COOP ~ Curating Positions: Location In Reverse- Care For a Place Through the Cinematic Lens from Month to Month

Seminar 2: 26 - 29 January 2020

Session two of “Curating Positions: Location In Reverse- Care For A Place Through The Cinematic Lens” will be led by Marwa Arsanios and Leire Vergara and will count with Wendelien van Oldenborgh and Ricardo Liong a Kong as guests.

During this second session, we will continue with the Listening Group, an initiative by Leon Filter that started in 2017 and that has been specifically thought in relation to the materials and exercises we will work with in the session.

Sunday, January 26:

20.00-22.00: Screening of the following films and materials:

-Reassemblage by Trinh T. Minh-ha (1983) Duration: 39,37 minutes

Women are the focus but not the object of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s influential first film, a complex visual study of the women of rural Senegal. Through a complicity of interaction between film and spectator, Reassemblage reflects on documentary filmmaking and the ethnographic representation of cultures.

-Après la Reprise, la Prise Wendelien van Oldenborgh (2009) Duration: 16 minutes

This analogue slide work takes as its point of departure conditions of work and more specifically the changing nature of this, which is having its effect on the contemporary “self”. Manual labour, women and production of culture meet in this piece, which is made in collaboration with two women who were former assembly line workers of one of the Levi’s jeans factories in Belgium which closed in 1998, leaving all of its (female) workers unemployed. Many of them had spent their whole working life with Levi’s. A group of these women had found new roles as actresses after putting forward their experience in a theatre production. For this slide piece, they share their story with students of the Royal Technical Atheneum Mechelen.

-Supposing I love you Wendelien van Oldenborgh (2011) Duration: 13 minutes

The work brings the voice of the Swiss-Egyptian philosopher and theologian Tarq Ramadan into exchange with a group of five young adults of various origin from Belgium and the Netherlands. Against the backdrop of a de Stijl-inspired broadcast building designed by Piet Elling, the Dutch architect and friend of Gerrit Rietveld, the work is set up as a polyphonic mini-tragedy. Unrehearsed forms of performance and speech, stemming from private experience, form the building blocks of the ‘drama’.

Wendelien van Oldenborgh will be present during the screening so she will introduce her works and take questions afterwards.

Monday, January 27:

- 10.00-13.00: Session with Wendelien van Oldenborgh. The artist will share with the group her way of working and she will connect it to Trinh T. Minh-ha’s articulation of the idea of the political: “The distinction offered in: ‘making a political film’ or ‘writing and making films politically’ that helps to widen the scope of the political. She will share different works during the session to introduce her ideas around the role of sound and text in her filmic work and the different methodologies employed in working with specific locations. Her session will also comprise an exercise thought for the COOP.

14.00- 16.00: Session with Wendelien van Oldenborgh continues.

Please, read for Wendelien van Oldenborgh session the following text:

16.00-19.00: Teaching by Marwa Arsanios and Leire Vergara on the materials sent to read during DAI WEEKS.

20.00-22.00: Session with Ricardo Liong-A-Kong. Ricardo has been invited to do several contributions to the COOP along the year. This will be his first presentation:

“One will always return to where one's birth cord is buried.' When you are born you are delivered in this world, on its soil. The soil in which we sow (seeds) for fruits, flowers, vegetables. The soil that will produce your food. If we move away from our (buried) birth cord, can we take soil and seeds with us to our new location?”

Ricardo Liong-A-Kong will show seeds he collected in Suriname, and talk about their names, what plants they will become. Furthermore, he will show some of his artist's books in connection to 'soil of Suriname'.

Ricardo Liong-A-Kong: Although he loves gardens, plants and trees, he doesn't consider himself as a gardener. Being in nature, a garden, working in/on it or just sitting there and contemplating is one of Ricardo's favorite 'activities'. Meanwhile trying to find out the why and how plants grow, more in the artistic way than the scientific way. Learning what they are used for, what they are called (in Surinamese and Dutch), how to grow them. And finding a way to use this in his artistic work.

