January 19 at 5 PM, 2007
January 19 till February 11, 2007
CEAC, Xiamen, China
Trying to define your work in words is maybe the most difficult thing to do, although trying to define what you see is maybe worse
(Le journal d’un usager de l’espace, Mira Sanders,)
These thoughts still linger in my mind, and even more so when I traveled to China last summer. It was as if I almost couldn’t take photographs, or film. Surely a strange feeling, in a country where technology and media are trump cards!
You can close your eyes, but it is difficult to close your ears. So I listened, and I visualized my observations in drawings and notes. Trying to visualize what I heard and thus trying to understand a new culture (for me!) and to explore the possibilities of this/its system.
I held an exhibition in December 2006 at SECONDroom in Brussels (Belgium), which offered a glimpse of my ‘wanderings’ in the cities Shangha? and Xiamen, as well as a first reflection of the work I made as an artist-in-residence at the CEAC, Xiamen.
For that project I invited the graphic designer Jef Cuypers to work with my notebook, as I needed to take distance from my drawings and notes, relating to the distance I felt during my ‘wanderings’. The exhibition presented a selection of visual material (drawings, printed matter, …). In addition, some recorded sounds were presented on the website of SECONDroom ( www.desktopgraffiti.be ) .
January 2007, I’m back here in China. This transition time was important for me. I could take distance from my experiences too. And it is strange the feeling of grasping your memory when you are coming back to ‘a place’. Cause it is like all the time you want to make comparisons of your first impressions and at the same it is not true.
For the exhibition at the CEAC I present a publication, on a newspaper format, which I print out on several issues. The publication includes a selection of the drawings I made during my ‘walk’. The newspaper format was chosen in regard to the use of the public newspaper in China. I like the idea of collective reading. Which doesn’t exist in my country. Therefore, the aim is that this newspaper publication is for free for the public and can have as well an existence outside the walls of the exhibition. Maybe it will have a place in a library, in a suitcase, in a trash …
The ‘noise’ images, which were posters in the exhibition in Brussels, are now drawn or painted on wooden panels. During my stay in Xiamen, I loved to work on this huge wooden panel table in my studio. You can eat on it, draw, work, write, put objects and papers you collected during your daily walks, have flowers on it, … A video, Silent China , with excerpts of recorded sounds and notes I made during my journey in China, draws among others, a vertical rectangle in the exhibition space. A video without images, but maybe a ‘black’ image is more than an‘image’? The title of this video refers also to the title of the exhibition by this I send you some noise from the city I am in . ‘Noise’ can have several meanings; the ‘noise’ of traffic in a city, the ‘noise’ of machines, …, but as well ‘noise’ in the head. Questioning a time being, questioning your perceptions. Not that the aim is to find answers, on the contrary, but realize a story with an open end.
I use ‘send’, like you can send a postcard or a letter. To give by this an idea of the place you are. You can send your greetings to your friends or family and say that everything is fine and soon you will see each other back. Writing is a silent medium. But if you read the text, it’s a sound, a voice in your head. It can even be an image.
Mira Sanders, November 2006 – January 2007
CEAC (The Chinese European Art Center, Xiamen) and my friends.
With the support of the Flemish Community