Invitation to new way of sensitivity

Dear friend!

We, (Hybrid Studio of the Anonymous Doctors ( HSAD)) hope you are well and let us warmly welcome you to our ClinicN2 event!

Meeting ID: 752 7192 3977

Passcode: 4TZ5hE

Hybrid Lecture-Crystal /15 October 2020, 3 pm – 6 pm European time

We are happy to invite you to our oscillatingzoom on 15 October 2020 which is to continue the program of the project “Clinic” dedicated to the research and colonization of the subject of Health.

This time our invited doctor will be Boris Klushnikov, philosopher and art historian based in Moscow.

He will discuss the capacity of crystals as a model of thinking and a natural metaphor for a new way of sensitivity.

Each edge of the Crystal will represent a certain thesis based on the history of the Russian avant-garde, the identity of the crystals in contemporary science fiction, and the ecological ideas of Bruno Latour.

During the process of Lecture-Crystal, we will try to construct the chorovod(round dance in Russian) of the suspense body s, trying to build the choreography with a help of the hand-jewelry. (An art-object), which might help us to create a collective dance of the overcoming contradictions.

The concept of this event appeared from the intention to create the perfopera (performative opera ) Care of the Sun as a response to the legendary opera Victory over the Sun, created by the giants of Russian Vanguard in 2013.

Logistics :

The new Corona rules are requiring not more than 6 people in the room. We are proposing not to take it too much dogmatically, but please let us know if you want to join the session alive or by zoom as soon as you can.

Thank you very much /Hartleijke bedankt /( HSAD)

Here you can find our previous letter of ( HSAD)

Dear friend!

We wholeheartedly invite you to our Hybrid Studio of the Anonymous Doctors ( HSAD) meeting, which will be held on Monday, 17th of August. This will be the very first meeting of art personas, where we are going to discuss the project Clinic.

The idea of this project grows from our current situation with a pandemic, where the topic of health brings the most attention to the system.

The governments are concerned and thus prepare new special methods to control us, our minds, and our hearts. Their plan of controlling our blood flow and the condition of our organs births the response of any creatively-complete persona.

What we can do is to answer to those actions with an equally challenging game!

We are cordially inviting you to become doctors yourself, or to consciously choose the role of a patient and to self-diagnose.

We are sure that the world hasn’t learned about new illnesses yet. They have yet to be documented, and maybe we, the egalitarian group of self-proclaimed doctors and experimentation, are destined to find ways to overcome them.

I believe that many of you might share our belief that every artist is a doctor. In every art-related activity, there is some amount of art therapy. Although we cannot bring the idea of art in general only to the matter of healing, these times dictate what we focus on.

We invite you to participate in the first meeting of the Doctor’s congress, which will be held in a studio at Marnixstraat 150A, 17th of August, starting from 18:00.

Let’s heal each other until our complete Re-Invention of ours every fragilities!

Love ( HSAD)

The Kinship of Witches: ‘disturbance: witch’ at Citadel Spandau

11.9.2020 – 27.12.2020

Center for Contemporary Art, upper floor

 

The exhibition disturbance:witch approaches the theme of the witchcraft from the perspective of contemporary art. The focus is on “the disruptive factor” that shakes the deadlocked power structure and that is inherent in the figure of the witch. The witch-like, “abnormal”, “irrational”, “magical” and “wrong” opposes the traditional role patterns and structures and thus poses a threat to the status quo of contemporary societies that are still white and masculine dominated.

The exhibited works analyze aspects of the witchcraft as attributions and projections onto “witches” or women and queer people, which serve as instruments of exclusion, and examine strategies and goals that are still virulent as “witch hunts” today. The work examines not only the physical, but also the digital space in which the so-called “witch burnings” take place.

