Date|Time: 9 June 2017, 10.00am-6.00pm
Performance Sites: Palazzo Pisani a Santa Marina, Venice, Italy & various outdoor locations.
Artists: Libita Clayton, Lynn Lu, Paul Maheke, Boedi Widjaja
In response to the critical themes explored by the artists of the Tactical Interventions: Diaspora Pavilion exhibition, MAP1: WATERWAYS presents a day of indoor and outdoor performances activating sites alongside water. MAP1 utilises the critical metaphor of “water” as conceptual locus to investigate the relations with three cities – Venice, Singapore and London – that have historically been hubs and gateways of trade and cultural exchange between different regions since medieval times to the present. Transition and movement via water also underpin the lived experiences of the artists and find manifestation in their projects, and is the imaginary metaphor in which to pull together diverse stories, aesthetics and cultural contexts.
Into this context MAP1: WATERWAYS asks the question as to how memories and meanings were collected and preserved in transition, when departure, resettlement and assimilation across vast distances fragment any sense of continuity, or materials are lost or destroyed, therefore refocusing on the idea that the ‘archive’ can be fluid and transposed in the living persons, who bear witness and willfully reconstruct and pass on meaning in the historical present. MAP1: WATERWAYS brings 4 live performances that draw attention to the artist as personal archivist of transitory collective and personal meanings of the past, present and future.
MAP1: WATERWAYS is a public live art programme conceived by curator Annie Jael Kwan in collaboration with Something Human that explores current notions of Diaspora connecting Singapore, UK and Italy. WATERWAYS is presented in collaboration with Beyond the Frame, a project led by International Curators Forum (ICF) and University of the Arts London (UAL) alongside the Diaspora Pavilion exhibition, curated by David A. Bailey and Jessica Taylor, that is currently installed at Palazzo Pisani Santa Marina in Venice from 13 May – 26 November 2017.
( in and between place and home ) debris. a wasteland of obstacles and parts. matter. rocks and water. diaspora. the sea and time lost in swell. a viscous substance sunk into. forgiving gungy ground. mud between the toes. chewing gum in mouth. off we go with dusty pockets. clammy trainers. stand up – step out. stand on. cobbled stones. worn out. weight bearing loads. pressed into – pushed on top of – repressed. resilient, resistant, black rubber rock. moving on. shedding skin. flowing form. float.
Libita Clayton (b.1987, lives and works, Bristol UK) graduated from Wimbledon College of Art, ( 2006-2009) with a BA (hons) in Print and Digital Media. She has gone on to have a collaborative practice that plays with potential political and physical collapse – always. Clayton proposes ‘a way out’ with D.I.Y performance. Her practice held – in flux – in between like a sticky dance floor. Currently exhibiting at the Diaspora Pavilion, Venice, Italy, 2017. Recent projects include: bland choreography, (CLAY- TON – RAW- SON), New Year / New Noise 4, Arnolfini, UK (2017), RESIST FLOW, (Gal-Dem) Victoria & Albert Museum, UK (2016) 1,2,1,2, //// black- voices – opera, (BBCF) Royal West of England Academy, UK (2016) FORGET THAT GUY (message from a freedom fighter), Book Works, Hull Freedom Festival, UK (2016) In the Absence of Ruins there Will be Innovation, (Speakeasy Southwest), Arnolfini, UK (2016) BS2; RESIST & REVOLT, BLACK HISTORY – LIVE TRANSMISSION, BEEF HQ, UK (2015)
Be afraid only of standing still. Transcribing sentences from Marco Polo’s The Travels, as well as tales of my grandparents’ escape from communist China onto individual slips of paper, I wander through Venice adhering them – using water – onto the city’s myriad surfaces. As the moisture gradually evaporates, little ribbons of text will flutter off in the breeze.
Lynn Lu is a Singaporean artist trained in the United States, France, Australia, and Japan. She exhibits, performs, and lectures extensively throughout Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas. Recent venues include the National Gallery Singapore (2017), Wellcome Collection in London (2016), Palais de Tokyo in Paris, The Barbican in London, (2015) Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2013), Singapore Art Museum (2012), Tate Modern (2010), and the Beijing 798 Art Zone (2009).
In her practice, the sentient body is seen as the main medium for perceiving and presenting (versus representing) meaning (versus message) through direct personal experience. Engaging vigorously with the present reality of all that is here-and-now, the meaning of her context-specific works often manifests in the resonant relationships created between herself and her audience, and between the audience themselves. Her research looks at the connection between experiential knowledge and the innate human capacity for empathy, in relation to a genre performance art she calls “gutty”. This gutty form of performance art which uses the body just as it is – as vulnerable/resilient/sensitive as it is in everyday life – relies heavily on empathy to create meaning that is not merely conceptual but also affective and visceral. In other words, she looks at why some performances not only tickle our brains but also quite literally leave us feeling like we’ve been punched in the gut. Lynn lives and works in London as an independent artist, educator, curator, and Associate Artist of ]performance s p a c e [.
