Category Archives: Art

Journeys with no return / a conference at the Goethe Institute

“Journeys with no return” arguable describes anyone’s passage through life, but in the context of this conference which refers to the exhibition of same title at the A Foundation the subject is migration, immigration and cultural contexts.

from the Goethe Institute website: “Themes include how culture is transformed through migration, the influence of Turkish migration on contemporary practitioners and how we are building new cultural contexts in the 21st century city.”

Towards the end of the day the conference appeared to become somewhat confused with itself, maybe we had all been there, too long by then, too tired, saturated with so much interesting and very varied material. I feel that the organizers of the day may have fallen pray to the desire to show as much as possible, cover as many angles of their interests as possible and with this the direction became confused for those who sought something more linear.
We covered so much ground and at several junction there just wasn’t enough time to do justice to what we had just heard. The breaks were called late and yet too soon to hear just half of what the audience would have liked to contribute, or what the panel and artists could have shared. The schedule was very ambitious and probably didn’t suit everyone’s expectations.

An odd outburst of emotion threatened to hijack the last minutes of the conference with most of us confused where the outburst came from even I could only conclude some misunderstanding had taken place. The accusations seemed far fetched and were delivered with surprising force…

It was inspiring to see Edgar Schmitz tie up loose ends, answer impossible questions, tame the currents of emotion when they flared, he did this with admirable skill and lucidity.

I hadn’t quite realized the significance of the Arcola Theatre, after this conference I see very clearly what an important role the Arcola plays in the cultural life of London. What an achievement to gain such a position among such a large playing field.

Alfredo Cramerotti @ Events at the Open Eye Gallery Liverpool

Redeye Network Meeting
Tuesday 19 May, 7.30pm
Speaker: Alfredo Cramerotti

Alfredo Cramerotti will present his recent project Faulty Lines. Shot in various cities around the world, the project explores the relationship between the two-dimensional photographic image and a three-dimensional built environment. Alfredo Cramerotti is an artist, curator and writer based in Derby. His work as an artist is primarily concerned with questions of narrative in photography, installation, video, performance and text. Organised in collaboration with Open Eye Gallery, Redeye’s Liverpool Network meetings take place every couple of months. They offer photographers of all kinds the chance to meet, catch up on news and gossip, meet members of the Redeye and Open Eye Gallery teams and see short talks and presentations of work.

Free event, all welcome.

We should all be given an audio as well as hard copy of all the
inns and outs. And possibly a loudspeaker system that gently
reminds us (me) of the essentials on every even date’s full hours
would prove useful.
Or simply a return to the blackboard on which I could write:
“I repent. And I must read all of the handbook,
as this information is probably found inside of it…”

I like this Jump Ship Rat production:

Artists BEN PARRY & JACQUES CHAUCHAT of Jump Ship Rat unite once again to create a giant mobile water fountain. An endless waterfall 40 meters wide pours from above as if from nowhere, circumventing a narrow boat and hiding it behind a wall of water. Theatrical and playful the gliding water fountain comes to grace the Albert Dock. Erupting from the dock, this is an aesthetic and sensory delight that hypnotises the viewer into quiet contemplation, then passing through tunnels and canals it disappears leaving only the still pool. A Liverpool Commissions project; JSR U-51 celebrates the City’s maritime history through the element water. Water is the source of all life on earth, as such it has appeared in culture across the ages as a metaphor for the cycle of life, genesis and power; a spiritual symbol and an evocation of the natural world.

Gusto

The “Dungbeetle and Sisyphus” project is still in the making, well,
there has been very little making so far, more a slow fermentation.
Hopefully I will make my human-sized dungball this week, it will be a
large bale of hay covered in manure. Lovely. I may have found the way
to deter any further options of having a personal life.
Unfortunately I probably won’t be able to go straight for the filming in
the location that I really would like to use, that will need to be better prepared,
i.e. I will need suitable transport that can move my huge ball of…
well, I don’t need to spell it out I am sure…

So I am planning to make my prop on Thursday in a hopefully ‘co-operative’
horse stables and document that part to begin with (the making).
Perhaps I will be able to roll it around a bit in the adjacent country/town scape = test..
It’s my birthdays on Wednesday, I think it’s quite fun to start the new year with dungball rolling..

Then what?
Better admin skills are needed; i.e. more disciplin! & I am considering to adopt an alias.
Speaking with Greg from The Art Organization (TAO) in Liverpool I was reminded that a
friend and I, years ago, started to construct our aliases.
An alias could be useful, when I have ideas that I just have to make or else they will clog
my pores; but which I don’t want to take responsibility for at this time… I am tempted.

Art in Liverpool:
I am quite impressed at the moment. There is a nice dynamic around and I am seeing
quite a lot of what seems like inter-group-team-playing.. Perhaps we’ve cracked it…
I think there is a real chance that quite a significant number of artists have decided to
get into that boat and row together for faster progress…
Although I do know of at least 8 people who will leave as soon as the
Capital of Culture Year is over.. Perhaps some Art Vultures..? Is that term even fair?
I will think about it and report back.

So, I have been invited by the Royal Standard to take up residence and am delighted.
I like the feel that hovers around the group, there is a distinct air of promise around
them. Oh and now I am part of it.
My first venture into group activity in a long time. Not before in my art practice,
not voluntarily. I just wasn’t quite ripe before now.
But right now it seems like the perfect choice.
I am open to all currents.

