…AND ENCOUNTER

…AND ENCOUNTER

Elena Cologni

New Hall Art Collection at Murray Edwards College of the University of Cambridge

20 October 2017- 7th of January 2018

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During a residency at the Margaret Lowenfeld Library, Centre for Family Research University of Cambridge, to devise a strategy for engagement, artist Elena Cologni developed a nomadic and dialogic sculpture inspired by the Margaret Lowenfeld’s Mosaic Test box and related book (1954). The prop was used in a series of encounters in the city over the period of a year under the umbrella project Seeds of Attachment.

The exhibition … And Encounter marks the conclusion of the project in the UK, and includes the sculpture, together with traces of the process in the form of drawings, collages, and constructions.

Cologni’s artistic research and interdisciplinary approach explored the bond between parent and child, in relation to the experience of place attachment.

While Cologni set out to investigate the emotional, psycho-geographical condition of motherhood, the work also highlighted the crucial role of non-linguistic forms of dialogue at the core of processes of identity construction, and in relation to place.

The exhibition includes traces of the process adopted by the artist and the nomadic dialogic sculpture inspired by the Margaret Lowenfeld’s Mosaic Test box and book (1954), also on view, courtesy of the Lowenfeld Library, Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge. The prop was used in a series of encounters in the city over the period of a year under the umbrella project ‘Seeds of Attachment‘.

Also New Hall Collection Curator Eliza Gluckman oversaw Assistant Curators Maria Azcoitia and Seana Wilson selecting works from the collection, specifically to contextualise Cologni’s project into ecofeminism. Looking to ideas of ecology, the mother, place and identity, on display are pieces by Monica Sjoo, Judith Tucker,  Mary Cassatt, Celia Paul.

Further material: video essay by Cologni on research background here  and 8 minutes interview with Phil Sansom  here

 

Related events include the following

NOMADIC AND DIALOGIC: ART AND ECOFEMINISM

20 October 2017, 4-7 pm

New Hall Collection at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

The round table, part of the Festival of Ideas in Cambridge , is chaired by New Hall Curator Eliza Gluckman, with artist Elena Cologni, author Susan Buckingham and Murray Edwards’ fellow Jenny Bavidge. It positions motherhood in relation to ecofeminism, ‘deep’ environmentalism, the caring role devalued in neo-liberal societies, to discuss the space between us, inter-corporeal space, micropolitics and haptic communication.

 

Attachment & Intraplaces: Discussing a Nomadic and Dialogic Approach in Spatialized Art Practice

Artist Talk on 21 January 2:00 pm, Freud Museum, London

Plate No. 11, Elena Cologni (2017/18), from the series Intraplaces

Artist, Elena Cologni will be discussing the research background of her artistic project Seeds of Attachment, which looks into the attachment between parent and child (Ainsworth, 1973; Bowlby, 1969; Freud, A.,1967) as crucial to place attachment (Seamon, D., 2013). We get attached to a place through our attachment to our family (Gordon Jack, 2010), but how troubling can it be to be detached from a place and loved ones (Bowlby, 1998)?

Cologni attempts to investigate this through the adoption of a nomadic (Braidotti) and dialogic sculpture though a non-verbal approach, she designed based on the principles of the Margaret Lowenfeld Mosaic Box (1954). Aspects of this process were exhibited at New Hall Art Collection at Murray Edwards College of the University of Cambridge, for which she developed the series ‘Intraplaces’.

Relevant background
Cologni’s in(ter)disciplinary research approach with a consistent interest in artist/audience/participant relational and perceptual dynamics has been centered around memory in the present for sometime, and in collaboration with academics (psychology, philosophy, cognitive science). Relevant projects include Present Memory and Liveness in Delivery and Reception of Video Documentation During Perfornance Art Events (AHRC funded 2004/06) in collaboration with Thomas Suddendorf, on ideas of mirror self-recognition using video delays; based on same issues, RE-MOVED, Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow (ACE funded 2008); GEOMEMOS, Yorkshire Scukpture Park (ACE 2009); rockfluid in collaboration with Prof Lisa Saksida, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, when a more specific interest in place in relation to memory is addressed, including the live installation Spa(e)cious (Wysing Arts Centre, MK Gallery, Bergamo Scienza) related to James Williams’ concept of Specious Present (various Arts Council England grants 2011/); more recently Lived Dialectics, Movement and Rest at MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, was developed in dialogue with David Seamon and on place attachment (discussed at the Leonardo Laser series of talks in London).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Many thanks to Prof Susan Golombok Director Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge, and Dr Robbie Duschinsky Head of the Applied Social Science Group, University of Cambridge, who supported and advised on the scientific aspect of the project. Thanks to the participants for having entrusted the artist with their invaluable input.

