Today I’m starting a social-listening project that Maya Dikstein and I came up with as part of our different residencies here in São Paulo. I’m at the FAAP and she’s having one at Casa Juisi/Phosphorus. In an instinct to activate the space and open it up with a gathering that wasn’t a conversation or any very productive format, and focusing our her current interest in listening as an action, ontologically and epistemologically speaking, we started a series of Escutas or Listen-ins, weekly evening meetings where to gather in silence or noise to listen to something yet undetermined and enjoy them as a social act, disregarding the noisy, active part of communication.

We encourage all people coming, listeners, to bring ideas and objects or situations to listen to in the next sessions. We are going to do it once a week, listening to other things, but the first is Galaxias, a poem by Haroldo de Campos written between 1963 and 1976. The recording is the poet reading Galaxias in 1992. The whole duration of the tape is 1h 09′ 26″

If you are around this evening and wanna come to listen to some pre-recorded poetry, lay down and enjoy the sound in common, join us!

Today at Phosphorus close to Praça da Sé, Centro, São Paulo, at 20h

Here more info in Portuguese and the address etc

Escuta_Convide_image

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In my attempt to dig into the unacknowledged realms of political action that lay between the poles of ideological declamation and everyday experience, I ended up thinking about the economy of ambition that operates in our process of subjectivization as socialized individuals.

Ambition is an ambiguous term, a substantive that does not always enjoy a positive interpretation. It is good to be ambitious in the right amount, but an excess of ambition can become a social problem, prompting a punitive exclusion of the ambitious subject. At the same time, there are ambitious communities, perhaps not necessarily identified as such (meaning that those communities don’t particularly perceive the term as characteristic of their identity), but where the absence of this emotion/affect is understood as an absolute handicap. In the arduous terrain of generalization, ambition is usually understood as a dubious characteristic within leftist political groupings, usually connected with greed, the desire for accumulation, and the will to power necessary to achieve it. Therefore, the space in which those desires for power-filled recognition get structured and choreographed tend to be an opaque dimension of the individual’s subjectivity––usually not fully disclosed in the social realm. The “outing” of professional/career/political ambitions is usually balanced with altruistic justifications tied to their ends that signify the transitory means as mere steps towards a larger good for a wider community. However, the power, potential and political weight of these fantasies that strive to become realities is certainly crucial.

The political signification of our ambitions opens up the dense political space of nuanced negotiation that occurs when a recognizable ideology has to confront the particularities of contingent existence, where the compromises of political claims take place in response to the incidences of a context. I am not sure yet where this is leading to; the only thing I know is that I have exhausted the available language to talk about my political feelings, and that my struggle veers towards the compilation of a vocabulary, spoken or performed, that allows me to articulate my desires and experiences. In this attempt at a more honest approach to the gap between our ideals and our actions, I recall Lee Lozano’s concept of “new honesty” as the ethos of a new era. In this era, we will finally speak honestly about how our desire for work trumps our political commitments––at the most intimate level. We will speak honestly about the conditions we are willing to perpetuate and the kind of labor relations we would willfully endure.

I’m in Brazil. I’m in São Paulo. Until the end of November. If nothing happens. If I don’t leave. If I don’t stay longer. If I don’t die first.

All that can be.

Yesterday I already cried.

I went to Pivõ, an art space in the ground floor of the Copan building. There was a talk between Cildo Meireles and Guilherme Wisnik. I couldn’t really hear the talk, it was so far and the acoustics of the space didn’t help the distance between the speakers and me. Anyways I found this piece by Mario Garcia Torres. And it made me cry.

IMG_3613

This is page 3 of Mario Garcia Torres Like You, I Dig…(n/d), the notes of a lecture he wrote I don’t know when or for whom. But in the moment it just reverberated in the right spot, and it brought it all through my eyes.

So here I am. Let’s see what happens.

Later yesterday my friend MPA, who is here too to do a performance at Paço das Artes, was saying:

“To show your notes is just not enough. We are passed that.

