Forthcoming | On Hostility and Hospitality

 

Within the framework of the CAMP’s forthcoming exhibition programme, State of Integration: Artistic analyses of the challenges of coexistence, curator Galit Eilat (Meduza Foundation) will present the exhibition On Hostility and Hospitality, including works by Sandi Hilal, Katarina Zdjelar, Arkadi Zaides, Artur Zmijewski.

 

The exhibited works examine the socio-political narratives that condition migratory experience, including confrontations with policies of border policing and bureaucratic systems, whereby the assignation of rights operate in accordance to the scale and significance of their legal documents (or lack thereof). The exhibition will also feature the second iteration of the Urban Laboratory for Law’s Decoding, a participatory performance work.

 

The Urban Laboratory for Law’s Decoding loans influence from forum theatre (as conceived by the influential drama theorist Augusto Boal)  It aims to collectively imagine democratic reformation through the proposition and amendment of laws, responding to the prevailing state of estrangement restraining many from accessing legal systems — the law guarded by mighty gatekeepers, as portrayed in Kafka’s well-known polemic. The project proposes participation in performative scenes whereby law experts, performance artists and community members engage in debates on cultural citizenship and rights in the EU.

 

Hilal’s Hospitality Room (2016-ongoing), created for an asylum center in Boden, Sweden, refers to a room in Arab culture that is used only to receive guests and is therefore always ready. During her research among Syrian refugees, Hilal found that even in the smallest asylum center room, unexpected guests are welcomed. Hosting is a way to break the feeling of being a guest/unwanted/isolated and to connect one’s lost life in Syria with the new life in Sweden.

 

Arkadi Zaides’ Necropolis, presently in development, departs from the list of 34,361 registered refugee and migrant death, documented by the Amsterdam based NGO, United for Intercultural Action and released by the Guardian newspaper in 2018. By deploying forensic research techniques Zaides and his team seek to develop a public database — a Necropolis (city of the dead) — recounting the histories, biographies and circumstances surrounding this perished multitude.

 

Zdjelar’s two-part film, Act I – Act II (2010), unfolds the hapless pursuits of a Serbian immigrant, whereby staged narratives overlay semi-fictional scenes, all underpinned by a sense of ever-present doubt. As the protagonist finds himself increasingly negotiating performative spaces, all seemingly set on omitting his presence, the film neither insists upon nor denies the truthfulness of the protagonist’s antics.

 

Zmijewski’s black and white film, Glimpse (2017), depicts scenes from four refugee camps in Europe. Featuring performative gestures, such as the donation of clothes, the film evokes associations with propagandist material, hyper enunciated by the brutal backdrop of these desperate landscapes. Through Zmijweski’s careful composition of staged choreographies, the gaze of the spectator is confronted with the disconcerting shade of its own ethnographic yet relentlessly moralistic perceptions.

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