my performance I engaged in a futile practice to hide my body or erase my breasts as every time I placed the dough on me it would slip. However, through this ritual the dough takes on the natural yeast in my skin, bringing it to life. There is something interesting in the ways I am “shedding my skin” into the post-performance dough as I use this process to gain a deeper understanding of my gender. Moving forward I would therefore like to somehow use this naturally yeasted dough in my next piece of work.

 

 

I chose to show a projection rather than a live performance so that I could focus and have some level of control of the viewers gaze onto my chest area and how revealing it would be. I layered footage to create a feeling of disorientation and disconnect as well as a sense of conversation between my body at different stages of the process. I chose to initially project it in a “traditional way” in the middle of the wall. However, projecting it lower down the wall and into the corner to split the screen created a better effect of the disorientation I was aiming to show. I chose to also play the sounds of the dough squelching on my body to make it a more immersive experience, but the sound quality was not so great and didn’t achieve the effect I wanted it to. I would therefore like to re-record the sound in another performance and experiment with ways this could be used in another piece.

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Ana Luiza’s Install # 2 – Tea bags, 2017

Installs - Round 2
The seven sculptures

 

Drinking tea is a cultural behavior well established within English culture for years. The simple comforting pleasure of taking a cup of tea throughout the day is the main reason why this conduct became so strong in the culture, I personally believe.

In my first install, I allowed the thinking on the tea bags. I put several on the floor and other elements producing an installation. For my second install, I reduced the amount of information and elements I added before. Instead, I started by looking at the shapes of the disposed tea bags and I searched for the most interesting shapes to be transformed in   sculptures. It was a meticulous process of analysis and research on the materials and processes on the making of the sculptures. I chose 3D printing because of the accuracy it gives to the final pieces and then I decided to explore different materials: two of them in wood and five in plastic, transparent/ translucent, white and black. Tea bags after used come in different shapes and sometimes, different colours. The seven sculptures represent the seven days of the week.

I was inspired by Rachel Whiteread, the British artist who works with sculptures in different proportions. Her work represents an enormous variety of the everyday objects in diverse materials, like plaster and concrete. It was stimulating for me to see her work and thinking about the materials I would be using.

 

 

At the end, I was able to create seven tea bags sculptures all of them from the original PG Tips brand. The different materials, wood, and plastic represent the individuality of a person and the ways of drinking tea. To complement the individuality I decided to build independent shelves and I fixed separately into the wall. As a result of the research, my overall thought about my work was the feeling of achievement of my intentions.

Ana Luiza’s Install # 1 – Tea bags, 2017

I have had tea in my life since I was a child, a custom that came from my grandparents and since then I am in love with tea. This nostalgia constantly came to light with the briefing: Duration. Starting from the briefing and an act of total obsession, I began storing the tea bags I was consuming.

All tea bags are the common brand of tea, nothing sophisticated, a popular English brand: PG Tips. After using them, I let them dry in the natural. It surprises me to analyze them later since each one has a different shape and coloration.

The wrinkles produced by the dryness fascinate me and remind me of the wrinkles of human skin in the elderly. The aging in both medium, the used tea bags, and skin of elderly people inspired me to explore the connection between time and raging. Wrinkles are signs of maturity that some people avoid as much as possible, but for me, it is above all a sign of respect and history. I believe that older people who remain with expression marks, rather than using aesthetic products are extremely charming people.

Starting from these two distinct beginnings I decided to create my project: Tea bags. My main focus was to represent what is visceral in people, their wrinkles. Usually, older people drink more tea than younger people. I believe that due to the low body temperature, the tea heats them and, consequently, it comforts them. I saw a parallel between my used tea bags and the wrinkles of the elderly.

Finding the ideal image to represent people’s wrinkles was not an easy task. Usually, photographs avoid the signs of aging. I was elated when I came across the work of Chuck Close: American artist and photographer.

