Friday, March 15, 2013

Small wonder foundation

Small Wonder Foundation 

Collaboration (in-progress),‘Life on the Other Side of Our Street’ 
(with Helena Sidiropoulos),

com[motion]: a movement made jointly, together, with
a note from the editor
When last checked, the movement of the gaze implicated the viewer, this according to Todd McGowan, a handsome professor who is as keen as I on David Lynch films.
The allegation that the viewer cannot be wholly unambiguous, transparently divorced from that upon which le regard falls, is one that can make the skin crawl, the conscience pinge. Irony leads to heartache.
When did a glance become so burdened? At the moment of understanding, that time when it all comes together and we can no longer claim blamelessness, virtuousness, freedom from guilt. The burden is lightened, however, by play and by choice and by the mad, mad, mad gruesomeness of it all. (insane laughter followed by a dabbing of drool, fine-looking elders dancing.)
Following the movement made jointly, where gazing and being gazed upon are united in an awkward foxtrot of commingled pain, ardor, awareness, the ensuing things are possible:
• a delicious lunch for two of “prize winning pickles” and tentatively oozing Camembert and a hint of peppered rectangular rice cakes, dry as dust;
• a cross-pollination effort that results in a new breed of extrapolation, criminality, and eye-irritant, OK?
• a chit-chat over and above what is required for basic communication efforts, in other words, a[detailed]consideration[or]examination of a[topic] without cease;
• a free-fall out into nothing, a leaving of this world for a while, floating over the void until morning and you won’t even know you were gone;

• an impossibility of returning to the formerly known knowns when only the unknown and unknowable is of any interest;

Douglas Park Page

Life on the other side of our street.

The sun has passed our street, very high at two and from then on slowly fading, falling behind the apartments across. The blackness in the streets throws a new light on the city. Deadened sounds and silence. My own physicality takes on a stronger role in this piece: Night. Everywhere small scenes are performed. Light plays different. Today.

I see the outlines of the window.
A light bulb, mirrored.
The tree hides the house. And my eyes aren’t the best ones. Much is not to be expected from this voyeur.
A person is moving in the space; a shade.
A bookcase, a red book.
The remaining I can only guess
And so a story arises, a life is created. Virtual neighbors are quite refreshing. They are Japanese, a family with one daughter. The nephews visit often. The parents are hectic, always running around, moving from one room into another, communicating through the complex choreography of their everyday lives, in between kids and furniture.
Tiptoeing on high heels and balancing on the airwaves of (again) life.
When they fight the somewhat reasonable movements mutate into angular gestures, spastic puppets perform agitating responds. Order gives way.
 Colors reflect on the white walls, varying from black to red and loosening into a soft blue.

Now the trees speak and the inside tells nothing. Secrets are kept during the day, not at night as one dares to say.

What kind of room contains the red book and serves as a passage toward two other rooms: one slightly visible (a kitchen?) and another out of my reach

The family is moving a lot today; the silence, which you can sometimes grasp in their lives, is now abandoned for their usual running around like chickens without head (we say). Reluctantly. (met tegenzin) 

Now there is no window, no light bulb, no red book.
I miss my room in the other city.
Life feels light there.

The red book is still there.
Though the trees lost their leaves, one can’t see much more than light.
A desk lamp in what I thought what was the kitchen, now I have doubts, although we have a desk lamp in ours…
An empty lit house.

Our entire household (with influx of guests and callers) finds we ran out of activities and actual ability to do anything, even if we wanted or needed to.  Far in advance, our wills had been dredging every desire shelved in storage from the depths of our innermost selves; resource saved up for projection out of our bodies and heads. 

Regardless of mere obstacles or inadequate outlets (such as windows, closed doors and letterboxes), this resource fitfully shines right through solid barriers and swerves past anything in the way.  Over opposite, where little, nothing or not enough seems to happen or even simply exist usually — suddenly hosts or rather becomes some drive-in magic-lantern and x-ray vision movie and theatre. 

Credit meter accounts overfed, thrown switches held locked in place and lit fuse detonator ignition kick and jump start engines for lift off, on full-steam-ahead, to set sail.  Peep-show given birth to is granted and assumes real-life. Congregation watches proceedings unfold before them — and also influentially contribute as well. 

