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SAVAGE: Names Dropping in the Pacific

Names dropping in the Pacific is a life project and will mainly happen on this webpage, gathering different materials: images, poems, short essays, sounds, archives… A bit like a diary weaving critical thoughts, fantasies, acts, theories, emotions.  

 

Names dropping in the Pacific is dedicated to the people of the Pacific, especially to the indigenous people like the Maori to which I belong and deeply tied to, but also to the American, Chinese, French, Japanese, mixed communities etc. who are the children of (post)colonization histories but who developed their lives there and have a true attachment to this vast immensity of sea.

 

Names dropping in the Pacific is also a salty ‘clin d’oeil’ to the colonial histories and conflicts that happened in this area for geopolitical and ideological strategies, exploiting stereotypes of the savage and occupying remote, invisible places to make happen the worse of humanity like nuclear essays (French Polynesia, Marshall islands etc.), wars  bombing (Hawai Pearl Harbour, Tahiti), but also with the contemporary Chinese communist plans of economical invasion of territories, destruction of environment and cultures in the Pacific.

 

 

Indeed, following the colonization of the Pacific in the XVIIth-XVIIthe centuries and since the middle of the XIXth century to now, the Pacific has been the very first and most strategic place for experimenting and implementing the systems of ‘globalization’ based on profit, romanticization of indigenous cultures and women stereotypes, submission of the people to Western and Asian standards. Again, the invisibility of such tiny archipelagos was and is still very convenient for continental nations to occupy, destroying atolls being with nuclear bombings, deporting people, getting bodies getting infected by radioactivity and other diseases, crushing coral reefs and islands and killing life environment  for the future decades and centuries.

 

Needless to say that Globalization is no more a Western concept but it is also an Asian and especially a Chinese ideological system today through strategies similar to the ones developed for One Belt One Road, promising trade, education (well you know what I mean…), financial help (well you know what I mean with indebtment and ideological submission of the autonomous or independent local governments).

 

I am the fruit of colonialism means I do not belong to any “pure, unique and exclusive” origin, but I made of a a very unbalanced mix of Tahitian, European (Danish, German, French, American) and Chinese roots. I am claiming this life experience because it radically changed my understanding of the official history of colonization. Of course I am and will forever be traumatized of official administrative, religious, economical colonization acts and atrocities, but I am also engaging in more constructive ways of considering alternative understandings of colonization:  many people and individuals who have been living in the Pacific have built invisible but powerful alternative recreation of localities based on unexpected combinations: for example forbidden love stories between Polynesian, French, Chinese, American etc. have made possible the emergence of new generations that are very much engaged in more complex and open attitude to life, cultural cooperation, artistic creation, bringing with them their own challenges, ideas, creations. For example the cooking and eating practices are just amazing in the multiple ways of using local ingredient to re-create European, Asian dishes. And this is just precious and more important than the limitative dichotomies about colonization.

 

And please understand that even the origins of Polynesians and the Maoris are very much unknown with many theories still opened to questions. So this add another deep layer in me feeling constantly rooted and de-rooted in the same time. For the best… Because I feel very far from and out of any enclosure of nationalism, localism, regionalism, territorialism, separation between “us” and “them”: I believe into this on going process of change, displacement, re-adaptation. Never integration… Since we are already des-integrated, while keeping safe cultural heritage and preservation of environment and quality of life.

 

In other words the ocean is our land. We are not only coming from small islands or archipelagos in the sea. Pacific is the OCEANIA to remember the words of Epeli Hau o’Faa, that is quite different from the Edouard Glissant concept of archipelagic dimension of islands.
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The Ones with No name: A Desire For Anomaly, 2020-2023

The Ones With No Name, A Desire For Anomaly, originates as an artistic project including sonic, visual, textual and performative productions, unfolding on a period of 3 years.

 

As a tribute to those who always fail, by choice or exclusion, to fit a name,
The Ones With No Name starts  with the question of a performative act that cannot be reproduced or be enclosed in an identity, a political system, a language, and that is doomed to disappearance.

 

We are trying to explore and invent alternative ways for infiltrating the order of discourses,  reacting to them from within, and creating counter-representations for the re-imagination of life.

 

The practice of naming is a rich and complex one, holding in itself different layers of name dropping, un-naming, de-naming, re-naming, especially when it refers to a private or collective history, colonization, adoption,  deportation, migration, concentration etc.

 

Working on the artificiality  and the mirroring effect of the image, The Ones With No Name is very much inspired by a « camp attitude » that consist of duplicating, appropriating, over acting representations. The narrative and the form enclosed in the « legitimated », « commodified »  image, often perceived as « natural », suddenly appears as a codified and entirely constructed one because of social norms, intellectual references, artistic disciplines, gender identifications.

 

The Ones With No Name reflects also very intimate feelings during the pandemic, the (self or imposed) quarantines, new arbitrary legislation and regulation that generate a mix of profound isolation, separation, solitude, vertigo, as well as of intense focus on extremely detailed and essential physical percepts, affects and artistic creation.
Thus, the challenge of this project is to translate and to rearticulate these percepts and affects
in a critical, constructive, generous, individual and collective experience.

 

Each occurrence of The Ones With No Name is unique and so aims to be (re)invented according to the specificity of each context.

