By Pavla Alchin
The Imagination; that is, the way we shape and use the world, indeed the way we see the world, has geographical boundaries like islands, continents, and countries. These boundaries can be crossed.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the Earth has been changed by globalization into a planet of nomads. It is hardly surprising that among the recent waves of immigrants are thousands of visual artists - history after all, is littered with creative people on the move. In the past the reasons for their exile where varied – persecution, a search for the exotic, from the need to survive to the need to be at a place of artistic innovation. Today many of these reasons remain the same.
However, I would like to suggest here another reason why artists find living abroad appealing. According to Czech born philosopher Vilem Flusser, exile and creativity are closely linked. In exile everything around us is new and becomes sharp and noisy. Uprooted people have to be creative to process an ocean of chaotic information that surrounds them, to change it into meaningful messages (1). It is perhaps this heightened state of perception that attracts creative minds.
The title of our project was borrowed from postcolonial scholar Homi K. Bhabha who first fore-grounded the concept of Third Space in his book The Location of Culture (1994). Bhabha sees the Third Space as a space of enunciation, where two social groups with different cultural traditions carry out special negotiations, which eventually lead to a displacement of the members of both groups from their origins. However, it is also supposed to bring about common identity, new in its hybridity (2).
Taking the above ideas as a kind of springboard, our project wishes to focus on artists who have decided to make this leap of faith in making their home in homelessness (3) and as a result are benefiting from a similar crosspollination of cultures.
1&3 from V. Flusser Writings, 2002.
2 from K. Ikas and G. Wagner, Communicating in the Third Space,2009.
Trine Lise Nedreaas, Mariken Kramer, Ivar Smedstad, Heidi C Morstang, Margarida Paiva, Mattias Härenstam
15. June- 14. July 2010
Production, Concept & Coordination by NABROAD. Curated by Pavla Alchin/NABROAD
Hosted by II Baltic Biennale for Contemporary Art, St. Petersburg, RUSSIA
Publication: Third Space
NABROAD/ Norwegian Collaborative Organisation for Contemporary Art Abroad