Works by: Jamika Ajalon, Tina Bara and Alba DʼUrbano, Emilio Bianchic, Anna and Bernhard Blume, Johanna Braun, Barbara Breitenfellner, Lysann Buschbeck, Sarah Decristoforo, Veronika Eberhart, Margret Eicher, Valerio Figuccio, Parastou Forouhar, Gluklya, Nilbar Güreş, Horst Haack, Orsi Horváth, Emily Hunt, Isabel Kerkermeier, Sharon Kivland, Miriam Lenk, Libera Mazzoleni, Franziska Meinert, Lambert Mousseka, Lisl Ponger, Protektorama (fed by JP Raether), Suzanne Treister, VIP and Carolin Weinert

 

Curated by Alba D’Urbano und Olga Vostretsova

 

Made possible by the Kunstfonds Bonn Foundation, with the kind support of the district promotion fund of the Senate Administration for Culture and Europe and the Austrian Cultural Forum

The Monument of Modern Slavery

The Monument of Modern Slavery

I am contributing to the exhibition disturbance: witch, curated by Alba D’Urbano and Olga Vostretsova at the Center of Contemporary Art (ZAK) / the Citadel Spandau – see a short description attached. The opening reception is scheduled for the 10th of September and I would be happy to welcome you there.

For this exhibition, I am preparing a work entitled „Monument for Modern Slavery“, which is going be an installation that reflects upon phenomena of slavery, which I am developing in dialogue with the international cultural community and the Fashion Revolution movement. Having spent time in Indonesia and witnessed the horrific living conditions of garment workers there and listened to the stories of their exploitation, I had the impulse to create this installation, which displays clothes collected from the art community and hopefully from other communities, on a series of burnt wooden stakes.

I cordially invite you to contribute to this project with the clothes from your own garderobe – those that you might be bored of, or about to throw in the garbage – from one of the big exploitative brands such as H&M, C&A, Adidas, Reebok, Esprit, Marks & Spencer, Patagonia, TimberlandVANS, The North Face, Wrangler, Puma, ASOS, ConverseJordanNike, Primark, COS, Zara, Promod, GAP, TopShop, etc. These clothes will be modified according to my artistic method and placed on burnt wooden pillars reminiscent of medieval stakes for burning “witches”, expressing a common feeling of guilt in face of the oppressed workers You can send or bring the items of clothing directly to the below address, the Citadel in Spandau.

If you want your name or the name of your organization to be mentioned please let me know. You are welcome also to write a bit your thoughts about the subject along the sending the clothes.

Thank you so very much!  

Gluklya

 
 
 
 
Zitadelle
Am Juliusturm 64 
13599 Berlin

 

with mark: Clothes for Gluklya 

 

Links:

 
 
 

The exhibition disturbance: witch

disturbance: witch
Exhibition curated by Alba D’Urbano and Olga Vostretsova
ZAK – Center of Contemporary Art
Spandau Citadel Berlin
Opening reception: Sept 10, 2020, 7 pm
Duration: Sept 11 – Dec 20, 2020

The feminist movement of the 1970s had already made the connection between witches and emancipated women, and the witch became a feminist archetype. Often quoted are the slogans by the Italian feminists, “Tremate, tremate, le streghe sono tornate!” (Tremble, tremble, the Witches have returned!) or “La gioia, la gioia, la si inventa, donna si nasce, le streghe si diventa!” (The joy, the joy, she will be discovered: was born as a woman, became a witch). Sylvia Federici, in her analysis of witch-hunting in connection with the transition from feudalism to capitalism, also describes the solidarity of feminists with witches: “Across ideological differences, the feminists have realized that a hierarchical ranking of human faculties and the identification of women with a degraded conception of corporeal reality has been instrumental, historically, to the consolidation of patriarchal power andthe male exploration of female labor.” (Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation).

The exhibition disturbance: witch, located at the ZAK (Center for Contemporary Art) of the Spandau Citadel in Berlin, puts into focus disturbing factors that shake deadlocked power relations that are inherent in the character of the witch. The witch, the “abnormal,” the “irrational,” the “magical” and the “inverse” resists rigid role models and structures.
Unfolded within the framework of this international contemporary art exhibition are the aspects of the witch’s character. disturbance: witch does not address the practices of the historical witch nor the practice of magic, rather it analyzes the accompanying attributions to women and queer persons that are used as instruments of exclusion and strategies of a new witch hunt.

