As I wrote in a previous post about Building the Dream. ErAZ van was known as the Yeraz or the Dream. The term Yeraz or Yerazi is also used to refer to a Azerbaijani sub-group also. The Azeri people are a clan of Azerbaijani’s from Yerevan. The word itself can refer to those people who are not from Yerevan, I guess like myself though I am not Azerbaijani.
This interplay of words really draws me in as the idea of Yeraz which the people of Yerevan fondly refer the to ErAZ also has links to Azerbaijani clan that is predominate in Azerbaijani politics. To this day there is an ongoing war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. My thoughts keep reflecting on this now closed border between these two nations and the two countries with ancestry that is spread across these lands. The mobility of the ErAZ the Yerevan dream whilst the Yerazi a displaced clan that even though not in their birth land they are still dominant in their nations organisation. These are resilient dreams.
Interesting short about Thea Djordjadze and her works. The importance she puts on the title being part or the work or addition rather than an explanation or a throw away remark. The work and title go together it is part of the work.
I am finding myself drawn to to practices that seem to be visually similar. I am not sure if this is a need by me to make works in this vain or whether they are just comforting and digestible on my part. However the works by Thea Djordjadze are by no means simple or something I think are easy to make. The comprehension of space and 3D composition are intelligent and the execution is beautiful. Some of the works are as though you are holding your breath, a savoured moment that is enjoyed for a brief second.
I am drawn to the work of Tatiana Trouvé, the works seem strong and made with such precise intent yet delicate and respectful of the spaces they occupy. Trouvé exhibits a skill that I rarely see with a lot of artworks and that is touch, an ability to present works that are not over worked and stand on their own, not questioning why they were made. This subtle skill allow Trouvé to present works that fulfil a hunger I guess for me as an artist to see within other artists practices. Trouvé works intrigue and raise questions of their being and a desire to ask more. I am not sure I can ask for more from art work. The review by Andrea Gyorody in Artforum discuss’s some of the work in her first solo show at the Kunstmuseum in Bonn.
View of “Tatiana Trouvé,” 2014.
KUNSTMUSEUM BONN Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 2 October 16–May 4
For her first solo exhibition in Germany (co-organized with the Kunsthalle Nürnberg and the Museion in Bolzano, Italy), Tatiana Trouvé has transformed eight galleries of the Kunstmuseum Bonn into a series of separate but interconnected installations. Each room is presented as a work in itself, comprised of singular sculptures—and in a few cases, drawings—in combination with alterations to the space. One gallery, with an intervention titled Prepared Space, 2014, is blindingly white, thanks to a stark coat of paint that exacerbates the effect of sunlight pouring in from above, an aggression matched by shallow gashes transecting the walls and floors. Bronze wedges are shoved into the cuts at irregular intervals, holding them agape like surgical wounds and making the entire room feel as if it might split open at any moment, swallowing the sculptures—and visitors—within it.
This sense of carefully orchestrated precariousness pervades the exhibition, particularly in the center gallery, which plays host to 350 Points Towards Infinity, 2009, an installation of small magnetized spinning tops, each suspended from the ceiling with taut wire and left to hover over the ground improbably, as if paused while in motion. Illusion is also a common theme of Trouvé’s work, whether manifest in sculptures that only appear ephemeral from a distance but which turn out to be cast concrete or bronze, or in constructed déjà vu moments, as Trouvé has created here by bookending the entrance with galleries that are eerie near mirror images, with only the subtlest variations in arrangement and detail. At first glance, one might be tempted to understand Trouvé’s work in the lineage of Arte Povera, especially when it involves yellowed mattresses, plastic bags, used shoes, piles of black sand, and copper piping. But her evident investment in tricks of the eye—and of the mind—paint her more accurately as a twenty-first- century surrealist, more interested in instigating a double take (and then a lingering, probing gaze) than in elevating humble everyday materials.
What is a starting point or how do I find an IN? A week ago I arrived in Yerevan, Armenia and within this week I have to find my bearings as well as figure where to begin. Though I have current and ongoing themes within my work I change, my location changes and especially the landscape I experience.
