About This Project
In the months of September and October 2018, our gallery will guests the exhibition POST-COLONIAL FRAMES / EX ORIENTE, and, in addition, part of the space will be transformed into a performative “project room”, hosting an evocative cycle of contemporary performances.
The participant artists and performers will rewrite the space with their gestures and their actions, transforming it, from time to time, in prison, in an archive of memories, in the colonial tea room.
Photographs, paintings and video installations by Lang Ea, Kashif Shahabaz, Christian Tablazon and Clare Charnley will be showned.
Performances by Ruchi Anadkat, Dan Allon and Neja Tomšič will take place in different dates.
The theme is among the most controversial.
“Ex Oriente Luxus, Luxus, Luxuria”: from the time of classical Greek civilization, the oriental world suggests an imagery of light, luxury and luxurious sensoriality, corresponding, for the man of the West, to the domain of the exotic, to the place in which -in a more or less oniric way- every desire can find form and fulfillment.
Without encyclopedic pretensions, the performance cycle captures “oriental visions” of the complex phenomenon of colonialism, interpreted in its multiform nature by the sensitive eye of the contemporary artist (giving voice to a different narrative).
Thus, behind the silks, spices and perfumes, the colonization of people, the economic exploitation of the naval routes, the cancellation of the local identity and the appropriation of the woman’s body will be displayed, in a revision of the archetypal images of the Orient, and staging out the “B-sides” of this process of geographic and cultural appropriation.
The new vision, made up of fragmented memories, erased faces, faded landscapes and invisible prisons, strikes the viewer with its powerful elegance, outlining links between artists from the Far East (Cambodia, Pakistan, Philippines), from the Middle East (Israel), and of the Near East (Slovenia, Balkans).
The performances have limited seats, invitation is necessary to participate : (to request the invitation, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / +39 375 553 2009)
12×2 ACTIONS / 1 September, 7 pm
The artist Ruchi Anadkat draws a symbolic prison with plaster, and moves within it, giving form to expressions and movements that transmit the culture of his territory of origin. In the evocative free-body act, the artist seeks coexistence (or perhaps liberation) from a small space, held back by a metaphorical chain, made of her own hair -an element of femininity, which sometimes takes on the characteristics of a halter.
The performative act suggests a new interpretation of the historical phenomenon (stratified with the colonial economies) that has seen the creation of oriental imaginaries “at the service” of the European, in particular regarding the female figure.
GHOSTS & GOLEMS / 27-30 September (Opening of the performance and artist talk, Thursday 27 September, 7.30 pm).
The performative setting by Dan Allon is a sort of “archive of illustrations”, with hundreds of drawings, among which visitors will be able to browse freely, going to discover the infnite versions of the same story: the story of the artist’s family, on the background of the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century and of the diaspora. Dan Allon, performing from time to time in the shoes of the archivist, the artist and the guardian, becomes a presence charged with meaning in this environment. Through the illustrations, the artist creates fragments of the same narrative, reconstructs a “family ethos”, proposes a new concept of family biography: the history of the family is intertwined with the “History” from the capital S – the painful one of the short century, made of violent relations between east and west-.
TEA FOR 5 – THE OPIUM CLIPPERS / 6-7 October 2018
Tea for five is a visual essay joining hand painted ceramics and performance. The central part of the project are five hand painted ceramics tea sets based on traditional Chinese gongfu tea sets. Each tea set illustrates the history of a particular ship, related to opium trade.
Tea for Five is performed as a Chinese tea ceremony during which each visitor is served tea in an individual tea set and the history of each ship is explained.
Tea for Five illustrates the history of Chino-American and British relations through narratives of five ships connected to the opium and tea trade: the Houqua, the Lintin, the Eamont, the Sylph and the Sea Witch. It tells the story of the China dream, that resulted in conflict and colonisation, and development of capitalism. The history of the opium fleet does not only document this particular era, it also sheds light on its consequences and the understanding of the political world today.