Reflexiv

Die reflexive Arbeit ist ein Gefäss, in dem die Kunst über sich selbst nachdenken kann via Künstler, eine Einladung, an diesem Denken teilzunehmen, Fragen zu stellen und in ein Gespräch zu geraten. Dieses Gefäss ist jeweils zu erfinden, deshalb ist die reflexive Arbeit ein Experiment. Es geht nicht um fertige Texte, Abhandlungen, Meinungen, theoretische Erörterungen, etc., sondern um eine jeweils spezifische Form der Selbstbestimmung. weiter...

Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW
Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst
Institut Kunst Gender Natur

Oslo-Strasse 3
4142 Münchenstein b. Basel
Kontakt, Facebook, Instagram

Die reflexive Arbeit ist ein Gefäss, in dem die Kunst via Künstler*in über sich selbst nachdenken kann, sie ist eine Einladung, an diesem Denken teilzunehmen, Fragen zu stellen und in ein Gespräch zu geraten. Dieses Gefäss ist jeweils zu erfinden, deshalb ist die reflexive Arbeit ein Experiment. Es geht nicht um fertige Texte, Abhandlungen, Meinungen oder theoretische Erörterungen, sondern um eine jeweils spezifische Form der Selbstbestimmung.

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Reflexiv



Die reflexive Arbeit 1
ist ein Gefäss, in dem die Kunst über sich selbst nachdenken kann via Künstler, eine Einladung, an diesem Denken teilzunehmen, Fragen zu stellen und in ein Gespräch zu geraten. Dieses Gefäss ist jeweils zu erfinden, deshalb ist die reflexive Arbeit ein Experiment. Es geht nicht um fertige Texte, Abhandlungen, Meinungen, theoretische Erörterungen, etc., sondern um eine jeweils spezifische Form der Selbstbestimmung. Sie muss nicht sprachlich sein, nicht schriftlich und auch nicht in irgendeinem Medium festgehalten werden. Entscheidend ist ihre Möglichkeit, Räume zu öffnen fürs Denken und Sprechen und einzustimmen in die mentalen Umgebungen der Werke. Eine reflexive Arbeit kann ein mündlicher Bericht über Lektüre sein, es können Interviews, Schlafprotokolle, Filme, Musik ... Mitschriften von nie stattgefundenen Treffen sein, wichtig ist: sie sollte sich öffnen wollen, ein Gesprächsangebot machen, sie sollte Lust haben und Lust darauf machen, etwas in die Karten zu schauen, sich in die Karten schauen zu lassen, ins Handwerk, in die Motivation, in das Nichtwissen, in den Antrieb und in die Wege der Kunst. Es geht um kein schweres schwitzendes Beackern und Zerhacken der eigenen Kreationen, sondern auch um den inspirierenden und leichten, mutigen und oft paradoxen, verblüffenden Funken beim Denken. Und ja, dieser denkende Moment wohnt dem Kunstwerk selbst natürlich bei und inne. Die reflexive Arbeit macht per leichter Verschiebung und Betonung darauf aufmerksam.


reflexive work 1
is a container in which art can think about itself via artists, an invitation to participate in this thinking, to ask questions and to get into a conversation. This container has to be invented, therefore the reflexive work is an experiment. It is not about finished texts, essays, opinions, theoretical discussions, etc., but about a specific form of self-determination. It does not have to be linguistic, written or in any medium. What is decisive is its ability to open spaces for thinking and speaking and to tune into the mental environments of the works. A reflective work can be an oral report about reading, it can be interviews, sleep logs, movies, music... It can be a record of meetings that never took place, important: it should want to open itself, make an offer to talk, it should have desire and make desire to look something into the cards, to let itself be looked into the cards, into the craft, into the motivation, into the ignorance, into the drive and into the ways of art. It's not about heavy sweating and chopping up your own creations, but also about the inspiring and light, courageous and often paradoxical, astonishing spark of thought. And yes, this thinking moment is naturally inherent in the work of art itself. The reflexive work draws attention to this by means of a slight shift and emphasis.


Die reflexive Arbeit 2
ist ein Gefäss, dass jeweils neu zu erfinden ist. Es möchte Raum für Einsicht bieten, Innenansichten, Aussenansichten, Eigeneinsichten und ein Gespräch suchen mit anderen Ansichten und Sehansätzen. Zunächst möchte dieses Gefäss der Kunst und dem Kunstwerk, der künstlerischen Arbeit, Möglichkeit bieten, mit sich selbst zu sprechen und dann den Künstlern, ihre Positionen, Haltungen, Zweifel, Methoden und Vorbilder, Absichten, Geheimnisse und Motivationen, Lieben und Ängste denkend und somit denkend handelnd, auszuprobieren. Denken ist immer persönlich. Mut gehört dazu, Mut Fehler zu mache, nackt da zu stehen, sich zu verirren oder etwas zu denken, was weh tut. Die reflexive Arbeit möchte dies arteigen tun, mit Leichtigkeit abheben, schweben, fliegen oder auch mit Schwermut, ackernd wie ein Gaul. Sie weiss, dass sie in ihrer eigenen Zeit statt findet und für sie blind ist. Sie sucht nach Selbstbestimmung und Selbstsetzung und sie weiss, dass Sätze alleine noch gar kein Anzeichen von Bewusstsein sind. Oder denkt das Ornament? Der Mut und die Freiheit selbst zu denken ist nicht selbstverständlich und besonders in Ausbildungszusammenhängen ein kostbares und zu schützendes Gut. Die reflexive Arbeit kann in jedem Medium statt finden. Es kann eine Beerdigung sein, ein Konzert, eine Führung, Brot backen, Menschen bauen, Steine hauen, Sendemaste vergolden, Tarotkarten deuten, ... wichtig ist, dass sich in ihr das künstlerische Tun und Treiben selbst begegnet, begehbar ist und offen, Lust auf die sogenannte Begegnung hat mit dem was gerade nicht Kunst ist und Kunst als Kunst erkennen will.


