Sanna Helena Berger
S E I D
The Mycological Twist
Resident / Longshore Drift is a collective off-site project by four of six Jupiter Woods’ (UK/Austria) founding members: Hanna Laura Kaljo, Lucy Lopez, Carolina Ongaro and Cory Scozzari. For the duration of ten days, Jupiter Woods will reside in Sorbus as a temporary resident, cultivating a project comprising a time-based exhibition and events’ programme, centred on the curators’ and visitors’ embodied presence within an installation that draws on the physical infrastructure of Jupiter Woods’ London and Vienna locations. Following a two-day installation and acquaintance period, the exhibition will open to the public on Friday 22nd April and continue to form over the weekend on the basis of a series of commissioned objects, gestures and acts by ten of the platform’s past and future collaborators, enacted by the curators and the public.
Longshore Drift refers to a geographical process that consists of the transportation of sediments along a coast at an angle to the shoreline, dependent on prevailing wind direction, swash and backwash. Considering this project as a bridge, a present moment inevitably pushing us from the past to the future, it presents a situation in which people and objects are arranged, materials are pushed back and forward: commissioned objects and instructions become placeholders for their producers, remnants of actions accumulate as material debris, while questions of care are encouraged to emerge to the forefront.
The events’ schedule and interview of Jupiter Woods can be found below.
Jupiter Woods was established in May 2014 by Hanna Laura Kaljo, Lucy Lopez, Carolina Ongaro, Barnie Page, Cory Scozzari and Emma Siemens-Adolphe. It is based in London and Vienna, housing an exhibition space, a residency programme, along with a shared research and studio facility.
This project is supported by Arts Council England and Frame Visual Arts Finland.
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The installation will be open for public 22. April – 1. May
Friday 22nd April
18.00–21.00 Sporadic readings of texts by Maria Gorodeckaya and Matilda Tjäder.
20.00 Screening of Lingua Franca (2012) by Emily Jones (5’14’’)
Saturday 23rd April, from 14.00
Attendance limited, please sign up by writing to sorbusgalleria at gmail.com
A 45 minute threefold exercise routine, composed by S E I D and consisting of:
Thinking – 15 min free association writing exercise
Willing – 15 min exercise to warm the solar plexus
Feeling – 15 min mediation of Impermanence
S E I D is an educational project that is experimental by nature and committed to a holistic and interdisciplinary approach spanning art, design, agriculture, handcrafts and practical skills. Based in Jutland, DK, they collaborate with relative organisations across diverse and remote rural locations in Scandinavia, each offering a specific interest.
Sunday 24th April, from 17.00
Attendance limited, please sign up by writing to sorbusgalleria at gmail.com
A performed gameplay, composed by Viktor Timofeev and executed by Jupiter Woods. (approx 20 minutes)
A vegan dinner, composed and designed by Holly White.
Sunday 1st May, from 11.00
A short healing ceremony, composed by The Mycological Twist and executed by Jupiter Woods.
The Mycological Twist is a permanent installation located in Jupiter Woods’ garden since summer 2014. The garden functions as the central node for research stemming from artistic, theoretical and scientific interests in the concept of the garden as a managed ecology.
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Interview with Jupiter Woods
H.K. = Hanna Laura Kaljo
C.O. = Carolina Ongaro
C.S. = Cory Scozzari
Sorbus: Jupiter Woods houses an exhibition space, a residency programme and a shared research and studio space in London. Can you tell us something about your background and how you got started with Jupiter Woods in 2014?
H.K & C.O.: Jupiter Woods began as a common enterprise among six founding members, while at the MFA Curating course at Goldsmiths College. What we immediately recognised as common ground was the desire to create a space that would allow us to experiment with our curatorial work and artistic practices, as well as explore the potential of a collective endeavour.
After many months of looking for a physical space, a situation increasingly difficult in London due to aggressive real estate politics, we finally settled at Studio 61 on Rollins Street in South East London in May 2014. Similarly to many other buildings in our proximity, this house too is conditioned by a corporate re-development project, meaning we began Jupiter Woods with an inevitable sense of impermanence.
An awareness of temporality has thus guided our programme from the start, influencing our approach to the physical space and the relationships we’ve formed with each other. This has manifested in our interest in care as a curatorial methodology, fostering relationships that could be ongoing. Our inaugural exhibition ‘Thank You’ was an accumulative project over the month of August in 2014 featuring artists, architects, philosophers – friends – who had helped us in the formation of the space.
