The four month residency started out through an open call for developing a site-specific, interdisciplinary project. Three makers (individual or collective) were selected, each developing on preexisting ideas, and using the space to expand the possibilities inherent in their creative practices.
October 14th, the public had the opportunity to witness these projects, in a continuous flow from one space to the other. Starting at S/ash gallery, moving onto the foyer and finishing at UBIK, each project made use of site-specific conditions of WORM becoming a collaboration between the artist and the possibilities of the space.
AFFECT invites the audience as witness to the ongoing journey of these projects. As we pass through the multiple spaces of WORM, we reflect on our body, senses and collective presence in the room. The artists have worked separately throughout residency period, but the final coming together of these works marks the emergence of new thematic connections and artistic entanglements.
In “Forceful Catering”, Kexin Hao reproduces traditional techniques of making mochi through performance, combining dance and spoken word as a way of engaging with the practice through her own corporeal archive. Accompanied by a track created by collaborators 10_r3n and Marie Komatsu, Kexin pounds a ball of glutinous rice, the space reverberating with each blow as the rice becomes more and more malleable. She is inspired by various Chinese work songs, intrigued by how they have historically functioned in aiding the labour process. Collecting elements from three of these work songs, she creates one of her own. She experiments with the subversion of traditionally inscribed meanings, using her own iterations as a playground of possibility in creating new narratives and intertwining them with the old.
The serving of the mochi makes up the final act of Kexin’s “Forceful Catering”. The audience, having watched the ritual process, eat the mochi with the awareness of its representations. Our attention is directed toward the body and its promises for reimagining a collective corporeal memory.
Sabine Pendry and Nadia Bakhsi’s “Nóstos” is a an explorational sound and radio piece dedicated to sentimentality, an inquiry into the past and the various acts of conjuring it up in the present.
The artist duo are interested in nostalgia’s affective capacities, as something felt both collectively and personally. The listeners experience the composition though silent-disco headphones in the foyer, creating a unified solitude. Collaging various sonic material with their own compositions, “nóstos” arrives as a broadcast to the senses. As we listen, what is stirred in each of us depends on our own memories, experiences and the identities constructed from these phenomena. Each listener reacts to this sonic soundscape uniquely, and yet the cultural references and meanings we share tap into how nostalgia can be experienced as a public feeling
In “Dark Grey Almost Black”, artist duo Marta Wörner and Nikos Ten Hoedt create a liminal club environment in UBIK, experienced as a continuous oscillation between the real and the spectacle.
Taking the modern club space as a territory for contemporary ritual, they explore the interrelatedness of everyday actions and performance. The audience is not just a voyeur of the scene, but active participants in the creation of it. It is difficult to discern who is performing and who is not, as all bodies become both the observers and the observed. It is perhaps how one chooses to observe, what meanings they inscribe on the space, that determines its status as being one thing over another. All elements for the club are there, and yet we remain unsure. Are we watching a performance or not?
WORM received a good amount of feedback from both the artists and the audience. All projects drew a large crowd of visitors, and an exhilarating atmosphere was felt throughout WORM. The projects linked the spaces together unexpectedly, but each artist could present the outcome of their creative processes individually. It was a delight to witness all projects evolve and come into their own and the residents showed a depth of development within their artistic practice. This collaboration between Amarte Fund and WORM was a success, igniting a creative energy that we hope will flourish further and potentially branch out into cultural spaces in other cities.
For further Amarte projects/ artist fundings check their website: amarte.nl