Silence is the hustler. Chaos is golden and the eyelids see. But when I see, I go. How do I go? How do I see? Still. Still the eyelids. Still golden. Still see. How still do I see? But when I see, I follow. Chaos still.
“People talk about experimental film, avant-garde film, etc. But there is no experimental film or avant-garde film. There’s just film… in which some people make shit, some make soup, others make films like beans, and then some make highly refined dishes, like we do.”
Maurice Lemaître, Free Radicals.
feminine discourse today
Evolving [An]archive at The Unstitute
In England, the tabloid newspaper ‘The Sun’ maintains the daily institution of showing soft-core pornographic images of topless women on Page 3 – often right next to images of death, disaster and horror – a recipe which might account for its status as England’s most popular newspaper.
The Unstitute deterritorialises page 3 in the [dis]Corporate Bodies project. We invite you to come and chew on some of the most exciting discourses on female bodies today…
Featuring works by Blanca Rego, Dawn Woolley, K.E.Wallwork, Banfield-Rees, Laura Plana Gracia, as well as guest practitioners from the Department of Fictions at The Unstitute.
At The Unstitute, we see the institutionalised, semi-fascist female body of Page 3 as the scene of a crime: these breasts, despite how they appear, do not belong to the bodies to which they are attached. They belong to and are disenfranchised by the culture which enriches itself on them, to each subsequent desiring-machine that plugs into them.
This body is but a sequence of codes, a social construct in so many ways, a corporate entity or monetising agent in others. Part-fiction, part-biology, post-female, cybernetic, online, disenfranchised, tortured and/or dismembered bodies: each new variant or sequence of varieties acts as a multiplier of the plurality of bodies which we call ‘female’. The Unstitute invites you to come and chew on some of the most exciting discourses on female bodies today…
Spectres of Marx, Jacques Derrida.
“Yours is a very noisy line of work.”
“Well, it’s external noise. Whereas you, the reverberations are inside.”
Kafka, Steven Soderbergh.
My piece Le voyage dans la lune at salonvideo_SUBmissions (Iași, Romania).
a project by Daniela Pălimariu and Luminița Apostu
at MAGMA Contemporary Medium, Sf. Gheorghe
opening: 17 decembrie 2014, ora 19.00
on view: 18/12/2014 – 11/01/2015
ART INStITUt 2014#03 presentation: 17/12/2014, at 20.00 with Daniela Pălimariu
SUBmissions is a self-explanatory exhibition. Firstly because it describes the gesture of application as a submission of the work of art to an authorized institution which is empowered to make validations through selections and display, and secondly because it reveals, without mediation, simply by naming the content, its constituent elements: an exhibition made out of applications. Sending applications in the art environment completes the circuit of a power relation between that who asks for, that who sends to, that who receives from, that who distributes and that who views. There are many applications for art projects because there are many calls for art projects – a multitude that controls what we already know as mass art production.
SUBmissions thus signals the organic and inevitable extension of contemporary art practices. As german artist Hito Steyerl remarks, visual artists are captively caught into an occupation in which they either no longer have time to produce work because they are preoccupied with writing and submitting applications, either they produce work based solely on the topics, criteria and conditions of the open calls. It is the case of many friends who complain recently that they no longer want to apply to anything: the applications are a burden and it makes them sad. Of course, many others are still fascinated. While bineg scouted, selected, listened, inspected, auditioned – the open call applicants wake up in the middle of an application burden where they need to present themselves, to explain themselves to juries, to motivate the validity of their practices in a convincing voice, to sell themselves.
Etymologically, since the 14th century, the English word “submission” meant “an act of referring to the judgement and decision of someone”, taken from old French “sousmission” or directly from Latin, where “submissio” / “submittere” meant “immersion”, “lowering”, “letting down”. In Romanian we have the words “submersiune”, but also “submisiune” and “supunere”, and even if to “apply to” or to “submit to” marks the positive action of mobilizing creative energy, the terms still carry a derogatory sense, that of submissiveness and docility towards a superior power. The meaning of “submission” as a “humble obedience” appears in the mid-15th century together with the adjective “submissive” (as “humble”) which gets used in political relations between states and within state hierarchies. The way in which this vocabulary transposes into the visual art language does not come out of nowhere, as similar hierarchies get constituted also at the level of art institutions. On the other side, the call for projects as applications, as a shouting out to potential respondents, asks for application submissions as in a lotery mechanism, both for the applicant and for the call owner.
The format of this exhibition is at the same time a sub-mission for re-evaluating the collection of received works. If salonvideo’s main mission was to structure a collection based on certain subjective criteria, its sub-mission is that of revealing to the public an objective formula, one that is un-filtered by the application process results.
SUBmissions is an inclusive exhibition. Regardless of the assumption of a curatorial role, any exhibition produces a selection. salonvideo tried to avoid the radicality of the selection. It is this why the idea of displaying all the received applications aims at a reversed submission of that who opens the call towards that who applies.
Croatian theorist Boris Buden defines the curator as a customs officer – a character who decides who goes and who stays outside the borders of art – a radical definition, but one that applies to the mechanisms of producing art events through selection. If one year ago we were enthusiastically embracing the receiving of over 100 works as an aswer for the open call that we launched for the 4th edition of salonvideo, and if we were selecting works with even greater enthusiasm, as a curatorial method on “matters of method”, the rigourousness of the selection has remained ever since a doubtable act to which we now come back with an obligation.
SUBmissions is a playlist exhibition. Grouped randomly, the video works can be played in any order, they can be stopped of repeated. The participatory character and the dynamics of interaction with the works give back the public the opportunity to be part of a selection process, and give the opportunity to be seen unconditionally to the artist. Although salonvideo works as a platform with an institutional power of selection, by keeping also the unselected works it proposes a discrete mediation of the relation between the authors and the public who are interested in video art.