Fanny:Fingerpainting, 1985 by Chuck Close
Fanny/Fingerpainting,1985 by Chuck Close

I have made a reduced appropriation of one of his conceptual portraits: Fanny, 1985 hand-painted since he usually works in large format. As evidence of my fragmented thinking, in my work, I decided to split the portrait of Fanny into four A4. I spread it randomly on the wall. To represent the tea bags that are normally discarded by people after use, I have meticulously arranged them on the floor.

I had a last minute idea, and I decided to add two mugs floating on the ceiling. I thought it would be a great idea to represent the male and female sexes through a poetic license. I was pleased at the ending. It was a process of experimentation that made me reflect a lot on my life experiences and how to express them.

 

BALINT ON ROBIN’S 90 MINUTES PLUS EXTRA TIME

Robin’s first install for Nothing was really aesthetically pleasing. Not just the photograph itself, but personally I really liked the way it was installed. Not to mention the twist behind the whole work.

For the first sight seemingly the photograph was about a football field. With the usage of a wide angle lens, the pitch looks even more like an arena. It seemed to me like a serenity portrait of a battlefield, where men play hard to win the match. The image represented me the calm before the storm, a place where history is being made. 

The Photograph

By looking around the whole piece, we could read a short report of the match and a list of the players written around the extended photo paper. This made me question, why? Was this a report of a previously played match? Should I seek for traces of that match?

Installation view
The Report

But this was not the case. When I had a closer look at the photograph, I realised that the grandstand was blurry and was not empty. The cheering spectators did not move trough the exposure significantly, so they become visible on the image. Instantly Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Theaters series popped in my mind. He wanted to discover, what happens if you capture a whole movie into a single frame, with an exposure that is with the same length as the movie. According to Robin, he used the same technic, with a total exposing time of 94 minutes.

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Akron CIvic Theatre (Ohio, 1980)

Even though I really like how text and photographs as two different mediums complemented each other, the main twist in his work for me was the contradiction. He gave the viewer everything, since every move of the whole match was recorded, even wrote a detailed text about it, but since we could not see anything, the viewer end up getting nothing.

 

BALINT ON LARA’S INORGANICS

I have found Lara’s work called Inorganics really interesting in many ways.

She created a dozens of jellyfishes from plastic bags, hanged them from the ceiling, and placed them to a corridor like space, so the viewer had the opportunity to walk between them, also touch them. As the jellyfishes live in the deep water, the representation was accurate, with the semi dark space. The little lighting LED lights inside the balloon like bags also created a mysterious atmosphere around the work.

Installation view

Before she talked about her intention to the work, what really got my attention was the fact that she created a representation of an ocean living being from a plastic bag that is basically one of the biggest enemy of the marine ecosystem. Polymer materials play a big role in ocean pollution that causes death of numerous animals day by day. I also found that sort of contradiction very interesting that there is a type of jellyfish that is immortal as It can revert itself to juveniles, while polymers need to take forever to degrade. One represents the will of live the other represents the ever living death. The last thing that popped in my mind, that translucent plastic bags are barely recognisable in water for the other spices, also their motion can be similar as the jelly fishes move. So in to a certain extend this material adapted to the sea life, that makes it even more dangerous for the animals who eat jellyfishes.

Plastic Bag VS Jellyfish

In regards of installation, I could imagine a whole semi dark room filled with the jelly fishes. And since they area nearly weightless, instead of a hanging them from the ceiling, I would rather just let them floating around in a closed exhibition space controlled by air fans.

Floating plastic bags (Jellyfishes)

As I have found this work aesthetically pleasing, I could also imagine these made in mass production, woven from plastic yarn made from ocean waste. It could be used as a mood light in homes and more oceans could be cleaner.

 

 

ORLANDO: STUDY FOR A TRANSIT (2017) Install #2

Being given the theme of duration, I’ve decided to investigate the connections between time and gender transition process (GTP), trying to explore how it affects the perception of time of the transitioning person.