Conclusion: Positive.

A day for 30s…. the day I earnt £30 and got a parking ticket to pay £30

… now that was today.

What do I gain from the experience? A pat on the shoulder for having tried my best.

That doesn’t quite seem satisfying.

A brief meeting with film-maker gained me a confirmation that he is up for filming for nothing much more than the covering of the actual expenses of doing so. Oh thank all heavens for that.

Now I am short of one assistant and then the camera can roll…

I think we will schedule the weekend for mid-late May or mid-June, alternatively.

All my applications came back rejected. I am an artistic reject. Let’s see if I can’t turn that round by 180 degrees in the next 12 months. Can I become the equivalent of hot-cake instead?
My other collaborator said this: Turn towards the light…
And so I shall. As spiritual as that sounds. But what is wrong with spirit?

Now I have 30 days to make the structures for exhibition in St Luke’s and perhaps I can find a follow on exhibition for them, too.

The 7 Giants will stand tall and proud, strong a watchful in the ruin of St Lukes which was severely damaged in WW2. The church remains a memorial to lives lost, fates suffered. Not that its presence often stops anybody in their tracks anymore to contemplate the past and it’s lingering echos into this presence..
But there it stands nevertheless, a memorial.

In it I will place 7 bird hides / forester’s hides, standing tall on elongated legs. watchful. Whether they are friend or foe remains open. 7 giants on tall legs viewing over the space. 7 because that is the great number of fables, tales and belief.7 to indicate the quality of my thoughts and search for expression.

My project is not a statement, not a conclusion or answer but a search for truth, abstract notions of truth of who we are, us, these humans. My art work really is better described as a journey not a conclusion. To ask what my work is about is to ask “What has moved you in the past year, 10 years or in fact since you became aware of anything moving you at all.” And just how does one give an answer, a concrete solid answer with brevity..? It’s always that is in the art work, it’s not the isolated moment that is in it. A life philosophy becoming visual, tangible, solid. A sharing of intimate concerns and searches, that is what the art is. Of course I have no expectation that it is that to you, to the audience. But I hope it shows. A section of the inside of my thoughts, on exhibition in St Luke’s. From the 30th of May for 2 weeks only..

My spelling makes me laugh: a wether is a castrated ram… (wether = ram; whether ..)

someone else’s words that move me, words that do the speaking for me, words that somehow catch the essence of tonight

Enrico Lunghi
wrote this for the 52. Venice Biennale

“So here I am in an indistinct place filled with strange sensualities. I abandon myself to feelings that are welling up into my consciousness after obscure stays in the depths of memory. Shameful desires reverberate in the indefinable scents that surround me.

And yet the approach was vague, around the back of a courtyard full of promises. Venice makes so many of them, and keeps so few. Then, without warning, a corridor indirectly puts me on the threshold of a sense of deja-vu. Here, a fan breathes air that has come from afar. The colours and materials also seem to have become stranded in the present. Sounds, again, remind me of elsewhere, of evenings, of other evenings.

I move forward. I can feel my heart pounding. My skin brushes against an atmosphere charged with possible touches. The rhythms interlace like lovers’ sighs. Outside, the daylight, the water, the boats. Maybe I don’t even see them, but it is enough that I am imagining them.

I let myself be carried along by the passing time. I open up all the pores of my being to what is reaching me from outside. I trust in what I am, in what I want, now, in this place. On the other side of the wall, across the windows, work follows its course, as does the day, and the water, too. Lives pass. But it’s on the other side.

Then, as desire at last pushes me further, I find myself in front of two door leaves. there, the presence of the other, although inaccessible, becomes palpable. Like memory of a sweating body from an unforgettable film. I remain, for an undefined moment, the perpetual desirer, while the disturbance that permeates the walls moves away like the foghorn of a ship leaving the misty quayside.

Now, another, different story begins, for me and me alone.

“The Dungbeetle and Sisyphus”

A narrative, humorous and maybe semi-tragic tale and live art performance piece that resonates with some poetry and Cumbria’s faded clay industry.

The project takes a sincere/humorous look at the life of a dungbeetle placed in parallel with the mythological, eternally punishing, futile and hopeless fate of Sisyphus. (Alluding to questions about meaning in life, but light-hearted in presentation. The ball of clay, the act of rolling it as life’s task and purpose/dharma.)

(Sisyphus : punished in Hades for his misdeeds in life by being condemned to the eternal, futile, hopeless task of rolling a large stone to the top of a hill, from which it always rolled down again.)

Live Art / sculpture: The artist will be the dungbeetle, will be Sisyphus and roll a giant-human-sized ball of clay (dung) around sites in Cumbria and conduct interviews with passer-byes.

Films :
Performance: (live art, as described)
Interviews : involving local volunteers (chance street passer-byes & recruited ones), telling their versions of Sisyphus, mythologically correct and flawed, volunteers will be encouraged to elaborate… (I have conducted tests and people are surprisingly easily engaged in telling tales and reminiscing on further interpretations.)

Motivations other than existing interests:
Lost industry- changing industry / lost identity-changing identity.
The lost and changed clay industry of Cumbria.

Istanbul

Memories of january are lingering in the air, just as I should be working on an important application form…

Below is the “New Mosque”