With one of our members moving to Vienna, we opened a satellite space there in December 2015.
S: Sorbus and Jupiter Woods are both relatively new art spaces that are led by independent working groups doing all the work from cleaning to curating. Besides museums and commercial galleries, art spaces in Finland are usually run either by artist associations or by artists, like us at Sorbus, but not so much by curators. Based on what you already know about Sorbus, what kind of similarities do you see between us? On the other hand, how do you see your way of working differ from that of artist-run spaces?
C.O.: Sorbus and Jupiter Woods operate within quite distant contexts, and have relatively different histories at their basis. What I see as a common ground is the spontaneous coming together of people deciding to invest their resources – time, money, labour – into a collective purpose, or set of aims. These purposes materialise as friendship-driven projects, which is to say that relationships are built through constant dialogue and within a horizontal structure, allowing for conversations to take place. What we share with Sorbus is probably a structure that is flexible enough to change in its course.
I can see some similarities with the artist-run space model, in terms of offering space for experimentation. We started with many questions about what a curator could be, how a curator can facilitate certain artistic and research paths; questions that did not define our modes of operating, but certainly and genuinely triggered a curiosity in closely engaging with artists and their works. Yet, the methodologies we employ and discuss within our working context do follow a curatorial way of thinking, if I might call it that way. I’m not sure if it’s a matter of professionalisation, but surely of positioning yourself and you curatorial endeavour in relation to an art project.
H.K.: We recently started a new research project in which one of the aims is to understand how we differ from other artistic organisational models in order to learn how could we move forward; as the first event in this project Carolina and I travelled to Paris for a few days to meet the local artist-run-scene. I agree with Carolina in that one of the main features we might share with artist-run-spaces, including Sorbus, is the freedom to be responsive to a given situation by choosing the way we organise ourselves and what kind of methods we employ in relation to a specific artistic practice. However, what struck me in Paris was that an aspect that might set us apart from a number of such spaces is long-term commitment and a sense of responsibility for how something becomes public. The artist-run-space seems to be a temporary structure by default, while we are actively seeking ways in which we could become more ‘sustainable’, navigating the non-profit sphere. In the end, I think we are not so occupied with defining whether our work is curatorial or artistic, rather we are comfortable with being a hybrid and open to new forms of practice.
S: Besides exploring new territory outside of your usual curatorial practise, the exhibition at Sorbus can also be seen as a sort of Jupiter Woods showcase through which one can get an impression of your past and future interests. What would you like to tell about the Resident / Longshore Drift exhibition artists and your curatorial process for the audience who might be unfamiliar with their work or Jupiter Woods? Are there some specific themes you are interested in at the moment?
H.K.: Resident / Longshore Drift is a collective off-site project by four of six Jupiter Woods’ founding members, which takes an abstracted and playful take on our infrastructure and network as its source material. We started by thinking about potential ways in which we could translate our existing activities into a new location, eventually deciding to somewhat invert our usual process of working closely with an artist over a period of time, instead emphasising our and the visitors’ embodied presence at Sorbus through a series of commissioned instructions. We reached out to 10 of our past and future collaborators to produce acts for us to execute, objects for us to install, texts for us to read.
Over the course of three days a series of public events in the form of acts and readings will produce physical counterparts and debris, gradually accumulating within a spatial and infrastructural installation we ourselves have built within the gallery, occupying the space as a temporary resident. This installation draws on the physicality of Jupiter Woods’ London and Vienna locations, referencing elements such as a residency room, a garden, a reading room. We were looking to commission those whose practice would allow for such an invitation, rather than push them to work differently. All of those included are practitioners who have already had some contact with Jupiter Woods in the past, people we have worked with continuously or those who will be doing exhibitions with us over the coming months.
All in all, what we intend to evoke is a situation in which people and objects are arranged, materials are pushed back and forward. Longshore Drift refers to a geographical process that consists of the transportation of sediments along a coast at an angle to the shoreline, dependent on prevailing wind direction, swash and backwash.
C.O.: The project continues a research trajectory, something we’ve been working on for the past four months, that delves in ideas of care and cooperation in the self-organised context. An important aspect of this has been to connect to other similar organisations, such as Sorbus, welcoming new encounters through which further questions are formed. We hope to continue this line of questioning also into our summer/fall programme to come, slightly shifting the focus from the organisational to the interpersonal sphere.
S: We at Sorbus have lately been discussing 1) art that deals with an issue, 2) art that takes a stand, and 3) what happens to a counter-cultural gesture when it is taken into art context. We would be interested to hear if you have some kind of view on these questions!