reflexive work 2
is a container that must always be reinvented. It wants to offer space for insight, interior views, exterior views, personal insights and a conversation with other views and visual approaches. First, this container of art and the work of art, of artistic work, wants to offer an opportunity to speak to oneself and then to try out the artists, their positions, attitudes, doubts, methods and role models, intentions, secrets and motivations, loving and fearing and thus thinking. Thinking is always personal. Courage requires courage to make mistakes, to stand naked, to get lost or to think something that hurts. The reflexive work wants to do this with ease, take off, float, fly or even with melancholy, farming like a horse. It knows that it takes place in its own time and is blind to it. It is looking for self-determination and self-setting and it knows that sentences alone are no sign of consciousness. Or does the ornament think? The courage and freedom to think for oneself is not a matter of course and, especially in educational contexts, a precious commodity that must be protected. Reflective work can take place in any medium. It can be a funeral, a concert, a guided tour, baking bread, building people, cutting stones, gilding transmission masts, interpreting tarot cards,... it is important that in it the artistic activity meets itself, is accessible and open, has desire for the so-called encounter with what is not art and wants to recognize art as art.


Die reflexive Arbeit 3
ist eine leichte und schöne Sache. Bevor sie leicht und schön ist kann sie hart, schwer und unangenehm sein. Meist läuft sie durch einen Nullpunkt von gar nichts will mehr gehen und verstehen, dann öffnet sich das Gate wie von alleine.



reflexive work 3
is an easy and beautiful thing. Before it is light and beautiful, it can be hard, heavy and unpleasant. Usually it runs through a zero point of nothing wants to go and understand anymore, then the gate opens by itself.


Die reflexive Arbeit 4
gibt es nicht. Sie ist immer anders. Sie ist lebendig. Füttern und streicheln erlaubt!
the reflexive work 4
there is not any. It is always different. It is alive. Feeding and caressing allowed!



Birgit Kempker

Finn Curry

The forest anywhere




There are many places, which are not normally thought of as a forest, but are the same. One could even say that there is only forest, everywhere. Even when it seems like there is no forest, it is there. The forest has no edges. It is a harmony of all things in various states of being even when it looks like a struggle — some are living and dying. It is often so complex it appears repetitive, one spot like a million others, near and far. The forest is a building made of infinite doors. It is porous. And the paths one takes through it are circuitous. It appears disarranged, but it is inevitable.

Sometimes it doesn’t look like trees and rocks and mushrooms. Sometimes it looks like a street in your neighborhood or a cluttered desk. Sometimes it looks like the inside of a bag of chips or the bottom of a lake. Sometimes it looks like a childhood memory you watch in your mind, like the insides of your eyelids. This screen is also the forest. And the empty space between all these things is also the forest. It is the potential of the forest. Where light and rain fall to the soil, the next trees will grow. Emptiness is a generosity to future being. And it’s binds every something together. Emptiness is the great sculptor of form, and form sculpts emptiness. Without one you don’t have the other — just a different kind of nothingness.

And this is just an image — imagine the sound! Chirping birds, pattering rain, squealing train brakes, a loud party of voices building up to fill a room, the full-empty voice of the wind by the sea side. And silence. This is all the forest as well.

The smell of pine sap, the taste of chewing gum, the feel of firm wooden floorboards under your bare feet.

Consider the passing of time, for a day or a year or a million years. The forest grows dark and light again, cold and warm again, large and small again — and large again. All things: once a tree, once a stone, once a spider, once a human, once a scent, once a bone, once a drop of water, once a seed, once again! All this busted up everything, once a whole, still so tangled up.

If a God, surely a green one.

→’ Download Forest by Finn Curry (.PDF)



Gerome Gadient

YUNAEON




yuna the stone
my partner in crime
aeon that shifts
my shadow through time

yunaeon lies ahead
yunaeon is anyone
yunaeon is u
for u




upcoming Limited Edition 12“ Vinyl

1. bal
2. fou
3. ria
4. nae





composition & production © Gerome Gadient 2016-2021 graphics & photo © Dimitri Erhard 2021


Jeronim Horvat

Brücken Bauen


“Brücken, um zu überbrücken, um einen Weg zu finden, Flüsse überwinden, Brücken bauen, Brücken schlagen, sich an Brücken erinnern...” - Gedächtnisbrücke 2021, Jeronim Horvat



To gain another insight about the way I work, think, live and perceive the world around me I felt it a necessity to experience my practice from another perspective.