Tuesday, January 28:

10.00-13.00: Student led session by Dorothy Hunter, Iva Kovac and Azul Monte

14.00-15.00: Session 2 Listening Group with readers Yen Noh and Vinita Gatne

Texts include: Kaja Silverman - Chapter two of "The Acoustic Mirror" and Bell Hooks, „choosing the margin as a space of radical openness“ from „women, knowledge and reality - explorations in feminist philosophy“ ed. by Ann Garry and Marilyn Pearsall

Biography of readers

Vinita Gatne (Mumbai,1988) is an artist working on sculptural installations. By weaving narratives through her installations, Vinita attempts to forefront multiple facets aspirations which otherwise are either ignored or mediated in globally standardized information systems. These interests bud from her prior training in architecture which steered her to be involved in several urban studies with a view to understand the impacts of large-scale development projects.

Yen Noh (Daegu, 1983) studied at Dutch Art Institute and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Her work investigates intimate histories of trauma, upheaval, and freedom during the Japanese colonisation of Korea, unearthing and recreating radical practices of everyday anarchy by those whose history is overlooked and unthought by an imperial/national project. She currently researches the Korean poet and architect Yi Sang and the Japanese art group MAVO as challenging comparatist histories that present non-Western avant-gardes as particular, local and derivative versions of a “universal” historical avant-garde originating from the West.

15.00-16.30: Sound Debate (The debate will be recorded in order to make it arrive to the readers of the session 2 of the Listening Group and for our archive).

16.30-19.00: Group feedback to the student led sessions and discussion towards the project in Tunis

20.00-22.00: Screening proposed by Kari Rosenfelt and discussion towards the project in Tunis continues.

Wednesday, January 29:

10.00-13.00: face 2 faces.

Bibliography for the week:

- Lucy Lippard's "On not having seen the Bilbao Guggenheim" from Learning from the Bilbao Guggenheim

- Chapter two of Kaja Silverman's "The Acoustic Mirror" 

- Chapter one of Trinh T Minh-ha's "Women, Natice, Other" 

- Natasha Myers' "How to Grow Liveable Worlds, Ten not so Easy Steps"

-Wendelien van Oldenborgh “Asset as Set: Filmmaking in Relation to a Certain Realness of Site”



Seminar 1: 1-4 December 2019

Seminar one of “Curating Positions: Location In Reverse- Care For A Place Through The Cinematic Lens” will be led by Marwa Arsanios and Leire Vergara who will introduce their positions - through their practices - regarding notions of care for a place, care for knowledge and care for the land. The introductions will set the basis of the conceptual space for the COOP study group.

The participant students will also be asked to introduce their practice in regards to the thematic of the study group.

During this first session, we will start with the Listening Group, an initiative by Leon Filter that started in 2017 and that has been specifically thought in relation to the materials and exercises we will work with in the session.

Sunday, December 1:

19.30-20.15: Screening of the film Scuola Senza Fine by Adriana Monti (1983) Duration: 36 minutes

Between 1979 and 1983, Monti worked on a film with a group of women, most of them housewives, who in 1976 had taken the “150 Hours” course in Affori, Milan. The “150 hours” course is the name that received the contractual improvement that the Italian workers coming from the steel and automobile sector gained in 1973. This agreement extended soon to other industrial sectors and even to the unemployed and adults in general which finally gave access to many women and housewives to the course. Adriana Monti filmed a group of women that after completing the course and being awarded with the diploma decided to continue studying and formed with the help of the teacher a study group. Monti filmed the group between 1979 and 1981 and worked on the edition until 1983 in collaboration with the participants.

20.15-22.00: Round of weird questions among the participant students and the tutors.

