msdm a nomadic house-studio-gallery for photographic art and curatorial research, an expanded practice of the artist's book, photobook publishing and peer-to-peer collaboration created by contemporary artist paula roush

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guest editing ISSUE 13 of CARPARK MAGAZINE

publisher and editor Constantine Tsapaliras
guest editor paula roush
contributors Motohiko Hasui, Henrietta Dubrey, Philip Tsapaliras
stylists Aya Tanizaki, Rebecca Davies, Hugo Santos, AnasLAb
hair Yuko Aoi, Hirokazu Endo
models Takato Yano, Miri, Hugo, Eleanor Turnbull, Super B, SaintClair
illustrations and collages Henrietta Dubrey
ISSN 2049-4419

Available at MAGCULTURE / GOOD NEWS / YVON LAMBERT / doyoureadme / Print Matters!

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BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY in Rigorosamente Libri Biennale del Libro d’Artisti

Rigorosamente Libri Biennale del Libro d'Artisti
Selected by Maddalena Carnaghi and curated by Vito Capone & Gaetano Cristino
Fondazione de Monte Uniti di Foggia
June 8- July 10 2019
Video preview here > Rigorosamente Libri 2019 | IV edizione
Related publication > Bus Spotting + A Story

Strictly Books … by Artists
Fourth edition of "Rigorosamente Libri", an international biennial exhibition dedicated to the Artist's Book.

Seventy-one artists of different nationalities, a rich exhibition made possible thanks to the collaboration, with the curators, of a group of experts, artists, art historians, archives of artists' books and gallery owners (Laura Anfuso, Maddalena Carnaghi, Alfonso Filieri, Raffaella Lupi, Teresa Pollidori and Stefania Severi).
"The exhibition highlights one of the assumptions at its base - said one of the curators, Gaetano Cristino - and that is that the artist's book cannot be harnessed in a 'genre', but constitutes, as Giorgio Maffei (one of the greatest connoisseurs of the matter) believed, a 'polyform object'. It is a book that transgresses the rules of the book to become form / space / theater of the most daring artistic variations, where writing and image, the substance and the tactile values ​​of the many materials used (from paper to wood to glass to stone to metals), also innovative and "strange", and many voices (of the poet, of the painter, of the sculptor, of the engraver, of the photographer …), they chase each other, confront each other, exclude each other, recompose themselves, dialogue, and become an infinite alchemical process of ever new relationships and achievements that manage to even tie past and present and speak to the user of the problematic reality of the world, and of their individuality, even when the pages are white or closed by the cover. And the exhibition itself has privileged the free approach to the works - the curator concluded -, without suggestions of diachronic readings or thematic or technical aggregations or related to materials: the exhibition is the historical precipitate of the individuality of the artists and is the uniqueness of their passions, their meditations, which each work must give back to us ".

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on Photography and Education

This issue of Photographies co-edited by Andrew Dewdney and Martin Lister focus on photography and education.
...For some, the future requires academics to acknowledge the sophistication of students' online practices; as Jackson puts it: “modes of production and consumption that are processual, communicative, spatial, temporal and performative”.

This is very much the territory of paula roush's ethnographic exploration, whose account starts with the historical archive of Anita Corbin's girls' subcultures documentation in 1981 and travels forward to document contemporary youth subcultures in real life, in online communities and in Second Life. roush's visual essay illustrates her students' engagement with the subcultural subject, and in her accompanying paper she gives an account of the teaching rationale and method of what she calls a/r/tography, the relational aesthetic of the artist, teacher and research:

My own identities as artist/researcher and teacher (a/r/t) are all allowed to be present simultaneously and I encourage the younger student-researchers I work with to think and act along the same lines. Moreover, “the acts of inquiry and the three identities resist modernist categorizations and instead exist as post-structural conceptualizations of practice”.

In relation to photography as a discipline (...) paula roush takes the view that theories which acknowledge hybridity prove more fruitful ground for the constitution of relational practices based upon art, teaching and research.

Read full editorial statement here
(2009) Editorial Statement, photographies, 2:2, 103-115, DOI: 10.1080/17540760903116457

and essay here>

Download fever: photography, subcultures and online-offline counter-archival strategies
Essay in Photographies Journal, Vol. 2 Photography and Education Special Issue and Symposium Issue.
Eds. Andrew Dewdney and Martin Lister. Taylor & Francis.  2009.

With its point of departure in a box containing Anita Corbin’s 1981 travelling exhibition “Visible Girls”, this text unveils an art/research/teaching project, with the aim of creating a counter-archive of current youth culture. It describes an artist’s engagement with archival practices and the way this presents opportunities to develop personal everyday histories that cross online–offline spaces that work as counter-memory narratives; narratives that are counter to academic, media and state accounts of youth culture as shaped by institutional agendas and moral panics. To locate the archive within the framework of counter-memory and counter-archival practices in this way is to work towards visibility.

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Protest Academy in Re-Inventing Radio REFLECTION

Words by Doreen Mende

In addition to their pieces for the show at the Kunsthalle, several of the EAR APPEAL artists—Justin Bennett, Rashad Becker, paula roush/msdm, Ultra-red, and Annette Weisser—were asked to devise works for radio to be broadcast by Kunstradio on Austrian public radio’s cultural channel Österreich 1 (Ö1), while the show was running, and to remain available online as downloadable MP3s. EAR APPEAL ON AIR was explicitly part of the overall exhibition concept in that the series of radio programs was designed not as an accompanying program but as an extension of the exhibition space.
The radio pieces all featured one of two aspects: working with found urban sounds or reflecting on the technology of the radio as a way of achieving an impact at the point of delivery in the external world. This created a concrete interrelation between inside and out that was put into practice and continued within the space of radio.
What makes the presentation of Audio Culture on the radio significant? Assuming that the presentation of art consists of a complex mesh of spatial, technological, institutional, and situational conditions, the specific character of presenting Audio Culture on the radio lies above all in its placelessness, situation-specificity, and everydayness. A radio set can be installed in various places and remain switched on around the clock: a radio set can host an instant, immaterial, and transportable exhibition, just as hats, publications, and boxes have become exhibition venues. The inside and outside of the radio space are manifested in the radio receiver’s on/off switch. But making an exhibition also means creating a space characterized by selection and presence. If, depending on broadcasting times, radio can be listened to on the street, in the car, at work, at home, or while jogging, then more than anything else, art becomes totally mixed up with the casual nature of everyday life. But this blending of art and everyday life is distinct from that activated by conceptual Fluxus artists like George Brecht and John Cage. Does art have a chance in the everyday white noise of radio if the listener does not have to give up his or her passive, receptive role? How can a «distribution of the sensible» be both called into question and reconfigure

Both paula roush/msdm (mobile strategies of display & mediation) and the Ultra-red group (for EAR APPEAL, Dont Rhine and Manuela Bojadˇzijev) used the Kunsthalle as a meeting place and discussion venue. Generally speaking, radio took on the role of postproduction as well as that of publication and distribution.

