on a frieze review of ‘the country of the blind…’ with CAMP at folkestone triennial 2011

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2011 Folkestone Triennial

VARIOUS VENUES, FOLKESTONE, UK

Scroll down for review…

[NB Collaborations are a particular, demanding and beautiful form of work which I seem to have developed a taste for, at least in a visual art context and since 1997!

2011 was a year of varying forms of artful collaboration, each very special but none quite so intimate as this one for me; how it came about, whom it involves and the result of our efforts. To avoid the obvious-but-hideous potential problems of collaboration, a certain more or less unspoken [else endlessly detailed!] but deeply-shared approach to all-things essential is elemental. Continue reading “on a frieze review of ‘the country of the blind…’ with CAMP at folkestone triennial 2011”

on the country of the blind and other stories, first art critical response

In the Country of the Blind and Other Stories Installation NCI Folkestone [Ph. Guy Mannes-Abbott]

Adrian Searle’s review in The Guardian is so generous about the film I’ve been working on with Shaina, Ashok and Iyesha [CAMP] that I can’t help but post it.

“In the National Coastwatch Institution cabin, perched on a cliff above Folkestone, the volunteer guards scan the sea. Mumbai-based collective CAMP recorded the view, the constant traffic plying the Channel, and the volunteers’ casual commentary The result is an almost hour-long film recorded over a year. French church spires break the horizon, seen through a telescope. We follow tankers and canoes, ferries and fishing boats – and there’s the archbishop of Canterbury, helping out at an archeological dig along the coast, his hair a white, fluffy windsock in the distance. The artists in Mumbai recorded the observations and anecdotes of the volunteers via broadband. It’s a case of the watchers watched, and we watch too, following near-collisions out at sea, and blokes hauling up lobster pots. “Lobsters are giant Jurassic insects,” someone says. I’d happily stay all day.”

Read the piece here.

AS’s warm words had a warm affect, though I would only point out that it’s not a documentary and say no more -other than that Fruit Store loyalists and Dostoyevskians shouldn’t need me to!

Read the letter from the man, jocularly referred to as the ‘archbish’ on the soundtrack, here! And beware similar assumptions!

Probably should resist saying that I agree with him about the ill-judged mermaid too… I was too involved to see very much else other than Zineb Sedira’s very beautiful and complex film installation Lighthouse in the Sea of Time. I’ll post on what I think might well be her best work so far in time and definitely take the 57 minute train back for more of the Triennial and more of Folkestone itself too…

on the varne, with CAMP at the folkestone triennial

The Varne NCI Folkestone’s channel map [Ph. Guy Mannes-Abbott]

The Varne is a mid channel sandbank, slightly closer to the French coast than the coast at Folkestone. If I stood on it, you might see my hand waving above the water. This is where the Varne Lightship Automatic of radio legend is permanently anchored, where massive ships can and do run aground. A place that obtains peculiar potency when watched from the shore.

Everything that goes on in the world’s water, as observed and imagined from the NCI at Folkestone, is the subject of the film I’ve been working on with CAMP -during intensive bursts in Brussels and Folkestone itself. The Country of the Blind, and Other Stories will be installed in a bunker-like room at the back of the NCI Folkestone, high up on the cliffs overlooking the industrial scaled port of Folkestone and English Channel during the Triennial. It will be worth the walk…

Folkestone Triennial opens on Friday 24th June and to the public on the 25th June until 25th September. Continue reading “on the varne, with CAMP at the folkestone triennial”

on the living of patrick leigh fermor

Patrick Leigh Fermor – still from BBC film 2008

Ninety six is a good age to have lived. Both my grandmothers lived into their mid-90s, one of them to 96, a pivotal experience in my own life. Why am I telling you this?! Well PLF is such a vivid presence to me, principally from his writing and words and their conjuring of his feet and ‘heart’, that the news of his death is sad and yet the confirmation that he lived until today makes me happy. Continue reading “on the living of patrick leigh fermor”

notes from a biennial, appendix [i] in conversation with CAMP

CAMP-Al-Jaar-Qabla-al-Daar The People From The Family of Abu Saoud Were Kicked Out [Ph. Guy Mannes-Abbott]

click IMAGE to link to notes from a biennial – appendix [i] in conversation with CAMP

CAMP & I

by Guy Mannes-Abbott

Conversation with Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran [CAMP] March 2011 Sharjah, UAE

Guy Mannes-Abbott [gma]

Tell me a little about your background and approach.

Shaina [Anand]

Broadly speaking my background is film. Actually documentary practice, and a lot of what we do as CAMP as well -Ashok’s background is architecture and “new media”… Continue reading “notes from a biennial, appendix [i] in conversation with CAMP”

notes from a biennial – on reflection

click IMAGE to link to notes from a biennial – on reflection

Notes from a Biennial – On Reflection

21.03.2011, 12:01

by Guy Mannes-Abbott

The opening week of this year’s Biennial was very intense; promising and delivering much. I’m glad I had early access to it all, could play that off repeated circuits and discrete returns, along with mini wanders with various artists and writers, old and new friends, listen to other’s highlights, tips, and ‘zoom’ in and out of the city, region and world in the process.

I was invited as a writer to write critically and I would fail the Biennial as much as myself if I did otherwise. I’m a demanding judge or at least have very high thresholds and am not biddable! Yet Sharjah Biennial 10 has been a triumph for all those involved. It took big risks Continue reading “notes from a biennial – on reflection”