Παρασκευή, 18 Δεκεμβρίου 2015

the poet / collected from the writings of George Heimonas

Νοέμβριος 2014

Giorgos Heimonas

in Kavala, Greece 

March 16, 1938

February 27, 2000

Greek: Γιώργος Χειμωνάς (French: Georges Cheimonas)

Giorgos Heimonas is widely recognized in Greece and abroad as a major force in post-modern Greek writing. While a few of his works have hitherto appeared translated into several European languages, the publication of the full range of his work in Robert Crist’s English translation is a pioneering event. Heimonas’s narratives are famous for their dynamic appeal – their amazing originality, unique style, psychological depth, and poetic power, as well as their impact on readers' feelings and challenge their interpretive capacity. Heimonas’s unique, emotionally-charged narratives reach full development in the major phase from Doctor Ineotis to The Builders. While his early and last writings (PisistratusMy Journeys & The Enemy of the Poet) contain strong elements of realism, the major period turns to a new mode of language. The style of the texts is neither fiction or poetry in a traditional sense. It is a disrupted language with elements of dream and myth, the lyrical, the philosophical, and depth psychology. It is an original language in every sense of the word – a search for origins, for revisions and new beginnings. Above all, the writer inspires readers to discover renewed resources of insight and feeling in themselves, in literary art, and in in the larger world of human experience.

Τετάρτη, 16 Δεκεμβρίου 2015

John Hansard Gallery

Port City: On Mobility and Exchange

27 November 2007 - 26 January 2008
Port City explores the relationship between global sea trade, slavery and the migration of people today.
Traditionally ports have been seen as gateways to a wider world, representing points of contact between different countries and cultures, facilitating the movement of people as well as goods and ideas. Today, however, working ports are increasingly separated off from everyday life, becoming sealed points of exchange on a worldwide network of trade, and sensitive entry points for the migrant worker.
Several works in the exhibition draw attention to the experience of migration, in particular between North Africa and so-called ‘Fortress Europe’. Ursula Biemann’s video installation Sahara Chronicle follows the route of migrants across the desert to their embarkation points, filmed over three years in Niger, Mauritania and Morocco. Yto Barrada’s work refers to the Straits of Gibraltar, the narrow divide between Europe and Africa. Her photographic series Sleepers presents images from her home town of Tangiers, where would-be émigrés await their moment of passage.
Elsewhere, Melanie Jackson’s The Undesirables re-creates the scene of the stricken cargo ship MSC Napoli, beached off of Devon’s Jurassic coastline earlier this year, using intricate paper models. Meschac Gaba’s Sweetness is a model city, comprising buildings from across the world made from sugar. Two new landmark buildings from Southampton, chosen by local people, have been added to the work. In the Gallery Reading Room, visitors can explore Mary Evans’ Blighty, Guinea, Dixie, 2007, featuring kaleidoscopes revealing contemporary scenes from historic trans-atlantic trade routes.
As part of Port City the Maghreb Connection Screening Programme will be shown in the Project Room. Curated by Ursula Biemann, this comprises a series of artist’s films and documentary works exploring migratory movements within Europe and North Africa.
Port City is curated by Tom Trevor, Director of Arnolfini and funded by Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts and the European Commission Culture 2007. The Maghreb Connection Screening Programme is curated by Ursula Biemann. The exhibition will tour to the Liverpool Biennial 2008.

Found on egonkey.tumblr.com

A Voice for Eritreans


‘A section of the assessed review layout.’  

Yto Barrada: A Modest Proposal

Yto Barrada: A Modest Proposal

By Abdellah Karroum | February 2010

Yto Barrada's first exhibition at L'appartement 22 is "a modest proposal" in which the artist develops her vocabulary using photography, publications, film, and interventions in the urban and exhibition spaces. Cinema and graphics amplify the artist's activist approach that navigates between historical reality and ecological projection.

BEAU GESTE [BEAUTIFUL GESTURE]. This 16mm film depicts a commando group of three men – hired by the artist – in a vacant lot who attend to a wounded palm tree. It is a gesture through which the artist seeks to render its disappearance more difficult while nevertheless failing to prevent its removal by the lot’s developers.
The film begins with the artist’s voice-over – "Some 5000 building permits were issued in the city this year" – and later expresses hope that the tree will have a 50% chance of survival. It is an uncertainty that warns of fatality more than it offers a civic or ecologically conscious lesson. The spectator is hooked by the film’s plot with the image of people passing by who watch and comment on this "illegal" act taking place in broad daylight. It is cinema that acts on the real, and image validates gesture.

