‘Mundus vult decipi: Ergo decipiatur’ is a performance and installation based on the artists’ joint research. Delving into incidents that move between reality and myth, a particular interest is devoted to the discovery and use of universal magnetic fluids as a medical treatment by Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer, a physician and healer from the 19th century. As part of this year’s Arnis Residency, they expanded their previous research by exploring the myth of Offa, the legendary king of the Angles. According to the legend the blind, mute and paralysed Offa, son of King Wermund, was cured of all ailments after bathing in the ‘Offa Spring’ — a source of water on the banks of the fjord Schlei in Arnis. Therefore, he won a duel, which was already thought to be lost, and thus, saved his country from the hostile and neighbouring countries. Up to the present day nature tourism and recreation play a vital role of the region.
Cristina Moreno García (b. 1985 in Zaragoza, ES) studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Nürnberg and at Castilla La Mancha University in Cuenca. With a focus on sculpture and new media, Cristina’s work is based on the reconstruction of private and collective memory from personal and collected materials using video, text and sound.
Laia Ventayol García (b. 1984 in Mallorca, ES) studied at the Kunstakademie Münster, Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, Universitat de Barcelona and Akademie der bildenden Künste in Nürnberg. In her work she observes movement, transition, ephemeral transformation and change that takes part in her surroundings.
‘Zwischen Theater und Oper’ is a video installation based on a series of workshops experimenting with acting and vocals as elements of modern composition to explore interpersonal relations. As collective rituals the workshops aim to allow a holistic experience tackling the participants’ wellbeing through traditional singing techniques, modern composing and theatre exercises. Using methods developed by composers such as Pauline Oliveros and Cornelius Cardew, the participants engage with drawings and text fragments as musical scores. Using any available matter on site as instruments – including boat chains, stones, water surfaces, heavy machinery or even body parts – collaboration, improvisation and spontaneity are essential aspects of the experience. Recordings taken during each of these sessions serve as soundscapes for the artists’ video work. Previously recorded interviews, field recordings and shots of personal belongings blend with sounds of chanting, acting and making music. Drawing from ephemeral but memorable experiences of mutual care through acts of modern composition and Cinéma Vérité alike documentation of local residents, Richard and Elodie create an audio-visual poem reflecting the collective voices of Arnis.
Richard Melkonian (b. 1990 in London, UK) holds a MMus in Opera Making and BMus in Classical Composition from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He is an award-winning London based Armenian-British composer who works across concert music, opera, theatre, film and performance art.
Elodie Chiper (b. in Bucharest, ROU) holds and MFA in Scenography from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She is a theatre designer, visual artist and art director based in London who works across theatre, film, dance-theatre, performance and installation art.
‘Garden Cities of Tomorrow’ emerges from architectural research based on the same-titled book. First published in 1898, its proposals for cities — allowing the benefits of rural and urban areas to thrive at the same place — were visionary. Inspired by a utopian novel, the book found great approval by the progressive artist community “Crystal Chain”, initiated by the architect Bruno Taut in 1919. Within a chain letter, also known as the ‘Utopian Correspondence’, they discussed ideas for building a society in which all people would live in equal conditions and work inspired by a common goal. Glass, which would allow architecture to dematerialise and dissolve with nature, was one of the most desired materials to correspond with this egalitarian society.
In Arnis, Yuri has not only been inspired by architectural theory and the fluidity with nature, but made both an intrinsic part of his work. His abstract architectural sculptures are made from shared and disposed materials — provided by the local community marking them as collective and altruistic efforts. Placing his pieces in a small wooden area, his compositions of human remnants are in contrast with the immediate natural environment. Their unpretentious installation bring forth the bare qualities of its composite materials, reminding us of their utopian association with equality and a common horizon. Producing his own book, the artist makes use of another minimalistic gesture to dissolve the boundaries between human-made and natural matter, allowing the paper of his pages to be drawn by water of the Schlei. Presented in an old dismantled ship cabin made of rough and heavy steal, Tuma further plays a sensory composition of everyday sounds from Arnis, turning them into another material towards the balance between human welfare and architectural hull.
Yuri Tuma (b. 1983 in Sao Paulo, BRA) studied at Emerson College in Boston and University Carlos III in Madrid. His practice employs sound art, installation and performance to relate diverse ecologies and contemporary narratives to approach a transcending understanding of the nature/culture binomial.