Provocation for TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU (2018)
Since then borders inside and outside have grown backwards in time. A clock that’s stopped can fool us for it shows the correct time twice a day. New languages have been created for these borders based on malappropriating old words. (1) Our enemies were once the distant cousins we gave shelter to after a long journey. Is it possible to decolonise memory that halts the ability to dream? Fifty years on from 1968 and Liberty just published A Guide to the Hostile Environment. The world’s seas are privatised by businessmen and kleptocrats. Walls are being built again. Privilege is superficially fixed for the few. Austerity is a lie as debts can never be paid off but what if debt becomes a journey, a search for ways of being with each other? the soul’s dark summits are non-negotiable (2). Love is political, love is a philosophy. With love there’s room for warmth and dissonance and freedom of movement. To see the horizon or be a grain of sand on the shoreline. To be singular and multiple, sing songs of unfixing or reparation, cast spells of decolonization and seduction. This event asks artists to gather and to respond with the action, idea or form of a love letter. Of now. It may also be ending it. An action approaching another, a double listening.
1 Hostile - host – hostel – shelter – welcome - gifting-giving – rituals of multiple exchange – a host of offerings etc.
2 Etel Adnan.
Provocation for Love Letters to a (Post)Europe, Athens (2015)
The first event took place at BIOS exploring urban culture, Athens (2 - 3 Oct 2015) and there is a long-form interview with Lisa Alexander by Diana Damian Martin here: http://exeuntmagazine.com/features/love-letters-to-a-post-europe/ (15 Dec 2015)
“In the provocation [for Athens 2015] I reference the encampments over five years ago; in public squares across Europe (and beyond) protesting against austerity as something that cannot be quantified by a global economic system and its ‘technolinguistic automatisms’. A poetic witnessing performs a similar relationship to the moment, in time, in place, in body. Temporal, sensual, emotional, psychical qualities cannot be accounted for. I was struck by something I had read by Franco “Bifo” Berardi regarding Europe’s state of ‘crisis’ – that underneath the economic rationalizations was a deeper crisis – one that concerned the social imagination. Something that I’ve been considering a lot in this last year in the contrasting context of the UK’s referendum. Artistic practice on the other hand reserves a holding space for the imagination; that is singular, relational, embodied and unquantifiable. In a small way the event sought to step out of the existing structures of expressive control at the time through the agency of poetic witnessing.” - Lisa Alexander (from an interview by Alessandra Cianetti a year later see: https://performingborders.live/2016/12/17/lisa-alexander-december-2016/)