Ever floating, barely suspended

14 June 2013

A collective intervention by Goldsmiths students into the exhibition No record, just a sound by Alexandra Ferreira and Bettina Wind. Departing from their research in Transcultural Memory, the group will present an interactive evening interweaving film, poetry, music and performance, creating an immersive environment in dialogue with the exhibition. Working with the theme of exile as an individual and collective experience, each of the participants has approached the subject from their own perspective.

Departing from the artists’ approach to Caetano Veloso's and Gilberto Gil's exile experience in London, Marisa Baptista focuses on music as storytelling and songs as builders of a global memory. Concentrating on Brazilian musical creation and its evolution through time; from the roots of samba to the dawn of Brazilian psychedelic rock, the songs gathered in the musical archive running throughout the evening try to trace relations between artists across the globe, setting the creative act of building a song against a political and social background.

A seminal moment in Veloso’s career, during the third ‘Festival de Música Popular Brasileira’ on TV Record, where the audience were given equal weight as the performer, prompted parallels with the work of their contemporaries; artists Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica whose emphasis was on the active-participant rather than the passive-spectator. Louise O’Kelly pays homage to Oiticica by re-appropriating elements of his practice to create an environment akin to a Cosmococa, combining film, sound, colour and smell. Oiticica’s blending of influences is similar to the method of fusing traditional and contemporary musical elements within Tropicalia, a term which the artist coined.

Throughout the evening the audience will be encouraged to participate and interact, as well as view the exhibition through the filter of their current experience. Using fragments of poetry from ten exiled poets, Or Tshuva attempts to relate the idea of exile to an ever-mutual notion of longing, regardless of its historical and geographical background. Participants are encouraged to reassemble the fragments as one new text, which offers a transcultural perspective on the experience of exile.

Holly Gilbert presents Pablo Mollenhauer’s film Fragments of Home (2012), a journey through the physical and psychological spaces, tangible and intangible regions that embody the experiences of making a “home away from home” within the context of a global city. The film is a poetic construction in which our experiences of new spaces, framed in the present, become meaningful as a result of being permeated with memories, images, perceptions and experiences of spaces that we inhabited in the past.

Marina Georgiou will recite a subjective intermix of fragments of poetry, songs and manifestos closely linked with concepts of exile, belonging and time. Departing from Caetano Veloso’s song London London, Georgiou seeks to explore how the Brazilian concept of anthropophagia is apparent within the movement and circulation of the global imaginary, and how migration to London can re-manifest as a contemporary anthropophagia.

Marina Freiria invites Viviana Lombardi to join her in a reading of five poems by Argentine writer Juan Gelman. Gelman's style is embedded within critical realism, based on the intimacy of the everyday and a persistent political commitment that seeks to denounce and condemn injustice. His personal familial tragedies as a result of the oppressive dictatorship and his subsequent exile has made the poet a symbol of the struggle for respect for human rights.

The collective aim of the group is to create a tangible but fleeting intervention which is superimposed upon the exhibition, both activating and embodying the concepts inherent in Ferreira and Wind’s work. This multidirectional approach, which reflects an overlaying of historical and cultural moments, gives voice to the creative act produced within exile. Taking the production of many musicians, poets and artists we entangle personal stories into the wider context of global history in a process akin to the Brazilian concept of anthropophagia.