After periods in London and Leipzig, London artist paula roush localized her Protest Academy in the show in Vienna as a vital structure for cooperation, exchange, education, and information-gathering about audio tactics that articulate social or political resistance.
When does sound become information and protest?
As the setting for a workshop and as an installation in the exhibition, visitors had access to the protest archive begun in London in 2005 containing newspaper articles, CDs with songs of protest and peace, an opera libretto, theoretical text by Toni Negri and Gilles Deleuze, and a variety of projects and documentation by artists including Oliver Ressler, Temporary Services, and Melanie Jackson.

For her performances and collaborations, paula roush used the archive, with entries divided up into the four categories «What are we doing? What’s happening to us?What needs to be done? I prefer not to.» At the same time as being a collection of materials, the archive also acts as working material. On the radio, a record produced by paula roush and the artist Isa Suarez was played which brings together the contents of the archive in edited form. Like the archive, the four tracks on the record are ordered using the four categories, allowing the sound material to be presented in different contexts, such as live jam sessions or performances. Protest slogans can still be heard among the sound collages, but this reworking questions the degree to which information must be comprehensible if a praxis of resistance is to become effective protest.

Doreen Mende
Radio as Exhibition Space
in Heidi Grundmann et al. (eds.) Re-Inventing Radio Aspects of Radio as Art, Revolver 2008.
Full essay available here

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Protest Academy in dérive N ° 27 REFLECTION

review by Axel Stockburger

Module 01: Tactical Audio , a collaborative effort between London artist paula roush and the msdm collective, provided a comprehensive archive of auditory tactics and strategies of protest ( field recordings of demonstrations, radio broadcasts, auditory interventions, etc.) on vinyl records Visitors to the exhibition made to DJs of the material. This Tactical Audio Archive is accessible online and is constantly being expanded by new contributions. As part of the exhibition, a workshop and a radio program were held, which dealt with questions about the auditory representation of protest. Here it is exemplarily clarified which, often enough overlooked, importance auditory performance for the production of attention in public space, and at the same time researched how auditory interventions could be used for protest actions. 

Axel Stockburger
Beyond Sound Art
Ear Appeal«, exhibition at Kunsthalle Exnergasse 
dérive N ° 27 (Apr - June / 2007) 

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SOS:OK in Southwark Weekender

Will Pavia
Taking the biscuit
Southwark Weekender
15 oct 2004

Former workers from former Peek Freans Factory gathered at a Bermondsey art gallery last week to do their bit for the international state of emergency (..) The gallery is distributing food aid in the form of nutritional biscuits, cooked to a specially designated recipe, to visitors to the gallery and on the streets of Bermondsey. The exercise is partly a reference to a relief operation of 1870 during the Franco-Prussian war. When the prussians lifted their siege of Paris, Peek Freans supplied thousands of biscuits to the starving citizens.
Earlier this summer, artist paula roush organised a 'Memory Factory' gathering archive material and calling on former Peek Frean workers to come to contribute their memories of Biscuit Town. Her new exhibition is also a response to the hunger crisis which she believes comprises the real international emergency (...)
Crates of biscuits are being distributed by horse and cart on Tower Bridge Road and on the Blue (...)

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Annie Kelly, The Guardian, Society supplement
Bermondsey takes the biscuit Former Peek Frean employees back community
October 20, 2004

Bermondsey, in south-east London, was once affectionately known as Biscuit Town. Home to some of the largest biscuit factories in the country, it provided employment to generations of local families.
Now it's a very different story. The biscuit factories have closed, and many of their former employees are unemployed. The only businesses that come into Bermondsey now are the large property developers buying up old factories and turning them into gated residences for well-paid workers at nearby Canary Wharf.
But a group of former employees of the Peek Freen biscuit factory, one of the last to close its doors, in 1989, have reunited to give Biscuit Town a new lease of life. They were brought together by artist paula roush, who has won Arts Council funding to launch SOS:UK, a community project that explores the local heritage of deprived communities. roush invited ex-workers back to Peek Freen and has run a series of events celebrating the history of Biscuit Town. This weekend, the factory is hosting a mock emergency food distribution.
Continue reading here

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mud d’artiste included in

Global Tour: Art Travel & Beyond
Book designed by Mircea Cantor as a companion to the exhibition at W139 Amsterdam
Preview here

Global Tour

Boris Achour, Renaud Auguste Dormeuil, Zeigam Azizov, Davi de Balula, Alberto Baraya, Otto Berchem,Jordi Bernado, Candice Breitz, Mircea Cantor, Jota Castro, Coco Fusco, Meschac Gaba, Gerald, Hong Hao,IAT, Martin Krenn, Oliver Ressler, paula roush, Nika Spalinger, Manit Sriwancihpoom

Through its progressive development over the last two centuries, tourism has made a major contribution to our illusion of the world as a global village.
Destined to become the most important industry worldwide in the near future, it can be seen as an important metaphor of current cultural globalisation, as well as an extremely suitable area for developing critical approaches to the socio-economic mutations taking place across the globe.
Consequently, it comes as no surprise that many artists today are employing the language of tourism in their work, continuing an interest in tourism that has developed over the last couple of decades but working along different lines than the traditional approach.    
The Global Tour project, initiated and conceptualised by French curator Amiel Grumberg (1980-2004) brings together the work of twenty international artists who have each developed specific projects around the issues of travel and tourism, their many manifestations and their consequences for contemporary society. Launched in 2003, the project consists of an exhibition and a series of artistic actions designed to establish a dialogue between the art space and its immediate tourist environment. 

More about the exhibition here

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Participatory Architectures reviewed

3rd Dimension Magazine
Paradigm Store at Howick Place
23 October 2014
Paradigm Store, features works by seventeen UK and international artists. Strong themes of architecture and design run through the exhibition which explores issues of the decorative and the functional, through a range of site specific installations, large scale sculpture, paintings and film; many works have never been shown in the UK before.
(...) The viewer is immediately drawn in to paula roush’s complex, absorbing installation, ParticipatoryArchitectures (2014) which almost acts as a cri de coeur (fig.14). This work is based on the period after the coup d’état in Portugal in the early 1970s when there was a surge of utopian building projects and creativity. Then after the economic setbacks of 2008, Portugal began selling these communes to developers, effectively for land clearance. Here, laid out dispassionately on makeshift tables that span the room, are poignant photographs, objects and memorabilia that resonate with disillusionment. Roush’s bricks are a metaphor for construction /destruction and also challenge the government with rebellion. She creates individual collages of all forty-one houses on the Apeadeiro estate in southern Portugal, and with a bitter irony, wraps them in the same ribbon the government uses to fasten its official documents

