CARE TAKING


In the summer months 2021, The Watch will welcome Nina Torp, Ciarán Walsh and Vanessa Brazeau/Lena Skrabs/ Paloma Sanchez-Palencia/Stefan Klein.
Mar Fjell/Malin Arnell from last year open call will also join us this summer.  


CIARÁN WALSH



For my residency at The Watch I will focus on the surrounding parkland of Schlesischer Busch, and use gestures of landscaping as a departure point in order to explore both concepts of the Picturesque, as an idealogical heritage from the European Romantic tradition, and the sometimes conflictual contemporary discourses around so-called ‘desirable' and ‘undesirable' habitations within the park itself. The idea of the urban park landscapes as we know it in Germany – the Volkspark – derives infact from an original importation of the culture of English landscaped parks, but their rise in popularity over the 19th Century is linked to German Romantic ideals, the foundation period of the German state, and the emergence of public space as expressions of local municipal identity. 

I want to explore the evidence of landscaping acts in the park: pruning, weeding, cultivation, planting, care, ordering and prohibition, and build a visual metaphoric system that speaks to concepts around beauty, recreation, inclusion and exclusion, and comes into dialogue with those who actually inhabit the park. The primary act of the residency will be a program of active observation and on-site artistic research in and around the park environment immediate to the tower, as well as indoor, studio-based research, and will be conducted through a mix of photography, video, written text, and work with archival material.  

Ciarán Walsh is an artist based in Berlin, whose work explores themes such as loss, transformation, identity, and precariousness. Working primarily through sculpture, video and texts, he investigates allegory in representations of both the supernatural and the natural world within contemporary popular culture, European folk traditions, and the heritage of Romanticism.

His work has been shown at the Irish Musuem of Modern Art (Dublin), Kunsthalle Bratislava (Slovakia), Project Arts Centre (Dublin), Ujazdowski Castle CCA (Warsaw) and Light & Wire Gallery (Los Angeles), among others.

His artist's novels, Vortices and The Sickness, Book One, are held in the permanent 'Book Lovers’ collection at MuHKA (Antwerp). Additionally, Walsh has curated a number of public commissions and art projects in Ireland, the UK and Germany, collaborating with various artists, writers and institutions.

www.ciaranwalsh.studio



MALIN ARNELL / MAR FJELL


Image: Malin Arnell, I am not quite sure. This is an arduous terrain (again), 2016, (videostill).

We, artists and researchers Malin Arnell and Mar Fjell aim to bring together, and further develop some of the experiences, methods an formats we have developed during our ongoing collaboration within “In Each Other’s Company”. We feel a strong need for self-other-care. To tell a specific story. To take a stand. Therefore we need to come together. To be together. To spend timespacematter together – in each other’s company. To build strength. To find the movements, words and materials that can hold and unfold this story. Make it live, to kee us alive. We will engage in and invite other queer critters to collectively vibrate – to create affirmative actions, empowering experiences and healing potentials in and around the Watch Tower.

We will organise gatherings and participatory actions during our stay at The Watch, engaging through questions such as: How can the making of care and collectivity, through artistic practice, have a healin effect on queer, non binary and trans persons? How can we use specific frequencies (created by sound waves) to make imprints upon matter, which change energies and emotional states? What is needed to develo inter-dependent trust and courage? How do we mediate care and vulnerability through a temporary and performative practice?

Mar and Malin’s residency was originally scheduled for  the summer 2020.
When Malin Arnell, PhD and Mar Fjell, MFA, come together, they become an interdisciplinary art worker, collaborator, researcher, educator, and musician, within socially engaged and performative practices. Since 2017, they have shared breaths through Los Angeles, New York, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Treignac, Turku, Skomvaer, Bolzano, among other places. Now inhaling Berlin.

They explicitly do affectivity within a queer eco-erotic ethics of polymorphous perversity and care making. They explore conditions fo participatory practices in territorial environments by emphasising the sticky shivers of (self-)touching through vibrating togetherness. Masturbatory cooperation, and a dis-location of those frictions, open up an unending dynamism of entanglements aka everything in the name of all things queer.

