Forthcoming | Hostile 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 Hostile Hospitality, including works by David Limaverde, effi & amir, Arkadi Zaides, Katarina Zdjelar and 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).

 

David Limaverde is developing The Urban Laboratory for Law’s Decoding through forum theatre (as conceived by the influential drama theorist Augusto Boal) methods. 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, asylum seeker and community members engage in debates on cultural citizenship and rights in the EU.

 

Performativity is characteristic of both theatre and law; both performance art and law operate as spaces in which imagination evokes a relay of interpretations and (re)actions. Augusto Boal proposed a method whereby spectators could participate in generating solutions for the protagonist, performing alongside actors to observe the feasibility of options and interpretations. ‘Legislative Theatre’ is the most remarkable stage in Augusto Boal’s ‘Forum Theater’; it is an attempt to use theatre within a political system to create a truer form of democracy. It is an extraordinary experiment in the potential of theatre to affect social change, bring theatre back into the centre of political action — the centre of decisions — by making theatre as politics.

 

Effi & Amir’s ‘Places of Articulation‘ is a participatory presentation that later becomes an installation. Under the form of a « Table Piece » that we occasionally use, Places of Articulation propose an informative and emotional tract or ceremony, where the participants are introduced to different elements of our current research on « Shibboleth » cases and on how external territories and borders are reflected in the very intimate and bodily space of the oral cavity.

 

Touring between territories – sonic, anatomical and political ones – the work will bring forward contemporary manifestations of Shibboleth – a language test determining group belonging – a term that originates in a biblical episode and reaching nowadays language tests in asylum request procedure in Europe. Using different types of imaging methods and visualizations of the voice and its production, the work renders these territories, borders and checkpoints visible, questions the limits of identification and definitions, revealing blurred lines and zones of ambiguity.

 

Arkadi Zaides’ Necropolis, correctly 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.

 

Act I – Act II, Katarina Zdjelar’s two- channels video installation, 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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