Icon Magazine
Paradigm Store
4 November 2014
The area surrounding Victoria station in London is undergoing a £2bn makeover of which one of the professed goals is to transform it into a "cultural district". To that end, the owners of 1-5 Howick Place – one of many office buildings that have sprung up in the area recently – have temporarily given over five of its six floors to art consultancy HS Projects, which has curated two exhibitions for the 80,000sq ft space: Interchange Junctions, which ran earlier this year and explored the themes of migration, trade and colonial struggle, and Paradigm Store, which ends this week.
The current show brings together new and recent work by 17 emerging and established artists that examines the blurred lines between art and design, decoration and function. The curators – Alistair Howick and Tina Sotiriadi – have taken full advantage of the vast space, spreading sculptures and installations sparsely across each floor with consideration of the architecture and consciousness of passers-by's views into the building. (...) Other works explore global themes. paula roush's Participatory Architecture, is a series of photos, documents and found objects relating to a now-threatened social housing development build in Portugal after the end of the Salazar dictatorship in the 1970s, when modernist architectural projects flourished.

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Order and Collapse: Found Photo Foundation

Order and Collapse: The Lives of Archives
With: Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Leslie Squyres (Laura Volkerding Study Center, The Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona), Jessica Bushey, Tyrone Martinsson, paula roush (Found Photo Foundation) and Peter Piller
Editors: Gunilla Knape, Niclas Östlind, Louise Wolthers, Tyrone Martinsson
Publishers: Hasselblad Foundation, Valand Academy at the University of Gothenburg, and Art and Theory Publishing. (part of Negative,  a series of publications that critically review and ana­lyse the practices, histories, and aesthetics of photographic culture)

The texts and artworks in Order and Collapse represent a selection of contemporary artistic and research-based approaches to existing archives, the act of collecting images and creating new archives.

The normative order and authoritarian use of conventional archives has long been criticised. This book explores the current digitally informed transformation and multiplication of archives with their increase in both accessibility and the amount of data produced, stored, and circulated. Despite improved search capabilities, docu­ments – including photographs and other images – are in danger of sinking into oblivion. However, new knowledge, connotations and materialities are also emerging.

The text Chaos of memories- Surviving archives and the ruins of history according to the found photo foundation by paula roush is available through the London South Bank University Research Open Access Repository

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Super-Private on Artdaily

Online art collection Infinite Multiple have enlisted msdm publications for its new range.

Infinite multiple is a new model for making and buying contemporary art; an online platform selling unlimited editions at accessible prices. Developed and managed by a London-based collective of artists and curators, the vision of infinite multiple is to widen the scope for owning and collecting art. The first set of 30 exclusive unlimited editions by 20 emerging and established artists is launched online at on 1st September, accompanied by an exhibition at Carroll / Fletcher in London.
Read more here

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Unstable media projects in

Portuguese Small Press Yearbook 2017: Feminist editorial positions
Editors: Catarina Figueiredo Cardoso & Isabel Baraona
Unstable Media, constructions and disruptions [read here]
The Book Dispersed and Do It Yourself: Art by Instruction are two curatorial projects by Unstable media (paula roush, Margarida Carvalho, Ana Carvalho & Sofia Ponte), discussed in the article.

More about Portuguese Small Press Yearbook here

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msdm books & installation part of

All Inked up
Book fair, symposium, workshops and exhibition
Kentʼs International Artist Book & Print Event
UCA Canterbury & The Brewery Tap Folkestone
curated by Rob Mcdonald/ container
13 October – 9 November 2017

Areopagitica (Milton’s Nose)

More about the exhibition  here

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Queer Paper Gardens: an approach to art writing

Wayne Burrows writes in Backlit Gallery meets Nottingham Writers’ Studio: When writing and visual arts meet, magic can happen, 9 April 2018

Backlit Gallery and Nottingham Writers’ Studio recently joined forces to organise An Introduction to Art-Writing, a series of workshops led by Wayne Burrows aiming to bring together all those in Nottingham with an interest in the connections and overlaps between writing and visual art in the city. Art-writing is probably most familiar in the form of exhibition reviews and essays on particular artists’ work, and while we are certainly covering that in our workshops, there are plenty of other possibilities and approaches worth exploring.

A good example of a work in which art criticism becomes art in its own right, Queer Paper Gardens, or The Wildlife of Symbols – a collaboration between the Portuguese artists paula roush & Maria Lusitano – explores the history of collage through the work of its female practitioners, from Mary Delany’s scientifically precise cut-paper botanical illustrations of the 1700s to Valentine Penrose’s surrealist Dons De Femininesmade in 1951. The beautifully produced five volume publication borrows its format from a 1934 edition of Max Ernst’s collage novel Une Semaine De Bonte, but uses the artists’ own collaborative photography, collage and drawing to highlight a less familiar path through the history and meaning of the medium itself

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ə/uh/-books: teaching and research editions and design

Selected to be part of PRINTed #4, ə/uh/-books project space participated in small-format fair dedicated to the field of singular publications, understanding this to include all kinds of editions that contemplate the idea of the book in the broadest possible sense. An arena for the publications generated through experimentation and research within the confines of the studio to be disseminated further afield, in the professional setting of a book fair.
PRINTed is generated from within an educational environment, with the aim of generating links between different centres from around the world where teaching and research is undertaken in the fields of printmaking, editions, and design.
PRINTed #4 is curated by Enric Mas and Jo Milne
Espai Cultural EINA Barra de Ferro
EINA  Centre Universitari de Disseny i Art
UAB Autonomous University of Barcelona April 2018
Further info about the event here
Full PRINTed publication here

Taking part this year are: London South Bank University / University of Leeds (UK) / Wild Pansy Press / University for the Creative Arts. Canterbury. Kent (UK) / Llotja Escola Superior de Disseny i Art / Facultat de Belles Arts de la Universitat de Barcelona / Metàfora. Barcelona / EINA. Centre Universitari de Disseny i Art de Barcelona (Adscrit a la UAB).

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Flora McCallica featured in

Carpark Magazine #12: an exploration of FEAR
Art Director: Philip Groth-Tsaparilas
Editor: Constantine Tsaparilas
Preview here

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Sex’n’database: a corporeal taxonomy

Sex’n’database: A Corporeal Taxonomy
Hand bound artist’s book with folded paper structure
29,5 x 126cm colour inkjet print folded onto 6 pages
accordion structure  (29,5 x 21 cm closed)
Epson 189 gsm paper and black boards (cover)
Editing and design: paula roush
Photographic source: Arab Image Foundation
msdm publications, 2015-2020

“Sex’n’Database: A Corporeal Taxonomy” was produced in the context of the research grant project “Found Photo Foundation: Sourcing from the Arab Image Foundation.” From June 22 to July 2 2015, Found Photo Foundation was in residence at the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut. This residency was supported by the Centre for Media Research (London South Bank University). This residency was primarily focused at sharing archival methodologies used by the Found Photo Foundation in its exhibitions and publications and explore the potential of the Arab Image Foundation’s photographic collections as source for photobook publishing. Two of the Arab Image Foundation staff —Hala Tawil, archivist/librarian and Charbel Saad, collections manager— assisted me.