GTP can be regarded as a deep and big disruption in the linearity of one’s personal history. Changes like inhabiting the preferred gender instead of the birth assigned one, choosing a new (legal) name or going on hormones create a kind of shift that is often felt like being born again. So the new gender identity produces a kind of cut, where there is an old life connected to the previous gender identity and a new life connected to the new gender. This produces the need to reconsider the past from the perspective of the new gender identity and also to live experiences that haven’t been lived before as they were not “allowed” in the other gender.  This gave me the idea of a back and forward movement between as if in order to go ahead and gain the new identity one also needed to go somehow backwards and also of a misalignment in the life’s times. I tried to express this with a sound-video. The video comprises two films embedded one in the other. The sound is made of two voices in a Q&A mode plus distorted clocks’ noises.

The work was displayed with a monitor placed on the edge of a lying plinth and speakers placed on the two sides of the plinth.

Installation view

I regard this work as a first draft version in the exploration of a subject matter which is very complex and the crit that followed provided with important feedbacks in order to develop it.

Main points to be considered are: 

  • connections with my previous install;
  • relationship between sound and video, which were perceived as disconnected;
  • the location chosen to shoot the video, and how it relates to the main concept;
  • the way the work was installed, which, although not intentional, came out as a potential installation on its own.
Installation view (after crit suggestion)

So for the future my intention is to develop the work pushing it further. Specifically I would change the shooting location and try to include a kind of performance, as it’s usually part of my art practice, especially in the production of works relating to the GTP.

Lara: Installation #1: Inorganics

Plastics have quickly become one of the most insidious materials impacting our ecology. The threats to marine life and to the food chain have become an inescapable present and future and an unmitigated test to the resilience of our ecosystem. My intention was to begin to evaluate this threat while constructing a memory of ancient organics using inorganic materials. I used clear plastic refuse bags, shaped into soft forms resembling jellyfish, giving a life to the plastics. I wanted the viewer to feel immersed in a school of jellyfish, inspired by a surreal childhood memory.

I wanted to simulate a playful and simplified memory of these mysterious organic forms, harkening to a time when we were mystified by natural phenomenon but unaware of our impact on them. Now our waste is beginning to taking on a life of its own, refuse is gathers in formations that are beginning to simulate a new ecology; our inorganisms have in effect come to life.


 (Photo: Ben Mierement/U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

My intention was to minimise waste in my practice, working with plastic bags seemed a logical place to start. These transparent refuse bags are so delicate that they quickly came to life on their own and I discovered ways that I could manipulate them to make new shapes and textures. Each bag was constructed so that it can be either reconstructed into alternative forms or returned to their intended one.

Waste reduction and renewability was a constant consideration. I wanted to use as little material as possible and create something seemingly weightless and dreamlike in the process. Lights were added to the forms as an attempt to mimic their fluorescence. The end result was a very simple temporary form with a bit of water added to the interior as an attempt to give them a inverted sense of life as the bodies fill with condensation over time.

 

Thanks for letting us know by Gema.

In 2015, advertising was introduced on Instagram, the most popular image-based social media platform worldwide. The consequences of this operation are gigantic because the number of users is projected to surpass 111 million users in 2019- Instagram allows the advertising industry to harvest a countless amount of data mainly collected from its parent company, Facebook. With machine learning techniques analyzing and creating behavioural profiles based on all our online activities, we are increasingly exposed not only to lose fundamental privacy rights but also to be categorized as ‘dividuals’ – a networked human being who is classed, predictable, profitable and ultimately, incapable of making decisions by itself.

In order to explore different strategies of algorithmic resistance, Thanks for letting us know suggests the obfuscation technique as both a political gesture and active response to the adverts on Instagram. Based on the idea of adding noise into a signal in technical systems, the piece raises the question of, given that algorithms learn from data – what might it happens if you make your own data lie? Thanks for letting us know is a sculpture of a white metal bracket that holds a small portable computer installed in front of the window gallery. For more than 13 minutes, I recorded the action of scrolling down through my own private Instagram feed looking for as many sponsored posts as could report. The recording does not show the reasons directly rather it brings them into the context of my intention to create a critical space around dependency and control in the so-called worlds of algorithmic governance and data economies.