In response to the context of the Diaspora Pavilion and the Venetian Lagoon, Mbu et les Autres is a 20-min long danced conference by artist Paul Maheke. It furthers his exploration of Astrida Neimanis’ Hydrofeminism and draws on the idea of becoming a body of water. The work investigates research into the memory of water and its responsiveness to emotions by considering fluids as subjective substances using our bodies as vehicles.
Paul Maheke (b.1985, France) lives and works in London. He completed a MA in Art Practice at l’École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy in 2011 and a programme of study at Open School East, London in 2015. Maheke was awarded the South London Gallery Graduate Residency 2015-16 and his exhibition ‘I Lost Track of the Swarm’ was exhibited in the first floor galleries in late spring 2016.
His current research imagines the body as an archive using its waters as pathways to information and knowledge. This investigation occupy a metaphorical space wherein which the body resonates and echoes with the broader socio-political and historical context that have birthed it. With particular attention to dance, it proposes to rearticulate the representations of queer Blackness that emerge from Western imaginations by addressing History through non-human subjectivity. Recent projects include: ‘Ten Days Six Nights’, cur. Catherine Wood and Andrea Lissoni, Tate Modern, London, UK (2017); ‘Acqua Alta’, Sultana Gallery, Paris, FR (2017, solo show); ‘What Flows Through and Across’, Assembly Point, London (2017, solo show); ‘In Me Everything is Already Flowing’, Center, Berlin (2016, solo show); ‘No Ordinary Love’, Galerie Sultana, Paris (2016); ‘The Rebel Man Standard Festival’, Guest Projects, London (2016); ‘I Would’ve Done Everything for You / Gimme More’, cur. Cédric Fauq, London (2016); Festival de l’Inattention, Paris (2016); ‘I Lost Track of the Swarm’, South London Gallery (2016); artist-in-residence at Darling Foundry, Montreal, Canada (2015); ‘ODRADEK’, Les Instants Chavirés, cur. Mikaela Assolent and Flora Katz, Montreuil, France (2015); ‘59th Salon de Montrouge’, Montrouge, France (2014).
Path. 8, Invisible Cities 。云海游 The work continues Boedi’s Path. series, a project triggered in 2012 by the artist’s change in citizenship and the global experience of relentless urban migration. Referencing Boedi’s diasporic experience, the work is a contemplation—through movement and mark-making—of imaginary homelands and their interiorities. Part of the title references Italo Calvino’s book, of Venetian Marco Polo telling to Kublai Khan tales of fantastical cities. The Chinese characters 云海游 may be understood in multiple meanings, including: “cloud sea flowing” and “to speak of maritime travels”. Boedi will walk through Venice pushing a sail carriage—single-wheeled, assembled using water pipes, and attached with a pair of sails. In the 16th century, European travelers described with wonder the sail carriages they saw in China; the same period as the great Chinese naval expeditions to Southeast Asia. As he walks, Boedi will collect frottage specimens onto the sails—bridges, walls and streets—to underscore the conjoined spectral and visceral imaginations of cities, to perceive them through his cultural, historical and political subjectivities.
Boedi Widjaja (b. 1975, Solo City, Indonesia) lives and works in Singapore. Trained as an architect, he spent his young adulthood in graphic design, and turned to art only in his thirties. Widjaja’s childhood urban migration due to ethnic tensions, living apart from parents and rotating amongst stranger-families, informs his investigation into concerns regarding diaspora, hybridity, travel and isolation, often through an oblique, autobiographical gaze. The artistic outcomes are processual and conceptually-charged, ranging from drawings to installations and live art. His solo exhibitions include: Black—Hut (2016), Singapore Biennale Affiliate Project, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore; Path. 6, Unpacking my Library 。书城 (2014), Jendela Visual Arts Space, Esplanade, and Sungai, Sejarah 河流, 历史, 源 (2012), Yellow River Arts Centre Singapore Base. He has shown in group shows: Yinchuan Biennale (2016), China; Betwixt festival: Art & bytes (2016), ArtScience Museum, Singapore; From east to the Barbican (2015), Barbican Centre, London; Infinity in flux (2015), Art Jog, Indonesia; 3šrd International show (2015), San Diego Art Institute; Bains Numériques #7 (2012)—, Centre des Arts d’Enghien-les-Bains, France; and Celeste Prize (2012), Centrale Montemartini, Rome. Recent accolades include: Top 10 Winner, FID Prize (2017); Finalist, Sovereign Asian Art Prize (2015); ArtReview Asia FutureGreats (2014) selected by Louis Ho; Grand Prize (Sound Arts; with David Letellier), Bains Numeriques, France (2012); and First Prize, Land Transport Authority Art Competition Beauty World Station (2012).
MAP 1: WATERWAYS is kindly supported by