Announcing the Publication of the Xpeditions Documentation…
Those of you who have been following our adventures, investigations and interventions over the last three months will know that 28 artists and researchers have visited five countries (Norway, Sweden, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan) on two Xpeditions to the physical CORNERS of Europe in search of inspiration for new work.
Starting this week we begin to publish their responses and reflections, their Docu-Art, on the two Xpeditions. As a whole the documentation offers a snapshot of these places. The two Xpeditions were very different in character: one in the far north of Europe beginning on the Norwegian North Sea Coast and the other in the Caucasus, ending in Baku by the Caspian Sea.
But although these places are at the geographical CORNERS of the continent they are not on the cultural periphery. The ‘periphery’ and the ‘centre’ are relative terms and they depend on where you stand. By changing position, the participants were able to take a fresh look at where they came from, and understand that even in what might seem to be a ‘corner’ there were vibrant centres of everyday life, art and culture.
In his book The Enigma of Arrival, Trinidadian-British Nobel laureate V S Naipail, describes the relationship between the observer/traveller and the reality they encounter – he shows that no matter how detached or objective you try to be, inevitably your perceptions of a place are affected by your own past experiences, beliefs and prejudices. These artistic documentations are both about the places we visited and the places we came from, the people we met and the people we are.
On both Xpeditions there was a wealth of experience and images. Some were superficial – we were just passing through. Others were more intense – such as the Piazza and Pazar interventions. But what really sticks in the memory are the one-to-one conversations and encounters with ‘ordinary people.’
These are initial reflections and responses: hopefully the documentation will offer a different, unexpected or – at least – alternative picture of these places – and hopefully become the inspiration that the artists can draw on to make new work and new collaborations. All the Docu-Art can be found here.