 

Thanksforlettingusnow_GD.jpg
Installation view of Thanks for letting us know, 2017.

 

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Screenshoots details of Thanks for letting us know, 2017.

Spanish artist and activist Manuel Beltrán responds to the exploitation of personal information in Data Production Labour, 2017. The piece was exhibited last year in The Glass Room – a thoughtful show curated by The Tactical Tech – in which the artist speculates about how humans would be profitable in a foreseeable post-work world. Through an interactive system composed of a sensor and facial recognition software, Beltrán’s machine conveys a valuable correlation between the tension of both reading and feelings while simultaneously the visitor is scrolling down through the Facebook feed. Ultimately, Beltrán argues that the human-data generated in social media is an inherent form of productive labour, thus through a printed receipt result encourages the audience to claim the payment for their labour from Facebook.

 

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Data Production Labour by Manuel Beltrán. The Glass Room exhibition ©David Mirzoeff 2017

 

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Printed receipt from Data Production Labour by Manuel Beltrán.

 

Ana Luiza: Thaisa’s Install # 1

The lightness of the Thaisa’s stones makes me meditate about the balance between rocks and papers. At the first impression, you imagine being something impossible, however, the contemplation of her work transformed the questionable into something beautiful: the perfect math.

One of Thaisa’s works is a volcanic black stone in perfect equilibrium underneath a pile of A4 paper. On the top of the pile of papers, it is possible to see an illustration of a dark circle with the same shape to the stone below, fixed into a shelf in the wall.

In contradiction with the first piece, Thaisa’s other work reverses the situation. The volcanic black stone is on the top of the black circle in a bigger piece of paper stock firmly fixed on the wall like a hammock.

 

 

It’s interesting to notice the parallel between the balance and the physical sense of the compositions. Both pieces of Thaisa’s work have a duality, like positive (light) and negative (dark) or like the masculine and feminine, Ying and Yang.

I can see a connection to Michael Grab’s, the Canadian artist specializing in rock balancing. Both artists focus on the physical element of finding the perfect equilibrium, almost the point zero of joining stones and components.

art-of-rock-balancing-by-michael-grab-gravity-glue-3
Art of rock balancing by Michael Grab

According to Grab “the most fundamental element of balancing in a physical sense is finding some kind of ‘tripod’ for the rock to stand on”.

Thaisa’s work is beyond the symmetry of the stones, it is the searching for perfection, harmony, and balance between objects. At the ending of her show what is left for the viewers is a tremendous feeling of satisfaction over the simplicity of the volcanic stone.

Ana Luiza: Abbas’s Install # 1

Abbas Zaheldi
Installation view

At the first install, everyone was unsure and apprehensive about how everything would be. On the day, I came across a large man sitting onthe floor, cross-legged and with naked feet super concentrated and with sublime air. It took me a while to realize it was Abbas.

I lose the timidity that consumes me a few times and I got closer to him. I crouched to talk and admired his work. His work material is laid out on the floor: a folder with medical notes (I think), two plastic bags with beans; one with raw/red beans and the other with grains painted in white.

Abbas remained seated, but with his legs in different positions and his hands full of beans. He is painting one by one with Tipp-Ex Corrector! This remembers my childhood. I used it a lot in schoolbooks to cover my handwriting mistakes. I had not seen one of these for years. Pure nostalgia came to me.

I salute the greatness of his gesture: to paint the bean grains meticulously and after drying, dispose it inside a can, half opened. In my conception his art is there as well in the development of creative work. Transforming something ordinary from our day-to-day into something new or better to say, turn simple coffee beans into art.

Abbas finishes his performance by standing besides the can full of beans spinning. The product of his work has got a bit of magic. Abbas is an artist to stay tuned for and I should not miss his performance of the continuing of ‘But a Bean can Bee a Machine’, 2017 later on inJanuary 2018 at Burlington Camden.