Posted on Fri 9 Apr 2021
Future Themes Blog - “Ana Mendieta and Us”: the Silhouettes Project part two- interventions exercises
In the fourth (& part two) of our Future Theme Blogs we hear from Ellie Chadwick at her team. Last year the Studio funded seven teams of Residents to explore ideas at the intersection of technology and culture.
This part two of Future Themes Blog - “Ana Mendieta and Us”: the Silhouettes Project
Go here to read part one.
From a provocation posed by Abi Zakarian: “Take a selfie whereby you alter your appearance in a subversive way somehow”.
Untitled, Amanda Guardado
Inverted, Ana Ines Jaberes Pita
Wakeful, Gabriela Roman Gonzalez
Sun-Eye, Gaël Le Cornec
Up close, very personal, Abi Zakarian
Untitled, Depi Gorgogianni
(Un)Natural eye, Ellie Chadwick
Intervention 2: From a provocation posed by Ellie Chadwick: “create a mini intervention or disruption in your space: using objects or your own body to change the space in some way and leave a physical mark.”
Below: Ana’s intervention, Gabie’s intervention, Amanda’s intervention.
Intervention 3: From a provocation posed by Depi Gorgogianni: “find 3 positions: a strong, a weak and a sensual in the space. It can be a full body (position) or part of your body (gesture, facial expression).”
Intervention 4: From a provocation posed by Abi Zakarian: “I’d like to invite you all to choose an elemental (or spiritual or physical - whatever feels right and in the spirit of Ana Mendieta) image/memory that represents how you would leave a trace of yourself. This can be a personal totem for yourself as we progress on the creation of this piece. You can share words or an image or a song/piece of music, whatever you want!”
Mine is footprints in sand
To leave no trace -
To leave a trace -
To have been on the earth, within it, for however long your life is, is to have left a mark.
Walking barefoot in wet sand is the best way I can think to describe this: as you walk you feel the squish of the wet sand, each grain closing around your toes, your feet. You hear the sea beside you, water murmuring in the way it does. There might be a breeze closing over your limbs, your face. And behind you is a set of footprints, already slightly distorted by the minute movements in the earth, pooled water making shapes in the dips and curves. The further you walk the longer the trace behind you but the trace is morphing, changing, sliding into something else already; something not quite you but still so very much you.
It is at once an indelible legacy and also a singular lost memory.
I walked on the sand for a while, so many years ago. The wind blew, I remember. Look for me on that shoreline now and you won’t see anything of me. But I am there. I will always be there. Different, unmade. But I am there, still.
My trace is planting a seed.
I love nature and gardening: the feel of getting my hands into the soil, the smell of the flowers, the taste of homegrown fruit and veg.
At the loss of a loved one, I like to plant something in my garden in their memory. It feels like an appropriate way to mark their legacy and feel a sense of their presence still somehow around me, plus nurturing the plant gives me a sense of my continuing care for them. The plant grows and changes through seasons and stages much like grief does 🌱
So if I were to leave a trace of myself I would plant something to grow and change and bloom - and perhaps it would wilt and die eventually, disappearing back into the earth, rotting down to create an environment for new life to grow, remaining in traces in the soil itself. Maybe it would flower first and bees would cross-pollinate it and the seeds grow and fall and drift somewhere else on the wind - the trace remaining elsewhere too: different but the same.
I leave a trace by crocheting gifts for the people around me. I take yarn and with a hook turn it into art. I make clothing, bags, hats, earrings. I’ve even made crochet pumpkins for fall and have gifted them to people. I think that the pieces I make are special because I put a lot of time and dedication into them and share them with others. Recently I made an outfit for my friend’s newborn. I know that she will keep that forever and it could turn into an heirloom. A quote from a crochet designer that I follow online says “It’s important what we do, to take nothing and turn it into something. To turn a thread into a gown. It’s woven alchemy.” It takes a long time to make these things and so much of myself goes into my designs and ideas. Each stitch adds up until the project is complete and then it goes out into the world, hopefully, bringing joy to the recipient and filling their hearts with the love I put into my work.
My traces are usually broken glasses and plates
Leaving a trace
my dancing feet on the floor
the sound of my breathe while dancing
The rhythm of my stamp and stop
Ephemeral movements and sounds
Running around the space non stop creating a breeze moving the air around me