Firstly my process is simple I go get lost.. Not in the moment per se but in a place. Public transport is easy to do this in a new country. Just get on and do not worry about the direction just travel. This here in Yerevan is perfect as the whole experience is totally different from other countries I have experienced. The majority of the transport system is run by small minibuses similar to Ford Transit vans. I am 6’4″ so even getting into these at times is a challenge. Especially in rush hour, oh yes just like elsewhere in the world the transport system still gets crowded and these minibuses are full. Standing room only and you would be surprised at how many people these buses can carry. Its an impressive feet in itself. However the whole process is calm and collected considering the horns being used by other road users and taxis. The public just get on with it without any complaint or quibble.
Anyways back to process. My approach is I guess similar to the Situationists – Guy Debords’ dérive. I use my one and one approach with the city to experience the infrastructure and witness the makeup of the city. I am not directed as to where I head and would rather each left and right decided when it is met. By passing through districts, suburbs and communities you can get a feel for what atmosphere and people live in a space. This interaction with the landscape creates a dialogue that builds the more I walk and the further days spent doing so. I start to question or be drawn into errors, repetition, oddities, familiarities and characteristics. Its certainly not just the physical or visible that appeals, though sometime its the sense of smell or piercing sound that leaves a lasting impression. I find my experience of space similar to how I read people and their personalities. The anthropomorphic nature is something allows me to form initial ideas. What are these ideas, well I have no idea until I start to delve into these dérives. How do I know when I am onto a idea or something that is worth investigating further I do not know at first. However I could compare it to tennis. If you think about tennis and the shots that win matches or serves that are aces. These are not ideas that appeal to me as they are either one of, one liners or too literal in their representation of an idea. The ideas that I am interested in I would compare to the rallies that build and sometimes keep on going. These rallies I would compare to the discourse that the ideas created within my own research and investigations and those that I speak to regarding the work.
So by using this kind of dérive or active losing oneself I create an instability that aided by the new location or country sparks my engagement. I move and navigate the new spaces without plans though attentive to that which is around me. Over time my mind starts to read that which is around me in new ways and dialogues start to happen and it is these that I use to form the basis for new work/projects.
I am not one to normally care or even look at who has been nominated or won certain prizes. To be honest I am not sure how I ended up looking at the shortlist for this years New Sensations. However I am glad I did as there are some works that really interested me. Here is the link to the 25 artists who have been shortlisted. I have posted a few photos of those that I liked their process or output.
Click here: New Sensations 25
Just over a week ago I returned from Chile. I was there teaching snowboarding which is my other profession which helps fund my art activities. It has taken me a few days to come to terms with the last few days that I spent there as they were not like the rest of the season. When I tried to leave the country I was denied, refused exit. This is the first time in 16 years of travel that I have had an issue with a visa and it was a huge learning experience. Add to this that I may have learnt some Spanish in my time there but I am no way near fluent and going through this process of being denied by the check in agent to then being asked to speak to immigration followed by the police was quite a traumatic experience.
It turned out the company I had been working for had cut a few corners and had decided to not actually pay for the correct visa and had only process a token one month work visa even though they knew I was working for them for three months. So when I got to the airport and tried to explain that I had a visa, that I had paid tax and paid a visa fee. It took a while for an official to explain what had actually happened. The company I had been working for thought there would be no issue as most instructors left before their tourist visa was up.
So once I had been declined I had my passport confiscated and told that I would have to go to the main Ministry building for immigration on the Monday to see what fines I would have to pay. This is the first time in all my travels that I have been without my passport or been left in no mans land. It was an odd sensation and I am not sure how I feel about the days I spent in Santiago waiting to find out what the Ministry would say. It made me consider the issues and thoughts I examine within my art practice. These liminal states, borderless zones and wastelands where nothing but everything happens. This time where I was unable to go or do anything however I was there experiencing this quite unique process. It was real, very real to me, however I was also in limbo and these were nothing days that to everyone else really did not matter. This stasis I felt like I had little if no control of my fate or movement which compared to the fortunate life I have lead is quite the opposite.
I am not sure I have really come to terms or understood what or how this may affect or influence my work. However I leave for Armenia where I will spend the next six weeks on residency. I feel that some of the experiences I have undergone may start to filter into some of the investigations I make in the coming weeks.