The second work in the exhibition is wallpaper spanning two walls, the floor, and the ceiling. The image is once again of a vacant lot with a palm tree at its centre, this time surrounded by visibly recent buildings. It is a trace of what was perhaps the garden of a villa, levelled to allow a new, multi-unit building to be erected in its place.

The figure of the vacant lot is an element that interests the artist, who engages the relationship between the urban and natural landscape: "A vacant lot only functions when it is inhabited. It is a space of play, abandon, or waiting. It is a space that only exists through that which is projected upon it. We are going to build something new there one day! But we wait during the period in which the construction is not finished, the time of projection." [1]
Vacant lots appear frequently in guerrilla gardening. Beyond form, vacant lot, or process, guerrilla gardening is also articulated in Yto's documentary work that addresses urban development in Tangiers, one of the cities most affected by building speculation in northern Morocco in the last decade. Yto reveals these spaces as being between ruin and becoming something else. The urban landscape emerges from these spaces that are hidden and veiled by temporary walls and signs bearing frozen images of a Dubai-ified dream. It is a country transforming itself not only socially and culturally, but also through its urban landscape.

The artist ascribes central importance to the peripheries, to the image of corners in her photographs. "What also interests me is the insubordinate gesture. It is the perspective of its action. We set ourselves in an interesting place between poetry and politics. It is this place in which I like to work. I give information, but I am not a journalist. I give poetic things, but I am not a poet either. My work exists at the periphery of these three. I like to inform, I like to inform myself." [2]

The exhibition’s third element is the publication of thePalm Project Manifesto. This fanzine was distributed first during a picnic as part of the 3rd Marrakech Biennale. The publication includes a poster listing a hundred varieties of the best known palm trees, the same image of the vacant lot, and the film’s technical rider. At its centre is a pink, typewritten "modest proposal" in Arabic and English authored by a certain Yahya Sari’. Yto commissioned a text with the same ironic tone as that of Jonathan Swift, given a new content here by the imaginary Yahya Sari’ as "A Modest Proposal to Modernize Morocco and Maximize its Resources and Efficiency." [3]

Even in a context in which taboos and certain conventions prohibit us        from speaking about realities, the artist formulates fictions that speak to them and creates a new language. The appearance nof plats reveals issues of urban development. Through the figure of the palm tree, the artist denounces the standardization of landscapes and cities whose streets are lined with the same trees and paved with the same marble and granite. The Rif’s iris disappeared in the city at the same time as the mountain inhabitants arrived in the urban periphery. [4]

There is a political dimension and a pedagogical engagement in these works that reflect the exhibition’s urban location [5] where one hears the daily cries of protesters. An artist who lives in society is forcibly confronted with its structures and delusions. The political is very present in this exhibition. It is an approach almost imposed by where one lives! In a context in which artistic creation is perceived as dangerous to power, now more than ever it is time to call for the engaged vision of artists – fine artists, dancers, filmmakers, weavers, bricoleurs – and their participation in constructing a society that is ecological and generous. Disobedient, Yto Barrada’s work proposes a possible diversity through the figure of the palm tree, the iris, and the vacant lot. A gesture or a proposition, no matter how modest, participates in an ecology of this world in transition.

Author’s interview with the artist at L’appartement 22, August 2009.
The absurd position advanced by Sari’’s proposal includes the proposal that "Morocco must join the European Union, and on the first day of membership, all persons on Moroccan soil not possessing a European passport, visa, or tourist card will be deemed illegal and as such, will be immediately deported."
Cf. Yto Barrada’s earlier Iris Tingitana Project (2007).
The exhibition space of L’appartement 22 is on Avenue Mohamed V and faces the Moroccan Parliament.

Abdellah Karroum

Independent curator and art critic. Founder/director of L'appartement 22 in Rabat, Morocco. Lives there and in Paris, France.

(Translation from French: Emma Chubb)