Daiga Grantina, presented by Galerie Joseph Tang
Daiga Granting was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1985, she is living and working between Berlin and Paris. She briefly describes her project for the Present Future section of Artissima.
HOUSE OF THROAT
Breath to light like speech to projection applies here.
—--------- = ------------------
The stretching and contracting of muscles and fiber tensiles inside a cartilage vessel shapes streams of breath into sound.
I stretch synthetic matter around a cone of light and into a cube which used to be a cave.
A projection meets its ends.
Daiga Grantina, ЯR, 2014, Polycarbonat, string, wire, mirror spray, aluminum, projection 1 (super8 transf. to PAL, loop), projection 2 (digital, loop), Dimensions variable, Photo credit / Aurélien Mole, Courtesy Galerie Joseph Tang, Paris
Daiga Grantina, portrait, courtesy the artist
Elena Nemkova, presented by Galerie Sisso
Elena Nemkova. Born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. She graduated in Conceptual Art & Design from the Academy of Industrial Arts (former College V. Muchina) of St. Petersburg, and from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera of Milano (2001). She is the Member of OuUnpo Art and Science Research Group since 2010. She lives and works between Milan, Italie and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Artist statement. “My attraction for the evolution of science translates into an attempt to bring it into the sphere of the intimacy, the living and the primordial, measuring differences and possible convergences between seemingly inassimilable dimensions. My work focuses on the discomfort a person deals with when approaching advanced neurobiological discoveries. I grew up in a family of scientists and I am fascinated by any form of exploration - from space exploration to neurobiological discoveries in the field of human feelings. My work represents the transformation of our habits, with respect to the continuous discovering of the hidden physiological mechanisms that control our lives. I express my ideas through performances, sculptures, drawings and videos, I try to synthesize them and to eliminate any superfluous elements; I want to show the incongruous content of the reality of life and to give a concrete image to an item or an emotion even when it seems impossible or completely abstract. My work is filled with this raw and carnal vision of realism dealt with so much in the 19th century Russian literature. My drawings, sculptures and performances speak of evolution, transformation, and a vision of a future both improbable and imminent. The “unforeseeable changes in landscape and feelings”, arise from the ruins of a more or less remote past, and try to show something that has to do with the future, combining space and time sceneries with visions of a harsh and primitive world.”
It is becoming more and more clear from the research into the way our brains function that we are actually “dreaming” worlds and only have to alter that dream when we, as it were, bump into a place or matter. Even the environment in which we remember events can distort real facts. In the Present Future show, Elena Nemkova features several works ranging from drawings to video animations and a sculpture.
The drawing triptych is from the series “We remember some events are not exactly as they happened”. Although we may be sure that everything went just the way our memory tells us, sometimes we remember episodes and situations that simply did not occur.
The video animations “Retinal Poetry” are short mute visual poems, seen through closed eyelids by the artist, or caused by rubbing her shut eyes. It has something of the sensation of an “electrical/mechanical” phenomenon, but the richness and colourfulness of the retinal poems very much feeds off the individual’s own dreaming fields.
The sculpture “Affective Accidence #3” is a shaped, solidified emotion. A form of human vulnerability exploiting precise data provided by 3Dmagnetic resonance brain scanning.
Elena Nemkova, Affective Accidents #2, 2015, Woven bark birch, bi-component resin, plaster, painting, 97 x 127 x 25 cm
Elena Nemkova, We remember events are not exactly as they happened – Triptyque n°7 B, 2015, Spray and colour pencils on paper 100 x 70 cm
Elena Nemkova, portrait, photo by Timur Artamanov
Hayv Kahraman, presented by The Third Line
Hayv Kahraman was born in Baghdad, Iraq 1981. She lives and works in Los Angeles, USA and is a graduate of the Academy or Art and Design in Florence, Italy. The body as object and as subject has a central function within Hayv’s work.
She is presenting new works from her How Iraqi Are You? series, with works exploring her experiences as an Iraqi immigrant and reevaluate her current position in relation to her cultural heritage.
Hayv’s new body of work references the Maqamat Al-Hariri, a set of illuminated manuscripts from the 12th century that depicted daily life in Baghdad. She manipulates her own visual vocabulary – including the characteristic women with sharp features and voluminous hairstyles – into this historical technique to tell stories, real and fictive, formed from memories of her childhood in Iraq and her family's flight to Sweden during the First Gulf War. They become a recording of her disassociation with her culture and a yearning to reconnect with it. The process of writing the text in the works adds an embodied, performative aspect to the work as she is actively relearning how to write her language and speak her mother tongue. Derivative of the manuscripts’ formal aspects, its style and composition, the text is divided in color – black to narrate the story and red as commentary. The texts in the works vary from personal memories from growing up in Baghdad, to tongue twisters, aphorisms, idiomatic Iraqi lexicon and stories of existing as a refugee in Sweden.
The title of the work Test Your Iraqiness, for instance, comes from a test Hayv found on social media and which actually formed the impetus for the series. Questions asked in the test included “You know you’re Iraqi when someone says the word Baghdad, everyone cries” and “You use words like Barboug, Zaknaboot etc.”, the latter referring to swear words in colloquial Iraqi Arabic. The content ranged from funny and sad to political, something the artist found interesting in terms of categorizing an identity. The Translator, on a more personal note, is inspired from Hayv’s mother’s experience as a translator between incoming refugees and aid workers in Sweden. In the middle of trying to resolve a conflict one of the new migrants asked, are you with us or with them? – a difficult and unsettling question in the moment.
Hayv also draws on linguistic parallels of the languages that formed a major part of her life as an Iraqi and then as an immigrant. Her Name Is Gun is a play on words: Gun is obviously a weapon in the English language, but in the Swedish language it is a common name for a woman and in the Kurdish language it means testicles.
Fortune Game, the only object at the booth, is a painted canvas folded into a childhood ‘fortune-teller’ game. Under each flap is inscribed the name of a country that is often the destination of immigrants and asylum seekers in the Middle East. Of the countries listed, Sweden United Arab Emirates can be seen written in Arabic under a flap each.
Hayv Kahraman, Fortune Game, 2015, Oil on folded canvas, 36 x 36 x 15 cm, Side view
Hayv Kahraman, Hammal Bashi, 2015, Oil on linen, 177.8 x 137 cm
Hayv Kahraman, Hammal Bashi, 2015, Oil on linen, 177.8 x 137 cm, detail