Not all enactment and contents are shown on display though, much is often partially hidden.  Whether this tableau-vivant cast and troupe are self-conscientious or considerate towards their audience is unclear; they certainly often present challenges or make life difficult, by possibly deliberately taking into account what lies between them and the path of visibility — especially when action and scenes gets recognizable, strange or exciting in whatever manner.  However, any hindrance to clarity adds to games played, furthers attractiveness to scene, boosts interest and holds attention.  Incomplete and unclear state of confusion reigns. 

Instead of being a building, the mostly hollow and transparent premises are bare-boned foundations to cage that nearby trees and plantlife from parks and gardens take refuge in then add to — only for it to become death-trap, prison-sentence, time-bomb etc.

These beams and rays pass through the facing premises, travel, carry and steer, focused on and targeting distant destinations elsewhere so far off and away from here.  Payback returns at us, headed for our direction, both from this local source in front of us and these other distant locations.

To be continued….
Several notes by Helena Sidiropoulos and Douglas Park toward an ongoing column in com[motion], Small Wonder Foundation, April Durham & Brian Gorrie, Los Angeles, 2007

Collaboration: Multipoint

Damien AIRAULT . œ

Damien is a curator living in London and working in the UK and France.
He is the creator of the UFCAO (unidentified flying contemporary art object),
first seen over Nantes, France.

Juliet CONLON . 

Juliet is a photographer and designer living and working in the Inland Empire.

Trinie DALTON . ®

Trini is a writer and artist living and working in Los Angeles. Find her at family books.

April DURHAM . ¥

April is a visual artist and writer living and working in Los Angeles and environs. She is the director of the Small Wonder Foundation in Riverside, California.

Mary Cecile GEE . ø

Mary Cecile is an artist, writer, and curator living in Oakland, California. 

Jeff GREEN å

Jeff is a poet living and working in the vastness of the Inland Empire of Southern California. He is the editor of Epicenter magazine.

Andillon HACKNEY 

Andillon is a fiction and screenplay writer. She lives in the San Diego area and works in Los Angeles.


Olive is a photographer and filmmaker. 
She and her partner, Patrick Bernier, recently completed a project in Aubervilliers, 
a suburb of Paris. They won the European Jury award at the Angers International Film Festival for their short film, Manmuswak. 
She lives in Nantes, France.

Stephanie MARTZ 

Stephanie is an artist and writer living in Houston, Texas.

Douglas PAGE µ

Doug is a writer living and working in the mountains north of Los Angeles.

Douglas PARK 

Douglas is a writer and artist working living in London. 
He exhibits and is published widely on the internet and in Brussels, France, and the UK.


Cati is a poet living and working in Riverside, California. 
She is the editor of Poemeleon an online poetry magazine.


Helena is an artist and writer living and working in Antwerp. 
She has travelled with her work to the far reaches of the globe, including Boston, Thailand, and China.


Pam is an artist, writer, and astrologer living and working in Los Angeles.

April Durham

April Durham is a visual artist, writer, and scholar. She challenges boundaries between/among conventional media by making films that look like drawings and writing essays as prose poems. Unfolding complex structures by drawing anthropomorphized animals and birds who float above crop circles and through globular clusters, or writing about bootlegging grandmothers as though they were Saxon heros, her work is modeled on the overlapping arrangement of a fugue, where multiple voices speak as through a type of malfunctioning harmonium. Accumulation of information is presented with subtle demand for deciphering that is both intense and absurdly humorous.
Her recent solo show, Self Created Chameleon on the Hot Seat, featured new drawings and the book, Common Objects, a collaboration with French photographer, Olive Martin, is available from Beyond Baroque Books on
April holds an MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (1999) and spent two years in France thanks to a grant from the city of Nantes and the École des Beaux Arts de Nantes. She is a PhD candidate at UC Riverside in the Comparative Literature Department researching the complex ways that subjectivity is reconfigured in site-contingent creative collaborative work.considering, for example, what collaborative aesthetic actions might contribute to contempoary understandings of "collective intelligence" and "distributed work."