In order to achieve this I thought of my different approaches on producing sculptures but also manifesting memories. I noticed that every time I work on a larger scale installation or larger singular work, there is a process of trial, looking, searching, finding. Not only in the form, but also the materiality and relation I have to the image I want to manifest. To me it seems like a slow approach, enclosing on something that is yet in the dark, a very tactile manifestation of thoughts. A spiral labyrinth one could say, and I’m the snail slowly crawling towards the center, eating leafs while passing down, while the center at the same time is a way out and to the next work. When there is a specific image or idea formed in my mind, I try to capture it by sketching various perspectives, situations. Afterwards I either directly try to realise it in its intended size or different downsized versions of parts of the larger scaled piece.

My Thesis is evolving around this process of the downscaled version, a sort of abstract view from above, a tabletop situation, the power of an overview, a memory gesture of an abstract. I find myself confronted with the model itself is already seeming like a finished artwork. It definitely is not just a model. I don’t necessarily expect to find an answer but it feels right to go this way and question the matter of sizes regarding to imagination and memory of things, situations. While there are also different sizes in-between the models themselves, what matters most is to observe it from above before making it immersive, in a human size relation.

It is easy and fast to produce but also so delicate and fragile. I very much respect all perspectives and it is a necessary process (sometimes) in order to find a sort of true form. Is it because of my interest in craft, material, three dimensional manifestation of thought, that there is an unexplainable need to create these miniature representations of my ideas and images?!

An ongoing research into my memory of representation of surroundings and the metaphors.

MA Thesis Brücken Bauen 2021 Jeronim Horvat

Damien Juillard

UTOPIA IS A FEELING




Utopia is a feeling is a perfume developed in collaboration with Andreas Wilhelm. Based on my memories of a techno/cruising party, it works as a synthesis of the smells encountered in the nightclub, on it’s dance-floor, darkrooms and toilets. It is a kind of tribute to this experience, an attempt to catch and conceive these ephemeral moments as immortal ones.

Lysann König

Dance Tutorial | LYSANN - Numb

Learn this dance - Tutorial!
Dance Choreography to the song Numb by LYSANN
Full dance with music.
Have fun!






2021

Concept: Lysann König
Choreography: Simon Baumann, Chris Hunter, Lysann König, Julia Minnig, Laurie Mlodzik, Steven Schoch
Costume Design: Lysann König
Camera: Linus Weber
Video Edit: Lysann König
Subtitles: Lysann König
Translation: Lysann König, Laurie Mlodzik
Filmed at KASKO, Raum für aktuelle Kunst, Performance & Vermittlung

Music: LYSANN - Numb, 2021
Lyrics: Lysann König
Beat: Simon Sauerkraut
Produced by: Simon Sauerkraut
Mastering: Alain Meyer


If you’d like to support me then go follow me on instagram —>Lysann König

Business inquiries:hi@lysannkoenig.ch

Laurie Mlodzik

6



an attempt to get a six pack

Kerstin Mörsch

Das Mörschiversum



→’ Download Grundstruktur des Seins by Kerstin Mörsch (.PDF)



Ich erforsche mein Ich-sein in dieser Welt. Das tue ich mit allem was mir zur Verfügung steht. Mein Körper, meine Identität, meine Sprache, Graphit, Aquarell, Tusche und Fundstücke.

Das Mörschiversum.

Ich habe sechs Hauptcharaktere entwickelt, die den Ursprung meiner Arbeit bilden. Aus ihren Eigenschaften und Mitbringseln ist ein logisches System entstanden: Fox It.

Zeichnungen, Leinwände, bedruckte Nachthemden und ein Kopfgestell, sowie ein gefundenes Silikonschwert mit Wackelspitze sind der Kern dieses Zykluses.

Nisrek Varhonja ist eine dieser Charaktere und mit dieser Identität habe ich 14 Jahre gelebt und gearbeitet.

In meiner Denkmütze und meinem Verschwindungsdress bin ich durch mein genähtes schwarzes Loch gereist (Fernsehinstallation „Das schwarze Loch“, 2015), ich habe ein Wort so lange geschrieben bis es verschwunden ist (Ein Aus im Anschluss, 2015). Ich habe meinen Stammbaum in brauner Mischwolle gestrickt. In meinem Beweis von nichts habe ich die Nichtexistenz des Wortes nicht bewiesen.

Für meine Echthaarmütze habe ich mein eigenes Kopfhaar drei Jahre gesammelt, zu kleinen Kügelchen gefilzt, aufgereiht und eine Mütze daraus genäht. Alles ist darin gespeichert.

100 Tage habe ich mir je ein Blatt auf den Bauch geklebt und eine Kette mit einem Graphitanhänger getragen. Daraus sind 100 Bauchzeichnungen entstanden. Alle ähnlich, aber nicht gleich. Ich als Seismograph. Ein Archiv meiner Bewegungen.

Das Mörschiversum ist ein Archiv, ein Archiv meines Lebens. In meinem handgenähten Siga Overall und meiner Echthaarmütze aus meinem gesammeltem Kopfhaar habe ich im Febraur 2018 meine Mörschwerdung bekannt gegeben.

Nisrek Varhonja war Rechtshänderin. Kerstin Mörsch malt und zeichnet mit links.



___________________________________________________________________



I explore my being in this world. I do it with everything that is available to me. Body, identity, language, graphite, watercolor, ink, found objects.

The Mörschiverse.

In the beginning I have developed six main characters. Each of them brought their own characteristics and qualities, which enabled the creation of my logical system – FOX IT.

A series of drawings, two printed night skirts, a special head piece and a found silicon sword with a shaky top are since then the base of my work.