The Ones With No Name, A Desire For Anomaly takes the forms of 
a sound
a sign 
a space in between 
a silence
a word
a picture
a gap
a montage
a combination
a cut
a noise
a friction
a construction
a blank
a body
a texture
a vibration
a resonance
a soul
a dis/re-appropriation
a trauma
a hope
a whisper
a disappearance
Not…
a video
an installation
a story
a music
a document
a fiction
a cinema genre
a musical genre
a visual display
Occurence #01

 

A black wooden platform (350 x 350 x 50 cm) is covered on its top surface with dark grey tatamis in order to welcome visitors who can gather, rest, chat, as well as read/watch/listen five videos and soundtracks released on 5 horizontal screens disseminated on the platform.

 

The installation is also made of nine linen fabric panels (280 x 100 cm each) suspended from the ceiling to the ground and they are discretely floating around the cubic platform. The blue, grey and beige panels have a quality of transparency and opacity, allowing visitors to see through in and out. Gaps are also managed in between panels so that the structure is freely opened and connected to the surrounding environment.

 

Eight of the nine panels are stitched on both side of the fabric with disseminated words in 6 languages stating “The Ones With No Name”. However, the viewer can rarely catch in one glance the full statements. Gaps, disseminations and combinations of languages are part of the installation. The impossibility to control language substantially acts the “differance” of the writing and reading processes (Jacques Derrida).
The six languages are:
– English: “The Ones With No Name”
– French: “les sans nom”
– Malay: “yang tiada nama”
– Maori (Tahitian):  “o te aita e i’oa”
– Simplified Chinese: “无名者”
– Traditional Chinese:”無名者”.

 

Five videos with five original soundtracks were created in 2021 to be released in loop on the horizontal screens:
(Not) A Vision”, sound composition, poem, video, 08:40
– “Close To Me Against You”, video and real sound capture,
02/21
– “怪獣 Kaijū Forever Remain (PandeMix)”, sound composition, video, 08:12
– “-ism”, sound composition, text, video,
05:25
– “Oblivious”, sound composition, text Universal Declaration of Human Rights, video, 07:19.
The videos are each time made of specific “montage” of image, text and sound related to poetical, mental, social and political situations.
Gaps, ruptures, movements, combinations in between these materials are more important than the simple “animation” or “narration” of a story.
Rawness, (dis)appearance, artificiality of image and text, sonic beats and resonance are also important components of the videos. 
Occurence #02

 

Raw statement or Essay. Please open PDF below.
Occurence #04 (creation on process)

 

Lecture performance with following materials:
– Taiko drum (improvisation)
– Modular synthesizer (improvisation)
– Electronic dj set (prerecorded sound sequences and instruments) remixed and improvised on live
– Recorded voice-off as spoken text fragments
– Projection of fragmented words on screen and body
– White professional choreographic floor covering

– Accessories
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A.C.T. – DEMOC(K)RACY, 2011-2014

 

Art…        Cooperation…      Transmission…

Democ(k)racy

Project

 

With the support of the Culture Program of the European Union
In many European countries, there are signs of withdrawal into separatist identities –
alarming evidence of a crisis of democracy.

 

Europe is now reaching the limits of an economic model which is resulting in
brutal social fragmentation and deepening inequalities between individuals and countries.

 

The conditions required for the exercise of democracy 
are now being suffocated by obsolescent administrative, 
legislative and communication structures.

 

The critical, educational and creative dimensions of art, meanwhile, are fundamental to the development and exercise of democracy.

 

In an era of globalization, 
we believe that difference, discontinuity and contradiction should constantly be cultivated through inter-relating the commonplace and the singular: 
these underpin our representations of reality.
In view of all this, we, the partners in the A.C.T Democ(k)racy project:
. Altart Foundation, Cluj-Napoca – Romania
. École européenne supérieure d’arts de Bretagne – France
. Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow – United Kingdom
. Kultumi Centar Beograda, Belgrade – Serbia
. La Criée contemporary arts centre, Rennes – France
. Onomatopee research centre, Eindhoven – Netherlands
 
. University of arts and design, Cluj-Napoca – Romania

 

uphold the following convictions:
  • In the face of withdrawal into separatist identities, we believe that the ongoing progress of European democracies in the era of globalisation depends on our ability to cultivate a continuous, inter-penetrable, porous dynamic with respect to otherness

     

  • In the face of critical, educational and creative challenges, we believe that art has the capacity to bring historic, cultural and social elements into relationship with each other in order to generate unpredictable representations, unexpected encounters and innovative creations
  • Amid a Culture which is over-administrated and decreasingly inventive, we believe that the vitality of contemporary creativity involves constantly tending a dynamic encompassing tension, transformation and the invention of cultural and artistic projects.
Together, the partners have designed the A.C.T Democ(k)racy project to encourage theoretical research and artistic creativity as tools of critical analysis and inventiveness with regard to new ways of engaging in democracy.
The A.C.T. Democ(k)racy project calls for a permanent commitment in favor of powerful experiments which can contribute to the practice of democracy in both art and thought, particularly by devising constructive attitudes with regard to new cultural challenges, as well as encouraging diversity in aesthetics, thought and culture.
The A.C.T. Democ(k)racy project is passionately in favor of movement, interchange and openness as the prime conditions for the free circulation of ideas and works.