During the course of the residency, I also drew on the Arab Image Foundation’s online image database as source for an artist’s book. The work I created, “Sex’n’`Database: A Corporeal Taxonomy” is a photographic object comprised of creative data visualisation and a bookwork. Both showcase a series of experiments done whilst querying/queering the photographic database via textual keyboard input. To focus on a small sample, I utilised only search words related to sexualities and corporeality and documented linked photographic sources as they rendered live on screen. Words (taxonomy) and photographs (collection) were captured via screenshots, and collaged to showcase the operating system crashing on overload. The resulting “panels” evidence the tension between two simultaneous processes: taxonomy (cataloguing practices) and photography (photographic practices), whilst also rendering visible gaps in the building of institutional collections.

My next step was to investigate how screen-based photography transfers to the structure of the book. One single (126 cm) inkjet print, with a panoramic collage of screen-captures, was  folded into a six folds accordion. The case also has an accordion spine that sustains the book vertically and stores it as a six pages codex. This artist’s book sets up an interactive experience and the emergence of a quasi-narrative relationship between the screen-capture and the print translation. The accordion structure, allowing the reader to expand more than one spread at a time, creates a time space sequencing that contrasts with the flatness of the screen.  Both works have become media archaeology, for the image database has since then been replaced by an open access platform with a very different interface.



"Sex’n’database: A Corporeal Taxonomy is part of :  

Activating the Archive 
PH museum online exhibition, July 24- Sept 24 2018
Curated by: Alejandro Acin & Isaac Blease, 
Activating the Archive presents the work of 10 artists that explore and question the malleable nature of visual archives and the many ways that they can be activated through contemporary practices.

Membrana magazine 3
Cabinet issue: Collecting Photographic Images
Editor: Jan Babnik
Sex’n’database: A Corporeal Taxonomy features as the issue's commissioned photo- essay
Ljubljana, April 2018

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Collage and collision, CELSO MARTINS

Collage and collision An artistic collaboration around the dances and counterdances of gender, retrieves collage as a mode of associating images

Celso Martins, Expresso Atual Magazine 2013

One of the most interesting aspects of the artistic production of Maria Lusitano (1971) over at least the last ten years has to do with the fact that, in most cases, we do not have a name to define exactly what it is she presents. None of this has to do with sacramental question "Is this art?" or any doubts related to the type of support that she uses- typically the video. With Lusitano, we have a genre problem. Her constructions are too fictional to fit simply in the documentary field, whilst too informative to have that arty condition that rests the usual observers with the routine expectations typical of contemporary art .


"Queer Paper Gardens'' a collaboration with paula roush, Portuguese artist based in London, is no exception. In fact, it is an intricate installation that combines and intertwines countless ingredients (drawing, collage, photography, furniture, objects , video , etc. ) but, in effect, what makes it complex is not so much the profusion of materials used but the logic overseeeing it.


In the centre of this tension we find two works: "Une Semaine de Bonté," a book in seven chapters edited by surrealist Max Ernst in 1934, and "Dons des Féminines," composed in 1951 by surrealist poet Valentine Boué Penrose in response, through the same means of collage, to Ernst’s book. But if Ernst associated a set of images where the feminine element was consecutively subjected to violent abuse by men or monstrous beings that were clearly male, Penrose’s implicit answer generates a pattern of the feminine placed outside the domestic space, open to travel and the unknown, and that is, on the contrary, an image of power and emancipation.


Without ever getting entangled in the ease of an obvious feminist rhetoric, "Queer Paper Gardens'' is organized around this tension that infects each of the seven steps of installation (an allusion to the seven days of the week used by Ernst). The result is not just a revisitation of collage’s creative device associated with Dada and Surrealism as an experiment dated and historically situated, but a reflection on the survival of that mechanism in the contemporary. Firstly, we need to say that the installation itself works like a huge collage, if we think that it associates different nuclei that in this association never lose its integrity. Additionally because, as in collage, the creative process herein tends to converge references that appear to come out of watertight worlds but which are able to meet and generate sense.


Let’s consider the drawing of large dimensions in which female homoerotic scenes intertwine with in images of architecture or fashion of different historical times, or the collages that use nineteenth century illustrated magazines manipulated in a way that gives them a behavioral and cultural meaning well beyond the one they had in their epoch. Or, in a central position to all this, the film takes the title of the exhibition, which is both a documentary about Valentine Penrose and her world and a bold stream of cultural signs contaminated by the question of the genre, stretching back to Victorian epoch or travel until the "Snow White" of Disney, or the cult film " the Hunger" by Tony Scott.


If, as Max Ernst himself once suggested, it is not the glue that defines collage, then what survives of it today is a certain idea of the visual thinking in network, where the images are associated in infinite combinations. Maria Lusitano and paula roush use this mechanism to illuminate ghosts, find affinities or detect collisions between things


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Residency with the Arab Image Foundation

Hala Tawil report to the Arab mage Foundation, Beirut 2015
paula roush residency with the Arab Image Foundation

Artist and lecturer paula roush was born in Lisbon and lives and works in London. roush teaches both art theory and practice at the London South Bank University and the University of Westminster. She operates in the fields of installation and publishing, where her work is positioned in relation to ongoing developments in photography, particularly the dialogue between analog and digital. These concerns emerge in the interplay among photo collections combining found, orphan and DSLR-produced photographs, where they constitute a critical, socio-political and aesthetic investigation of memory. She aims to bridge the gap between biography, the everyday and the archive.
Between June 22nd and July 3rd 2015, roush was welcomed as an artist-in-residence at the Arab Image Foundation. She was granted access to all the Foundation’s facilities with the intention of creating works informed by her readings of the photographic collections and her practice as an artist working with found photographs in both print and installations. roush’s residency in Beirut was made possible by The Centre for Media and Culture Research, London South Bank University.
Using materials present at the Foundation, roush’s method enforced limits and guided her process. It is ultimately reflected in her work’s aesthetics, layout, materiality, format and the juxtaposition of text and image. She describes her methodology as working through fragments collected in a limited time-frame. Stepping back and distancing herself from her projects, roush ultimately returns for further investigation and reflection after an allocated time has passed. The works roush produced fed off conversations, chance encounters and coincidences occurring within the space of the Foundation. She allowed her presence to guide the production process as it further structured and shaped the resulting works.


