history and its memory… memory and its history

While talking to people about the limitless possibilities of delving into aspects of memory… while some said it is scientifically proven that we do not remember things before the age of seven, to some one narrating their earliest memories as a child of eighteen months being pushed along in the parks of crystal palace… to observations on ‘political dementia’ – as in memories being methodically erased by rewriting of histories… i chanced upon an article that Dr.Meenu Gaur had written sometime back and published in a Sarai post… shared below is an extract from it:
No body talks about things such as the supply of electricity in the camps, for instance, which might be many times better than in Kashmir, where one may get electricity for merely an hour in a whole day in the bitter winters.

The Kashmiri migrants carry a miniaturized, idealized Kashmir in their hearts. The memory of Kashmir is also a ritual of remembrance. Some of these narratives stemming out of personal experiences might seem suspect when measured up to certain facts about the life of these migrants in Kashmir but nonetheless they hint at a complex reality. A complex reality which involves a rejection of what the French historian Pierre Nora calls “the terrorism of historicized memory”.

motiroti archive online

motiroti archive covering most of its projects from the last 21 years is now available online.

Providing a valuable source of research for students, scmotiroti archive onlineholars, artists, collaborators and producers it charts the journey of the company. This archive is by no means exhaustive neither is it accompanied by critical discourse or writings. It is a visual treat never the less and with short accompanying texts on content and context, it creates an opportunity for me to acknowledge all those who have been part of this bigger picture and without who agency, collaboration, participation and generosity these works would never be made possible.

And I hope it creates an opportunity for you to be able to see how the narrative of motiroti has evolved and to contribute to ways in how the organisation can continue to develop!
motiroti is an internationally acclaimed arts organisation led by Artistic Director Ali Zaidi. The company was founded in 1996 by artists Ali Zaidi and Keith Khan, who worked together from 1989 to 2004. 

ARL -01… on memory

Memory = Identity


What is memory? How is it triggered?

Personal memory vs collective memory vs received memory…

What happens when memory fades or is suddenly lost?

And what of amnesia… forced by illness or forced by politics?

 Memories are crucial to our sense of self, community and society but they are also fragile, tentative and contested. Understood in popular culture to be primarily a cognitive/mental phenomenon this Lab intends to expand our understanding of memory by exploring it also as an embodied, sensorial and social phenomenon. That is, memory resides as much in our flesh and body as it does in mementos and memorabilia and social relationship as it does in the mind.

How then do our senses, material objects and relationships trigger memories that can both locate and dislocate us?
Our memory makes us who we are and the loss of it frightens us more than the prospect of death.

All of these and more will be explored and researched through the perspective of artists, science and society at large, leading up to an intensive camp/lab period with my other associates and artists in December 2010.
 Public talks and showings of the early stages of work coming out of the camp/lab will be presented in later in autumn this year. The thoughts and ideas brewed up in this session will be carried forward to a second camp/lab planned to take place with collaborators and perhaps hosted in India and Pakistan. By summer 2011 a new immersive installation will emerge from this process and be ready to tour!

Follow my tweets, meanders and more… pls do contribute with your insights and observations too.
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I like boundaries.
Endless horizons and MRI scanners equally freak me out.
I like outsiders who are inside and insiders who are constantly pushed out. 
I like blur… not the band, blur as in circles of confusion that determine what is in focus and what is out of focus. 
Blurred boundaries between the public the private. 
So after a long time I recently overdosed on gallery art.

I bought membership for Tate and more recently the Royal Academy to avoid queueing for having to see art.  It also means my friends (including my couch-surfers) can come and see the exhibitions as my guest. And I can have the use of member’s cafe for meetings and social networking in the centre or just a good coffee without loud blaring music.

I took Yoon sung, my couch-surfer from Seoul to see Pop Life : Art in a material world. On level 4 a long queue snakes on itself three times at the ticket counter. Pop Life flashes in neon with a collage of iconic artworks by some of artists from the show. The staff checking the tickets on this saturday afternoon is looking a bit grumpy and tired. Many congregate to the threshold of this gallery to get a free peek. Koon’s steel Rabbit and Murakami’s Hiropon are strategically placed further cooing and acting as a promising trailer for what lies within… within the Tate this gallery creates a boundary between the public – the Free and the Paid. 

“Good business is the best art” said Warhol, the grand father of Pop. Whether the exhibition furthers the scope of rhetoric or not, it is a fantastic illustration of re-inventions, of branding, of slick marketing tactics that create ethical and aesthetic tsunamis now and again.

Having crossed the threshold, inside the gallery, people feel special, advantaged by having paid for their entry and having left behind the free public outside. Two further spaces within this floor are disadvantaged for the under 18 yr olds. Housing works of a sexual nature behind long alleys and closed doors and a 10 year old naked Brooke Shields removed by our Scotland yard. A young lady argues about age discrimination while Dad scratches his head, she insists she has seen it all! Another large door conceals a sexually charged exhibit… adults hover by the shut door as if in a moral dilemma. Seeing people drift out non chalantly gives them courage to walk in to what is a shrine to Koons et Cicciolina. In various printing techniques and over life size disneyfied sculptures and the same again in miniaturised clear resin, the couple are seen fucking. One lady in her seventies adjusts her specs to inspect the texture of semen, says to her younger companion, “la crema completamente si coagula! and they walk out of the space.

Is this the art I personally aspire to?? 

Frankly – NO!

I say no, in the same way I don’t aspire to monarchy. Its complex and I don’t feel capable of presenting my arguments. It has a ‘hmmm…. interesting’ factor for me.

I would still go and see it to experience it, the work as well as a chance to see the people.People the audience as they interact with the work hence making it a complete experience for me. Pop Life like many shows attracted wardrobes on legs, major shimmy moments 

throughout the exhibition, ranging from size 0 to max size 10, wearing impeccable clothes. Who ever said couture was dying? But then this is Pop and Pop is the show!! 

Interesting indeed to watch Warhol’s meanderings on death and make-up… made me wonder if Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley studied the interview to create Patsy Stone!?

By the way the enfant terrible, as he gets the stick for his worst blue period, I have to say his identical twi

ns sitting next to each other under the butterfly paintings was not pop but made my day. Not only did I have the pleasure of discerning differences in their facial parameters… I engaged with the brothers. We talked. They felt rather relieved and suddenly felt human again. It had been a long stint and their break was due soon. They let me take their pictures, I had to strategise, send my guest to distract the invigilator so I could do a short clip on my I-phone. The provocation that photography is not allowed… or you cant touch the artwork. Well I tussled their hair and I took images where ever I really wanted to. Breaking the rules doesn’t excite me per say. Gallery CCTV cameras grabs a lot of us. Letting us keep a lil’ memento is okay specially as no flashes are fired!!??

Oh by the way have you noticed this trend? Artists making objects and selling it and all that sort of brand business gallery shallery… they are using the live sector. LIVE people contributing to their names… fourth plinth and now Hirst twins… wonder why?