Nisrek Varhonja is one of my characters. I lived and worked with this identity for 14 years in the real world.

In my Thinking Cap and my disappearance dress I traveled through my sewn black-hole. I wrote one word until it disappeared. I knitted my family tree in brown wool. As proof of nothing, I proved the nonexistence of the word not.

For my Real Hair Cap, I’ve collected my own hair three years long, felted it to small beads, strung and sew a cap out of it. Everything is stored there.

100 days I have ever stuck a leaf on my stomach and worn a necklace with a graphite piece on it. This resulted in 100 belly drawings. All similar, but not the same. My seismographic body. An archive of my movements.

The Mörschiversum is also my archive. An archive of my life that has grown over the years.

In February 2018, dressed in my hand-sewn Siga Overall (jumpsuit), with my Real Hair Cap, I finally announced my Mörschwerdung (Becoming Mörsch).

Nisrek Varhonja was right-handed. Kerstin Mörsch paints and draws with her left hand.



Mariana Murcia

to neither rise nor sink

—>Video to neither rise nor sink


Unlearning verticality A fjord is a long, narrow indentation of a shoreline with steep sides or cliffs, created by a glacier. Starting this year (2021) and for the next four months I was living in one of these geographical features. This site, in the border of the polar circle, is extremely different from the territories and perceptual environment from where I grew up as an embodied observer.

For the first weeks I couldn't believe my eyes. The brightness of every snow surface, even without direct light, was tricking my sense of depth and notion of daily time.
To arrive somewhere unfamiliar is not new for me. For the past years I’ve been temporarily living in different places, and lately I’ve realized that the question on how to deal with the superposition of two geographies, mine and the one I’m inhabiting, in order to open a way to introduce specific thought forms, that emerge in relation to different environments, has been at the core of what interests* me.

My first approach to the surroundings while being in the fjord was to record its sound landscape, soon enough I took out the camera and that landscape became a captured image. After a few attempts this started to be a problem. What did it mean that the image was literally captured? For me it was difficult to unpack, to unfold beyond its cognitive estrangement. I was caught up in the extraordinary visual stimuli and the scale difference imposed by the distance of the camera. How could I find a way to get rid of the landscape? To unlearn its anthropomorphic meaning? If the landscape was unfamiliar from my standing perspective, how could I reverse this relation by being unfamiliar to the present of the landscape?

If one agrees with Ludwig Wittgenstein’s observation that to imagine a language is to imagine a form of life, then it is clear that human languages have taken form within a range of terrestrial and coastal environments that, at minimum, all share the experience of gravity and horizontal (rather than volumetric) movement.

I left the recording devices aside and realized that to raise the kind of knowledge I was looking for, I needed to put my body in the center, not me as an individual subject, but me as a physical system, a living organism. How could I challenge that terrestrial experience? It came to me almost as an accident, I went in, all in, the cold water.

It didn’t take too long to notice the difference. To float in the fjord, in the melting border of glacier waters running down to meet the salty ocean, revolted my perception in that direction. It wasn’t easy though; as a swimmer lover my first goal was to endure, swim no matter what, to cross the fjord from one coast to the other. This long distance swim has been accomplished by other locals, not many, and one of them was generous to show me, to take deep breaths in the water with me and encourage an every day training. After a couple of weeks of training, I realized that the swim was not over once out of the water, and that I should change the idea of training for one of a ritual. A ritual to orient myself into a language that faces what is unformulated, hidden, unsayable, and that cultivates pleasurable transformation before an object of transformation is delineated, named.

By floating I was putting intention and effort in allowing myself to get carried away, meaning, first of all, to try to avoid any kind of heroic accomplishment. To cross the fjord couldn’t be a goal, if I was in the process to immerse myself in the watery environment, my intention couldn’t be to tame it. In land and warmth, it was necessary to forget my ego, mute it, like when I was in the water, drifting, wandering, abstract and planktonic.

I started learning about water temperature and my own, about physical regulation effects in order to conceal abrupt changes, and I started to pay attention, to let my body survive inside an environment that is also surviving by itself. Everyday I could stay longer and longer in three degrees water, by laying there, ears underwater and held by the density of the water, felt like I was escaping the gravitational pull of the earth, and that was everything. I am not there, my vertical coherence diffuses, I hardly think with my intellect but my body thinks and reacts hard with all its power to keep me breathing and buoyant.

To understand this decentralized intelligence by floating, is giving me a method to work and come closer to my interests. By being present, but not grounded, in my every day swimming practice is taking me through other territories that are shaped and in equilibrium because bodies of water. I took the camera again with me since I managed to break it through the experience that comes into being through the particularities of embodiment and positionality.


* By interest I mean the promise of making a pleasurable difference, an active presence which affects one’s senses. According to the etymology of ‘interest’, inter esse refers to be in between or to concern. That which is an interest to you, is that which links you to something else.


Leah Nehmert

Something that holds something else

Fertile hands

My first intuition was that you should be big, as big as the oven allowed you to be. Luckily for me, your size fit my body, I can carry you by wrapping my arms around you. At some point we were becoming one, belly against belly. Every day I went to see you to make you grow, make you stronger and see how you were doing.

You are made of clay and clay as a material always attracted me, me and my hands. It is soft, yet it hardens. It can be wet yet it dries too. Clay changes when it’s been fired and so will you.