Points of interest: 
Portuguese presence
- roush approached the Foundation with what she described as a safety net: an ongoing interest in traces of the Portuguese presence in the collections of the Arab Image Foundation. This dovetails with her previous works and ongoing research on the subject.
- She was able to identify 10 relevant images on the in-house database and requested to view them in their physical format.
The Database
- roush re-visited the AIF in-house database in light of the content of the binder: images evoking sexuality, relationships, and the female figure, as well as a text by Dore Bowen: The Bridge Called Imagination: On reading the Arab Image Foundation and Its Collection.
- Intrigued by the format and the interface of the database itself, paula even noted its malfunctioning “glitches and crashes”.

- roush also collaborated with a Collection Management volunteer whose duty was inputting keywords.
- The volunteer attributed keywords to the otherwise unprocessed images in the EPS binder as roush recorded the suggestions. The process began systematically, although it developed into free-association as the volunteer “began drifting into the images and thinking out loud”.

“Questionable” content: EPS Collection
- Another point of interest for roush was “questionable” photographic content, what could be described as “sleazy, sexy, seedy and inappropriate”.
- She was directed to the contact prints of the EPS collection, assembled in two binders for consultation in the AIF public space.
- Due to the depiction of various intimate scenes and the inclusion of nude photographs in the collection, concerns arose regarding privacy of the photographer, and the subjects in the photographs.
- It should be noted that the collection has not been scanned, and the identities of those appearing the photographs remain undocumented.
- paula roush managed to meet EPS, interviewing him about the context of production of the images.

The Photograph as sculpture/object/image
- Upon viewing the initial images with keywords linking them to Portugal, roush became intrigued by the process of setting up and staging images for photographic documentation.
- roush then delved into the Al-Yom, collection of the personal research of the editor in chief of the national newspaper, influenced by the year 1975 (on 25 April 1974 which overthrew the regime of the Estado Novo.
- roush paired 85 photographs she had taken of objects from the Al Yom collection to sections of text from a book given to her by Sabbag on Beirut - A L'Ombre d'Une Ville (1993)
- roush also photographed the unprocessed collection of Bayroumi, a Studio Photographer from Saida, Lebanon who worked in the seventies.
- Not removed from their plastic encasings paralleled themes of privacy.

Overview on her practice as an artist working with photographic collections, most specifically the Found Photo Foundation
Discussing the method of accessing material at the Foundation: the EPS binder.
Displaying photobook “dummies”
Through roush’s work we understand the process of researching a photographic collection as a subtle negotiation of understandings. It is seen as the practice of acquiring and documenting photographs, the dialogue between digital and analog formats, the controlled environment of preservation, as well as conversations, accidents, and mere chance encounters within the space housing the collection.

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To leave is a bit like dying, Maria Caudia Bada

To leave is a bit like dying

Maria Caudia Bada, comments on nothing to undo 2015

To leave is a bit like dying. And to be reborn again -I would suggest- as I experienced many times under my skin. We have this ancient saying in Italy, a country that -like Portugal- historically experienced a large hemorrhage of souls going abroad, tired of their own country for too many different reasons. All these new aliens were plunged into totally different emotional and cultural shores, which started to mirror back, almost instantly, broken images of their once almost established selves. As the reflections on a multiple, shining surface, this photobook by paula roush reverberates of meaningful fragments aiming to pair into coupling doppelgängers, following the farewell journey from Sweden of her friend, Maria Lusitano, stretching along the past (Portugal), the present (Sweden) and the future (UK).

What comes out of it are quite humorous, original and scary pieces of contemporary Swedish reality, intermingled with personal and political memories. Ghosts from the past and the present macro and microcosms seem to populate this trip between Malmö and Stockholm. The migrant and/or trespassing identities present in the images separate alchemically into halves to be found and reconstructed as in an exciting treasure hunt of meanings, involving intimacy, current Sweden affairs and social policy, eerie landscapes. You can certainly recombine freely the photos and create your own personal path within the book, like skilled and imaginative hands playing Tarot. Or just sailing linearly through the pages and let the fragments speak their language to you.

 I let myself merge and separate, again build, again overlap and stratify and decompose the images and the coupling doubles I kept on finding in the book and...I had to start again. And again. And again. What have I found? Nothing to undo. Each time a sense of wonder and discovery. Each time, irreversibly, a new piece of my alien self, attaching emotionally to paula and Maria’s double and fragmented journey. Have a good voyage into it, then. I am sure you will enjoy the whole trip(s).

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Torn curled folded exhibition reviewed

Marwan El Tibi
paula roush fait revivre les archives du journal Al-Yom
Alayam Magazine
Beirut October 2015 


It is a work of precision, the artist photographer paula roush accomplished with Antoine Sfeir of Plan BEY and the Arab Image Foundation to present us "Torn, Folded, Curled", the exhibition which was held from September 23 to 26, 2015 at Makan in Beirut.
A short history of unrecoverable photos ...
"Torn, Folded, Curled" is the status given to unrecoverable pictures. Those which can neither restore or scan. The only way to keep them is to photograph, explains paula roush, photographer artist, researcher and teacher at the London South Bank University.
It was by pure chance that Paula had the opportunity to work on a small part of the photo archives of the Journal Al-Yom, abandoned after a long journey through the history of the civil war in Lebanon. For these photos, from archives impeccably kept by Al-Yom house founded in 1937 by Afif El Tibi, there was no indication the first trauma when the site of  the Al-Yom newspaper was dynamited in 1975. Those who were saved found themselves stored in a West Beirut apartment, who also had its share of misery when in 1989 during the war of "liberation", an incendiary shell came violently to disperse their ranks.


At each stroke of fate, their number decreased, and the losses ceased being counted... Torn, Folded, Curled ... personal archives and those of the newspaper were mixed, other family albums were joined to the batch. In the end, it's a pile of yellowed old photos and judged to no good but to throw in the garbage, left behind after yet another move, which attracted the attention of the then Director of the Arab Image Foundation, which collaborated with paula roush. This time fate was on the good side, it gave them the opportunity to reveal themselves, to attract curiosity again and show off in daylight. They now belong to the Heritage ... what an honor!


Antoine Sfeir Plan Bey and paula roush released a selection of these photos coupled with phrases from Elie Pierre Sabbag's book "The shadow of a city", printed on paper Favini Le Cirque 80g. A lovely memory book to keep. Once again put to the shelter in the premises of Al-Ayam magazine, other photos are waiting, full of hope for better days that they also allow them to tell their story ... again. Another story, now linked to the archives of the newspaper Al-Yom, was also revealed by the exhibition at Makan through undeveloped photographs which belonged to banker RS. The images that come out of the never before developed films, amongst which naked women appear very comfortable on camera, show the Beirut of the years 50-60. They amaze, amuse or shock, depending. They especially do their work, that of preserving forever a proof that Lebanese society  knew, some time ago, how to be happy.