‘Seeds of Attachment’ is funded by Grants for the Arts, Arts Council England.
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It was supported by Art Language Location, Anglia Ruskin University; Lowenfeld Library, Centre for Family Research University of Cambridge; New Hall Collection at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge; Eleanor Glanville Research Centre, University of Lincoln; Freud Museum London.

 

images courtesy of New Hall Collection at Murray Edwards College of the University of Cambridge, and the Margaret Lowenfeld Library, Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge

LIVED DIALECTICS, MOVEMENT AND REST

LIVED DIALECTICS, MOVEMENT AND REST (1 & 2)

2016, site responsive drawing (indian ink and graphite on tracing paper)

# 1, dialogic site responsive action: MuseumsQuartier, Vienna courtyard 7, in front of AZW (2 facilitators + elastic band, variable duration)

#2, dialogic site responsive action: to walk from MuseumsQuartier, Vienna courtyard 7 (in front of AZW) to Burgtor/ Heldenplatz (2 facilitators + wooden strauctures + balloons, variable duration)

Curated by Walter Seidl und Gülsen Bal

Performance: 27 July 2016
Venue: stroll from MuseumsQuartier, Vienna courtyard 7 (in front of AZW) to Burgtor/ Heldenplatz

“…a pre-reflexive corporeal awareness manifested through everyday’s gestures and behaviors and typically in synch with the spatial and physical environment in which the action unfolds….bodily routines as contributing to the lived dimensions of place, including attachment grounded in habitual regularity…  the simple act of walking with its movement and rest patterns….”

more here

CONTEXT AND BACKGROUND

The work was developed during a residency at Q21, Museums Quartier, Vienna and produced by Q21 and Frei_Raum, Architekturzentrum Wienand MuseumsQuartier Wien, Austria.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Many thanks to Q21 director Elisabeth Hajek and to the support team: Lisa Ribar, Suchart Wannaset, Kai Trausenegger, score  interpreted by facilitators: Daliah Breit and Kaan Ertaylan, filming: Suchard Wannaset.

Frei_Raum, Architekturzentrum Wien and MuseumsQuartier Wien, Austria

RELATED TALKS

Indisciplined, London LASER program of talks at University of the Arts London on the in(ter)disciplinary approach in my work, on 23 October 2016; London LASER is hosted by University of the Arts London (Central Saint Martins MA Art and Science) and University of Westminster (Imaging Art and Science programmes) and supported by LENS Community of Practice at UAL and CREAM at Westminster. LASER is a project of Leonardo® /ISAST (the International Society for Art, Science and Technology). London LASER is organised by Heather Barnett and co-chaired with John R A Smith.

more here , a webcast of talk is available here

GROPIUS’ OFF-CUTS

GROPIUS’ OFF-CUTS

in the exhibition ‘A Modernity Which Forgets’ Festival of Ideas, Cambridge 2015, and outcome of the project Gropius’ Impington.

Most of the research for the exhibition focused on the historical moment of the Chivers’ family farm and jam business funding the Gropius’ project by donating the land and paying for part of its design by the Bauhaus Architect, with the condition that the education programme would be open to its workers. In particular by looking for more information about who they might have been, it became apparent how such an important business in the interwar period attracted people from around the region, country as well as overseas. In a journal published by the Chivers’ business a series of anecdots form a picture of a community created around the business, the identity of each person defined by their position within it. The war was also inevitably cause of growth for the local population as evacuees from London and Europe found their home in Impington, some 7000 children were sent to leave London a portion of whom came to find a new home in the coutryside, and study in Impington. But a lot of the information about their identities is missing, from the historical archives, like mnemonic lacunae.

