Seam, Strata, Séance
In the summer of 2021 Collective Ending partnered with invited collaborators across the disciplines of fashion, publishing, film and performance to host creative happenings in our home at Collective Ending HQ. ‘Parasol’ offered an alternative programme of interdisciplinary events that celebrated exchange and collaboration between art forms, and focused on the importance of the live experience.
In September we presented Seam, Strata, Séance, which invited the public to traverse a landscape of audio-visual works created over 2021 by Tavga Guttstadt, Sherie Sitauze and Yuli Serfaty that critically engage with ecology, (de)coloniality and knowledge production.
All three works are framed within unique geopolitical contexts yet are tied together in their desire to communicate alternative narratives that subvert hegemonic systems of knowledge and power.
Touching on notions of epistemic violence - a violence that seeks to erase and eradicate histories, stories and truths that exist on the ‘peripheries’- all three works share a common understanding of the imperialist logic that still runs through dominant cultural narratives. These acts of violence, both literal and intangible in reach, take the form of othering, forced cultural assimilation, annihilation and resource extraction.
Each work prompts us to recognise the ways in which events from the past still linger- in language, on borders, in bodies- bringing our attention to a present that is haunted with fragments of complex and interconnected histories. Here, the inanimate becomes animate; the land, the tongue and the seed become emblems for alternate possibilities of knowing and archiving.
Knowledge fluctuates, both as a tangible and intangible force, constantly shifting as it is exchanged hands. Avoiding a sense of fixity (a tool of categorisation employed by colonisers as a means to ‘other’), the works are presented in conversation with one another as well as encouraging dialogue between those who experience the works together: “There can be no politics by and for an individual. Rather, it is constituted in relation to others, through a sharing of conviction, commitment and knowledge.” (Doing Time, Phill Collins interview by Chris Clarke- Art Monthly issue 444)
While the audience navigates their bodies through the intimate environments, they are asked to consider what being present and receptive to these narratives asks of them.