Thanks to Ila Ilarus’s great idea, The Garden of Nurturing Knowledges became a crepe’s lovers hotspot, as one of the closing events of the beautiful School of the We, which finished in October. Another great event hosted by rotor, which in this case was very much appreciated by the children passing by!
This Wednesday the 8th! We open our intervention in FLUC’s billboards around Pratersten in Vienna.
How to breathe in public?
Eliana was born in Lima, Olia in Minsk, Petra in Rijeka, Ruthia in Almaty, and Sonja in Naarm / Melbourne: three and a half different continents. We got to know one other in Vienna in the trembling summer of 2020: a year in which coming together and creating new collective ties was particularly unlikely, and in that sense all the more significant.
Thinking about the question how to breathe in public space ?, we adapted the game “exquisite corpse” to the digital spaces in which we work and communicate. We felt the urge to divorce public space from its modern attachment to the nation-state, legal property structures, and therefore the exclusion of othered geographies and bodies.
The layered, complicated image files we built together over a period of eight months engage with ornamental obfuscation and illustrative illusion, a wild, hopeful tessellation of more extra-human than human elements. Right now, the images lurk in our laptops and on our file-sharing platforms, waiting for the right moment to proliferate in the world.
As you see, the images didn’t quite make it to the fluc billboards. Here, you instead find a short story of im / possibility: a deep inhalation containing the promise of a collective, coming exhalation. (1)
ELOLSOPERU / Eliana Otta, Olia Sosnovskaya, Sonja Hornung, Petra Mr ?? a, Ruthia Jenrbekova are artists, organizers and researchers living in Vienna and other places.
(1) The font we chose for the text on the billboards, “OCR-B”, was created in 1968 and intended to be easily legible for both machines and humans.
El Ahora: Conversaciones desde el encierro se entiende como un espacio para pensar/reconsiderar/imaginar, de modo colectivo, el estado actual de las artes visuales y de la producción artística contemporánea local en el contexto de la crisis sanitaria. Originalmente concebida como una serie mayor de encuentros, el programa inició en septiembre de 2020 con sesiones cerradas de conversación entre artistas peruanos radicados en del país y en el extranjero, las cuales fueron grabadas y ahora se comparten con el público de proyectoamil desde sus plataformas virtuales. Así, con una voluntad especulativa, en pequeños grupos que reúnen a artistas de distintas generaciones y prácticas, se presentaron trabajos y compartieron percepciones sobre cómo la pandemia está afectando sus vidas en un sentido más amplio, incluyendo la personal, las dinámicas dentro de la escena del arte local, sus economías y sus expectativas de productividad.
Moderado por Sharon Lerner
El Ahora: Conversaciones desde el encierro is understood as a space to think/reconsider/imagine, collectively, the current state of the visual arts and local contemporary artistic production in the context of the health crisis. Originally conceived as a larger series of encounters, the program began in September 2020 with closed sessions of conversation between Peruvian artists based locally and abroad, which were recorded and are now shared with the public of proyectoamil from its virtual platforms. Thus, with a speculative aim, in small groups bringing together artists from different generations and practices, they presented works and shared perceptions on how the pandemic is affecting their lives in a broader sense, including their personal lives, the dynamics within the local art scene, their economies and their expectations of productivity.
On July the 17th, my workshop Rehearsing Horizontalities was part of this great program organized by Gabriel Hensche and Engy Mohsen:
Workshop @ Rote Fabrik, Studio A.010
Saturday, July 17th
12:00 – 15:00
Psychologist Arthur Aron used the 36 Questions to explore whether intimacy between two strangers can occur intentionally. Based on the assumption that something we call ‘love’ can be produced willingly, artists Engy Mohsen and Gabriel Hensche developed a set of 36 exercises to fall in love with oneself, a group and non-human beings. Furthermore, they invited 9 other artists and writers to develop an exercise, text or game that responds to the question: How to Love Many in Many Ways?
In this workshop, we invite you to join us to try some of these exercises that include:
Este podcast realizado en el contexto de las elecciones presidenciales en el Perú, Escuchando a la Política, contó con la participación de Matheus Calderón, Elisa Fuenzalida, Gisselle Girón, Isaac Ernesto Ruíz, Patricia Gonzales, Pacha Sotelo, Milagros Olivera, Karen Bernedo, Fernando Nureña, Mercedes Condori, Marfil Francke, Max Lira, Gisela Ortiz y Pedro Mo.
On June the 10th and 11th I participated at the Conference on Studies of Belonging organized by NIAS, with the text «Considering belonging from our shared losses, building belonging through our shared mourning» and with the guided meditation «A flying kiss thrown to the air, a guided meditation guided by a plant», both in the thread of «Practices of Belonging».
On May the 30th Oi Mouries and Other Trees participated at the Festival Lykabettus in Athens.
«The trees on Lycabettus, as well as the sky that hangs above it and the rock beneath those trees, may have a lot of knowledge that we as humans wandering on those hills, may not know. How can we learn from them? What do we want to learn from them? Are we ready to hear what they have to tell us? How do we relate to them, how do they relate to us? What is their experience of the city? How would we develop the means to hear their stories? We believe that by asking the right questions, one can begin to hear the stories of the trees. And as with any conversation, by listening to others we listen to ourselves. We aim to bring to light the stories, conscious and unconscious, that we relate to the hill, the trees, the parks, the public green spaces of our city.
We are a fluid group composed by different women at different times. At the time of writing this proposal we were Auriane Blanc, Thalia Dimitropoulou Maria Juliana Byck, Fotini Gouseti, Eliana Otta and Sanem Su Avcı.»
The nurturing knowledges‘ garden is a proposal I developed for The School of the We, a great project made by rotor in the context of the extended Graz Cultural Year 2020. We are working right now on the creation of a collective garden, with the help of the farmers from the market at Lendplatz and many enthusiastic neighbors. The intervention will be there from 14/5 to 17/10, and hopefully will stay more, if the neighbors make it theirs!
«A public garden made thanks to neighbors dedicated to reproduce and take care of life will become a meeting point to renovate our energies and capacities for taking care of each other. A generous tree will become an adaptation of the Peruvian tradition of the yunza, a propitiatory ritual to celebrate the regeneration of life and invoke abundant harvests. But here the offered gifts will be advices by gardeners, mothers, farmers and women from the neighborhood on how to look after all kind of beings, including ourselves. The visitors are invited to take an inspiring postcard from the tree of nurturing knowledges and leave one in return, writing on the spot their best ideas and ways to nurse what and who we love.»
Some images of the working process:
Here’s the invitation text for the workshop:
«How to express what aches, confuses or paralyzes us while being distanced? How to relate to protest and dissent when withdrawn from the public space? How to remain critical and socially engaged while dedicating our days to search for wellbeing under uncertain circumstances? Eliana Otta is a multidisciplinary artist from Lima whose practice proposes collective activities that intertwine orality, poetry, embodied knowledge and physical practices. Acknowledging how the need to redefine struggling actions and vocabularies seems as overwhelming as urgent, Otta’s workshop will embark on the task of identifying the possible meanings that the term “political” can bring into the pandemic context. It will review the foundational seams patching societies, questioning what Constitutions should be and do for us today, when most of us are revisiting what constitutes us as peoples and inhabitants of this planet. Expanding from the individual to the collective, we’ll work with words and imagination, with desires and poetry, navigating together from intimate goals to possible sources of political renewal.»