C.S.: While on one hand I think these are useful questions, on the other I find them somewhat distracting, and there is too much work to be done, both through art and activism. For me and I think some of the other members of Jupiter Woods the discussion of art advocating something or being about a certain topic was never something that we consciously discussed, but rather something that was implicit in everything we did. This is not to say that we do not show or want to show work that is overtly political, but rather the opposite; that all work artistic, curatorial, effective, wage labor etc. is political and thus we all have responsibilities and make decisions that have ramifications. Politics here being anything that affects anyone else. There are of course our political positions as a group and we adhere to them and would not for example do a pro-zionist exhibition, and we have discussed this specifically. I think since most of our politics are shared (and we have discussed our politics endlessly), the ideas we address are consensus almost by default and really come from conversation with the artists and happen naturally because implicit to every artwork is a politic.
I think the distinction of counter-culture and art is also not so helpful, this is something that I struggled with for a long time as an artist and a curator, where I stand now is that they are really different things somehow; say activism and the act of making an exhibition, and they can each respectively be tactics for affecting social and political change but they are not the same, and they cannot be interchangeable, they have different functions. So I am more interested in thinking about the work of each sphere and how they can be more effective at what they are, asking the questions through the work itself.
All art takes stands.
S: What kind of questions do you see as central to the time we are living in? How does artmaking relate to them? What is art needed for in 2016?
C.O.: I think there is a general urgency to consider collective action that diverts from a self-interest mentality. What I always find striking about art practices is their capacity to trigger rupture, to create new propositions that should affect the social sphere. I say should because we do know that, at the same time, the artworld has the weakness of bringing about a set of narratives that most of the time are restricted only to relatively small groups of people. Through Jupiter Woods I am really becoming aware of the importance of thinking about different modes of organising that provide the means and conditions for various questions to be raised and discussed. Surfacing narratives that are left out from the official ones, this is where I find the potential of contemporary art today.
C.S.: In addition to what was mentioned above, I think it is also important for art itself to be a way of asking questions about the complexity of our times, I think even historically this has been always the most fruitful and produced the most interesting work, but these questions are always being reconfigured and are different for each person. For me both as an artist and curator, I am interested in intersectionality in regards to identity politics, sexuality, technology, geopolitics, conflict and labor relations, but these are my interests and they do not necessarily overlap with all the output of Jupiter Woods.
I have had this conversation with a number of the artists that we have worked with that – maybe particularly in a market driven climate – there is a lot of work that somehow navigates production, distribution and sales without really addressing anything, in effect content less. For Jupiter Woods we have never been interested in this type of work, we always worked with artists who have particular questions, where the work itself is a way of moving through ideas and issues. But the nature of these questions is specific to the urgency of the maker, and we assist in this process of investigation by providing the facilities to make things public.
S: Since Sorbus started on Vaasankatu, vegetarian restaurants and food stores, brewery pubs and design stores have opened on the same street. Falafel has become the symbol of this development. You mentioned the aggressive real-estate politics in London. How far is the nearest vegetarian restaurant from Jupiter Woods at the moment?
JW: 1.8 miles (2,8km) and more approaching.
Sanna Helena Berger
S E I D
The Mycological Twist
Resident / Longshore Drift on Jupiter Woods -kollektiivin (UK/Itävalta) off-site projekti, jonka järjestävät Jupiter Woodsin kuraattorit Hanna Laura Kaljo, Lucy Lopez, Carolina Ongaro and Cory Scozzari. Jupiter Woods vierailee Sorbuksessa kymmenen päivän ajan ja järjestää näyttelyn rinnalla ohjelmaa, joka koostuu Jupiter Woodsin taiteilijoilta tilatuista esityksistä ja muista tapahtumaluontoisista teoksista.
Lisätietoa näyttelystä sekä tapahtumien aikataulu ja Jupiter Woodsin haastattelu löytyvät tiedotteen englanninkielisestä versiosta.
Jupiter Woods on Hanna Laura Kaljon, Lucy Lopezin, Carolina Ongaron, Barnie Pagen, Cory Scozzarin ja Emma Siemens-Adolphen vuonna 2014 perustama taidetila ja kuraattorikollektiivi. Jupiter Woods toimii tällä hetkellä Wienissä ja Lontoossa sekä taidetilana että residenssiohjelmana.
Projektia ovat tukeneet Arts Council England ja Visuaalisen taiteen keskus Frame.