During the Cambridge Festival of Ideas (2015) the program Cologni devised Gropius’ Impington, modernism and power, art and the rural opens up a debate on the importance of the connection between people and places, and the construction of memory, cultural (monuments) and communicative memory (live interaction, Assman). According to Paul Connerton (2009) this connection may be institutionalised, as in the case of the memorial monuments, such as architecture, but it is in often apparently anonymous places, experienced through the individual’s and everyday’s bodily actions that the individual’s memory’s grid is founded. Through the memories that these places evoke the individual can domesticate the surrounding world. However, Modernity has imposed a frantic pace to the transformation of human environments. The result is that memorials and architecture last, but the common, anonymous places that are the individual’s loci of memory (Connerton 2009) are often altered beyond recognition. In particular, with the continuous process of urbanisation of the countryside, an abstract ideal of the rural is often nurtured by our memories of how familiar places used to be.

‘The paradox of a culture which manifests so many symptoms of hypermnesia and which yet at the same time is post-mnemonic is a paradox that is resolvable once we see the causal relationship between these two features. Our world is hypermnesic in many of its cultural manifestations, and post-mnenonic in the structures of the political economy. The cultural symptoms of hypermnesia are caused by a political-economic system which systemically generates a post-mnemonic culture – a Modernity which forgets.’

Gropius’ Offcuts, the sculptures as architecture off-cuts of unused spaces between the bay windows at the front of the Gropius building, occupy the space of a crouched body, and are moved around the site, as from her drawings.

Cologni’s response is symbolically in memory of all people whose nomadic way of living inevitably shows paradoxes like cherishing their memories, while also erasing part of them to make room for new ones in the encounter of a new place.

more here

Acknowledgements. This residency and project is being supported by: Impington Village College, The East Anglian Film Archive, Cambridge Central Library Special Collections, Chivers’ Pensioners Association Histon and Impington Viallage Association, CIAN University of Cambridge, Cambridge Festival of Ideas, funded through the Arts Council of England Grants for the Arts scheme.

LO SCARTO

LO SCARTO

‘We tend to go through places without inhabiting them. The project tries to offer people the opportunity to understand that the space between us, as well as that around us, and its history belong to us, even if we inhabit them only for a short amount of time. The awareness of one’s own identity in relation to one’s own place must be cherished and nurtured’ .

Elena

https://i1.wp.com/rockfluid.com/wp-content/uploads/20150414_160937web.jpg?w=900

40 sculptures for hands (7 x 12/15 cm) + 10 drawings (28 x 35 cm)  + 10 wooden studs (240 x 6 x 4 cm) + workshops

   

 

more details here

related publication

Cologni, E., ‘Reciprocal Maieutics: An Approach For The Artist As Interface In Intercultural Society’ (2015), in International Handbook of Intercultural Arts Research, London, New York, Routledge Publishing

 

Acknowledgements. Funded by Unesco and European funding through IArt, supported by: CLAC, Museo Civico Selinuntino and Comune of Castelvetrano Selinunte, CRESM, Belice Epicentro della Memoria Viva Gibellina, la Rete Museale e Naturale Belicina, Liceo Classico Giovanni Pantaleo and the ‘Akkademia del Teatro Selinus, as well as all people who gave their time, passion, dedication, culture and experience thus activating the exchange vital for the realization of the project

NAVIGATION DIAGRAMS

NAVIGATION DIAGRAMS

2013, site specific performative outdoor installation (100×100 cm x variable, 14 sculptures, plywood, caster wheels, solid wood)
MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, curator Simon Wright
THE PIECE
The public is provided with a set of parameters and props to navigate the space opposite the gallery. One word on each platform from the sentence:
is    city    a    place    for    trust       is     trust    a    place    in   the    city
 
Navigation Diagrams, is    city    a    place    for    trust       is     trust    a    place    in   the    city (19×21 cm, graphite and ink on paper + inkjet print)
Trust is also a central issue in participatory projects based on dialogic approaches. The public is provided with 14 unbalanced platforms to navigate the space opposite the gallery. Their action in space and interaction with each other create meanings within the context. The exercise creates the physical and psychological conditions to enhance an awareness of the perception the body in space and interaction of the participants with each other to create meanings within the given context. Cologni was here introduced by Caterina Albano.
see the related documentation on vimeo
 
