[-empyre-] the mouth of Duck river

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Feb 26 03:34:00 AEDT 2016

dear all

thanks for some of the responses, and the very interesting discussion that picked up a little bit from my workshop report
on the guest - host (reciprocal) relationship, and the not really provocative proposition that refugees or immigrants who come to
our villages are our guests.  Thanks also to Pau (and I'm sorry I asked about the 42 refugees, it seems such a peculiar to address the forty-two,
and yet, have we addressed eight, five, one? how many do we speak to?) for raising specific questions about art/activism and "gestures"

And finally how could we (artists) be 'hands on'? In Ai Weiwei's way? Going to the camps? Displaying statistical data and images of the 'refugee crisis', like Massive attack is now doing in their last tour? (very effectively indeed). I feel paralyzed in front of this overwhelming panorama, and I confess that I tend to blur everything as a self-defense*..

Isabelle has returned to work at the 'Jungle' camp in Calais, and I much appreciated what she sent us - especially as I had my own doubts and uncertainties about
futile gestures of the kind that Ai Wei Wei performed, and partly I was struggling to comprehend Ricardo's references to "gesture" and "kinopolitics" (this misleading term) (I asked this before, when I wondered how
the migrant from Honduras or Guatemala will download the border tool app when she crosses, say, from Mexico to Arizona and loses her way in the desert?)

>> [Ricardo schreibt]
I often connect the performative matrix (or kinopolitics) of the gesture/s that TBT functions in as an expanded sense of Brecht's gestus (that sounds like justice). 
So that movement across border-scapes towards water/sustenance as a way to manifests a set of social relations: or undocumented or citizens  without borders , data-body relations, or geo-relations of flow, blockage, alter-navigations. 
And yes the question of the intimately connected sense of the political and conceptual become part and partial of TBT's  recombinant theater. 

This to me is a very rarefied conceptual territory; so does the TBT function more deliberately within the US as a rhetorical activist strategy? or can it save lives or show paths to water to the desperate migrant?

If I may ask Tanja Ostojić  – whose work I encountered in another workshop last November, when Marina Gržinić pointed me to the photographs (e.g. "After Courbet, L´origine du Monde")
- how does one "refuse to claim any particular nationality" when moving between the former east and the former west? At what point do artistic gestures (like the passport from NSK's "state in time" that I hold)
become ineffective, ridiculous, or arrogant? 

Yet your work, Tanja, seems to raise such important questions about sexual violence, degradation and self prostitution which we also began to talk about in these past days. Please tell
us more about your current work...

Johannes Birringer

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