BECAUSE WE MEET
In a 100-year period,a water molecule spends
98 years in the ocean,
20 months as ice,
about 2 weeks in lakes and rivers,
and less than a week in the atmosphere.
Because We Meet
vapor / liquid / solid
A trilogy about the urge to control nature, seen from the perspective of the three different stages of water and the way the human being interacts with it. These Cinematic essays questions the potential to control the weather, reclaim and or protect land from the sea and the eagerness of having ownership of ice. In the beginning mankind was mainly concerned with protecting itself against nature, this changed into adapting to nature. Nowadays we have the desire of nature adapting to us. Because We Meet is a document about borders, pioneering, ownership, scientific results, utopian ideas and the urge to move.There is still the same amount of water on earth as there was at its origin, unless water is taken on space travel, this amount will never change. If water could speak, we could listen to its memory.
Vapor - The enforced drifting of clouds. From its earliest existence, mankind has been trying to manipulate or alter the weather. From ancient traditions in the form of rain dances and other rituals, to today’s possibilities including seeding of clouds, the usage of hail cannons and the placing of giant mirrors to reflect the sun.
Liquid - The everlasting encounter with water. Boundaries between water and land are constantly shifting, through natural processes such as erosion and landslides, but also through man-made land reclamation projects worldwide to expand cities, ports and farmlands. At the same time, in other places, the sea takes back the land.
Solid - The boundless ownership of ice. Antarctica has always been a continent that appeals to the imagination. Not only because of its harsh natural conditions, isolated location and heavenly serenity, but also because of the remaining opportunities that untouched no man’s land entails. Even tough this cold and harsh landscape is not a potential place to live for a long time, nations like to explore it in different ways.
The Research Residency Etcetera 等等 is an encounter between the current research of Stéphane Blumer on Humour and Cross-Cultural Communicational issues. The key interest for this research to be led in China is to confront drastically his notions of communication and humour with Chinese cultural traditions and language codes. China in general and the IFP-Beijing in particular will be a place for Stéphane Blumer to analyse the presupposed cultural gap existing between nations, as well as to draw lines of a common cultural ground.
Blumer’s objective is to try to apprehend the concepts of self-censorship, urban legends and transcultural interpretations through an approach of humour within the Beijinger community. By analysing the way people interact with each other in the Hutongs of Beijing, raising self-consciousness and questioning how one communicates with few or without words, he wishes to interrogate what is the trigger of one other’s misunderstanding within memory, translation and interpretation.
These leitmotifs will give form to a new body of artworks, inter alia: one multi-channel video-projection installation comprising two main video works. During his stay at the IFP, Stéphane Blumer will also give a workshop entitled Under Humour.
The Museum Of Nothing
The show in Black Sesame presents the Museum Of Nothing as an ongoing research project which highlights the notion of absence both as a driver of an investigative creative process and as a way to infiltrate the institutional realm. Two historical transport cases, originally designed and manufactured to carry and protect valuable goods, become representatives of a bureaucratic vacuum where physical objects cease to exist. We follow the artists as they trace the origins of the cases and their efforts to understand how we relate to 'original' and 'replica' on personal, cultural and institutional levels.
The Museum of Nothing began as an idea in the mind of the artist Robert Smithson in 1967. In dialogue with Allan Kaprow that year, Smithson said :
I’m interested for the most part in what’s not happening, that area between events which could be called the gap. This gap exists in the bland and void regions or settings that are never looked at. A museum devoted to different kinds of emptiness could be developed. The emptiness could be defined by the actual installation of art.
Founded almost half a century later, the Museum of Nothing is dedicated to exhibiting the ‘presence of absence’. In setting this goal, the Museum of Nothing recognises that things exist in an interplay of presence and absence, but that institutional collections tend to privilege the former over the latter. Its mission is to redress this imbalance, on the grounds that although ownership may gather knowledge and power, it is desire that generates them.
Showing for the first time in China in IFP's brand new project space, Swedish visual artist Björn Kjelltoft will display an installation view of his project Revisionism.
This project which brings the artist to China for the first time is of a very personal nature. In 1968, Björn's father, an engineer working for a Swedish company producing electrical equipment, came to China for a project installing turbines at a Power station in Beijing. As a young technician from a respected neutral country he enjoyed a privileged position, became a rare witness to a closed country during the height of the Cultural Revolution. He took many photos of both official events such as the military parade paying tribute to Chairman Mao, but also more mundane scenes of everyday street life, in defiance of the photo prohibition.