Artist list: Jamika Ajalon (US/FR), Emilio Bianchic (AR), Anna und Bernhard Blume (DE), Johanna Braun (AT), Barbara Breitenfellner (AT/DE), Lysann Buschbeck (DE), Alba D’Urbano und Tina Bara (DE), Sarah Decrostoforo (AT), Veronika Eberhardt (AT), Margret Eicher (DE), Parastou Forouhar (IR/DE), Gluklya (Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya) (RU/NL), Valerio Fuguccio (IT/DE), Nilbar Güres (TR), Horst Haack (DE), Emily Hunt (AU/DE), Orsi Horváth (HU), Isabel Kerkermeier (DE), Sharon Kivland (GB), Franziska Meinert (DE), Lisl Ponger (AT), Lambert Mousseka (CD/DE), Johannes Paul Raether (DE), Suzanne Treister (GB).

Carnival of the Oppressed Feelings 2017

Carnival of Opressed Feelings

Michail Bachtin [From Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics]

Carnival is a pageant without footlights and without a division into performers and spectators. In carnival everyone is an active participant, everyone communes in the carnival act… The laws, prohibitions, and restrictions that determine the structure and order of ordinary, that is noncarnival, life are suspended during carnival: what is suspended first is hierarchical structure and all the forms of terror, reverence, piety, and etiquette connected with it… or any other form of inequality among people

Carnival of Opressed Feelings happened in Amsterdam in October 2017 .The hybrid of the performance and political demonstration -it is the event summarizing the seria of the workshops and encounters with refuges living at formal prison Baijlmer Bajes. It connected different people together : students ,artists ,activists, academics, people of different ages ,believes and statuses.

COF started  from Bijlmer Bajes and finished at Dam square with several stops on the way.The stops where selected conceptually ,with the idea to tell refugees some alternative story about society or make a small performance. The storys was told by : Sari Akminas( (Journalist from Alepo),Khalid Jone (Activist,We are here),Ehsan Fardjadniya (artist ),Dilyara Valeeva, (Sociologist ,Uva) Erick Hagoort(curator, writer) and others and in the end Gluklya with Theo Tagelaers read the UUU Manifesto.

 

The structure of the performative body of Carnival is referring to the political demonstration  and consists of different parties.

1) Potato Eaters party 

2) Monsters party 

3) Language of Fragility party

4) Recycling prison party 

5) Spirits of history party

 

Carnival last 4 hours and brought together around 150 people.

 

 

Workshops with refugees in formel prison Bijlmer Bajers Amsterdam /2017

Workshops for preparation to Carnival of the Opressed Feelings 2017

My project with refugees in Amsterdam started from the renting studio on formel prison Bijlmer Bajes, where all kinds of people can rent the studios and also refugees were placed there by Dutch Government at one of the towers. I gave a series of workshops in Amsterdam for refugees and newcomers to understand if it is possible to create a performance piece with people without a special art or theater education.
My idea was based on the belief that any person is open to a new unconventional way of knowledge and that we can find the platform of mutual exchange by providing a platform of equality.Renting a studio at Lola Lik seemed easy to get access to refugees who are living at the AZC ‘next door’.
Lola Lik (kind of anti-squat organization)was situated at the formal prison Bijlmer Bayes- a hub for all kinds of entrepreneurs and startups situated right near the AZC where 600 refugees from Syria, Africa, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan were living during the procedure of getting the status of the Dutch citizenship.
But we and my colleagues seemed to have underestimated the subject of bureaucratic rules surrounding refugees and their special conditions during this transitional period.

 

Workshop in Palermo

Gluklya (Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya) _ Workshop @ MANIFESTA 12, Palermo /Collaterial events /2018

Together with  TAAK, Amsterdam and NoMade, Rome.The event  hosted by TMO/Teatro Mediterranean Occupato  /COPRESENCE

Gluklya’s Utopian Unemployment Union is a project uniting art, social science, and progressive pedagogy, giving people with all kinds of social backgrounds the opportunity to make art together. Her latest performance is the latest expression of this Union. The Carnival of Oppressed Feeling is the outcome of Gluklya’s encounters with refugees living at Bijlmerbajes, a former prison complex (in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Utopian Unemployment Union is a critical space to promote social innovation where thought becomes reality. Through an educational program with meetings and workshops for migrants and refugees, it aims to create and develop a path toward self-initiative and self-determination to escape rejection and exclusion.