Patrick Bernier et Olive Martin

Patrick Bernier was born in Paris in 1971. Olive Martin was born in Liège, Belgium in 1972.
Patrick Bernier studied Art and Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and Olive Martin studied Art History and Fine Art at Toulouse University. They met at the École des Beaux-arts de Paris in 1996, and both graduated with honors, in 1999 and 2000 respectively.
In 1998 Patrick was awarded a grant to study for six months at the Institut National d’Art in Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast where he initiated weekly discussions about art and media on an art school internet chat-room. In 2000 he participated in the first session of the Collège Invisible, an online Postgraduate Diploma based at the École des Beaux-Arts de Marseille.
Olive Martin continued her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999, where she studied in the Film and Photography department. In 2003 she completed the postgraduate programme of the École des Beaux-Arts de Nantes.
Between 1998 and 2001 they produced numerous projects in collaboration relating to a chat room that they hosted once a week on the internet. They developed several works based on the texts that the chat room generated: a video trailer for a sitcom Now Talking in #atelierenreseau (1999, 10 min, part of the media collection of the Pompidou Centre), the solo exhibition A Nice Showroom at Seche Galerie, Paris, in 2000; an interactive installation A Nice Chat-room 2 at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Paris, 2000; a radio drama, Résumé des épisodes précédents, on Radio Aligre in 2001, and a website, Episodes Précédents, in 2001.
Patrick Bernier then developed a number of specific projects around issues of hosting (both virtual and real) and hospitality. He experimented with non-material works presented in the context of art exhibitions including Lascaux 2, at the Villa Arson, Nice in 1999; the festival Tranz-Tech, Toronto, in 2001; Curatorial Market, Cuchifritos Gallery, New York, in 2002; and I am a Curator, Chisenhale Gallery, London, 2003. He relates these performative projects within a collaboration, ongoing since 2004, entitled Quelques K de Mémoire Vive (A Few K of Random Access Memory) with the storyteller Carlos Ouedraogo as an alter-ego narrating his experiences. The project has been presented in a number of different contexts: in an art gallery, the Gallery Maisonneuve in 2003 and 2005; in an art school, the École de Beaux-Arts de Grenoble, in 2005; in exhibitions in Paris (We Don’t Play, in 2003, at Ménagerie de Verre; Proposition de Colloque, in 2007 at the Kadist Art Foundation), and at a live arts festival (Bayonne, in 2005). The project was presented in March 2009 within the framework of a performance programme in the Jeu de Paume gallery in Paris and will be performed at Galerie Entre-deux in Nantes later in the year.
Since 2001, Patrick has been actively engaged in an association dedicated to the solidarity of migrant workers in Nantes where he gives juridical support and help with writing, fighting for equality of rights and the freedom of movement.
Olive Martin approaches in her work the notion of identity, interested in its detours and porosity. She pursues the idea of a ’whatever singularity’ (as developed by the philosopher Giorgio Agamben) in her photographs, films and installations. These have been presented in numerous exhibitions: Voilà at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2000 for Bertrand Lavier’s collective piece La Peinture des Martin; Blow by Blow at the Zoo Gallery in Nantes in 2001; Nursery World at the Jennifer Flay Gallery in Paris; La Femme au Portrait in various locations in Nantes, Time Warp at the Maisonneuve Gallery in Paris, and Ce Fût Comme une Apparition... at the Musée des Beaux-arts de Pau in 2003. In collaboration with April Durham, a writer based in Los Angeles, she published two books relating to a series of photographs: Common Object (published by Jocas Seria editions in Nantes for the French translation in 2005, and with Beyond Baroque books in Venice, LA for the original American version 2006, with financial support from Culture France); and Américains d’Amérique, an artists book in an edition of twenty, produced with the Maisonneuve Galerie in 2007. She had a solo show at Maisonneuve Galerie in 2008, exhibiting a large photographic series Américains d’Amérique which will also be presented in September 2009 in the Ring, Nantes’ ’artothèque’ (a lending library of original artworks) with the financial support of a regional arts grant.
