Visit to the ‘Art from Elsewhere’ Exhibition, held across two sites in Bristol (Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, and the Arnolfini Gallery). Friday 1st July 2016.
Notes made of my visit which are relevant to Part 3, Textiles 1 Mixed Media, Molding and Casting.
Two items in particular that I want to remember are video installations. The first, by Yael Bartana, (click on this link to view a clip Project Summer Camp Awodah 2007 ) showing the re-building by international multi-faith volunteers of a house destroyed during conflict in Palestine-Israel. The second, ‘Crossing Surda’ 2002, is by the Palestinian artist, Emily Jacir, filmed over eight days, as she crossed the Ramullah Pass into Israel on her daily journeys to and from work . I can’t find a website for Emily Jacir, although Google has many references to her work and I feel a little confused about the best link to add to this post. Her contribution to the exhibition is discussed in the ‘Borders’ Section of the above AFEW Guide link. I am going to go with this Press Release from the Whitechapel Gallery, for this survey of her work earlier this year, titled ‘Europa’. Whitechapel Gallery . oh how I wish I had seen this exhibition ..
The installation by Yael Bartana (b.1970, Israel) shows how the house was rebuilt; the broken stones crushed and re-constructed brick by brick. At the start the diggers depart along the road, at the end the volunteers depart in their van. An olive tree grows nearby. The house will probably be destroyed once more, and the volunteers know that. The soundtrack was loud, reminding me of Russian classical music based on Jewish rhythms.
The video influenced my thoughts about the moulding and casting component of Part 3; holding my first attempt at casting into a flexible vessel (plastic bag) reminded me of the lumps of rock in the installation (yes, really), the various cables sticking out in the debris. I thought about rhythms, small and large. The deliberate smashing of homes, the re-building that would last for just a short while – but the experience of rebuilding, the human bonds, the dissipation of that experience through film installation, speaking and writing, will last forever and influences more minds, perhaps, than an artwork which has journeyed in single form from studio to gallery. Link to a previous post about clay textiles in collage and Here – first attempts at casting the surface of an internal vessel
At the other exhibition site in the Arnolfini Gallery, the artist Emily Jacir (b. 1970, Bethlehem) walked backwards and forwards to the insistent, rhythmic sound of her own feet, from being deposited from a noisy bus at one end to climbing aboard a further bus at the other. Because her hidden camera was in her bag, the viewpoint was low, rather vulnerable, many images of feet. Prior to this video, she tried to make film of her own feet crossing the border, camera on view, resulting in her detention at gunpoint for three hours and the destruction of the camera. She took a risk with these daily video journeys, you are aware of that . Occasionally her camera caught images of the banks of rock on either side of the path, the word ‘corridor’ is appropriate.
I have been reading a little about ‘pathways’ in art, for example environmental artists such as Richard Long. I believe the pathways they create are about freedom and celebration. I could film my walk into central Wells, here in Somerset, but it would be an indulgence to be honest. This is something much darker. For my final project in this course I have considered something that may relate to pathways and shudder slightly at my rather romantic notions of the idea when I think back to this video. This pathway is about control. I suppose my thoughts could be translated in textiles with similar, repetitive stitches making a path on a monochrome ‘landscape’. Long and relentless, with occasional glimpses of life – shadows of printed people, perhaps. I have started to make notes on my ideas in previous posts: Drawing pathways in the sand on Marazion Beach
I would like to attach this interesting, short article from Bristol’s Copyright Magazine, about the exhibition as a whole, as a comment about the triggering effects of art is relevant to what I am thinking. Copyright Magazine, Editorial, 27th April 2016
All websites in this post were accessed before posting, 10th October 2016. Unfortunately, for copyright reasons, I can’t show my camera stills from the video installations on a public post, but do have a look at the link for Project Summer Camp above which is far better than any grainy photos I took.
Finally, this exhibition showed work by Imran Qureshi, who is described separately under a future post about my visit to the Newlyn Gallery in Cornwall.