The workshop aims to give shape to the implicit emotional experiences of people involved. The working method can be seen as a sort of experimental art therapy; it is defined by the artist herself as “formalization of fragility”, a way to give form to sensations and thoughts. For refugees it can often be difficult to translate thoughts into words, due to the lack of a shared language. During the workshop no traumas will be verbalised, the goal is to create something together and at the same time make the interaction between different groups of people less complicated.

GALLLERIAPIÙ represents Gluklya’s work in Italy. Together with the artist we realized in 2016 the project Utopian Unemployment Union of Bologna: Gluklya along with a small group made up of migrants, refugees and young students of the Fine Arts Academy of Bologna developed a new model to unite and redefine the relationship between the economy, art and social policies.

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We now want to help Gluklya in finding motivated and engaged partners for the workshop that will take place at MANIFESTA 12 in Palermo, on 15 and 16 June 2018.

We are looking for:

-a LOCATION for the workshop

-a FILM MAKER for the video documentation

-a WRITER who will observe the workshop and write a text/diary

-PARTICIPANTS for the workshop, especially

NGOs open to experimentation 

Teenagers who believe in the idea to change society 

Refugees/migrants with a creative and open mind; who love drawing, singing, dancing,…

Teachers who are already teaching Italian to refugees

Academics and Students from the Linguistic Departments of the University http://www.unipa.it/strutture/scuolaitalianastranieri/ 

Gluklya’s workshop is something alive, not a product; it is in a state of becoming, which means it really depends on who will be the partners and participants!

Gluklya would be interested in developing UUU Palermo around the unification of Linguistics (academics, students) and Dancing and Music people. To unite people who are dealing with different languages: verbal and non-verbal.

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via del Porto 48 a/b 

40122 Bologna 

+39 (0)51 6449537

www.gallleriapiu.com 

info@gallleriapiu.com

Fragility and Resistance /Erik Hagoort in Gluklya’s studio at Lola Lik, 2017

Fragility and Resistance

Gluklya: This blouse, I call it Proletarian Madonna. You see the portrait of Anna Magnani printed on it, the actress of Pasolini’s film Mama Roma. The blouse is a character: a woman who wants to be strong, like Anna Magnani, but in fact she is not strong, she is fragile. This blouse shows the potentiality of strength without loosing fragility.

Sari: This is Gluklya’s approach to resistance. Maybe her friends share the same ideas about resistance but she uses a different method. Each person resists in his or her own way.

Erik: How can fragility be strong? How can fragility do something?

Sari: I regularly visited Gluklya’s studio here at Lola Lik, where I work. Each week I saw more and more drawings and more costumes. They evolved from the Language of Fragility game, in which words, sounds and images are combined in an associative way. In this game newcomers combine Dutch words with words that sound the same in their own language but mean something completely different. For instance the word ‘gras’ in Dutch is pronounced the same as the word ‘gras’ in Arabic. In Dutch it means the green grass, but in Arabic it means punishment, in Dutch ‘straf’. One of the newcomers, Marwa Aboud, made many beautiful drawings of these kind of different meanings of the same words. Later on also costumes were made that referred to the images of this game. At first it was a fragile process. Fragile images. Now it is still fragile but this fragility is somehow growing, it is building up and building up and in the end can become something powerful. Imagine there is only one tiny hole high up there in this studio to get out. What we do here is building and building until we reach that hole. But still we cannot pass it, so we need more pressure. The fragility is pushing and pushing until we can go through this hole and get out.

Gluklya: Like through the eye of a needle.

Sari: With fragility you can build up pressure. Not like an explosion making a lot of mess but like an escape from prison, finding a way to escape, although it seems impossible.

