‘A Polyphonic Essay on Intimacy and Distance’ was a performance, presentation and discussion on themes relating to the concepts of intimacy and distance from a curatorial and artistic perspective. A dual presentation by curators Alexandra Ross and Gayle Meikle incorporating commissioned/selected artworks by artists working with sound art/the spoken word.
This project had three stages from research to presentation:
Stage One: each curator commissions responses to the theme of intimacy and distance.
Stage Two: the presentation/revelation of the work(s). Both curators worked independently in the selection process and their various selections was reavealed at the 2016 Transart Trienniale. Both audience and curators experienced the work together for the first time.
Stage Three: After the unveiling and listening of the commissioned works a polyphonic essay was constructed through the process of conversation – the content of which took the form of prepared audio clips, interjections/thoughts from the audience, gathered quotations, and other preparatory material collected by each curator. This material stemmed from and was framed by the themes and response to the commissioned works that will begin the discussion. The artwork from each commissioned artist thoroughly started the conversation and dialogue between both curator and audience alike.
Artist commissioned by Gayle Meikle:
Mohammad Namazi (b Tehran)is a visual artist based in London. Namazi’s work comprises transor multi-media characteristicsof visual expressions that have commonalities with the vocabulary of site-specific installations,public participatory activitiesand design practices.
The temporal tensions between transience and permanency, or kinesis and stasis, have been a constant area of research, exploring polarity subjects such as rights of individuals, consumerism,the political exchange of power and hospitality. This is often reflected through the production of sculptures, drawings, moving image, sound installations, graphic design, photography, internet based artworks, workshopsand performance. Namazi received his MA from the Royal College of Art in 2009. Heis a recipient of the Man Drawing Prize (2009) and the MFI residency at the Flat Time House (2013). He has recently completed his solo exhibition at BALTIC 39 in Newcastle and currently is working towardshis next residency and solo exhibition at Index institution (‘Wort und Wirkung’) in Zürich for September — October 2016. He is a doctoral researcher at the UAL Research Centre in London.
Specifically created for the Transart Triennale Berlin, Namazi’s new artwork
Internet Fantasy in What Way? (2016) examines the interconnections between sound and socially engaged practice through the internet.
In the 21st century with the rise of the internet and digitalization, almost every entity around us has been digitalized and therefore a virtual representation of it has been reflected online. People’s lives are becoming more and more dependent upon these platforms for the exchange
of knowledge, capital and communications. As a consequence, it becomes vital to question the ubiquitous nature of the internet in contemporary visual culture
and how it is transforming our lived experience. This artwork tries to highlight the transferal phenomenon from offline culture to online culture through inviting audience interaction and participation.
Medium: Sound, internet, participation, smartphone
Use of smartphones and a working internet connection are vital for this project.
Artist commissioned by Alexandra Ross:
Koleka Putuma(South Africa)
Koleka Putuma is a Theatre Director, Writer, and Performance Poet based in Cape Town.
She has headlined at TEDx, SliPnet’s Inzync Poetry Sessions, and Word N Sound.Her plays include UHM (2014), Mbuzeni (2015/2016), and plays for young audiences which include Ekhaya for 2-7 year olds and SCOOP, the first South African play for 2 weeks-12month old babies.
She was nominated for the Rosalie van der Gucht Prize for Best New Directors at the annual Fleur Du Cap Theatre Awards (2015). She has been named one of the young pioneers who took South Africa by storm in 2015 by The Sunday Times. She is a resident poet and creative director of spoken word collective Lingua Franca and Co-Founder of a theatre company called The Papercut Collective.
TITLE OF WORK COMMISSIONED FOR TRANSART:
‘Grief will always ask: why’
read the commissioned work here
Curators: Alexandra Ross and Gayle Meikle (South Africa and UK)
Originally from Scotland, Alexandra Ross’s practice and research largely locates itself in the interstitial spaces of artistic and curatorial activity. Exploring the scope and efficacy of conversation-as-method in an attempt to gather layers of nuance relating to practice and practitioners that all too frequently fall off the record and into silence.
She is currently Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Centre for Curating the Archive (CCA), Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. She read an honours law degree, followed by a Masters in Museum and Gallery Studies, a Master of Fine Art and a PhD in Curatorial Practice. In 2014, she was Curatorial Fellow with ATLAS Arts, on the Isle of Skye. In 2015, she was a tutor at the Vessel/ MADA International Curatorial Retreat, Bari, Italy and writer in residence at Skaftfell, Centre for Visual Art, Seydisfjordur, Iceland working on an upcoming publication on Dieter Roth.
Gayle Meikle is a Newcastle-based (UK) artist curator who specialises in collaborative practice with an emphasis in public pedagogy. Interested in location and place-making her practice has taken her to rural Scotland where she worked with ATLAS Arts to deliver a two-year visual arts programme in the Outer Hebrides. Currently she is a doctoral candidate in Fine Art at Northumbria University in which her research explores radical pedagogy, the archive and curiosity as a curatorial methodology. She holds an BA hons in Time Based Art (2006) and Master of Science in Electronic Imaging (2007) from Dundee University. She has programmed a variety of projects including; ’Cuth’, Queens Park Railway Club, Glasgow (2013),the public programme for Vija Celmins ARTIST ROOMS and Are You LOCATIONALIZED by Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan (2014),Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Art Centre and produced ‘Women of the Hill’ by Hanna Tuulikki, ATLAS Arts (2015).