Right now I can tell you that you have survived the first firing. But as I am writing this text, you are a now a second time in the kiln, this time the temperature is higher and you have enamel on you. I still don’t know for sure if you will come out of the oven in one piece. Contamination is possible.


Jacob Ott

Hotel Simplon
At Giulietta Basel 2021

Film by Jonas Rehren 





Diogo Pinto

Joie de Vivre

My name is Diogo Pinto, I am an artist and curator from Lisbon. My practice revolves around researching estates and archives of less-visible artists. Through a painterly approach to the curatorial, I make paintings, curate exhibitions, publications and other modes of collaborative inclusion.

In 2018, with the help of Association Goela, I founded the exhibition program and art-space “Ascensor”, which is a regular public output that seeks to fill a cultural void in the current institutional landscape of Lisbon. Through rethinking attention and hierarchies within institutional systems, and celebrating possible research on historical narratives, these projects will hopefully bring forward a new approach to historical consensus.

Arriving in Basel, I focused on painting as a medium to bridge the practices of these artists and the environments that surrounded them. I want to make visible the ways cultural policies, visual culture and social dynamics influenced not only the making and exhibiting but also the validation of their work. Just as I aim to do in curatorial projects, I strive, thru carefully constructed paintings, to give new agency to these stories by representing them in unexpected dialogues.

By seeking an accurate, responsible and creative contribution, I depict photographs of paintings, drawings and various types of documents that become pieces of a bigger poetic construction. And, in that sense, this gesture is not about appropriation but about triggering story-telling in a precise way.

To create a solid foundation for such a complex endeavour, I chose a modular approach to painting, which follows a standardized proportion. In this format, images become units that fit together in a variety of ways. Reminiscent of brochure covers, this proportion aims to signify a summary of a bigger body of work – like a prologue or a heartfelt introduction. This visual plateau allows for all the individual reference points to become flexible and communicate in an even playing field.

As an example of what I call curatorial painting, I would like to present to you the research and story behind my solo show at Spirit Shop (07/2021), an exhibition space in Lisbon. The show is titled “Joie de Vivre”, and I believe it is a good way to share not only what I’ve been doing until now but the methodology I want to expand in the future.

The “Joie de Vivre” exhibition was built around my experience of the first COVID-19 lockdown, last year, when I left Basel to spend about 6 months in Lisbon. The restrictions there were very harsh. One could only leave their home for urgent matters such as grocery shopping and for medical reasons. This early stage of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns were hard on all of us. Isolation, joblessness, childcare and many other challenges affected the mental well-being of many people around the world. Adapting to the “new normal”, underlined to all of us the many frail contingencies that support our collective sense of JOY. In this context, this exhibition aims to present a poetic take on an historical event that signalled a partnership between a tobacco company and a young avant-garde Portuguese artist, both searching the many meanings of the joy of living.



In the spring of 1960, a tobacco factory in the outskirts of Amsterdam fostered a peculiar experiment involving public foundations, factory workers and young artists. Framed as an act of corporate socialism, this attempt of “gifting” emotion in a highly mechanised working environment was the beginning of the Peter Stuyvesant Collection – the first Dutch corporate art collection.

One morning, workers were surprised to find right above their heads thirteen large, colourful paintings hanging on panels from the ceiling of the factory’s production hall. This had been the result of an idea of the factory president (Alexander Orlow), whom, with funds of the European Foundation for Culture, had commissioned young artists from all over the world to create large format paintings under the theme of “The Joy of Living”. The experiment, considered a success, led to almost fifty years of gathering International contemporary art under the “woke” mission of the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation.

This attempt of tackling the social and aesthetic problem of labour in a severe and functional post-war environment highly contrasts the cool, sexy and care-free identity of the Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes brand.

Carrying the slogan “The International Passport to Smoking Pleasure”, it portrayed a pleasure-seeking lifestyle that was exotic, young and yet sensitive – This ad right here even gives an intimate glimpse of an artist in smoking-break, surrounded by green pastures while his typewriter rests on a rock, the ad states: “THE JOY OF LIVING, IS SO MANY THINGS...

In 1960, José Escada (1934-1980), then an up-and-coming painter from Lisbon, was already facing prosecution by the Portuguese fascist state for publishing anti-regime literature and hand-outs. Facing such a life-threatening fate, he had no choice but to run away from the country, which he did with the help of a scholarship from the Gulbenkian Foundation, which allowed him to escape to Paris where he would remain in exile for more than ten years. Just after three months of his departure, he would become one of the thirteen artists to participate in the Peter Stuyvesant’s art experiment. 8 He went to Amsterdam, spent three days roaming the factory floor and responded by painting a figurative depiction of beautiful spring flowers – pollinating a humming glow of intoxicating yellows, oranges, violets and greens.

Both Escada and the Stuyvesant Collection ended on a sour note. Escada kept developing his tense bridging of abstract and figurative works to relative recognition, living in a constant limbo of financial precariousness he remained in Paris until he finally had the chance to return to his home country – only to find himself falling victim of tuberculosis which led him to tragically enjoying only a few years of the newly democratic revolution. Fighting for his life, he was struck by an urgency to change his work and focus on what was directly around him – signalling his reembrace of figurative painting or how he called a “return to the concrete”. Escada died in 1980, in poverty, confined to living and working in a small room in his mother’s house in Lisbon, accompanied by only his two dogs – Strof and Gitano. The same year marked the simmering down of a long and ever growing Stuyvesant Collection, which had just been agglomerated to the giant British American Tobacco company and was soon to be renamed The BAT Artventure – a rebranding that became mandatory after Dutch and European laws prohibited any form of tobacco advertisement.

