You Are Material
Works by PhD Students in the CSM foyer
Sasha Burkhanova & Alev Adil Richard Crawford
With support from Dr Joanne Morra
Spotlight 2017 Exhibition: 27 Feb – 26 March
Spotlight 2017 Symposium: 17 March C202 CSM – (More information below)
Symposium is Free, but, booking essential: Please email Sasha Burkhanova – email@example.com
Spotlight 2017 has been generously supported by Research at CSM
Technological Tornado Woman (2017)
This film explores the practice-based research for the PhD entitled Of Space and Time. Film and the Female Performer. The dance re-visions the choreography and imagery of Loie Fuller and Isadora Duncan and investigates the question of a female space and time on film. The work explores how the performer enacts a ritual with the air and her body, using it to transform into a spiraling whirling strong body of movement; the body as an instrument and spiral of time. The film uses the editing process to manipulate and heighten the movement of the dancer and the fabric, to explore the creation of a haptic space and interiority, evoking the space-time of the dancer. The work explores the question of a subjective ‘female’ space through a visual evocation of interiority, by exploring the passageway from outside to inside, through the movement of the body and fabric, and through the notion of the spiral and the circle.
Performer: Natacha Bisarre
REWEAVE: B 183⁄4-Digit, Inch,Stitch /// Archaeology of Bodies (Industrialists)
Fabric, threads, plaster, mannequins, metal, wood.
REWEAVE entwines two threads of works: B183⁄4-Digit, Inch, Stitch (2016) and Archaeology of Bodies(Industrialists) (2016).
B 183⁄4—Digit, Inch, Stitch (Black&Beige) is based on 19th century British tailoring in which tailors explored anthropometric thinking by inventing various systematic cutting principles and an ‘inch’ tape measure. This scientific method enabled tailors to record their customers’ body shapes with the unit of inch which was, in the 19th century, a variable unit of length equivalent to the width of thumb(digit) whereby tailors drafted clothes patterns systematically by calculation.
Archaeology of Bodies (Industrialists) (Red&Blue) traces the bodies of the 18th century industrialists who lead the industrial revolution which began to transform clothes making from handcraft to mechanical production. Reconstructing bodies from their portrait paintings, this practice examined their bodies and gestures in sculptural forms creating hand casts by reenacting their gestures.
AND ALSO (don’t tell anyone) Love is a Crime (2014 — 2016)
Hopscotch field (coloured tape, glitter)
Alev Adil and Sasha Burkhanova
AND ALSO is a place that does not have to be real in order to be real. It opens up when the individual identities stop making sense, when one is becoming undone, when the relationships do not have a genre, when the binary logic of “either/or” turns dysfunctional. AND ALSO is a play produced and performed by the two artists, who may — or may not — make sense without each other. The nature of relationships in AND ALSO is not a singular line of narration; it is the surface of a curve with all the variables that appear when Love (for Xs) and Duty (for Ys) meet. In the play, the multiple characters constitute different trajectories of choice-making: they are the enactments of different ethics that emerge in the eternal conflict between Love and Duty.
People and objects are invited to inhabit AND ALSO, for as long and as far as they want; to spend their time in exploration of stories, positions and perspectives, produced by each performative exhibit. The poems will be there — for telling secrets. The artists will be there — for retelling. The hopscotch will be there — for anyone to join the conversation and take part in the play.
‘Blood on the Sun’ (2017)
Vitrine display. Posters and taxidermy crow specimen.
This is not a representation of a crow. It is the remains of a crow that was killed and eviscerated to make this display.
Taking the outer skin from an animal exposes the taxidermist to the inner workings of an animal body, to the ‘meat’ that makes both humans and animals what they are. Looking at the meat changes the meaning of the object from something radically ‘other than human’ to something that shares fundamental similarities with humans.
“Meat is the common zone of man and the beast” (Gilles Deleuze)
My thanks to Tonja Grung (www.madefromthedead.com) for her expert tuition, without which this crow would never have been taxidermied.
As if: Political Jewellery: Veiled Messages
Political jewellery is about perspective: the ability to communicate an individual’s or group’s isolation and pessimism, and convert it to a method of communication to bring together people wanting to share values, beliefs or ideals, all in a single action.
My work seeks, questions and acts as a boundary dissolver, and how body adornment can become a tool in the arsenal of political statements and societal communications. How can wearable forms of art be instrumental in defending rights, stopping actions, and reversing inaction?
This paper will examine whether a jeweller be called a messenger, as well as if and how society may deem it necessary to allow communication through a static inanimate object that communicates a clear vision, a definitive symbol of a movement, or whether it creates a gap between the messenger and those at whom the message is aimed?
Veiled messages introduces a hitherto scarce concept: choice.
Drawing research material: acts of making (in)visible, (June 2016) The medium is the material.