In early 2005 they completed "Manmuswak", a short 35mm film shot in Nantes with the support of both the film industry and the art community, combining their political engagement with their aesthetic sensibility. The film has been selected for numerous film festivals: Locarno, Rotterdam, Edinburgh, Leeds, Belfort, Barcelona, and Clermont-Ferrand, and won awards in Angers and Douarnenez. It was screened in cinemas and art centers such as the Cinémathèque Québecoise, the Pompidou Centre, the Jeu de Paume, and was shown in exhibition contexts such as the Galerie Maisonneuve in Paris in 2005 for its release, a collective show in Galerie Cortex Athletico in Bordeaux in 2007, and recently in Dublin at Project Arts Centre for the exhibition Prehistory of the Crisis.
That same year they received a six-month grant and residency at Studio Cormier in Montreal (supported by Culture France, and the Canadian organizations OFQJ / CALQ). During their stay they worked in collaboration with the storyteller Myriame El Yamani on an oral diary of their stay entitled Bienvenue Chez Nous (Welcome Home) which was presented for the first time in January 2006, at the end of the residency at the Studio Cormier, and then in September 2006 at Montreal University, within the framework of a seminar on inter-subjectivity. The project was adapted to a French context whilst in residence at La Box in Bourges in January 2007 and performed at the École des Arts Décoratifs de Paris, as well at the art space Béton Salon in Paris in November 2007.
In 2007 during a one year residency in Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers they developed Project for a Legal Precedent with two specialized jurists Sylvia Preuss-Laussinotte and Sebastien Canevet posing questions that overlap the fields of art and migration. They regularly published their research in the art center’s magazine and produced a performance entitled X and Y v. France, the case for a legal precedent. The plea has been performed by the two lawyers themselves in many different contexts since 2008: the École des Beaux-art de Paris; the Centre International Cimade in Massy; the Maison de l’Europe in Paris; Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers; the Extra City Art Centre in Antwerp in Belgium; the Paroles d’Hivers festival in Brittany; and this month at LIFE, the performing arts space in Saint-Nazaire, as well as at the Synagogue Art Centre in Delme. The project is scheduled to appear in Austria for the Linz Subversive Messe in May, in September at the École Sciences-Po in Paris, in November at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and in Strasbourg at the FRAC Alsace.
During their six-month stay in Montreal they developed the idea of a new film entitled La Nouvelle Kahnawaké which combines their interest in new media and questions of identity and territory. They undertook a writing residency in Montreal and Kahnawaké, a Mohawk reservation, in 2007, with support in the form of a writing grant from the CNAP (National Centre for the Visual Arts). They plan to shoot the film this summer with co-production support from the CNAP and the Videographe Multimedia Art Centre in Montreal.
Since 2004 they have been programming monthly evenings entitled ‘Contrechamp’ dedicated to art, film and video in the independent cinema, le Cinematographe, in Nantes.
Patrick Bernier and Olive Martin were represented by the Gallery Maisonneuve in Paris until it closed in December 2008.

Christine Laquet (b. 1975)

Based in Nantes (France), Christine Laquet obtained her degree in Fine Art from the National Fine Art School of Lyon (FR) and the Ecole Cantonale d’Art of Lausane (CH). Her work has been widely exhibited both locally and internationally, and is included in public collections such as the FNAC (Fond National d’Art Contemporain). Recipient of numerous research and production grants, she has been exhibited in France in the Fine Art National Museum, the FRAC Pays-de-la-Loire, the L.A.I.T. Art Center, the Modest Art Museum, the Adhemar Castle Art Center and internationally ( in Bangkok, Hanover, Innsbruck, New York City, Poznan, Recife, Sao Paolo, Seoul), as in the Gyeonggi Creation Center (KR), the Contemporary Art Museum Aloisio Magalhaes (BR), the Galeria[ON] (PL) or the BUG gallery (TH) amongst others.
Christine Laquet has been exploring different forms of expression including sculpture, painting, photography and video. At the crossroads of political, anthropological or natural history, she questions what remains of contemporary beliefs for each of us and make familiar bonds between the social sphere and the ritual habits.
Since 2004, she is the co-curator of a film program called Contrechamp in an independent cinema in Nantes.

No comments:

Post a Comment