VIS Issue 8 was published 18 November 2022. The issue features seven expositions within the theme “of Rules and Alternatives”. Editors: Serge von Arx and Eliot Moleba.
Circular Bowing, Cyclical Work
Karin Emilia Hellqvist
Circular Bowing, Cyclical Work explores the collaboration between composer Henrik Strindberg and myself, violinist Karin Hellqvist, from my viewpoint as performer and co-creator. On my initiative, as part of my PhD in artistic research at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, a cyclical collaborative practice is being developed. Our process differs from the conventional separation of roles that I have so far experienced as a performer of contemporary Western classical music. The exposition highlights how my understanding of the emerging concept of 'the artistic palette' develops through the shared work and dialogue around Cirkulära Stråk for violin and electronics, when expanding my practice and establishing a new work mode. Through examples from the artistic process, the exposition aims at further unfolding how we as collaborators develop ways of challenging each other. A keyword for my defiance of the traditional and formal task division, is the search for connection – connection to my collaborator, the work, and the embodied knowledge of my artistic palette. The exposition comprises written reflections, transcribed dialogue and sketches as well as video and audio documentation. Documentary video conversations are held in Swedish with English subtitles.
Vietnamese Diasporic Voices: Exploring Yellow Music in a Liminal Space.
Nguyen Thanh Thuy
This exposition seeks to identify artistic strategies and challenges in intercultural experimentation with nhạc vàng (yellow music)—a Vietnamese popular music genre. It builds on the author’s experience as a professional musician and đàn tranh player on the Vietnamese traditional music scene, and on her long-term international and intercultural collaborations with performers and composers, as a member of the Vietnamese/Swedish group The Six Tones. In three video essays, the exposition presents the artistic process developed by the participating artists, and an analysis of how these strategies relate to the rule systems of traditional and popular music in Vietnam.
Tree of Dawn: Translation as a Method
Aurora Del Rio
This research is part of my doctoral project Archetypes of Contamination, which focuses on the relationship between symbolic images and processes of environmental transformation. This exposition, Tree of Dawn, develops by looking for the correspondence between radioactive contamination and the traditional Latvian image of the Sun-Tree as found in the Dainas, an ancient form of poetry transmitted orally through songs. My artistic process uses a re-creation and re-interpretation of ritualistic practices. With a focus on radioactive contamination, my research looks at how the experience of contaminated spaces can be read through specific myths connected to the land to interfere with the creation of personal and collective realities. The exposition moves through methods of translation as a way of reflecting on the limits of knowledge, where translation is thought of in the wider senses of transposition, deciphering, decoding, and reading through.
Ingfrid Breie Nyhus
TRADITIONING, DISSOLVING: What does 'traditioning' mean, what can the 'traditioned' become? On exploring rules and possible spaces in tradition and creation.
To Ingfrid Breie Nyhus, the apparently impossible combination of folk music and grand piano, is a creatively generative musical situation. The rules of the 'slått' tradition are transposed to a new space in the grand piano, and the rules of the grand piano are destabilized in the meeting with the 'slått'. This exposition unfolds questions, reflections and new questions, from a longer process with the music "Slåttepiano".
In circles leading on – folkdance, a choreographic intersection
This research departs from a study, building on the relation between one’s own embodied cultural constitution and someone’s comprehension of the practice. Dealing with questions on what approaches that are needed to make different perceptions of dance the possibility to contribute to the development of the field. Placing a dancing body in center of the research gives rise to the position which yields the required perspectives. When dancing, the stance of representing a genre is assumed, taken and given in a concrete way, in this case – folkdance within contemporary contexts. Moving in circles through references from different discourses, and by allowing these circles to intersect in practice, the work achieves its critical point of view.
Back to Present
Back to Present discusses the themes, filming structure, and editing process of the short film A Day Becomes (2018). The film is part of Guava, a platform for art-actions that promotes the idea of free movement and the removal of borders east of the Mediterranean. In this exposition and in making the film, I explore the possibilities of political imagination regarding regional movement across borders in relation to the phenomenon of Time.
The exposition has two parts. The first, entitled Here, unfolds around discussion about the landscape; the second, called Now, suggests that how time is experienced can affect how one experiences one’s surroundings. The form of the texts correlates to the content, form, and making of the film. The film making text is set in the center of the exposition, and the other discussions push themselves in and spread over the page. Like the text, the film’s continuous timeline is dense and loaded with plural repetitions and conversations. The interlaced reflections and commentaries that characterize the text echo Yousef’s layered performance of time in the film.
With its layout and content, the exposition explores the film’s structure and embodied experience of the landscape through time: it is a way to rethink and re-feel the Here of this region through the lingering Now of the film.
This exposition was developed from my PhD thesis at the PhDArts program, Leiden University
A to Z: Visualising Every Word in the Dictionary in Alphabetical Order
This exposition focuses on my 35-year-long project to visualise every word in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in alphabetical order, A to Z. Begun in 2011, the point of departure here is a particular moment in the unfolding of the project: the recent completion of the final D-word, “dystopia”. A to Z is premised upon the carrying out of a defined conceptual rule: a “tactically absurd” commitment to a lifetime of artistic effort, whose ostensible folly gives rise to an ever-expanding body of work that appears arbitrary, unwarranted, and nonsensical, but which, through its playful insistence, might also be understood as operating in a new and alternative realm of sense.