Looking at representations of the female body has rarely proved unproblematic, perhaps never as acutely as in the image saturated 21st Century. Discourses locate and offer meanings as to the myriad of ways women change themselves to match reproduced narrow image(s) of body-ideals: accounts of a Western society where women are shaped by the images they see and objectified by how they look.
My own research, however, does not intend to provide another critique of the reproduction of female conformity linked to acceptance of ‘beauty’ myths about ideal-bodies. Nor will attempt it offer ‘a solution’ to the problem of how to look at images of women.
Instead, this practice-led research uses a design lens to reframe the ‘problem’ as an ‘opportunity’ (Dorst 2015) by exploring ‘looking’ images as material for engaging embodied action(s). Experimenting with opportunities to change the images (‘you’ see in advertisements) rather than (changing) ‘yourself’ (to match the body images sold) facilitate agency(s).
You are Material
The Symposium will take place on Friday 17 March, 10-5pm, Room C202, CSM KX
Introduction 10:00 — 10:05 (Dr. Joanne Morra)
Session 1 : 10:05 — 11:20 (chaired by Sasha Burkhanova)
10:05 — 10:30 // Gill Addison, As if: Rehearsing as a research process.
10:30 — 10:55 // Richard Crawford, Contemporary art and the ethics of taxidermy display.
10:55 — 11:20 // Q&As
Coffee break : 11:20 — 11:45
Session 2 : 11:45 — 13:00 (chaired by Richard Crawford)
11:45 — 12:10 // Sara Buoso, Rethinking light from the matter: female artists encountering light.
12:10 — 12:35 // Tamara Tyrer, Technological Tornado Woman.
12:35 — 13:00 // Q&As
Lunch break : 13:00 — 14:00
Session 3 : 14:00 — 15:15 (chaired by Dr. Joanne Morra)
14:00 — 14:25 // Adriana Cobo, Taste Untold: Common Acts on Granary Square.
14:25 — 14:50 // Mahtab Hanna, As if: Political Jewellery: Veiled Messages.
14:50 — 15:15 // Sasha Burkhanova and Dr. Alev Adil, AND ALSO ethics: footnotes to becoming-undone.
15:15 — 15:40 // Q&As
Tea break : 15:40 — 16:00
Session 4: 16:00-16:30
AND ALSO (don’t tell anyone) Love is a Crime performance by Sasha Burkhanova and Dr. Alev Adil (outside the Spotlight 2017 Exhibition space) : 16:00 — 16:30
Closing discussion of the symposium and the exhibition (chaired by Adriana Cobo) : 16:30 — 17:00
Spotlight 2017 has been generously supported by Research at CSM.
This event is free, but, booking is essential.
Please contact Sasha Burkhanova to reserve a place: firstname.lastname@example.org
Speakers and abstracts:
Symposium Paper Title: As if: Rehearsing as a research process.
This paper will introduce and address the ‘rehearsal’ as a trope within visual arts practice and research. What can be gained and understood by considering an artwork or body of work to be in a constant cycle of rehearsal and extension? Can such thinking open out and liberate practice from an overarching sense to resolve and as such articulate the relative value of rehearsal procedures as instructive in tracing ‘where’ the research is located within the practice and work. How does the rehearsal as a trope problematized process and invite an interrogation of the conditions of ‘working –though’ when the drive is to encompass the conceptual fabric, the research process and materiality, alongside the work’s plateaux simultaneously. And finally, can this approach retain and present an authentic experience of ‘doing the work’.
Symposium Paper Title: Contemporary art and the ethics of taxidermy display.
Museums can re-focus attention on the ethical dimensions of their natural history displays by inviting contemporary artists to show their work. Scientific displays of animal specimens assume an “ethical divide between humans and non-human animals … (and our) … taken for granted practices of using and exploiting them” (Wolfe 2003). Many contemporary artists have engaged differently with ideas of the “animal”, questioning this hierarchical relationship.Taking Polly Morgan’s recent exhibition at the Horniman Museum as an example of contemporary animal art, I suggest a reading of her work that foregrounds the representation of animals as victims of human intervention. Her exhibition re-animates debates around the ethical issues associated with presenting ‘scientific’ displays of animal specimens to the public. I suggest that museum curators might see the exhibition of contemporary animal art as one way in which to raise questions about human-animal relationships.
Symposium Paper Title: Rethinking light from the matter: female artists encountering light.
The paper addresses a critical enquiry of light-practices, informed by contemporary female artists, who, by posing questions upon the metaphysical understanding of light, have introduced artistic researches, grounded on materiality and the sensorium of experience. Drawing upon the Luce Irigaray’s claim for ‘rethinking light from the matter’ (1974), the contemporary art-critical discourse has drawn attention to the sensory aspects of the light’s material, with a focus on the mutability and the processuality of practices and technologies (Vasseleu, 1998; Bolt, 2004). Thus, the paper intends to address the question: what does entail to interpret light as an agential material? From a contextualization of female artists whom body of work has advanced a light’s materiality, the paper focuses on case-studies which propose understandings of light both as a matter (Ann Veronica Jansenn) and as a material-energy (Grazia Toderi). By employing a framework of ‘material encounters’ (Althusser, 1978), the presentation proposes sensory understandings of the light’s material, in relation to art-practices and the immediate experience. The paper concludes by examining how from a linear representation of light, traditionally founded on the scopic regime, female artists have explored heterogenous understandings, articulated through the sensory, corporeal and affective dimensions of light.