The original quasi-philanthropic nature of this “venture” was to eventually donate the works to European museums. However, and despite external efforts, the collection was auctioned off by Sotheby’s in 2010, fetching the value of seventeen million euros. Escada’s painting was part of this sale, having been acquired by a private Portuguese collector.

After all, what are the many things that make joy such a fleeting feeling? Is the wish to always feel it, what makes it alluring for mass consumption? As we cope with the threat of eminent confinement, a big question like this seems urgent to me. I, myself, started smoking during lockdown and fell prey to what presented itself as a pragmatic tool of creating long-lasting joy – and isn’t that the ultimate pursuit?

The crossing of the Peter Stuyvesant Collection and José Escada presents us with two great contexts to which this question may be answered. On the one hand we have a for-profit corporate idealization of what this feeling may look like. On the other hand, we have the complex legacy of an artist that, throughout his life’s work, reveals to us the triumph of creativity and joy over hardship, oppression and illness.

Photo credits: Beatriz Pereira

More info



Sophia Remer

Grün


Grün

Immer wieder fange ich an, stehe auf, setzte mich mal an den einen, dann an den anderen Tisch in meiner Wohnung. In jedem Zimmer steht ein Tisch, selbst in der engen Küche steht ein alter Holztisch, gerade genug Platz für einen kleinen Hocker. Ich muss mich bewegen können während dem Schreiben und ich schreibe immer Barfuß. Ich wandere mit den Büchern durch meine Wohnung, bis ich sie am Ende des Tages wieder einsammle und auf einen Stapel lege. Da liegt Ingeborg Bachmanns Frankfurter Poetik Vorlesung über Emmanuel Coccias Metamorphosen, darunter Robert Bressons Notizen zum Kinemathographen.

Inzwischen habe ich auch einen Tisch im Garten, seither finden sich in den Büchern noch mehr Blätter.

Die meiste Zeit lese ich, mache mir Notizen.

Meine Notizen bleiben Fragmente, die lose auf dem Papier liegen. Noch nicht fertig sage ich den anderen und frage mich zugleich, ob ein Text jemals fertig sein kann?

Irgendwo wird er schon sein der Faden, mit dem ich die Fragmente verweben kann, denke ich.

In meiner Hand ein grüner Kugelschreiber, wieder notiere ich einen Auszug aus einem Text: »Hat es jemals eine allen Menschen gemeinsame, eine ›Proto‹-Sprache gegeben? Hat es jemals eine Zeit gegeben, in der ein vollkommener Konsens über die Bezeichnung der Dinge herrschte? Wie hätte man sich eine solche Sprach-Welt vorzustellen?«1 Ich lasse den Kugelschreiber liegen und klappe das kleine orange Buch von Esther Kinsky mit dem Titel Fremdsprechen zu.

Was bedeutet es in einer fremden Sprache zu sprechen, oder einer fremden Sprache zuzuhören.

Jede Sprache hat ihre eigenen Wörter, und nicht immer finden sie ihre Partner auch in den anderen Sprachen. Im Vietnamesischen gibt es Wörter für Braun, Rosa, Lila und Grau – Grün und Blau aber teilen sich ein Wort. Im Polnischen gibt es ein eigenes Farbwort für Grün, und weiter ein eigenes Farbwort für hellblau und eines für dunkelblau. Im Koreanischen werden noch mehr Nuancierungen der Farbtöne durch die Sprache ausgedrückt.

Manchmal habe ich das Bedürfnis, all die Farbschichten abzukratzen, um zu sehen, was zuunterst liegt.

Folgt man dem Wort Grün zurück zu seinen Sprachwurzeln, erfährt man, dass Grün von dem althochdeutschen gruoen abstammt, was wachsend bedeutet. Das Wort, das für uns die Farbe Grün beschreibt, beschrieb also tief unter den Farbschichten eine Bewegung. Die wachsende Pflanzendecke, die sich jedes Jahr aus dem Boden stemmt.

Hinter jedem Wort öffnet sich ein Raum. Eine Sammlung an Erfahrungen, Vorstellungen, Geschichten.

Meine Großmutter erinnert sich nicht nur an den Namen einer Pflanze, sondern auch an den Ort, an den Monat und an das Jahr, an dem sie sie zum ersten mal gesehen hat. Seither gleicht sie jede Pflanze mit diesen ihren ersten Originalen ab, überprüft ihren Wuchs, ihre Farben, ihre Erscheinung und notiert die Veränderungen.

Aber die Welt verblasst, auch meine Großmutter hat es längst bemerkt. In ihrem Notizbuch immer wieder Markierungen von Pflanzen, die sie nicht mehr findet. Und auch die Wörter verschwinden und mit ihnen ganze Sprachen. Neunzig Prozent aller Sprachen, die derzeit von Menschen gesprochen werden, werden Ende des Jahrhunderts verschwunden sein. Und mit jeder Sprache, die verschwindet, verschwindet auch die Welt, von der sie erzählt hat.