[original french version]

C’est un travail de précision, que l’artiste photographe paula roush a accompli avec Antoine Sfeir de Plan Bey et la Fondation Arabe pour l’Image afin de nous présenter “Torn, Folded, Curled”, l’exposition qui s’est déroulée du 23 au 26 Septembre 2015 au Makan à Beyrouth.

Petite histoire de photos irrécupérables…


«Torn, Folded, Curled» est le statut donné aux photos irrécupérables. Celles que l’on ne peut ni restaurer ni scanner. Le seul moyen de les conserver est de les photographier, comme l’explique Paula Roush, artiste photographe, chercheuse et enseignante à la London South Bank University.
C’est par un véritable hasard que paula a eu l’occasion de travailler sur une infime partie des photos des archives du Journal Al-Yom, abandonnées après un long périple à travers l’histoire de la guerre civile au Liban.  Pour ces photos, issues des archives impeccablement tenues par la maison Al-Yom fondée en 1937 par Afif El Tibi, rien ne laissait présager le premier traumatisme subi lorsque les locaux du journal Al-Yom sont dynamités en 1975. Celles qui ont pu être sauvées se retrouvent stockées dans un appartement de Beyrouth Ouest qui aura lui aussi son lot de misères lorsqu’en 1989, au cours de la guerre de « Libération », un obus incendiaire vint violement disperser leurs rangs.


A chaque coup du destin, leur nombre diminuait, on ne comptait plus les pertes…Torn, Folded, Curled…  les archives personnelles et celles du journal se mélangeaient, d’autres albums de famille venaient se joindre au lot. Au final, c’est un amas de vielles photos jaunies et jugées bonnes pour la poubelle, laissées pour compte après un énième déménagement, qui attirent l’attention de la Directrice de la Fondation Arabe pour l’Image avec laquelle collabore paula roush. Cette fois le destin était du bon côté, il leur a donné l’occasion de se révéler, d’attirer la curiosité à nouveau et de s’exhiber en plein jour. Elles appartiennent désormais au Patrimoine…quel honneur ! Antoine Sfeir de Plan Bey et paula roush ont publié une sélection de ces photos couplées à des phrases du livre de Elie-Pierre Sabbag « L’ombre d’une ville », imprimées sur papier Favini Le Cirque 80g. Un charmant ouvrage de mémoire à conserver.


Une nouvelle fois mises à l’abri dans les locaux du magazine Al-Ayam, les autres photos attendent, pleines d’espoir, des jours meilleurs qui leur permettront elles aussi de raconter leur histoire…une fois de plus. Une autre histoire, désormais liée à celle des archives du journal Al-Yom, fut également révélée par l’exposition au Makan à travers des photographies non développées ayant appartenu au banquier Elie-Pierre Sabbag. Les images qui en sortent, dont des femmes nues paraissant très à l’aise devant l’objectif, montrent le Beyrouth des années 50-60. Elles étonnent, amusent ou choquent, c’est selon. Elles font surtout leur travail, celui de conserver pour toujours une preuve que la société libanaise a su, autrefois, être heureuse. -

paula roush, Torn Folded Curled, installation view, Makan/ Plan Bey, Beirut September 2015
Al-yom/Today, installation view

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Feminist University: ebook

The Lisbon-based Feminist University has just launched the much anticipated ebook Feminist Routes: Challenging The Times [Percursos Feministas: Desafiar Os Tempos]. 

The texts collected in this book reflect  speakers' interventions in the Feminist University (UF), in its first year of existence (2013-2014). They mirror reflections and experiences, personal and collective, of people committed to feminism, combining academic knowledge with activism. This is the ethos of the Feminist University, a non-formal forum for discussion and dissemination of knowledge, which seeks to combine old and new generations of people committed to "change lives."  (from the editors text)
Check the table of contents here (PDF). I have contributed an essay from my presentation Schistime: Time that has already been time [Xis Tempo Tempo que já foi tempo: um preâmbulo em dois capítulos] about my site-specific project in the Schist Villages working with the women in the village and the photobooks that came out of it. It was delivered during the symposium The Uses of Time [Os usos do tempo] with Cristina L. Duarte [No campo das ideias (feministas)], Heloísa Perista [Um olhar feminista sobre os usos do tempo], Gisela Miravent [Os usos do tempo] and Manuel Sampaio [oral presentation only].

The ebook is available online:

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Fatal women and others as such, Luisa Soares de Oliveira


Fatal women and others as such: A visit to the surrealist museum through collage. Luisa Soares de Oliveira, Ipsilon Magazine, 2013

They are two artists who, as now and increasingly common place, living out of bounds, in this case in Great Britain: Maria lusitano and paula roush, who exhibit together since 2009, opted for professional reasons (a PhD for the first, a university lecturing job for the second) to leave the country, which does not mean to abandon the regular presentation of their work in Portuguese institutions. If Lusitano accustomed us to her work in video, always with a strong narrative component and anchored in personal or historical memories, from paula roush we knew her taste for the artist’s book, a practice that in the last two or three years, has come to interest more supporters among the younger generations of artists. In this exhibition, entitled Queer Paper Gardens, we find these two disciplines combined with the educational component that is now so present in the lives of the two artists: the show includes creative workshops for the public, who can experience the process of collage, the same that is at the roots of the work displayed here.

The room Cinzeiro 8 at the Museum of Electricity has the dimensions we usually associate with a gallery rather than a museum. Therefore the works, all on paper, based on images taken from some old illustrated magazine or photo albums of unknown provenance, when not ink drawings ink on paper, can be viewed with care, and even be the subject of an assembly where the parts overlap, pile and exhibit obsessively. Like a dream.

The comparison is not involuntary. Lusitano and roush sought illustrious precedents in the history of collage, namely Max Ernst and Valentine Penrose, two Surrealist artists who practiced collage in the creation of novels, and the association of unusual shapes and motifs to arouse the imagination, as it was dear to Breton followers. Max Ernst, firstly, since 1921 but especially since 1929, when he publishes La Femme 100 Tetes, created pieces where the female figure appears in the ambiguity of the stereotypes associated with the image of women by the bourgeois culture, both Eve and Lilith; this project would later develop in Une Semaine de Bonte, 1934, the work to which the artists refer specifically. As for Penrose, who was married to the British poet and painter of the same name, published (amongst others) Dons des Féminines in 1951, adopting the same kind of collage as Ernst but giving her work a feminist vision that was absent from his and the lives of the Surrealists of the times.

The artists’ collages on paper, as well as the video or the books that they show, emerge from this last work: after all, the film - video or not - comes from a fundamental process of editing that is no more than a collage of disparate sequences to obtain a significant end result. Images of women crystallized by cinema, revealing the double meaning as quoted above between the femme fatale and naive young woman, in a succession of double fast paced sequencing, stress the principle of surrealist collage, which is also enhanced by the presence of a collection of disparate chairs in ruin, where the viewer is implicitly invited to seat. In other situations, it is clearly personal photographs that were worked by artists with a view to obtaining that difficult opening to another world that Surrealism sought.

