Artilleria Pavilion 1
S/N C/ Madre Elisea Oliver, Murcia, Spain
www.manifesta8.com/manifesta… - 968 35 14 10
Artilleria Pavilion 1 Murcia Reviews
MANIFESTA 8 - Artilleria Pavilion 1 Nov 24, 2010
This is only open until 9 of January 2011 so if you are in Murcia during this time take advantage and go!!!
The barracks in which Pavilion 1 and 2 are found consist in a neo-Mudejar Moorish style of architecture which is consistent with Manifesta’s guiding concept “Dialogue with Northern Africa.” The region of Murcia was picked to host this biennial because of the regional dialogues in history, architecture, and culture between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
Manifesta is located on the bottom floor of Pavilion 1 and consists mostly of video installations all original in their approaches and some more relevant than others. The first work that is encountered is a video by Lou Lou Cherinet. Two huge screens are mounted diagonally in the room, on one her video is projected which shows landscapes of regions to which immigrants have gone while a score of Western dramatic music and the narrative told by the voice of an immigrant recount a tragic tale of immigration, dreams, and eventual lost hopes. A deep and weathered voice says “nada ha cambiado” and explains how he was promised a job and a raise on his arrival, leaving his country and everything he owned he moved away in search of a better life, but he found only the same situations and further isolation due to his illegal status.
To the back of the same room is an installation by Kajsa Dahlberg who positions a number of postcards from European Jews to their friends and families after they had moved to the new state of Israel. Nomadism and transitions in general have always happened in the history of humanity, only now is one considered illegal only for not having filled out bureaucratic papers. These postcards are shown words-up but placed at a distance from a mirror so that the image on the front can also be seen. The heartfelt messages show images from sacred sites in Israel and tell the new life found by immigrants, most of them say that Israel is surprisingly modern, refusing the elitist conception that any country outside of Europe and USA are third world backwards nations.
Another video in the other wing of the Pavilion by The Otolith Group called Hydra Decapita shows images of the Atlantic ocean where Africans would be thrown overboard by slave drivers during the Triangle Trade. Here there is a myth of a neo-Atlantis in which these people thrown overboard have created an underwater civilization.
Sung Hwan Kim had a beautiful video shown in a dark space behind Cherinet in a video where a slow dancer evoked mystical participation with the universe while urban life was shown with its chaos and character. Tris Vonna-Michel presents Balustrade which is a philosophical essay spoken by a narrator accompanied by two slide projectors with changing images. All are great works but seem to touch only lightly on Northern Africa if at all. Tanja Widman is an African-American artist who focuses on identity, but to suppose that African-Americans are similar to North Africans seems to me a cultural ignorance, and kind of racist. She focuses on the conception of feminine identity in a provocative work calling ordered artistic practice into question.
Part of the Visiting Spain and Manifesta 8 travel blog
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