Art, an artist, YOU are making the “visible”, demarcating the limit of what is worth to be seen, thought of, considerable.

Of importance.”

How do we signify that? How do we inscribe the urgency of the issue in the formal consideration is a responsibility.

I added. Maybe only in my head.

and Mario Garcia Torre’s notes on a conference were in my head, irremediably.

I made a pdf with pictures I took of the whole lecture, if someone cares to read it. I recommend.

São Paulo feels is an ocean.

MarioGarciaTorres

 

Arrebato              Film Still from Iván Zulueta’s Arrebato, (1979).

 

Tonight I will be presenting one of my favorite films of all times, Iván Zulueta’s Arrebato (1979, 105 min) together with Kenneth Anger’s Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969, 11min) in New York City’s art space White Columns at 8:30PM.

Rarely screened on these shores, Iván Zulueta’s sex and drugs filled cult classic Arrebato is legendary in Spain, where it launched a cinematic revolution, inspiring filmmakers like Pedro Almodóvar (who can be heard in an uncredited dubbing- as the voice of a female character). “He never filmed a single banal image,” Almodóvar would later write of Zulueta, describing Zulueta’s work as “David Lynch, but less shadowy and more pop.” Mixing genre and experimental filmmaking, Arrebato tells the story of a hack horror film director and heroin junky who becomes consumed by the vampiric apparatus of cinema.

I hope people will show because this film is INSANE. See you there!

The event has been arranged by the queer experimental film platform Dirty Looks NY.

www.dirtylooksnyc.org

The screening is at White Columns and starts 8:30PM

320 W 13th St,

New York, NY 10014

www.whitecolumns.org

Clara_Lopez_Schedule_Poster_Final copy

 

Is It Really working? A Physical Symposium/Crash Course has recently taken place within the framework of my MA thesis project for the Master in Curatorial Studies at CCS Bard.

The symposium/crash course occurred between April 10th and 14th 2014 and comprised a series of closed and open conversations and workshops among artists and culture agents coming from different fields of artistic production. The idea was to gather around a discussion concerning the current conditions of culture production, with the current situation for artists, curators, and other art workers in the area of NYC as a starting point. The lenses through which we departed in our conversations is a sense of commitment to political positions informed by feminist and queer politics, with the constant problematization and questioning that such political affiliations entail.

The core group that was invited to participate in this experimental platform was formed by Vanessa Anspaugh, Malin Arnell, Amelia Bande, Gregg Bordowitz, Kajsa Dahlberg, Andrew Kachel and Alhena Katsof. Arnell and Dahlberg, despite not being directly invited with the allocated budget for my project, were able to participate since they were also part of my classmates shows, Carla Acevedo-Yates and Andrew Kachel. Through a form of informal collaboration between us, they all were able to take part in these conversations, informing with their thoughtful formulations of their experience, the scope of the problematics brought to the table.

This project wanted to propose a space of reflection that was also mobilized by the material sharing of the rituals that compose our labour practices. The intention was was not to only summon a space of debate, but also of workshop. In the morning (closed) sessions that completed the public ones visible in the above schedule, we had a dance and improvisation workshop, led by Malin Arnell and Vanessa Anspaugh. We also realized a writing workshop led by Amelia Bande and Gregg Bordowitz, who shared methods they used in their writing and exercises that wish to complicate the extended conception of writing as a solipsistic and solitary creative process. For the last open session Alhena Katsof, Andrew Kachel and myself shared our experiences and impressions about the possibility of coherence in working structures, the materialities of curatorial practice, and the importance of social relations in labour landscapes.

Apart from these formulated moments of encounter or events, framed as closed or public, depending on the limit of the participation, we also shared a house, meals, stories, inspirations, and time. We took the time to step out of New York City’s frantic rhythm and tried an exercise of conviviality. The result were deep and prolonged conversations, that stretch from one discursive framework to another, where ideas about the current conditions of production and the ideological bulk that comes with them were contested by investments in political content that permeates the form. A thorough thinking process around the notion of queer labor, or queering labor, occupied a lot of our conversations, approaching it as an attempt to willing complicate and expand our relationship to the concept of work and labour. We also talked about community, pleasure in labour, communism and commoning, necessity in community and the perils of exclusion, temporary solutions and the problematization of the individual creator as a measure.

