note_18 On the work Abu Dhabi banned from Sharjah (Biennial) 2019? #DXB

Gold-tips in Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace Marina (GM-A, 2013)

Gold-tips in Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace Marina (GM-A, 2013).

(EXTRACT)

IMBECILIC CONTINGENT INTRUSION(4)*

Everything we know about ourselves and our various shared and not well-shared histories affirms that systems of hermetic control never work for long, that consolidation hastens collapse. The more autocratic the regime, the messier the collapse. I will leave all of that to time, which will operate unerringly.

Meanwhile, to demonstrate a simple truth, we are going to plant a forest in DXB’s Terminal 3. It’s easy. Those of us who know the place will return from various ports in carefully staged flights that betray no joint venture. We will all be either prevented from getting on a flight, stopped at and detained at DXB, or held in the Deportees Room for some hours. Two of us at least will get in—to the airport, not the country!—and overlap in the Room on ROLEX time. We will take our allotted hour to find food in the Terminal and head up to our Costa rendezvous. We will have seeds of trees with us. We will be carrying gorgeous presentation boxes of fertilised roals or figs, like the kind from Aliya Dates Farm that I recall from a leather-lined yacht in Abu Dhabi’s Palace Marina.

Gifts, you see. Gifts of the Rolla tree, the put-upon-banyans, these potent embodiments of hopes, wishes and dreams for change.

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And we will plant, wherever we find soil in the Terminal. Where the palms grow in the great halls, where floral displays are within reach, in the two potted plants in the Deportees Room itself.

I will enjoy reaching my hands underneath the glass partition in the Security Office to plant rebellion right under the fixed visages of the two Shaikhs at the rear of the room. These seeds will grow into ‘soldiers’ protecting new qasrs which are closer to the Palestinian farmer’s shelter in the wadi than the thunking spectacle of the new Ruler’s Palace at the end of the corniche in Abu Dhabi.

The point is to document the planting on film; soiled fingers, hasty thrusting and smoothing over, in mirrored halls under ROLEX time and meaningless ads for connectedness. Then to share that harmless but insurrectionary ‘poor’ imagery with the best generational minds out there at Sharjah’s 2019 Biennial and beyond.

***

8:01

“We are out of uae.

‘Out’ 😉

WE HAVE FOOTAGE

Brother ‘Costa’ received his gift and promises more…”

  • (FN 46) This refers to a short series of texts called ‘Imbecilic Contingent Intrusions’, a phrase lifted from Slavoj Zizek, The Plague of Fantasies, London: Verso, 1997, p. 129. I exhibited ICI (two) with Cerith Wyn Evans’ neon Lacanian loop in an exhibition titled Essential Things, Robert Prime Gallery, London, July 1999 (all the texts were published on a then ‘special’ CD-ROM edition).

Excerpted from the end of Tales From The Deportees Room: Porting One (DXB), Guy Mannes-Abbott, July 2018, DI’VAN 4.

____________________

 

Otobong Nkanga and Emeka Ogbeh SAF

Otobong Nkanga and Emeka Ogboh’s Aging Ruins Dreaming Only to Recall the Hard Chisel from the Past (SAF, 2019).

One of notably few critical responses to 2019’s Biennial is this one online by Melissa Gronlund for Art/AgendaSharjah Biennial 14: “Leaving the Echo Chamber”. She writes; “Other biennial-size works stared down the spectacular and stopped it in it tracks. The standout work was Otobong Nkanga and Emeka Ogboh’s Aging Ruins Dreaming Only to Recall the Hard Chisel from the Past (2019). It tells the story of a palm tree addicted to drinking salt water, that consequently shrivels and dies … as the tree calls to children to sing for rain … a large-scale commission like this one is a reminder of why the exhibition form persist.” (Let’s hope for much more critical engagement, otherwise Abu Dhabi will have succeeded in killing off not only all forms of mild dissent but also curiosity more broadly; what survives the closure of mind and mouth… )

The original Porting One (Sharjah) was not destined for the Biennial (beware the fictive!), but its contracted Production Award (2016, SAF/Gov’t of Sharjah) was intended for production/exhibition in 2017/18, a large-scale visual-performative work using the rolla tree, film, voice, and otherwise uncannily related to the kinds of thematics and spatial/other qualities above. Too dangerous for insecure autocrats in Abu Dhabi…

 

‘i am running in ramallah and it is painful…’ in manifesta journal #14 online & at genk

I am running in Ramallah and it is in audio in the current issue of Manifesta Journal #14 which you can read online here, download the complete pdf here, or go straight to the Translated By pages here. Scroll down to where it says ‘You pick a random number’ and 3, etc., and listen to the audio of my excerpt. All this running makes it a bit less painful -and In Ramallah, Running proper will be here soon!

Do have a look at MJ14 edited by Rasha Salti et al and with some great sections; conversation with Naeem Mohaimen, and  one on Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s Lebanese Rocket Society, the main monument of which stands today in a public square in downtown Sharjah -a SAF commission from 2010’s Biennial. Manifesta as such kicks off in Genk, Belgium this year of course; end of May slash start of June. Be there!

notes from a meeting – on commissioning and reconfiguring risk [day one pt 2]

Hans Ulrich Obrist/Edgeware Road Project London Photo G Mannes-Abbott

CLICK on image to link to SAF & more images or read on below…

Day One unfolded in celebration of a range of curatorial and cultural risks taken [actual and potential], from large European and North American institutions through more wide-ranging, smaller and artist-led institutional initiatives to a single artist’s practice.

Judith Greer from the SAF gave a bold preface about the events that led to the removal of a piece of work from the Biennial last year swiftly followed by the removal of its Director Jack Persekian. It was a welcome account of what she described as “an extremely difficult time for us” which caused much reflection Continue reading “notes from a meeting – on commissioning and reconfiguring risk [day one pt 2]”

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”