1 KINSKY, Esther: Fremdsprechen, Gedanken zum Übersetzen, Berlin 2019, S.11

Sergio Rojas Chaves

What does it take (to win your love for me)

What role do houseplants play in our lives?
How did they get here?
Is there a way to meet a plant without discovering it?
Can we live with plants without owning them?
Does your plant love you back?

What does it take? (To win your love for me) is an attempt to understand the relationship between myself and the Monstera Deliciosa I live with.

Kaltrinë Rrustemi

Existential crisis

Personal thoughts on life and love. 


Sometimes during less than a second, I have a feeling of pure extreme lucidity.
Like, I understand it all, everything makes sense and falls into place.


My dad used to tell me, when I was a child, that time does not exist.
He would offer me a watch and say to me: «Look, time does not exist.»
I would not understand and would look at him, thinking he was strange.
Today I smile reminding these moments, because it makes total sense to me now.
I look at my watch and I know that what I see does not exist. I know that humans
have created a scale to measure what they decided to call time and that what we call time
is beyond my understanding. Time is beyond us and our planet, and far beyond what we know
from the universe. When did it start? When will it end? Not only life, but everything;
earth, planets, galaxies, infinity. I look at the sky at night, and I feel dizzy. My thoughts
and questions run at an elusive speed. I feel like I am running in the emptiness
of the universe. So quickly that I feel like something is holding my brain activity back.
Like I clearly cannot go further and so, I suddenly come back at myself,
standing still, and feeling like I was «dans la lune.»

I red on the National Geographic website that scientists have predicted
that in four billion years, our galaxy will collide with our neighboring great spiral,
Andromeda. Around a million years before the collision, the sun would have become
so much bigger because of the gravity that it would have burned most of the earth surface.
That means we’re going towards an end; us, earth, dogs, mountains and everything we see
around. We will collide and we will transform.

Not knowing why, I am here, on earth, alive, with the ability to ask myself this question,
and yet not being able to find an answer, is unbearable.


Is time linear if it doesn’t ever start and doesn’t ever stop? I don’t know.
I only know that time is beyond my presence and that since the first ever human
had a thought, we pass, thoughts and knowledge to human after human,
and we evolve in a way that we gradually extract ourselves from an initial condition.
The condition of having to endure life to be able to achieve our basic needs.
It’s like we endured to continue to endure until we accidentally created tools, fire, symbols.
We are continually extracting ourselves from the initial condition to go to a place where existence
can be greatly enjoyed. That means, when I don’t risk my life to get food, when I can sleep
with no fear, my body functions properly and I can reproduce only if I want to. When I tick
all these points, I can say that I am in the best conditions to savor my existence.

Unconscious you become, and unconsciously you do with it until
you become conscious of it.


I am the first, in my lineage, to access such freedom, and I acknowledge how
the choices my ancestors made in the past, have affected and shaped the present.
What they have seen, what they have experienced, the language they have spoken,
the way they have learned things, have influenced the way my life is today. I carry
in my body and my soul, unconsciously, infinite experiences of being from the past.

In this surge of thoughts, I rush to a mirror. I undress and stand naked in front of it.
I observe my face and my body. My father’s side of the family comes to my mind
when I look at my chubby feets and fingers. My large hand palms that I press against
my waist, are like my paternal grandmother's. Her hands are steady and strong
and so are mine. My face carries features of my maternal side of the family.
My eyes and my nose have the exact same shape as my mother’s, my grandfather’s
and my great grandfather’s, of whom I have a single picture. I haven’t had the chance
to meet my grandfather, but when I look at myself in the mirror, as I share the same
asymmetrical nose and the same, one more sagging than the other eyes, I feel
like I know him uniquely. The blue in them though, is the same blue that
used to make my maternal grandmother look so familiar to me.

She is the most important figure in the family. In a time, where women were not allowed
to raise children on their own, she was a single mother of five and fought to school
and educate her four daughters to the expectations the society had of boys.
She used to tell me proudly, one is a doctor, one an architect, one a teacher, one an engineer.
At the age of 29, she became a widow. Owner of a single cow, many chickens and great skills,
not only did she handmade her children’s clothes, but she styled them in the very last new tenden-
cies. My aunts and mother perpetuated her knowledge. As much as I tried to learn the same
artistry, it seems that I don’t have the patience to. It seems that I will be the archivist
of the precious heritage of the several generations that were before me.

I am not lost, I was never created, I am for ever transformed.

The idea that every person that has ever lived on earth, has, in the end,
decompose and spread in particles into nature, comforts me. I breathe the same air,
look at the same sky, moon, and sun as the first ever human to have acknowledged
the unspeakable feelings of being alive. Therefore, I believe my mother has not created me.
She didn’t reproduce as we usually say. I believe that in her womb, particles collided and transformed
and from her flesh and womb, I grew. From the food she ate, from the emotions and feelings she had, from her desires, from her pain, I became a person.

All of the cells that compose me, form the organs that allow me to experience the world.
I think, through my 5 senses, not only do I exist, but I eliminate my possible free will.
Before I put a word on a sensation, I feel it. That means, even though I have the capacity
to plan and organise my behaviours, my main way of being in this life, is through my senses.
So I wonder, is loving, the ultimate action? Is the pure simple universal act of love, the reason
I live? As soon as I have a beating heart, and from the second I have the ability to feel, I believe
I love. As an organism, I love the energy that makes me grow, so I reach anything that helps me
do so. I simply and instinctively love with all my cells, and I will always, continually, reach for it.
When for a moment this year, I realized that I was sinking and that I was gently hitting rock bottom,
I though about love. I felt for a moment that I could let myself fade away. Feeling this low, I could
only rely on my body and gut to keep me alive, keep me loving life and reconnect my brain
to the feeling. Nothing could have saved me if my body had no will anymore either.
I soullessly ate the food my body was calling and it felt good to surrender.