Gluklya: We maybe have to find a word next to fragility. Fragility and? There has to be this other word.

Erik: What do you mean?

Gluklya: I mean, through what can we think about fragility as resistance? What kind of method or strategy can help to think about fragility as something strong?

Sari: Change?

Gluklya: I don’t think that art can effect change literally. There is a tendency among artists to strive with their art for real change in society. Artists are allowed to do whatever, to be crazy and to play, in a confined area, in the sand. Suddenly they wake up and they realize that art has become a Kindergarten. It is good to realize this, but I think you shouldn’t hysterically rush and presume that you can change society with your art.

Sari: In my experience in this war, in Syria, there have been artists who could disconnect themselves from the actual war. There were artists from the academy of fine arts in Damascus who were making drawings of sunflowers on the walls of houses. As a journalist I was startled at first. There is a war going on! But then I realized that it can be important to paint flowers when everything around you is about killing and destruction. Then it is wonderful to make or to see something that is different. To see something relaxed. A break, a small break because you will be back in the reality of the war anyhow. Next to this, when artists are only busy with political action and making work about the war, the war can become something to exploit, something commerical even. As an artist you shouldn’t do what people expect you to do, you can have your own way of dealing with the situation without being involved directly in the actual fire of the war. That can be a form of resistance too. To guard or reserve this other reality than the reality of the war. Everybody is an artist and everybody has a unique way.

Erik: Joseph Beuys.

Gluklya: Well, there is a social worker here at Lola Lik who said this. She makes statements like those of Joseph Beuys and she organizes daily creativity activities to involve refugees. The intentions are good. She means that everybody is an artist because everybody is displaced. You can be displaced by forced migration. That is clear. In her opinion artists are also displaced, metaphorically speaking, because they are displaced in their minds. It’s her idea. I’m not sure about it.

There is this policy here at the AZC that you may not push. You only can do what refugees want to do themselves. That means in my opinion that you become like a social worker. You reduce yourself to a neutral person, who is just observing, facilitating and giving advices a little bit. For social work that can be very good. But for art I think some other strategy is needed.

Sari: I have come into this other country, I have to obey other rules and to follow other customs. After two years I finally think I know how things work here. I am slowly gaining control of my own life again. This takes time. It really takes time. I knew this when I came here. I realized from the start that this all would take time. But the experience is something else. Not everybody can handle it. Some people close themselves off, others get frustrated, angry. But when you are in a new situation you need time to adapt. Adaptation. Some people adapt fast. Some people adapt slowly. Adaptation, that would be my word. It is not passive adjustment. Adaptation helps you to gain control and to become strong without loosing your own way, your own personality.

Gluklya: You cannot force people to be interested. I’ve learned to leave it up to the people here to find out what they want. But what if they don’t know what they want? Then, in my experience, somehow, you need to jump, together, it is a feeling, it’s very hard to put it in words, you approach each other as humans, you take each other serious, you treat each other as equals. You shouldn’t be too careful, you shouldn’t be afraid to approach the other. Better to make mistakes than to stay in a situation of vague intentions.

Erik: Disguise. That could also be a word to think about a method. Disguise is not just that you appear in a different way, for instance by dressing up. There is something of a purpose. You can take on an appearance in order to get access to a different environment. In disguise you can mingle among familiar people without being recognized or you can mingle among unfamiliar people without being noticed as somebody from outside. You can do this for fun but also with a particular purpose, for example to get access to the truth, as in research journalism. Disguise somehow blurs the line between being honest and cheating.

Gluklya: Vermomming. In Russian it is maskirovka. Hiding. Behind a mask.

Erik: Hiding but in an active way. In disguise you can be present, visible, active.

Sari: From another perspective, disguise can be forced. You can be in a certain situation that you can only handle or survive by hiding your true personality. That is also some form of disguise. When you don’t feel comfortable with a situation, you can opt for fitting in, in disguise. Or if possible you also can opt for leaving, walking out of the situation. Disguise in Arabic is: el tachefie. The source of the word is ‘ichfa’. ‘Ichfa’ means vanish. So you vanish behind your mask. But you also can vanish by walking out of the situation. You become a refugee. The idea of language of fragility plays with the idea of different ways of hiding, different meanings behind the masks of the words.

