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„a place I know well“
                                          cultural exchange between 9 young artists
with                                    07.09. – 05.10.2008

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A collaboration between Pro Helvetia & Laboratoire Village Nomade, La Corbière, Switzerland, 2008


A group exhibition with:

LeylaGoor & Ann Guillaume (Paris)
Pascal Hachem (Beirut)
Ronny Hardliz (Bern/Prag)
Patrizia Karda (Bern)
Isamu Krieger (Genf)
Julia Staniszewska (Warschau)
Sudhu Tewari (Oakland)
Tamlyn Young (Durban)


Background

„home is that place which enables and promotes varied and everchanging perspectives, a place where one discovers new ways of seeing reality, frontiers of difference. The experience of being someone new in town, to leave the home, is a different experience altogether - here one place has been left and a new unknown terrain entered. what do you do? match the new to meet up with the standards of the old, or allow yourself to be changed by your new surroundings?
The others we meet en route take the form of places, objects or people. Most often the distant other we encounter in our travels is what we thought to be a familiar part of ourselves“.
(Jane Rendell, Phil.,Writer)

While thinking about "spaces“ and "environments“ in which we live and which influence us we can see nowadays that the meaning of personal space and our relationship to the places we belong to has changed in our present society, which is mainly influenced by mobility, simultaneity and globalization. We get increasingly used to moving between many places and there is a constant quest for personal spaces within rapidly changing surroundings.
“feeling home” in this world of constant travellers became mostly construction and projection which is built through some elements we find in our daily life and some others we invent in our fantasy. A taste, a smell, a sound makes us conscious about something familiar - to all of us in a different way. We all search for this feeling of belonging. So what is the meaning of “home” today?

Are the places we are living in the places we belong to? Is there a place we belong to ?

We want to find out how we are connected to the places we are living in - looking for a link between our physical environment and our identity. “Origin” is given to us, but “homeland” we can only find through our ways of living
as sedentarys
travellers
tourists
migrants
in exile
refugees
nomads
researchers


Project


Starting point is to invite 9 young artists from different origin who are interested in their personal relation to “space” - to the cultural exchange project “Laboratoire Village Nomade” in Estavayer-le-Lac at La Corbière, a location at the countryside of Switzerland.
Connected to the cultural exchange program of Pro Helvetia we like to invite 3 artists originated in Switzerland or living here, 3 artists originated in Middle East countries and 3 further artists who have passed their journeys through life as migrants in always changing environments. Depending on our partners we define the group of artists (see more Info in our list of artists).

We invite all participating artists to explore a place in their own environment, which makes them “feel at home” and to find a narrative around that place. From a personal point of view everybody brings his/her story – working material like sound pieces, videos, anecdotes or physical objects to La Corbière. Out of this working material and during the 3 weeks of working and living together in the Corbière, we create a landscape. The different “places, people know well” will be installed and transform into something new while corresponding or diverging within the setting of La Corbière. The 150-year-old villa and its surroundings are inviting to ask for the intention of “home”. We create “maps” and “stations” in and around the house - a platform, where contradicting and coinciding spaces communicate with and melt into each other – a landscape which becomes something like a common homeland during the term of a following art event – homeland which is belonging to everybody and nobody at the same time.
In the 4th week we will migrate to the PROGR in Bern (www.progr.ch) – a center for cultural production with an exhibition program - to install an exhibition. During 7 days we construct / de-construct different rooms there, including live-acts, performing arts, spontaneous events. (in collaboration with Beate Engel (PROGR) and Prof. Sibylle Omlin, Artschool Basel)

„a place I know well“ examines the notion of home, not merely as a physical structure, but as a place formed by memories and a sense of belonging - do we define a place or does the place define us?

We are looking for people working in visual arts, fine arts, sound-&performing arts, film, literature and architecture who are motivated to work together and inspire each other through the variety of possible expressions. The idea is to work in a group process, developing our landscape as well as individually expressing the personal meaning of “a place I know well”.

Besides creating an artistic expression we invite the participating artists to share a way of living together. The cultural exchange project „Laboratoire Village Nomade“ is perpetually creating itself new by changing it's inhabitants coming from many different countries and cultures. Inspired by mutual exchange and daily interaction everybody is creating the common space we share for a certain time and the question how to share and create this place propells us through our way of daily life.


Art Event

After 3 weeks of working together in la Corbière we intend to stage a public art event under the roof of “Laboratoire Village Nomade” which will be developed and organized by the group. We are looking forward to presenting visual and acoustic installations, life-performing arts, mixed media shows, objects as well as drawings, literature and photography.

The outline, our map for the exhibition of “a place I know well”, will be developed during our 3-week-long working process before a first public event. The special setting of La Corbière allows a variety of expressions in and outside the house.

Transfering “a place I know well” to different exhibition spaces, like a traveling homeland, might be a chance to play with questions around the feeling of belonging - to a place, a landscape, a city, to a place of origin – another context appears with changing viewers and their perspectives around the artefacts. We would like to migrate some/all Art-Pieces, Installations, Life-Performances to the cultural centre PROG in Bern - that has expressed interest.


Documentation

“a place I know well”
will be documented by the organizers of „Laboratoire Village Nomade“ in photo, text, audio and video. The jourparjour cie will also inform about the meeting on time, using the own website - www.jourparjour.net
The process and the experience during our common time can be connected with another project, called „Radio Village Nomade“ which takes place during 7 months in La Corbière (1st of May till 30th of November). „Radio Village Nomade“ is an audio play we broadcast through Internet Radio, day by day, for 214 days. It will be created by some of our invited artists as well as through the contributions sent daily by Internet from related artists all over the world - „a place I know well“ will be transmitted in this context as well.


Workflow
Laboratoire Village Nomade

The workflow and a detailed concept about a following art event will be developed together with participating artists in the months before the meeting at la Corbière – depending on different backgrounds and ideas. Through our exchange we will naturally find the outline of “a place I know well” (see more Info about Artists).
It is important for us to have an intense exchange before a first meeting in Switzerland and to find a homogeneous group of artists concerning age and experiences in art. By exchanging questions & answers, backgrounds and ideas we get to know each other and prepare our meeting in Switzerland. We understand this research as a part of the following working process in La Corbière.
Through discovering the area around La Corbière we start physically working on our ideas and develop the projects. After daily meetings in the morning to discuss questions, needs and the work in progress, we offer a common space, a „central station“ in the house for working on the landscape of places. We will install a paper board, where everybody can post his/her own idea of a space as well as follow the process of the group. Through this we can find out how we can help each other - this scetch-board might inspire for constructing our “map of homeland”. Artists are invited to work individually and in groups - the result will be defined as a group work (including solo works).
The exhibition in the Corbière as the art event in the PROGR in the 4th week will be organised by the group, supported by the team of “Laboratoire Village Nomade”.

During evening sessions we invite all participants to present past works, to share and discuss them with all present artists from “Laboratoire Village Nomade” like for exampel Ayako Mogi, Misa Shimomura, Marie-Claire Brzytwa, Sudhu Tewari and Werner Penzel.




Questions connected to the project -
they can be seen as a starting point for working together

Are the places we are living in the places we belong to?

How are we connected to the places in which we live?

Where do you come from ?

What means home at the place, where you come from ?

At which places do you feel home ?

How much space do you need ?

What makes a space yours ?

How do we share space ?

How do we live together ?

What does your surrounding to you ?

Which places do you know well ?

What places do you dream of ?

A place - what is inspiring, what has been lost, and what is missing?

What is your motivation to be part of our meeting ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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