With the support of The Swedish Arts Grants Committee and Kone Foundation’s Saari Residency in Finland, they are now working towards establishing sustainable collaborative long-term queer engagements under the name “In Each Other’s Company”. Between January-June 2020 Mar is hosting the project ”A Call for Care and Connection” in their studio, during their residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, as a part of the development of ”In Each Other’s Company”.

www.malinarnell.org, http://dissertationthroughaction.space/
https://marfjell.wordpress.com/



VANESSA BRAZEAU, LENA SKRABS, PALOMA SANCHEZ-PALENCIA, STEFAN KLEIN


"After the 2007 earthquake." by San José Public Library is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Over the course of our artistic practice and part-time jobs in collaboration with cultural institutions in Berlin and internationally, we noticed a clear unbalance between what has been promoted to the outside public and what has been practiced in the inside structures of these institutions. This led us to a series of frustrations and to the idea of working on a manual with simple practical solutions to be applied by institutions and by individuals in their daily life.

The manual aims to combine structural thoughts and guidelines on how to consider and be mindful of care in practice. Structured as a draft, we see it less as a manifesto and more as an ongoing process that is in itself open to an unlearning process. Our manual can be considered a fluid model – both during the research process, but also in a constant discursive shift throughout practical implementation and re-evaluation.

We consider the draft a lasting model. We hope to create a manual that encourages users to adapt and re-work its contents. Rather than one big gesture, we believe that this process should remain open-ended and sustainable on the micro-level, that it can continue to grow and stay relevant without us.
Lena, Stefan, Paloma and Vanessa met during their studies in the MFA program Public Art and New Artistic Strategiesat the Bauhaus Universität Weimar. They collaborate in several projects and share a passion for bad jokes, bicycle tours and kimchi.

Vanessa Brazeau’s work implements socio-political themes into athletic frameworks to reach audiences beyond the art world. She is most interested in the simplification of complex ideas for the understanding and accessibility of the general public. www.vanessabrazeau.com

Lena Skrabs investigates the absurdity of the human species. Her work revolves around the performative aspect of everyday life with a focus on the subjects of work, leisure, play and their relationship to one another. www.lenaskrabs.com

Paloma Sanchez-Palencia’s work consciously forces the obviousness in an anti-heroic mission. Promoting concepts of averageness is her declared aim and the celebratory possibilities of the ordinary are her main topics of research and practice. www.palomasanchezpalencia.com

Stefan Klein runs the independent publishing house VERLAK. He has experience with small-edition art book production, curation, formatting and layouts. In 2018, he was a fellow at the ZK/U in Berlin, researching on the implementation of quality standards through the Commons in (Art) Institutions.
www.www.stefanklein.org

NINA TORP



For the residency at The Watch I will explore the theme “caretaking” in relation to how we acquire knowledge about the past and what kind of mechanisms we use to preserve it.

I propose to reflect on the theme “caretaking” by continuing my exploration into archaeological methodology. The archaeological excavation methods used today originated in the late 19th century, as a consequence of the development of modernity. In addition to the fact that the methods are scientifically justified, they have over time also become a cultural framework.

When archaeologists dig into the layers of soil, they dig in a grid pattern, with coordinates for each square. Their methods involve to lay a grid pattern over the landscape, so that the earth is systematically examined, square by square. After registration and archiving, the artifacts get stored in a museum, removed from the context in which it was found. Removed, from the layer of soil (with traces of dwellings, living space, food, pollen, hearth, coal etc.) where the prehistoric human being had laid the object or lost it. -What happens to our perception of the object when we see it in a museum, far from its original context?

Further, the residency, involves to reflect on the theme of “caretaking” of a protected public building, as the watchtower is, with its complex political history, and to examine how the preservation of it is done over time. The watchtower can be regarded both as a museum and an archaeological object in itself.
Nina Torp is an artist living in Oslo and Berlin. She works interdisciplinary with archaeology, architecture and cultural history. Her work deals with perception and memory. By researching, analysing and interpreting cultural and historical material, she explores how culture and collective memory are created. Her projects often start with an artefact, an historical motif or a cultural phenomenon. She makes installations in a multitude of media; sculptures, series of photographs and videos.

She works site-specific, focusing on the architecture of places like the Historical Museum in Oslo, archaeological excavation sites, Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin, the Vigeland Museum and the Carl Berner Tube station in Oslo. She has published four artists’ books documenting these projects.

For several years she has collaborated with archaeologists and scientists at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo; she has followed the work on twenty archaeological excavations and in addition the subsequent work in the museum and archive. The interdisciplinary art project discussed archaeological methodology, the significance of history and the similarities between art-making and science.

http://www.ninatorp.com
https://www.situasjoner.no/home-english