We worked inside and outside the campus of Bard College for five intense and fruitful days.

This is just a taste of the opacity we were in.

Is It Really Working? webpage at CCS Bard

Carla Acevedo-Yate’s project for the MA thesis is Turn on the bright light

Andrew Kachel’s thesis exhibition project is We owe each other everything

Al also made a zine/publication for the project. The solid copies of this printed matter can be found in Andrew Kachel’s project gallery, We owe each other everything, in the CCS Galleries at CCS Bard, Bard College. A pdf copy of the zine can be downloaded IsItReallyWorking?Reader.

And here are some pictures from these days. These don’t pretend to be a full representation of what we did or how it looked like. It’s what I have so far. I’m in the process of compiling the material different participants have from the project. Apologies for the gaps and the actions I didn’t have the mind to document:

 

photo copyThe house where we were staying, sleeping, cooking, cleaning, talking, joking, writing, outside, inside…

 

photo 1Movement workshop with Malin and Vanessa on Friday morning.

photo 2photo 3writing workshop with Amelia and Gregg

photo 5Last open session on Monday afternoon, led by Alhena, Andrew and me. This is before Vanessa’s advance dance students came and join us for the session. Thank all for coming!

photoA last contribution sent by Malin. It reminded her of something…

 

 

On the 16th and 17th of March, the curatorial team responsible (among them me!) for the project WIR SPIELEN at the NGBK realized the first event of the series; a workshop run by theater writer Amelia Bande and in which 30 participants partook.

The workshop run for two days, from 10 to 17H and worked around collective writing using anti-authoritarian methods, re-use of texts compiled by curators and participants in an archive and the composition of small choreographies stemming from the collective work.

Here are some pictures of the event.

The following event took place on the 23rd of April with the student autonomous organization Interflugs.

More information to come!

http://wirspielen.net

Photographies by Merja Hannikainen

Wir Spielen, Act 1, NGBK Veranstaltungsraum 16.-17.3.2013

Wir Spielen, Act 1, NGBK Veranstaltungsraum 16.-17.3.2013

Wir Spielen, Act 1, NGBK Veranstaltungsraum 16.-17.3.2013

Wir Spielen, Act 1, NGBK Veranstaltungsraum 16.-17.3.2013

Wir Spielen, Act 1, NGBK Veranstaltungsraum 16.-17.3.2013

Wir Spielen, Act 1, NGBK Veranstaltungsraum 16.-17.3.2013

NO FREUD
WEAVE MY HAIR
BRAID MY FUTURE

Fingers encircling forlorn fibers
the repiquing of the wooden trace
Rhythm of the unconscious, they say
it goes without saying. It can be done
without thinking. It has
for long.
Knots lumping, encrypting minutes,
translate them into hours
that
construct a currency
of washed chromatic kaleidoscopes.

There is a will in such undertaking
the pride, a virulent rejection.
We don’t wish to take
ourselves
so seriously.
You just make me do it
The agonistic certainty
of weaving my hates
among my pleasures.
Absorbed, playing the keys,
caressing the dampers.
the pedals, projecting taciturn
melodies.
This is for me. Or so I
wish.

A name tends to be repiqued.
It feels so unfair to be unable
to break the sequence.
Capitalizing
your misdemeanors.
Weaving
a dictionary
for all those quiet
revolts
around your knuckles.
At times it feels so good
to taste
your radiant anger.
to spin around
it
like inspiration.
Hairs in my mouth, jettisoning history.
Willful hands
drudge my thinking.
She went in, locked.
I read her story.
Us,
we are wrapped
until the future.
Now,
particular cadence of locks.
Dripping tar.
Pubic blessing.
Pudic digressing.
let my fingers go

 

Note: This text was inspired by a weaving by Ebba Fransén Waldhör, artist based in Berlin.