COMMON THINGS | PROPOSAL | La Biennale di Venezia | 2011

Common Things

Curator: Attila Nemes

Artists: Róza El-Hassan, Éva Köves, Andrea Sztojánovits

The Project examines the significance of synergies originating from community, cooperation and open systems. [1] In its construction the work models collaborative networks and artistic processes behind the successes of the global creative industry with the help of a local community organized by the artists. The collaborative model assists the artists in reinterpreting the notions of economic cooperation / national cooperation / the work of art, and contrasting it with the isolating speech patterns and practices of political discourse and social common talk. The members of the team are artists resident in Hungary, basket weavers, engineers and designers belonging to different ethnic groups. The possibility for interpenetration between a technology driven world and the handicrafts industry is a pressing issue for the group, as it is clear that the way we relate to industry and capitalist development is decisive when social cohesion and global economic success are at stake. [2]

The evolution and success of the creative industry proves that economic strength and success are found where the number of synergies capable of bringing about “new products” is high. Compared with classical models of production, these are non-operational collaborations that build products from the knowledge they share.

Products of such collaborations may be environmentally friendly objects, architectural structures or experimental elements that unite the regions of Hungary and their people’s traditions in a natural way, with no pointless differentiation between high-tech, research science or constructivist tradition, an ancient weaving technique inherited by the Romungro of Szendrőlád, the straw mats of Tápé or bundled cables in a media lab.

Our work, in short, interprets the artistic process from a socioeconomic perspective, with artists becoming “industrial managers.”

The installation combines three elements (weaving, painting, projection – see the illustration attached) which together overlap, and enmesh the structure of the pavilion. A spatial illusion built from the structural model of a beehive painted on the wall and the floor initializes a web of basket-woven nests that weaves through the exhibition space. The traditional materials used to weave baskets mix with conductors, sensors and light conductors (leds, optical cables, etc.) so the structure can be programmed.
The network of woven nests (the larger ones allowing for visitors to lie in them) is also a screen for the projection, which is placed in the darker unit (on the left) of the pavilion.

Drawing by El-Hassan Róza
Drawing by Éva Köves
Drawing by Andrea Sztojánovits

Proposal az 58. VELENCEI KÉPZŐMŰVÉSZETI BIENNÁLÉRA, Ludwig Múzeum Archív

[1] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (English translation, 1980). A Thousand Plateaus. Translated by: Brian Massumi. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 2nd Volume, 1972-1980)

“As a model for culture, the rhizome resists the organizational structure of the root-tree system which charts causality along chronological lines and looks for the originary source of ‘things’ and looks towards the pinnacle or conclusion of those ‘things.’ A rhizome, on the other hand, ‘ceaselessly established connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles.’ Rather than narrativize history and culture, the rhizome presents history and

culture as a map or wide array of attractions and influences with no specific origin or genesis, for a ‘rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo.’ The planar movement of the rhizome resists chronology and organization, instead favoring a nomadic system of growth and propagation. In this model, culture spreads like the surface of a body of water, spreading towards available spaces or trickling downwards towards new spaces through fissures and gaps, eroding what is in its way. The surface can be interrupted and moved, but these disturbances leave no trace, as the water is charged with pressure and potential to always seek its equilibrium, and thereby establish smooth space.”

[2]Scott Lash and Celia Lury: Global Culture Industry: The Mediation of Things (2007. Polity Press)