CONTEXT AND BACKGROUND
This is the final outcome or a series after a period of interaction with the people of Milton Keynes within the umbrella production project rockfluid. In the project (from a residency at the) Faculty of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge University, memory is considered in its ‘fluid’ and ‘solid’ states, as Dr Lisa Saksida suggests referring to the recollection of events. Memory in its archival state would be solid, and, when in the process of resurfacing would be fluid.
In this sense this transitional quality of memory can be a metaphor of Cologni’s way of working, as she considers art in a similar way, neither only matter related, nor only ephemeral: its manifestations can vary and feed into each other.
In RockFluid the artistic activities aim at looking at how places influence the way we remember and who we are. This includes a series of interconnected tours, map drawings, urban interventions, in different places in and outside the UK. Dealing with the relationship among perception, personal and social memory, and various ways of understanding place, it has involved the public throughout in the making and delivering of its outcomes.
RELATED PUBLICATIONS:
Calvi, L. (2013) A Performance-based Approach For Interactions In Public Spaces, volume 10, issue 2, November, Participation, Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, NHTV University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands.
MK Calling, Catalogue, MK gallery, 2013
mkgallery.org/events/2013_07_04/scratch_night/
rockfluid.com/navigation-diagrams
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Supported by MK Gallery, University of Hertfordshire, School of Art, funded by Grants for the Art, Arts Council England, produced by rockfluid, documentation credits: MK Gallery and Charlotte Nichol

U VERRUZZE’ (BALANCING)

U VERRUZZE’ (BALANCING)

 

DOPPELGAENGER 7/27 March 2014

including drawings, sculptures and a textile installation

From the press release

Balancing is the second phase of a site specific project developed in the context Radio Materiality, curated by cultural association Vessel in Bari in the summer of 2013. For the latter, the artist engaged through dialogues with mums living and working in the city, instrumental for an investigation into the sociological aspect of the notion of trust. The dialogues, translated in a collection of sound documents, have been presented at the Athens Biennale in 2013. The second phase, brings various elements of the project together as a performative installation. The artist has realized ten custom made wooded spin tops with a graphite finished point. The spintop – in the local jargon ‘Virruzzo’ – better than any other object represents a tension towards an alterable balance, never still, just like the one between a mother and her own child. The public will be able to participate in the performance as a game, allowing the spintops to draw their journey down a fabric made slide Cologni will construct on the two flights of the staircase in the Gallery. The project Balancing is manifestation of, and search for, equilibrium at the same time. It points at a social realm in constant evolution, where that very balance becomes unstable and precarious. Within this context mothers act as axes of rotation for taking history forward in new terms

CONTEXT

Balancing is based on a series of dialogues between Elena Cologni and mothers based in Bari. The project’s research was part of Vessel’s curatorial and artistic process of investigation Radio Materiality, started in  2012. At the heart of this is the European Mediterranean area, with the geopolitical and social dynamics. The Apulia region, more specifically Bari, is the starting point for a dialogue expanding on notions of sameness, proximity, conflicts and distances. A project opening up through narratives and alternative self referential stories, other’s voices at times discordant with the dominating discourse: voices of women, mothers, migrants, and from diverse sexual orientation too. All of these define a multi-centric and fragmentary landscape. The radio thus becomes a metaphor for a collective of diverse voices from individuals. This happens within a process of re-appropriation of the discourse and the ‘word’ therein, the very concept of expressing oneself

PUBLICATIONS

Balancing (Catalogue),  Doppelgaenger Gallery, 2014

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.

The project was supported by Arts Council of England, and VESSEL, Bari. The exhibition has been sponsored by Carvico SPA (www.carvico.com)

more

GEOMEMOS

GEOMEMOS

is the outcome of a residency at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2009. The resulting drawings and related sculptures are based on various maps of the place, and mark the process to devise a route for the performance journey and those elements brought into the conversation, to generate an overlapping of physical and conceptual contexts. The one to one performances can therefore also be seen as the act of drawing in the landscape as artist and audience move through it. More details here.

 

Conversation drawings: possibilities, (graphite on paper, 35×50 cms)

stills form video documentation
Conversations (open) (series of 10, graphite on paper, 60 x 80 cms)
Conversations (open), balsa wood (series of 10, 6 x 15 cms)

Acknowledgements. Many Thanks to Oliver Brown for liaising with the participants and supporting the project throughout; to the participants: Anna, Angie, Alan, Jo, John, Jeremy, Lesley, Lewis, Libby, Sally; rickshaw: Francis.

Geomemos was awarded the Grants for the Arts and  supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, York Saint John University and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.