Erik: Because of a mask or because of a costume, some people can be more honest. Or it is a way to be honest. In disguise you might do something or you might say something that you otherwise maybe would not dare to do or say. Maybe the same counts for the Carnival of Oppressed Feelings?

Sari: People will see the costume but they cannot point to a specific person. So the costume does this or that, the character says this or that. That can help to express your feelings.

Erik: Then who is accountable? If you say things or do things and people want to address you, you cannot just say: I didn’t say this, it was carnival.

Sari: Sure, when you go in disguise, you should think of or at least try to think of the consequences of what you do. You have to think about what will happen when you take off your mask and reveal who you are. If you are not ready to face the consequences, whatever they are, then you shouldn’t go in disguise.

Erik: Your drawings and costumes are worlds in themselves. They depict a ‘language of fragility’. There is beauty there and also monstrosity, anxiety, frailty, power. It is already there, in the drawings and in the costumes. From an aesthetic point of view they actually don’t need anything extra to be appreciated. But you bring them into a charged public sphere, as part of a carnival that is also a demonstration with explicit political demands. In my experience some of the images and some of the costumes playfully resist to be used politically: walking chairs; running plants; eerie screaming creatures; banners that read ‘forgiveness’ or ‘doubt’. They resist appropriation.

Gluklya: To me this is a dilemma. I try to combine. That would be the word for me to be able to work with fragility. To combine is maybe my method or my strategy. Many people say to me: that is not possible, it is this or that. You must choose, they say. Lately I was reading Gayatra Spivak’s book “Why …. cannot speak”. According to her we shouldn’t think like black-white, either-or. That kind of thinking confirms distinctions and forces to choose between positions. Better not to choose. This sounds quite opportunistic from a political point of view, but from an artistic point of view I think it is important. Try to connect, to combine, to do both, to balance. So I continue to follow this path, to be somehow inside and outside… fragility and power… art and politics. Like jumping in and out of the water, moving like a dolphin.

This is an edited compilation by Erik Hagoort of several conversations between Sari Akminas, Gluklya and Erik Hagoort in Gluklya’s studio at Lola Lik, 2017.

Carnival and Dialogue Erik Hagoort, 2018

Carnival and Dialogue

Erik Hagoort, 2018

“Carnival is a pageant without a stage and without a division into performers and spectators. (…). The carnivalistic life is life drawn out if its usual rut, it is to a degree “life turned inside out.”

(Bakhtin 1973, p. 101)

 

These lucid thoughts about carnival by the Russian literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975) artist Gluklya founded to “defend ”her desire to realize the performance of the Carnival of Oppressed Feelings, which took place on October 28, 2017 in Amsterdam, supported by curating collective TAAK and , Mondrian and AFK Fund .

Bakthin’s interest in carnival is widely known. He especially paid attention to the medieval festival of fools. During this festival the world appeared to be upside down. The king could dress up as a joker, the priest as a buffoon, the servant as a nobleman, the thief as a judge, and they would all mock each other. The festival of fools was not organized as a parade of performers marching while spectators were looking on from the side. The whole of society participated, more or less. It was a parody of reality, a temporary reversal of social hierarchies and roles. For a couple of days. After that the usual relations were restored. Some even say that the festival of fools could only happen or was allowed to happen, because everybody already knew that it would not have a lasting effect: just a play, society holding a mirror to itself, but without consequences.

In Bakhtin’s opinion carnival is not a playful exception; it has continuity, it sustains for real. The feast installs a consciousness of the possibility that society could be upside down, that existing structures are more or less relative or that established roles can be mocked. This awareness is put into practice. After carnival, the costumes are cared for, they are stored and repaired. People soon start to work on making other costumes for next year. New songs are composed, new tricks and jokes. These practices serve to maintain and renew carnival. Carnival is present throughout the whole year.

