Nog maar twee weken tot RijksakademieOPEN, dus wordt er van ’s morgens vroeg tot ’s avonds laat in ateliers en werkplaatsen hard gewerkt aan nieuw werk.
Kom ook kijken op 30 november -1 december op Sarphatistraat 470, Amsterdam.
‘I see framing and zooming as a sacred act also.’
Resident Emile Zile questions the means by which individuals construct their identities and/or memories in the digital age. He exposes the daily tragedy of networked disconnection and social transformations by digital technologies.
The Australian artist just came back from Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos, where he witnessed and photographed the morning Tak Bat ritual, an ancient Buddhist tradition. During Tak Bat, hundreds of barefoot monks walk through the streets collecting food from locals. The ritual has become such an attraction for tourists; the flashing of cameras is constant and disruptive. Visitors endlessly block the streets trying to grasp key moments to take back home as a souvenir, as if making a catalogue of holiday memories. Emile wanted to record the tourism, the monks and the result of the constant picture taking during such a sacred ceremony. With that in mind, he decided to film for nine days and make a short film of his recordings. Emile talks about his interest in photography as a ritual and about reality through a zoomed and framed screen.
Q. You seemed to have travelled a lot and have just come back from Laos, why did you choose that destination for your most recent work?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively, sometimes with music projects, sometimes teaching, sometimes for collaborations. In 2010 I taught a UNICEF video workshop in Luang Prabang. In the city, I witnessed the morning Tak Bat ritual between the givers of rice, the monks and the takers of photographs. I wrote about it and let it sit in my journal for a few years. This year it felt unavoidable to make this film.
Q. What led you to photograph Tak Bat and such an intensive kind of tourism?
I am a monk. I am a tourist. Within the street I see the stage for every human conflict and negotiation. Specifically for this video I was interested in contrasting the buddhist principles of mindfullness, meditation, removing yourself from time to the act of photography, grasping for permanence, embalming a moment. The last shot of my 2012 film Jack is a solitary figure passed out in a half-finished Buddhist temple in Footscray, Australia. This film is an oblique sequel.
I was interested in contrasting the buddhist principles of mindfullness, meditation, removing yourself from time to the act of photography, grasping for permanence, embalming a moment.
Q. What is it about tourism and photography that catches your attention? What was the motivation to record tourists?
My work is consistently focussed on human communication mediated by technology, more often broadcast or recording media. This is a line that contains fire for me, from my early work such as appearing on a television gameshow in Australia to performances using post-it notes, subtitles or youtube and the more recent short films. It was important to not make a judgement on the tourists. I see framing and zooming as a sacred act also.
Q. How do you feel about individuals and tourists in the digital age? Whereby photos are hardly looked at again or are ‘for ever stacked’ in a hard drive.
Collecting is a strong impulse. Making a catalogue of memories on vacation as signposts of a life well lived or the ‘proof of purchase’ of existence. The act of recording can become a compulsion. I should know, my house in Australia has crates of television documentaries, arthouse films and commercial television recorded to VHS. As a teen I was an obsessive collector, creating my personal scratchy pre-YouTube database of films I thought I could never easily access again. I still return to the archive to watch certain titles I cannot find easily even with the aid of the internet. An observational documentary on the Chechen conflict that uses Russian pop music as counterpoint to the misery and boredom of the frontline comes to mind.
Q. What are your sources of inspiration?
My friends Linda Safehouse101, Bobzi, Carl Two4K, Eddie Clickjaw, pb3073, Karen Eliot and Landless Peasant, Marcsta Boogie, OXO OVO.
Text by Laura Beltrán Villamizar
See Emile Zile’s video of Tak Bat at RijksakademieOPEN 2013
Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December
Attend the event on facebook here.
Miko Veldkamp is currently in his last year of residency at the Rijksakademie. His works with deserted landscapes, birds in the park and groups of people are based on personal memories and observations, painted with the fleeting signature of a photograph.Of his personal subject matter he only paints what is universally recognizable, with a minimal handwriting and colour composition
The colour compositions are rooted in Veldkamp’s observations on flatness, depth and movement. In his paintings nothing has a fixed place; the front seems the back, far away close and everything seems to continuously shift places.
Miko: “At the moment I’m finishing new work for RijkakademieOPEN in which I want to show my research and interests of the last two years. I asked myself how painting can say something about this day and age. Our way of looking is influenced by media such as photography and video. I think that there is an increased consciousness of movement and the transitory nature of things, caused by for example the fastness of digital photography, but also time-lapse videos, stop-motion, or slow-motion. Because of this people also look at paintings differently. Everyone knows the video’s of how a painting is being built up. You can see the painting grow, and in the end there remains only a static thing. Instead I want my paintings to keep the motion, that sequence of gestures, in the end result.