Thus, I titled my reflexive work Existential Crisis. It seems that during crisis,
important decisions must be made in a particular, survival, state of mind. The body
will focus on immediate results, and I’ve observed my parents raise me in a forever lasting crisis.
I wonder how much I’ve eaten of their stress. How much of their traumatic experiences compose
my cells? They immigrated and as much as one would wish to think that leaving for a better future
is good, I’ve seen how regretful it can be. Leaving the feeling of belonging, emerging from trau-
matic situations, rising above and building from scratch, leaves a person with scars.

In the end, I painted a sunset, and I wrote on top of it the following saying: « L’amour m’a sauvé ».
It’s a self-explanatory painting claiming that love has saved me. I painted while processing,
digging, experiencing self-love, family love, romantic love and different kinds of love without even-
tually understanding. I couldn’t say what love is clearly. I only feel, it is it, that keeps me being.


Amore, 2021, Oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm


Drake, Nadia. «La Voie lactée n'a plus que 4 milliards d'années à vivre, mais notre Soleil survivra » National Geographic, 4 août 2021, →’National Geographic



Lotte Rose Kjær Skau

I Imagine a Pass in My Head



This writing will take you through a daily practice of drawing a line and how I compare it to football practice. The text touches on a deep bodily journey and the absence of verbal language that this journey enforces. Lastly it will cast a tiny light on the negative space and why holding a thing is the thing itself.



I imagine a pass in my head. A football pass: One that cuts two opponents and hit my co-players line of running. With my body tensed and in balance I draw a line. From left to right. The line has a high point that falls quickly down, and at the one end, underneath the line, there’s a tiny half circle. I am not finished when I lift the pen from the paper. I keep my tension and only when I release my body, the line has been delivered. The line is on the paper. I do this every day. The lines pile up. They thicken. The lines insist on their presence.

With the growth of the drawings the line gains agency. It started out red. Today it was purple, blue, brown, now and then green, sometimes grey then red again.
A notion that the line is outgrowing me appears. A notion that I have become an instrument for its multiplication, constantly stating its presence.

Through the daily production of drawing the line, a deep and unexpected journey into my body has internalised. The practice enforces leaving verbal language, giving space for the bodily language to overshadow.
Like with football there is a certain amount of control and practice of the body to perform a pass. But it is when you surrender to the ball and the game that you actually start playing.
Likewise, the gesture of drawing the line becomes a way of exercising and with the word exercising sticks a notion of muscular growth or control. But what this bodily journey more so enforces is the surrender to the line itself and the gesture of doing.
I can try to control the line, rationalise and shape the line so it looks like I imagine it. But with this act the line is never present. When I fully surrender to the act of being present with the becoming of the line, it presents its shape.

Now when I’m at this place in my body where I fathom that the line will not be controlled, I recognise that the gesture of drawing the line points to an ephemerality. The energy is not in the line but in the space that holds it. The line is there to point out the negative space as the holder, the supporting structure, the carrier. This space is the mother of players: the GOAT (greatest of all time (used to describe an outstanding player in sports)).

This practice, when in motion, can be described as a vague smell of something unspecified and at the other end of the spectrum it becomes heavily situated in the bones. This is the feeling that all is in between the line.

Mariana Tilly

MULHER PROFISSIONAL



Recently I signed a mirror in an installation at a show in Basel. It reads, in white ink: “MULHER PROFISSIONAL WAS HERE”. I first came across the term Mulher Profissional (professional woman) on a track by producer and DJ Nídia, one of the main figures in afro-electronic music in Europe and the only female in the Portuguese collective. After all, what is a Professional Woman?

→’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVeffTjr-zA

I see myself standing at the head of a big table, in an enormous silver-lined man suit, cigar between my teeth, firmly settled on big heels. “To be a professional woman is to be a man”, I think to myself as a group of fidgety male employees cautiously approach the room and sit around the big table at my signal, arranging folders, cleaning their throats, anxiously waiting for my approval. I am at the head of the table, after all. In this setting, I am confident as I look down on them; I know a leader must inspire love and respect on her followers, but one should not smile too much and show no hesitation in making decision.

As I am Professional, I have a Business Card (find attached). To make a business card is to navigate the corners of life itself. Through a smooth passing of the tip of your finger through the thick paper, slickness and grain play a sensual role,

later revealing the tedious and incessant stray of cards that came this one - corrupted, innocuous Businesses were born and dead over the years - paper representatives of shell companies, embellished by vague titles, in different shades of white.



Like most things in life, Business Cards are a matter of representation. To some of us, it may seem odd that actual pictures are absent, as it is much easier to remember a name associated to a face. Everything is easier with a face. But that would ultimately defeat the purpose of the small printed paper, going around from hands to wallets to some different hands, allowing for the face behind the name to remain in relative anonymity - something I assume is desirable in the digital, hazy, interstellar office business environments. 

However, I am a Figurative Fool™; my Business Card - like my Company - is a card for living things - smoke it, chew it, eat it, gaze at it, wear it, steal it, keep it