And not even a note of humor is missing, always present in any surrealist exhibition in the middle of the twentieth century: a fox teddy dressed in pants and jacket is sitting on the top of a table in the exposition. I sense the artists had fun creating these works. It is impossible not to see them with a smile, much more than with the surprise or scandal that their ancestors raised in the epoch in which they worked. As surrealist collage emerges from a specific historical timing. The project does not claim its belongings to a movement that had its epoch and its context, and is today irretrievable. Lusitano and roush know that. Their proposal is a different one: to update the freedom of artistic creation and practiced by Ernst and Penrose, a freedom that passed also by the choice of a technique that did not belong to the illustrious painting or sculpture. Moreover, the book as a means of artistic diffusion was also far from the weight of the museum or the art gallery. Interestingly, in market terms, things have not changed that much in the almost hundred years that separate us from Max Ernst; neither the work on paper, nor the video art or the artist’s book, reach the price values of other techniques. What has really changed, or at least has started to change significantly, is the status of women, and the increasing distance that separates us women from the original images that inspired the artists.

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A journal of one’s own

a journal of one’s own, a text dedicated to mary, margaret, valentine, alice, paula, maria and all the other women
by cristina duarte, in  Queer paper gardens or The wildlife of symbols Vol. V Fundacao EDP 2013

tuesday, 30th of april 2013

two european capitals, the same exhibition1... i don’t know, it is strange to think through with this distance between them. the closer we get to reality, the more out of focus it gets? lets’s get abstract then. first abstraction: to forget capital letters. second abstraction: to forget the new orthographic agreement:2 i move on, freer, with the dictionary of feminist critique by my side: «being a concept in constant formation (...) queer allows a unique conceptual potential to define a position, necessarily unstable, of contestation of fixed identities.”3

just as the root of the word queer (across, diagonally or transverse), the root of the works inspiring this project - queer paper gardens - is indo-european. a voyage, the discovery of the other, enables one to go far beyond the private sphere and the borders of the national territory. mary delany, that never travelled but indirectly, was the inventor of collage, in a georgian century when artistic practices (and landscape arts), done by women started by being developed in the private space of the house. such as the drawing room, – the so called “room of one’s own” of virginia woolf,4 even though in her case, this is associated to literature and the activity of a writer in the second decade of the twentieth century. let’s then travel in time and space, in order to exchange gifts in the

wednesday, 1st of may 2013

today i dive in exchanging gifts in the orient,5 a collage film (video HD, 35’, colour, 2012), that is itself a visual essay about artists – a journey through writing, drawing, and painting from the last 200 years – out of someone else’s fiction, and these, all together, writing an additional chapter in women’s history.

i imagine a new pair in my internal dialogue. mary delany (1700-1788) and mary wollstonecraft6 (1759-1797). maybe they never met, or did they? the latter is the mother of mary w. shelley, the author of frankenstein, which connects us (in)directly to the matter that brings me here: the collage, done by paula roush and maria lusitano, through a visual and interdisciplinary voyage, around the universes of gothic, surrealism, poetry and gender, with the artists searching for a new outlook over the territories and forms of representation, of the (non) normative worlds of women, through the arts.

Over a blue tainted background, a translucent black veil covers the first film’s character to appear on screen; the reality seen inside out, the subject of the one that gazes, is veiled. from the outside, the one who gazes (into the veil) has a vision that more then veiled, is mysterious, as if (under) cover. time to know the first woman in this film, valentine penrose. female hands turn the pages in one of the volumes that contain the visual narrative that encloses the history of women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and that reminds me once more of virginia and orlando,7magnificent masterpiece, where another time journey across genders takes place.

thursday, 2nd of may 2013

travelling was part of valentine penrose’s life, a surrealist poet that transposed her journey to the collage book dons des féminines. the artist published what is also a «queer biographical document, and a visual critique of the fragmented representation of women by male surrealist artists”. 8

maria and paula’s film is in itself a journey about several lives, narrated through a visual history with a lyricism of its own, just as valentine’s own book. The film’s voice-over provided by artist marie josianne agossou, interprets a narration that summons the lives of various women, and the representations of these through the arts in context. valentine and mary delany are evoked as well various other women, exalted in this work of archive, composition and feminist script.

we peek here at a certain cinema paradiso, at the service of the arts, through the chosen excerpts of films such as rebecca, the hunger, jane eyre, and daughters of darkness. this put us in tune with the themes approached by the artists in their video-collage, that refer to the cut-up, as well as to photography and drawing, in a narrative strategy that projects issues of gender, body representation, and the role -play involved in women’s performance throughout history. and it conjures the horror women were (and are) subjected to: the horror is displayed in jane eyre, in the bad girl of sleeping beauty, or in the madness of rebecca’s housekeeper.

lastly, the absence of a gaze (of women upon themselves and their surroundings, transforming the public space in their natural landscape) is compensated through the gothic aesthetic, evoked in the video language chosen by paula and maria, as gleaners of images – that let us delight in the victorian visual style, revisited today by the steam punk aesthetics.

friday, 3rd of May2013

«may i start?»9. how to write about these 21 minutes of quasi-surrealism, that takes us throughout the history of collage, with its starting point in three objects: max ernst’s collage novel a week of goodness, valentine penrose’s collage-poem dons des féminines and mary delany’ biography, the inventor of collage; we cross their universes and those of other women artists, guided by eunice gonçalves duarte performing multiple roles, as valentine did, creator of wide-ranging meanings, such as a woman in a red dress and tribal mask going on a safari, through exotic theatre/sceneries.

the universes available to us are once again of intersection, in double screen, and transport us poetically to the themes underlying delany’s masterpiece, flora delanica (1772-1782), navigating through what is apparently invisible, or absent. in these paper gardens there are no symbols of authority, but of transcendence, says the narrator, at a certain point.

cruising through the botanical garden of coimbra, the female character is immersed in a time machine. it is up to us, spectators, to make the cut, the selection and “reassembly” of what is more important to us, in this process of non-normative memory, that is open to many languages and queer identities. in these not so strange gardens, i review myself with shells in my eyes… feel free to talk.

saturday, 4th of May 2013

feminism must henceforth be viewed as a rapidly developing major critical ideology – by which I mean a comprehensive view of the world – in its own right.10

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Undermining the surrounding world, João Pinharanda


Undermining the Surrounding World

João Pinharanda, Museum of Electricity Lisbon 2013


This exhibition presents a real and imagined colloquium between the artists and their sources. Let us look at their real protagonists, whom we must immediately join.

Following previous experiences, begun in 1921 and systematised as visual novels from 1929 onwards, Max Ernst, a German established in Paris, connected from the mid-1910s to the avant-garde leading from Dada to Surrealism, edited in 1934 (in 7 chapters distributed in 5 volumes), Une Semaine de Bonté.

