Seminar 8 - Nuno Sacramento – W OR M - Discussion about Creative Ecologies with the City 

Description 
1st Section, to have a look around the exhibition, to take notes and engage with each art work. 
2nd Section, to discuss our response to the exhibition.  

Personal Reflection 
I found the exhibition had a range of items to view, that build up a narrative, that was not necessarily evident in each individual piece.  The series of images with the bull, I felt a bit conflicted regarding, in that I found the images themselves were powerful with an interesting repetitive element, that had a sense of futility to it. It wasn’t until the response/crit in which some of the symbolism of the bull was suggested. I feel that the information (or lack of it) offered, pushed me towards a different understanding, in which I was perhaps looking at it as a wrestle between man and our surroundings, rather than a political aspect. 

This is from Mladen Miljanović’s website and is a different format from the display at Peacocks. At the exhibition it was a grid format of 9? framed prints, which were placed over a larger print. The display worked well I felt, but the quality of some of the prints, alignment and framing, were not up to the standard that I would have expected for exhibition.  
The ‘Sounds of Homeland’, was interesting with the drone footage, and the men’s background. I felt that it was well produced, but I didn’t understand the language of the song itself, and although there were subtitles, I found the setting of the exhibition, the headphones, the music and being conscious of those around me, I found it difficult to concentrate on it. This could have been easier to follow if it was quieter in the exhibition.  
Next to this there was a similar video with some musicians, in a botanical garden - "A Sweet Symphony of Absurdity". This was easier to follow, but had similar constraints I felt, due to the busyness of the show. I also felt that as it was very similar in the way it was shot, and the format that it took, that I didn’t really get much from it, rather merging it in my understanding with the previous piece. In reading Mladen’s website, there are some strong themes that are identified within the work; however, I didn’t really pick them up during my viewing. I feel that if I had read this first, I may have taken more from it. 

The next piece was ‘Taxi to Museum’, which from the reading at the show, it was clear that the piece had been a performance, in the past, and the images were taken from the performance. This gave an interesting dynamic. As it showed on one hand the limits of performance pieces, and the longevity associated with these, and on the other, these pieces took on a different significance, one that was separate from the original artwork. This was something that could be interesting moving forward for myself as if I am looking at producing imagery that has a finite length to it, then the documentation of these works, then could become a work in itself. However, my concern regarding this, is that if you are building in a finite lifespan for the work, does documenting in a more permanent means, defeat the point of creating the work with this concept? 
The final piece was in my mind the most prominent feature of the exhibition, "Do You Intend to Lie to Me?", which was shown on a screen, with the audio on for all to hear. I felt that this dominated the whole exhibition, as even with the headphones for the other sound pieces, the sound of the sirens and helicopters in this piece, bled through the headphones, and often drowned out the music. I felt that there was a lot of threat to the piece, as without knowing the full story, it was difficult to decipher if the events were ‘real’, staged, or a fictional film. 
The piece was well produced, and (once explained) had an interesting narrative. However, there was a dark undertone to it, which due to my limited knowledge of the Serbian and Albanian conflict, I wasn’t comfortable in viewing it.  
Although not a piece as such, but there were the marks left from where Mladen had handcuffed himself to the pillar in W OR M. This, like the Taxi to Museum piece, was thought provoking. As I had missed the opening night, I hadn't witnessed the act that I was seeing the remnants of, instead I was being told of it, and seeing marks to corroborate what I was being told. This is something that I was interested in experimenting with, for my own practice, whether there is a way to take some of the concepts and apply it to a medium which is based in the capturing of moments in time, to then display to others in often an alternative location. Although the photograph is an object that does what the marks on the pillar did, I am interested moving past the photograph, is there a way to tell the story of an event that took place on a photograph, and now no longer appears? This is something I will have to research further. 
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