Symposium Paper Title: Technological Tornado Woman.
The presentation will explore the recent film practice entitled Technological Tornado Woman, as part of the PhD entitled, Of Space and Time. Film and the Female Performer.
The film re-visions the choreography and imagery of Loie Fuller and Isadora Duncan and investigates the question of a female space and time on film. I will explore how the performer enacts a ritual with the air and her body, using it to transform into a spiraling whirling strong body of movement; the body as an instrument and spiral of time. I will discuss Helen Cixious’ writings in The Laugh of the Medusa (1975) to explore this question of a different mode of temporalisation and subjectivity. I will discuss how the film uses the editing process to manipulate and heighten the movement of the dancer and the fabric, to explore the creation of a haptic space and interiority, evoking the space-time of the dancer.
The work explores the question of a subjective ‘female’ space through a visual evocation of interiority, by exploring the passageway from outside to inside, through the movement of the body and fabric; and through the notion of the spiral and the circle. I will look this notion of the circle and a female subjective space by looking at Luce Irigaray’s essay “The Gesture in Psychoanalysis” (1989). The notion of the spiral will also be explored by looking at Hillel Schwartz’s essay “Torque: The New Kinesthetic of the Twentieth Century” (1992) to discuss the movement of a spiral or ‘torque’ in the body, which was developed by Isadora Duncan and her contemporaries.
Symposium Paper Title: Taste Untold: Common Acts on Granary Square.
My research project Taste Untold is an inquiry into architecture, which questions the codes and practices of the contemporary public realm. It is sustained by a tailored practice on everyday performativity on Granary Square. The project designs interventions intended to test principles such as that of ‘open accessibility’, often used to describe a ‘tolerant’ management approach for privatised public spaces in London.
For the symposium You Are Material, I will present two proposed interventions for Granary Square: Granny Square and Water Drawing, in order to discuss the ways in which the public realm is coded, used and communicated today, through design, program, maintenance structures and narratives of taste.
Symposium Paper Title: As if: Political Jewellery: Veiled Messages.
Political jewellery is about perspective: the ability to communicate an individual’s or group’s isolation and pessimism, and convert it to a method of communication to bring together people wanting to share values, beliefs or ideals, all in a single action. This paper will examine whether a jeweller be called a messenger, as well as how society may deem it necessary to allow communication through a static inanimate object that communicates a clear vision, a definitive symbol of a movement, or does it create a gap between the messenger and those at whom the message is aimed? How can silent protest, therefore, be developed by the way a wearer adorns the item of jewellery, as well as how and by whom the jewellery is made. What is the relevancy of ways jewellery contributes to design discourse, and to what extent jewellery might give a voice to women, provoke social engagement or political ideas within the framework of the Middle East.
Sasha Burkhanova and Alev Adil
Symposium Paper Title: AND ALSO ethics: footnotes to becoming-undone.
This paper engages with the specific nature of dependency that emerges between an artist and a curator in the conditions of a long-run collaborative art production. Artist Alev Adil and curator Sasha Burkhanova are exploring this territory by conducting various in-field experiments and interventions (2014-ongoing) that have already took place in London, Moscow, Dublin and Zurich. The new one, that will be discussed in more detail, will coincide in place and time with the paper presentation: it will be open to public as a part of the group exhibition at CSM.
In art discourse, the positions of artist and curator are still mainly conceived on the basis of a humanist duality, separated in respect to authorship, functioning and power distribution. In response to this, the collaborative project between artist Alev Adil and curator Sasha Burkhanova suggests an alternative, schizophrenic perspective. They will address the process of collaborative art production as the emergence and ‘well-being’ of a new creative body that sustains itself via its own fragmentation, multiplication, openness to, and intervention into its environment; all its gestures are strategical, pragmatic. In so doing, the emergent body works to facilitate the ‘becoming-undone’ of the identity categories of artist/curator.
Thus, the proposed project will examine the kind of art production that arises from the operation of this body; the kind of art practice that rejects the division of artistic and curatorial subjects – towards artist-becoming-curator and curator-becoming-artist movements. The proposition for the symposium is a performative dialogue, where Burkhanova and Adil will present the methods and technologies employed in ‘learning to inhabit’ this body: explore it intensities, capacities and limitations; speculate about its ethics and the process of decision-making.
Previous exhibitions and symposia can be found in the Archive section on this website. http://doctoralplatformcsm.myblog.arts.ac.uk/archive/