Valentine Penrose, a French poet, married from 1925 to Roland Penrose, whom she divorced in 1937, met and frequented the same milieu as Max Ernst, whose husband, the "introducer" of surrealism in Britain, was an intimate friend. In 1936, interested in Hinduism, she left for India where she lived with Alice Rahon Paalen, married to another German surrealist, Wolfgang Paalen. In 1951, again in England, and again living in the house of Roland Penrose and his new companion, the photographer Lee Miller, Valentine composes Dons des Féminines. Following the same meticulous technical solutions of Ernst's collages, she departs from his the surrealist imagination in search of a radical feminist vision.

Maria Lusitano, lives between Portugal, Sweden and Great Britain and develops her work (where video predominates) as narrativity about the modes of relationship of a female Fictional I with the different levels of History. paula roush, has lived in London for two decades, situates her field of work in the field of artist's books recovering the techniques of surrealist and pre-surrealist collage, enriching, with this cross-language, the universe of feminist intervention that guides her. It is they who prolong Penrose's dialogue with Ernst, deepening its languages ​​and themes, reviewing it critically, signaling the political place of contemporary feminist question, including us as a global and not merely an individual entity.

The narrative and seductive fluency of the video (built in the same way as the collage) or the invitation to the formation of the spectators  in creative work sessions are essential pieces of continuity and renewal of the initial legacy. Leading us to "the pure working of thought" (André Breton) and the "systematic estrangement" of the Self, but without the illusion that this dream-field, this "alchemy of the visual image" (Max Ernst) is something that exists outside the History, ideology or position of the genres, wish to give a new meaning to Breton's program by presenting the first collages of Ernst in 1921: "to use the surrounding world to undermine the surrounding world."


Minar o mundo circundante

João Pinharanda, Museu da Eletricidade Lisboa 2013


Estabelece-se nesta exposição um colóquio, real e imaginado, entre as artistas e as suas fontes. Vejamos os seus protagonistas reais, aos quais devemos, imediatamente, juntar-nos.

Na sequência de experiências anteriores, iniciadas em 1921 e sistematizadas como romances visuais a partir de 1929, Max Ernst, alemão estabelecido em Paris, ligado desde meados da década de 10 às vanguardas que conduziram do Dada ao Surrealismo, editou em 1934 (em 7 capítulos distribuídos por 5 volumes), Une Semaine de Bonté.

Valentine Penrose, poeta francesa, casada desde 1925 com Roland Penrose, de quem se divorciou en 1937, conheceu e frequentou os mesmos meios de Max Ernst, de quem o marido, “introdutor” do surrealismo na Grã-Bretanha, era amigo intímo. Em 1936, interessada pelo hinduísmo, partiu para a Índia onde viveu com Alice Rahon Paalen, casada com outro surrealista alemão, Wolfgang Paalen. Em 1951, de novo em Inglaterra, e de novo vivendo na casa de Roland Penrose e da sua nova companheira, a fotógrafa Lee Miller, Valentine compõe Dons des Féminines. Seguindo as mesmas minuciosas soluções técnicas das colagens de Ernst, dele se afasta pelo modo como coloca a vertigem da imaginação surrealista ao serviço de uma visão feminista radical.

Maria Lusitano, vive entre Portugal, a Suécia e a Grã-Bretenha e desenvolve a sua obra (onde predomina o vídeo) como narratividade sobre os modos de relacionamento de um Eu ficcional feminino com os diferentes níveis da História. paula roush, vive em Londres desde há duas décadas, situa o seu campo de trabalho no domínio da construção de livros de artista recuperando as técnicas da colagem surrealista e pré-surrealista, enriquecendo, com esse cruzamento de linguagens, o universo da intervenção feminista que a orienta. São elas que prolongam o diálogo de Penrose com Ernst, aprofundando-o no domínio das linguagens e dos temas, revendo-o criticamente, sinalizando o lugar político da questão feminista nos dias de hoje, nele nos incluindo como entidade global e não meramente individual.

A fluência narrativa e sedutora do vídeo (construído sob os mesmos moldes da colagem) ou o convite à formação dos espectadores, em sessões de trabalho criativo, são peças essenciais da continuidade e renovação do legado inicial. Conduzindo-nos “ao funcionamento puro do pensamento” (André Breton) e ao “estranhamento sistemático” do Eu, mas sem a ilusão de que esse campo onírico, essa “alquimia da imagem visual” (Max Ernst) seja algo que exista fora da história, da ideologia ou da (o)posição dos géneros, desejam dar um novo significado ao programa de Breton ao apresentar as primeiras colagens de Ernst, em 1921: “servir-se do mundo circundante para minar o mundo circundante”.





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Space for thinking between the images

Ludwig Seyfarth,  Dear Aby Warburg, what can be done with images? Dealing with Photographic Material
Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, 2012
Space for thinking between the images: on the genesis of the ‘photographic collection’ as an artistic genre [pdf]

The question 'What is to be done with images?' is also a question about the relationship between the archive and the presentation- the atlas, the tableau, the display. Does the archive in question represent a limited body of material, for example, the glass negatives exposed in a photo studio during the 1930s and 1940s and purchased by Cecile Hummel from a street vendor in southern Italy, or the images that paula roush gathered at portuguese flea markets and garage sales to archive in her Found Photo Foundation? It is ususally impossible to trace the provenance of these photographs which roush refers to as 'orphans'. they have become homeless, but nonetheless tell something like a private subterranean history of the time spent under a dictatorship..

Or do the images derive from a variety of sources, without being founded upon a coherent archive, as int he case of Ozlem Altin's investigation of formal correspondences between depictions of the body in motion. Are the images stolen away, so to speak, out of their original context or are their sources carefully documented, as i the case of Katrin Mayer, who also repeatedly juxtaposes them with passages of text that interest her - resulting in the creation of a new context for both image and text?

Regardless of all the differences in terms of the technique and the potential sources of the images, the art of the 'photographic collection' can be summarily described as a sort of game of Memory. When playing the normal version of Memory, it is the still hidden cards whose pictures cannot be seen. But let us assume that Memory were to consist of thousands of cards, most of which are not even on the table and some of which may even have been lost. Ultimately, Warburg was already playing this game, as Didi-Huberman at least optically establishes in the case of the Mnemosyne Atlas:"The images of an ensemble photographed on a single plane are suggestive of a card game spread out on a table.'

The artists of the exhibition Dear Aby Warburg are collectors of images; their artistic individuality consists less in a style or gesture than in the specific manner in which they...also physically open up new spaces for thinking between the images- something begun with Warburg when he started to pin photos to canvasses.
found photo foundation, installation view at Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen 2012-13


paula roush   :::
msdm studio :::