Bakhtins ideas about carnival makes me think of a connection between carnival and dialogue. Next to carnival dialogue is one of the main topics of Bakhtin’s writings. He invites us to jump from thinking about carnival to thinking about dialogue, and back again. At first sight, this seems rather puzzling. A dialogue does not have much in common with carnival. To have a dialogue, to have a good talk on a matter of importance, to have a meaningful conversation, to learn to understand each other: that seems to be far off an event in which the world appears to be upside down.

In a dialogue you respond to somebody else. In a dialogue you try to articulate in words what you want to express. You are urged to choose your words carefully and to say what you want to say in a way that the other one can get it. In a dialogue you want to understand each other. The conversation partners need to know each other’s use of language and to speak properly, at least to be able to grasp what the other is saying. There is a clear division in roles: when you speak, the other one listens. You don’t speak both at the same time. There is also a clear distance between the conversation partners. There is clarity about who is who: you speak with another person while you see this person face to face and while you concentrate on what the other one says.

Attention, concentration, articulation: this is all very different from carnival. In carnival you don’t need to have a good talk. Carnival is not about understanding each other, it is not about being articulate about what you mean. The more you are involved in the carnival, the less articulate you may become. You drink and dance, you watch and move. You don’t always know who is who. You meet others in disguise. Everybody can speak at the same time, so no one can really hear what the other is saying. In carnival there is no focus, there is no direction. Distraction rules. Roles and positions are allowed to become blurred. And, in carnival expressions are for a big part non-verbal: you communicate with gestures, touch, music, sound, color, costumes, images. The intention of carnival is: carnival.

By reading Bakhtin it becomes apparent that carnival and dialogue might have something in common. A dialogue is not a performance of a dialogue. A dialogue happens as it evolves. It is lived experience. It is a lived experience that you produce together. You yourself and the other with whom you are talking both produce the conversation in which both of you are participating. Just like in carnival. Carnival is also not a performance but a lived experience: “Carnival is not contemplated, it is, strictly speaking, not even played out; its participants live in it”, (Bakhtin 1973, p. 100). People produce the carnival by participating in it. It can only happen because the participants make it happen together.

Carnival and dialogue also share indeterminacy. Even when you have an articulate conversation, this conversation emerges and evolves. It is a provisional, temporary event on which no one of the participants is in full control.

By listening to what somebody else says,

or by responding to what somebody else says,

you both create what otherwise would not be there.

When you speak you can not fix the meaning of your own words.

When you speak you can not define what the other one will do with your words.

This does not mean that you are out of control. No one else than you yourself has the relation to your own words at the moment that you produce them.

The same counts for the other one. Each of you is responsible for one’s own contribution to the conversation. But no one of you owns this conversation, no one of you can have the talk just for him- or herself. A conversation somehow exists not only in your own experience, not only in the other person’s experience either, but outside both of you, it evolves as an extra-experience, an extra-ordinary experience, in which both of you share.

Dialogue is a joint provisional creation. Like carnival. It is provisional, because it is only there at the moment of its realization. Not before and not after. But it may have a lasting impact, not only because a dialogue can make a change in what you think, but also because you can take care of it later, when the dialogue is not there anymore. You can memorize the conversation, you can write it down, you can think it over again, you can develop your thoughts further and then continue the conversation later, when you meet up again with your conversation partner. So although the conversation has ended, it may continue to play a role in your daily life.

So, in carnival and in dialogue we produce the extra-ordinary by participating in it. We care for these extra-ordinary events

when they are not there anymore

when they are not there yet.

Dialogue can be considered a carnivalesque event

Carnival can be considered a dialogical event.

Dialogue as a carnival in words.

Carnival as a dialogue in disguise.

This is the text of a speech by Erik Hagoort by invitation of TAAK

Post-Carnival of the Oppressed Feelings

14 December 2017

Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam

With Maral Noshad Sharifi, Charles Esche, Ehsan Fardjadniya, Erik Hagoort, Gluklya and others.

 

 

Source: Mikhail Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics, translated by R.W. Rotsel, Ardis, USA 1973.