In November 2015 German artist Angelika Höger, who is currently overseeing a selection of the library at her studios at Artists Unlimited in Bielefeld, visited Cork for a solo show at the Sirius Arts Centre. While in Ireland herself and Helen Horgan presented some short films at The Guesthouse from their ongoing collaboration.
The image above shows a still from ‘Dunkirk'(left) a two-channel film piece Horgan made en route to Bielefeld. Below film maker Matthias Müller is pictured leafing through ‘The Art of Amusing‘ by Frank Bellow and John Grant (1890) (BLF203); a popular title with the Bielefeld artists who have formed a group to work with the book. This is one of a number of regular groups now meeting in The LFTT Library at Angelikas studio in Germany to work with the curated section of the library that remains there until spring 2017.
Monday the 10th of August 2015: Storyboarding for The LFTT Library Translation Tour: ‘Road Movie’ begins in earnest. Over five weeks the trip took in six countries including nineteen cities and covered 6,531kms overland – so we have a lot of editing to do! Follow the projects ongoing progress here and at the new LFTT Library Twitter page.
Below: Metaphorically letting our imaginations run wild near Manoir de Brion, Dragey Ronthon, Normandy!
Our first stop heading south from the Schloss in Brandenburg was in Dresden, capital of the Free State of Saxony. Crossing the bridge over the River Elbe we both let out an audible sigh at the sight of the grand Baroque and Rococo buildings lining the waterfront. Later on in the hotel reading ‘Germany’ by J.F Dickie (TRNS 141) we found that this is a routine response for new visitors entering the city, in fact it is expected. The ‘Germany’ travel guide also told us that Dresden was the home of ‘gemütlichkeit’, an untranslatable german phrase meaning a kind of cosy warm feeling of belonging and social acceptance. We spent our time there in search of this phenomenon.
The LFTT Library collaborated with Polish artist Aga Tamiola and The Emergency Kit for Neuroskeptics at The Schloss Wartin Summer Salon to produce the Language Confusion Clinic; an intimate workshop style ‘clinic’ in the beautiful surrounds of the Castle Wartin estate. Drawing on tools developed at Artists Unlimited, Bielefeld concerning language barriers and mis-translations as productive of intercultural knowledge sharing, and combining this with the neurological interests of Tamiola and the aesthetics of psychiatry – The Language Confusion Clinic employed anti-rational methods to reveal serendipitous associations in thought amongst a group of strangers.
A selection of books from The LFTT Library from differing historical and geographical cultural contexts was made available to the group as a medium of dialogue. This select slice of the archive was paired with the Emergency Kit For Neuroskeptics which added some cross associative poetic flair. Two bells were employed as signals to request a desire to read either from the Library or the Kit. The third bell signalled a wish to personally free associate with the imagery that revealed itself from the texts. During the group session strange tangents rose to the surface of our collective thoughts, enabled by this simple triangular framework.
Within the high academic context of The Schloss Wartin Summer Salon; a project initiated by the Yale University Alumni Club in Germany e.V. and the Collegium Wartinum Foundation, participants of the Language Confusion Clinic expressed a cathartic pleasure in this anti-dogmatic mode of reasoning and social knowledge sharing. The Emergency Kit for Neuroskeptics is a joint project of Aga Tamiola and Sean Erickson.
The second stop on The LFTT Library Translation Tour was at The Schloss Wartin Summer Salon* in Brandenberg, Germany in collaboration with Polish artist Aga Tamiola and Emergency Kit for Neuroskeptics. Billed as ‘a survival kit to help a modern person be more human in a time of neuroscience’ the ‘E-Kit’ is a fragmented poetry anthology re-presented in a neuro-labs slide box, a receptacle which once contained cross section images of rats brains. As literal ‘slices of thought’ the E-Kit’s text fragments (coincidentally of a scale commensurate with the limits of a twitter post) are further employed in sympathy with the early Dadaists as a performance prop, allowing the subconscious thoughts of artist and audience to speak through the medium of the Kit. Read More
How can language be otherwise heard, seen, tasted or touched by and for its reader? How can reading and re-writing be a collaborative, sensory experience? In what way does the transformation of text from one medium or language into another effect its cultural perception?
In June 2015 The LFTT Library comes to Artists Unlimited as part of The LFTT Library Translation Tour, a 4,000km road-trip and practical exercise in cross-country re-interpretation. In collaboration with artist Angelika Höger The LFTT library will expand on it’s meaning potential by opening itself up to ‘foreign’ readings. A specially curated selection of the library has been made which includes books from the natural sciences, gardening, practical instruction manuals and new age self help guides and forms a kind of cultural ‘how-to’. The project asks; How do personal and local differences effect this idea of the universal ‘manual’? Are technologies like google translate enough to bridge the gap, or is something more like a real time conversation required?
This selection, which will remain at Artists Unlimited under the care of Höger until summer 2016, was launched in the gallery on the 12th of June, allowing artists and audiences the chance to meet the library and discuss further potential involvement with the project at Artists Unlimited over the course of the coming year. (Images above show the ‘Paper Work’ room at Artists Unlimited, Bielefeld. June 2015)
In addition LFTT Director, Helen Horgan invited participants to become part of The LFTT Library Tour: Film in Translation, the ongoing film document of the tour, by contributing ‘misreadings’ and ‘mistranslations’ stemming from the alien content of the newly re-contextualised books. Interested participants were invited to select from the library short texts which exhibit curious difficulties in understanding, whether stemming from language barriers or locally found confusions. These texts/confusions will be worked on and transformed becoming part of the narrative of the film as a document of ‘translation in action’. If you are interested in getting involved with The LFTT Library at Artists Unlimited or would like to learn more email The LFTT at email@example.com or (Artists Unlimited) Angelika Höger at firstname.lastname@example.org .
An idea with reach is said to have “legs” and the word translation was historically used as a term to describe the movement of objects, particularly sacred ones, from place to place. (Image above shows the ‘Music Work’ room at Artists Unlimited, Bielefeld. June 2015)