As an open-ended venture into his father's personal history the artist has retraced the footsteps taken in '68, finding the locations depicted in the diapositives and retake the photos using the same original camera. As a document, these images reveal the massive transformations taken place in the Chinese capital, its public spaces and political venues. As a personal encounter between a son and his ageing father returning to a city for the first time after half a century, Björn Kjelltoft's project opens up for a multitude of contingencies.
For IFP’s new project space, Björn has created an installation that suggests relationships rather than pinpoints differences or similarities between different eras. In a casual and ostensibly unedited array across a working table, accompanied by recordings of his father’s accounts, the installation invites the viewer to discover a universe which links the local Beijing habitat and its large narratives to a very personal history.
This residency was a part of a collaboration between IFP and IASPIS on public space in China.
Hold Your Breath
In September 2014, Max Gerthel and Tianji Zhao attend Re(son)Art, an international artistic research conference with actions in public space organized by researchers Monica Sand and Ricardo Atienza at ARKDES, the Swedish National Centre for Architecture and Design.
"The aim of the conference Re(son)-Art was to explore public daily situations and to encourage daily urban awareness by collective actions, described as “the art of resonating with/in/through the city”. This means that the exploration took the form of careful interventions, based in the participants’ own research and artistic practise. How could spatial transformations be played out, how does it sound, what rhythms does it reinforce? What kind of different voices, expressions and collective actions are supported by contemporary architecture and planning? Where do we find interesting thought-provoking social and cultural manifestations? Artists/researchers/architects/planners contributed with differents actions collectively performed during the conference in Stockholm. The planned action was developed and performed in situ, during the conference, by the participants under guidance of the proponents. In this collective setting a wide range of methods, theories and tools contributed to our knowledge of how the public space is used and appropriated in daily life."
Action proposed by Institute for Provocation:
Stockholm and Beijing arguably constitute two opposites of global capitals: A clean, green, hi-tech, stylish and environmentally aware capital of a small country with a good social welfare system, versus a huge, ugly, distributed, lo-tech, dirty and polluted capital of the biggest country in the world, suffering from a GINI-coefficient approaching its avarage Air Quality Index.
Our proposed action is very simple. Hand out anti-air pollution masks brought over from Beijing to participants of the action and let them walk around in the crowded areas of the city center; shopping streets, public squares and popular hangouts. It's not mainly about having a lot of people wearing masks in a group, but just enough so that other bypassers would have a chance to see a few of them in various places during their lunchbreak (12-14). The wearers of the masks should behave as if they are also out shopping or grabbing a coffee on the way somewhere. After strolling the streets for 30 minutes or so, the wearers would return to a central location (e g Sergels torg) to “concentrate” and then remove their masks in a collective action.
The action is meant to create a certain level of personal disturbance among the bypassers as they become aware of the “new element” previously uncommon in the public sphere in Stockholm. The masks do not only represent the function of filtering the air, but it is an important demarceur of personal identity, to roleplaying and anonymity. Also a comment on the pollution caused by our Western consumption habits, the masks represent the hidden dirt behind the slick surfaces of the latest technology demanded by the many in places like Sweden.
As Big as a Sesame
During Beijing Design Week 2014, IFP ran a series of events as explorations around the intersection of art, design and performance. Three artists were invited to engage with the space and create site-specific works and actions, some as ephemeral as the wind or the wings of the pigeons flying over the rooftops over this new experimental exhibition space.
Strange Tales From My Chinese Studio (or A Script For a Work I Didn't Make, Yet)
Sunday December 14th IFP resident artist Maurice Bogaert presented his project "Strange Tales From My Chinese Studio (or A Script For a Work I Didn't Make, Yet)", a publication and a site-specific installation in Black Sesame.
Working from a notion of the city as a living being, the artist has been collecting scenes from everyday life in Beijing, narrated from the perspective of an anonymous viewer. This collection of scenes are put together in a small publication with dual contingency: It can be read as a finished work, a literary work or an artist book; or as a script for another work, carried out in another media in another place at another time.
As a counterbalance to the lightness of words on paper, Maurice has created an spatial intervention in the Black Sesame gallery. Using standard drywall elements, the artist sets up a scene which transforms parts of the space into a new, mystified object which also can be seen as a map of Beijing, or a generic Chinese City.
Opening Sunday Dec 14th, 4 pm
Exhibition runs December 14th - 21st