In March I participated to an artists’ residency at Olho do Boi, by the River Tejo in Lisbon, together with artists Céline Tschachtli and Marta Angelozzi. We used the Abysmal- the hexagram of the I Ching and symbol of water on water- as a common starting point to represent change and transformation.
During the residency each artist was encouraged to explore and develop their own individual artistic language while operating on a common ground process in a collaborative practice where emphasis was on the development of the artistic process itself. The Artistic process was developed while considering the individual and collective, local and universal cause and effects of change. Cross-pollination of skills and materials were used in the processes of each artists.
I developed a series of videos, recording real-time performed writing in response to the notion of impermanence and water.
I wanted to captured the inevitability of change and the impermanence of time and its memories. I used the element of water and automatic writing: I wrote affirmative words with their negative prefix -un- such as: undo-unlearn-unbe-unsee-unanswerable- on a black paper against the sun. As the heat made the water evaporate and the words disappeared every time I rewrote them with the river’s water, the importance of destruction in the creative process became clearer to me.
Marta Angelozzi observed the qualities of the river, its colours, the various currents and its different tides. The unpredictable, immaterial and ephemeral quality of water inspired Marta’s process. The river carried mysterious objects that would eventually be revealed when the tides were low. Marta collected objects that were left behind by the fishermen or the water and drew with it. She found a bobbin and explored the way it interacted with the paper and the kind of lines that could be engraved with it and developed a series of drawings called Detriti. A seemingly delicate set of drawings executed with strength, almost ripping the paper apart, balance between the visible and the invisible, the intact and the torn. Only with the right angle of light can the drawings be seen.
Memories of a gesture on paper, which holds the memory of an action, like the impression of something too tight against the skin. At times the river taught us new movements and we embodied its qualities. Marta also experimented with materials that reminded her of the quality of water such as melted wax and watercolours. The result was a group of small paintings representing the abstract quality of water.
Céline Tschachtli Explored the absorbability of her surroundings resonating with her inner self. The boundaries and borders of the outer and inner line of the human skin. The process of breathing and experienceing becoming memory. The trancience and the natural source, the occult and mystery space of life. She tryed to absorb and include all the senations and feelings within herself. Through the outer world, creating an inbetween dialogue where things are coming together. She tried to make this very thin line of meeting, from the in and out, visibe. ‘Like the touch of water on our skin. It stays for a moment there and then, goes slowly down/sinks into our bodys soul… How can I make this constant change concious and embody it?’ Her focus was to collect materials, exercises and experiences. It/which was in form of objects that she found next to the river, sounds and melodies that she recorded outside and inside, thoughts, ideas and visions she wrote down or sketched in her book, fabrics and argil which she related to the water playing on her skin and movement and dance, in which she started developing physical exercises. Photographs and videos documented her experiments of trying to embody the Abysmal.