The red flag for to start a project.
During the whole month of May 2023 I was engaged with a new interdisciplinary project at Pedvale Art Park in Sabile, Latvia. I will be working in the fields of Land Art, sound, video and performance. This Project will be a bit distinguished from most previous projects which were in general created in collaboration with others. This time no collaboration will be involved. It is more an individual site specific project related to the environments around Pedvale… nature, space, sound, the manor, and the objects which are within.
The project is founded by the European Union and implemented by the Goethe-Institut through the CULTURE MOVES EUROPE grant scheme
Land art installation "9047" or "A Place Between The Mountains"
The land art installation "9047" or "A Place Between The Mountains" in Pedvale. Compared to most of my other land art objects, this work is designed for a more permanent placement. Of course nature takes its toll over time and the installation will become more and more part of the natural landscape.
"9047" or "A place Between The Mountains" is site-specific and refers to the nearby village of Sabile, nestled among high hills. On the other hand, the object reflects some autobiographical elements related to cities where I have lived and worked, located between or surrounded by mountains. Like Taipei, Kathmandu or Mexcio DF, among others. At the same time it is a kind of tomb for my illusions, hopes and visions. Also, the strange thing is that the installation made me feel connected to the ground and the earth. - Me of all people.. who never feels attached to a place or can call home.
At first I thought about covering the two metal cones with stones or earth, but from a distance I saw the play of reflections and shadows on the metal surface. As a result, the object is clearly visible from a distance. The two stones on the cones can be interpreted as clouds or as smoke from volcanoes. One of the concepts was that I only use material that could be found on the Pedvale site or the sculptor's workshop of Ojars Feldbergs. Who also gave some technical support during the creation of the installation. The object thereby became a contrast between natural objects and objects processed by human hands. In the end, the installation became an important part of my live performance "Stones". The work is now part of the collection of PedvaleArt Park
Live Performance "Stones"
Live Performance "Stones" at Pedvale , Pedvale Art Park, 26 May 2023
The live performance "Stones" has a site-specific focus, but at the same time also contains autobiographical elements. Therefore, the performance presented and allowed more than just one interpretation.
During the performance, the land art object experienced a temporary metamorphosis as it became an integral part of the live performance.
Basically, I don't explain the concept or the theme to the audience before the performance. One of the reasons for doing this is to avoid having the audience already developes a view or fixed idea about the performance subjects before implementation
Only after the performance do I encourage discussion or conversation with the audience. During the performance I created sound elements, but otherwise the performance was silent. The role of the red flag had a signaling function. For to rise attention, marking a point, a beginning, and an end. A change in thoughts or direction in life or in the mental, cultural and social environment. In the site-specific context, a red flag in Latvian society is still often associated with the time when Latvia was part of the Soviet Union. As the flag falls and remains behind, it is a sign of the fall of the Soviet Union and the path to Latvia's independence. Diving the stones into the water a symbol of washing off of old layers, to re install purity.
The contrast of the dandelions between the floating stones is a sign of fragility, impermanence and levitation.
In this performance, I consciously turned away from the audience in my actions, in the truest sense of the word. An autobiographical element of my increasing disconnection from the world and social environment around me. Finally approaching at the beginning and walking away during the performance at the end. Someone could see it... the search for solitude and the feeling of never feeling tied to one place or call anything home or on the other hand everything is in flux, nothing is stable in this world.
Camera & Photos : Francesca Carvallo Pirola
"structures & patterns " video work
About the creation of the "structures & patterns " film at Pedvale
The third part of the project was the creation of a video work near the end of the project period, which does not fall into the category of video performance. In the end, this work was created and edited more through improvisation, trial and error. The basis for the video work was the image material and the motifs that were shot during the stay without a detailed or fixed plan. The question also arose as to what exactly the video work should focus on. In the beginning there was only a vague idea of a site-specific video. After several attempts, the decision was finally made to focus on the objects and natural features of the Pedvale site in a very detailed approach. The selected objects and motifs represent a contrast between nature and man-made objects, fauna and flora within the pedvale park and manor.
Social Sculpture Workshop
At Pedvale I also led the “social sculpture” workshop with a small but very creative and enthusiast group of participants. “Social sculpture” is a term coined by the German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) in the 1970s to describe an expanded concept of art and to embody one’s understanding of the potential of art in the transformation of society. As a work of art, social sculpture involves human activity that seeks to shape and create a society or environment. The central idea of the social sculptor is the person/artist who creates structures in society through language, thought, action and objects. Social sculpture revolved around four main axes: body awareness – spatial awareness – creativity – cooperation.