Monday, December 2:

10.00-11.30: Presentation by Leire Vergara (care for a space: Bulegoa z/b). An introduction to the organisation behind this COOP in relation to the text Maria Puig de la Bellacasa: “Matters of Care in Technoscience: Assembling Neglected Things” in Social Studies of Science 2011 41: 85 or as an extended version in Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds University of Minnesota Press, 2017 pp. 27-69

11.30-13.00: Introduction to the Convention of Women Farmers and Ecological Feminists, an initiative by Marwa Arsanios for Biennale Warszawa 2019 in relation to Eve Tuck’s and Marcia McKenzie text “Relational Validity and the “Where” of Inquiry: Place and Land in Qualitative Research” in Qualitative Inquiry 1-6 2015)

14.00-15.00: Session 1 Listening Group with readers Karolin Meunier and Valentina Curandi. Texts include:

-The Script of the film Scuola senza fine translated by Fausta Daldini Einhorn; -Introduction to the script of the film Scuola senza fine, translated by Giovanna Ascelle, Scuola senza fine by Adriana Monti;

-Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds, Maria Puig de la Bellacasa University of Minnesota Press, 2017;

-On Earth we are briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong, Jonathan Cape, 2019

Karolin Meunier : Karolin Meunier is an artist and writer from Berlin and teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. She is a member of the publishing house and book shop B_Books in Berlin. Her performance, text and video works observe how access to individual experience is accomplished through cultural and standardized practices like translation processes, conversations, or learning methods. The artist book A Commentary on "Vai Pure" by Carla Lonzi will be published with B_Books/Archive Books in 2020.

Valentina Curandi : I a practitioner with an experimental approach to text-based research, performance and publishing. I develop performative work that focuses on the material-symbolic setup of the sexed and contracted willful subject, inquiring the socio- historic-economical conditions affecting the relationship of women to mortality. My theoretical and artistic research on feminist political economy and contract theory inquires the normalizing effect of legal regulations and devices on the everyday management of my reproductive bonds and obligations. The work Kate (2016 - ongoing) - a proposition of bequeathment of the body of my artistic work to the school I attended for my Master (Dutch Art Institute) - stretches the field of operation of the device of last will and testament’s legal language, extending it from the field of private transactions to the public-ness of a series of scripted performative acts.

15.00-16.30: Sound Debate (The debate will be recorded in order to make it arrive to the readers of the session 1 of the Listening Group).

16.30- 16.45: short break

17.00-18.00: Presentation by Leire Vergara (care for a location). Brief introduction to her PhD research “Dispositifs of Touching: A Curatorial Study on the Plazas of Sovereignty” (read in 2017 within the framework of Curatorial/Knowledge at Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths College University of London)

20.00-22.00: Screening of How is Afraid of Ideology? by Marwa Arsanios Video 57 minutes.

As an introduction, standing on a stony path, director Marwa Arsanios faces the camera and wonders: “What does it mean to belong to a place? What does it mean to “be here”? What does the word “nature” encompass? What does it imply when we say “we”? These political questions arise from experiments conducted by women in three war-torn places. First, in the mountains of Kurdistan, in early 2017, the guerrilla led by the Kurdish women’s autonomist movement invites us to experience and consider space, plants, survival, ecology and economic battles in a different way. The process, so we are told, ensues from practical concerns: how do you set up an organic food production cycle? When does a tree need to be cut down? Then in Jinwar, literally the “place of women”, a village in Rojava, Northern Syria, built by women for the exclusive use of women. And finally, in a cooperative in the Bekaa Valley, near the Syrian border, which has become a sanctuary-like community for refugees. In these communities, the issue of the reappropriation of the land and means of production and subsistence is paramount, and it creates a different landscape. These three eco-feminist strategies at work bring about self-governance, and the creation and transmission of knowledge. These fragile yet so precious experiments are like pages in an herbarium, featuring carefully collected and hand-drawn plants, arranged in the film like silent, up-front manifestos. (Nicolas Feodoroff)

Tuesday, December 3:

10.00-13.00: Presentations by the participant students (open face to face)

14.00-18.00: Presentations by the participant students (open face to face)

20.00-22.00: Open discussion: Listening to a place (a new methodology to develop as part of this COOP, proposals for a collective project in Tunis)

Wednesday, December 4:

10.00-13.00: Introduction to the methodologies of the COOP (Listening Group, Sound Debates, Performative Screenings, Listening to a place…) for the different students-led parts, chronicles… Distribution of the different students-led parts across the year.