Bea McMahon (IR/72), current resident at Rijksakademie, is attracted in seeing things from “behind” and “beyond”, from the inside, rather than the outside. Not interested in “what is” but rather in “what would be if…” she builds self-contained environments for experiments.
Although mostly known for her drawings and videos, during ’Museumnacht‘ (Museum Night) the Irish artist presented a public rehearsal of ‘The Fixed Point’, a play that will be staged during the RijksakademieOPEN 2013
There are three props in the room: “call them sculptures”, states the script. These are: a Shrine – a textile temple that hides inside ceramic treasures, a Pipeline (or a Chorus) – a peculiar construction made of enamel pipes and a Mountain (or a Bed or a Diagram) – a metal cone covered with a blanket.
Furthermore there are three characters: Shell, the 7th largest gas company in the world, Ray, the Irish minister of energy (1987-88) and Corrib, an Irish methane and ethane gas field in an area known as the Slyne Trough. The play is a love triangle. Specific instructions identify each character’s movement in relation to each other and to the three props. For instance, Corrib can never move from under the pipeline, Ray possesses total freedom in relation to all characters and props and Shell can only interact with the mountain, the shrine and Ray.
The characters interact with each other, making startling noises using the requisites, like scratching the pipes or clinking on the ceramic elements. This way they create their own idiom, by which they can communicate.
As an extension of her research into various peoples’ ‘eating disorders’, resident Masha Ru now involves others in her own odd eating habit: eating clay and ceramics.
The act of eating soil-based substances including raw clay is known as geophagy and is scientifically researched. Her current project is inspired by the study of this phenomenon. It involves the production of edible ceramic cups. Within the project the act of eating ceramics is connected to number of factors, such as instincts, social values, culture, spirituality, addictions and sexuality.
Masha: “I find it interesting that in some cultures eating soil is a part of the culture. For instance in Haiti clay cookies are a part of national cuisine, while in Europe and USA eating soil is officially regarded as a psychological disorder.
Resident Goeun Bae’s work begins with clues she takes from everyday life, she incorporates them in her films, performances, objects, installations and photographs. Frequently she uses body parts as a performative extension in her work which experiments with total detachment and obsessive repetition, asking the viewers to puzzle the pieces together themselves.
Currently, Goeun has submerged herself in the project of making an installation that will plunge replicas of her own smiling head into water. When I meet her in the paint laboratory of the Rijksakademie she is holding a football-sized in her arms rocking it back and forth. Apparently it is quite heavy work , when technical supervisor Arend Nijkamp steps in and takes over from her; Goeun needs a moment to catch her breath before she can answer my questions:
Can you tell me a little bit more about what you are doing?
By rocking this mold I spread the liquid plastic inside evenly around. To get this mold shaped after my own head, I first made head out of clay, which then became the model for the silicon mold. With this mold I am making several plastic heads in various colours. I am making heads with laughing faces so I can incorporate them into a moving installation. I’m working on a construction that will plunge the plastic head tinto water.
Arend Nijkamp explains that the modelling needed to be done in clay: “When you cast it directly from her face, it will look like a dead person’s face, because the eyes are always closed.”
What is this particular story about ?
I started this project in July and it was inspired by short stories I was writing at the time. I would imagine a character and think about this person’s situation and her daily habits. The head which I am working on now also has a character and story behind it. It is about a person who fears yet loves water. When she is alone she puts her face in the water and holds her breath, until she feels like she’s suffocating. She’s a person who sings her story under water. She’s a person who regrets eating her meal with her right hand the day before. And she’s a person who regrets waking up five minutes earlier than she intended. She is a person who remembers these kind of small and unconscious behaviors and regrets them - a person whose thoughts are repetitive.
It is this story that took shape in the form of the head installation. It’s a simple yet interactive installation that reacts to the actions of the viewer. I am planning to accompany the installation with sounds so the viewers will gain more insight about the character.
Personally I have had a bad experience of falling into water when I was young and therefore I still cannot put my face in water for long. Neither can I hold my breath under water but the head I made can stay in the water with a smiling face.
Do you have a specific goal with the project?
My hopes for this project is that the simplicity of the movement and the story behind the object will come together into a cohesive work..So I have to think about how viewers will approach it and whether viewers should do something in order to activate the installation.
When can we see this installation?
I am not sure when it will be finished but I hope to exhibit this project at RijksakademieOPEN 2013. As for the many heads I am making right now, I am planning to connect them to other characters and their stories. I am still deciding whether these projects will turn into another installation, a film or a performance.
RijksakademieOPEN 2013 Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December
More about Goeun Bae here: