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I was a thing (the poet objects) with Mosab Abu Toha, 2018, poet object and plinth, in Passion for Freedom Fest 2018, London

as seen in 10th anniversary Passion for Freedom Festival 2018, Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, London. From 1-12 October 2018.

Kelise Franclemont and Mosab Abu Toha, ‘I was a thing (the poet objects)’, 2018, poet object and plinth, in Passion for Freedom Festival 2018, London. Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.

A mysterious black cube-shaped poet-object slowly extrudes a long strip of paper that gathers in a growing pile. The text contains poems, one-line reports, and other thoughts by Mosab Abu Toha, a poet in Gaza. Every now and then, another few lines of text come out as Abu Toha shares his poetry and prose with UK viewers real-time via the Internet, even while remaining entrapped in Gaza City, presuming of course, electricity supply is available to his neighbourhood.


About

“I was a thing” is collaborative effort between British-American artist Kelise Franclemont and Gazan poet Mosab Abu Toha.

Mosab Abu Toha is an author, English teacher, and founder/director of the Library and Bookshop for Gaza, a project which gained international support through a humble crowd-funding appeal, resulting in a growing library of English, Arabic, and other volumes made available to the Gazan public. Along with the hundreds of books and periodicals, Abu Toha and his small staff offer a range of English classes, creative writing and literature clubs, and other activities.

Kelise Franclemont is a visual storyteller offering objects or experiences about remembering and identity, often considering the immutable line between Other and Self. In the making, she will often appropriate materials, objects, or other more ephemeral cultural artefacts such as ritual, using documentary tactics to remake these artefacts into a new narrative, or into a newly-contrived situation based on some truth, allowing the viewer to discover truths of his or her own.

Links

  • About Passion for Freedom Festival 2018 – 10th anniversary festival, exhibition, and awards event “…dedicated to shared values of free expression, and the power of art to inspire, awaken and shake the world”. From 1st – 12th October 2018.Click to view/download more info:
      
  • About Library for GazaSince 2017, offering  “…a safe space for people to meet and exchange ideas and experiences [with] books lending, reading section, study halls, meeting room, children’s activities, along with seminars and organised lectures delivered by international guests…” 

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‘Homeland (a diary)’, 2017, archival installation of found objects

For our second collaboration at Rondo Sztuki Gallery, borne out of shared interests in found objects, the archive, narrative, and collective or personal memories, we have decided to develop something that would focus on the past through an array of found objects that belonged to a man named ‘Henry’, supposed to be a common ancestor of both artists. The work is titled Motherland and through the seemingly disparate objects, when perceived together, they tell a story about finding your place in the world and following your dreams about a better life.

The Connect Project and its experimental form presented many challenges for us as artists. The combination of twostrangers was a risky operation, but in our case it brought about a most positive effect. During the cooperation, we found many common interests and ways of working, out of which many possible new artworks could be generated. Obviously, there were differences of opinion along the way, but through committed dialogue we worked out our differences, so that we could reach a successful compromise and a richly rewarding experience overall.

PL:

W ramach współpracy nad projektem do Ronda Sztuki postanowiliśmy rozwinąć coś, co wynikałoby z naszych wspólnych zainteresowań wokół przeszłych, narracyjnych, osobistych lub też zbiorowych wspomnień. Skupiliśmy się na grupie znalezionych przedmiotów, należących do człowieka imieniem „Henry”, który rzekomo miałby być wspólnym przodkiem obojga artystów. Pracę zatytułowaliśmy Motherland i jest to historia o poszukiwaniu swojego miejsca na świecie oraz podążaniu za marzeniami oraz lepszym życiem.

Projekt Connect i jego eksperymentalna forma stwarzały wiele wyzwań dla nas jako artystów. Połączenie w pary dwojga nieznajomych było ryzykownym zabiegiem, ale w naszym przypadku przyniosło to jak najbardziej pozytywny efekt. Podczas współpracy znaleźliśmy wiele wspólnych zainteresowań i sposobów pracy, z których można było wytworzyć wiele nowych dzieł sztuki. Oczywiście – pojawiały się różnice zdań, ale proces dialogu weryfikował rozbieżności, dzięki czemu mogliśmy osiągnąć kompromis.

Marcin Czarnopyś, Kelise Franclemont. ‘Motherland (a diary)’, 2017, archival installation of found objects, in ‘Connect: Katowice and London’ at Rondo Sztuki Gallery, Katowice, Poland. Image courtesy Rondo Gallery and Connect: Art Projects. Photo credit Michał Jędrzejowski.
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‘Salat ul-Istisqa’a [Prayer for Rain]’, 2017, installation of hologram and sound

Kelise Franclemont, ‘Salat ul-Istisqa’a [Prayer for Rain]’, 2017, copper, acrylic, and sound, in ‘Water Stations’ at Emmanuel Church, West Hampstead, London. Image courtesy the artist.
When water is scarce, an ancient Bedouin tradition calls the faithful to beseech God for healing rains. This Islamic ritual is known as “Salat ul-Istisqa’a”, rising to heaven one drop at a time.

“Salat ul-Istisqa’a [Prayer for Rain]” is a response to the number of documentaries from 2013-2016 about the irreversible water crisis in Gaza. 2020 is rapidly approaching, the year when experts fear that the fresh water supply in the region’s underground aquifers will be damaged beyond repair. Even now, experts fear the worst has already happened as ordinary people who live, work, and raise families within view of the Mediterranean, are dying of thirst.

Gazan resident Awatef Al Afifi complains with evident frustration, “This water is unsuitable for [washing] hair, or for showering children or adults. Or washing your face.”
“This [water] is diseased,” she gestures, “we can’t drink it or use it for cooking.”
Throwing her hands up again, “It’s not safe,” she exclaims, “we can’t use it for anything, wa laa ishi [not anything].”
In another part of Gaza lives another family, 100 meters from the sea shore. Equally frustrated, Um Adham Bakr states matter-of-factly, “Saline water is harmful for the children; they become sick. The last time I stayed about 6 days in hospital with my eldest son. The doctors tell me that he had something more dangerous than meningitis; he was taken to the intensive care unit. Blisters had appeared on his body, blisters that were mainly caused by salt water. As you can see, the water is salty and their hair has been damaged. The boys have undergone several surgeries and rashes appear all over their bodies.” And resignedly,
“There’s nothing to do. We are tired of this.”

“Salat ul-Istisqa’a [Prayer for Rain]” is part of “Water Stations” an exhibition in which seven artists convene to honour World Water Day with sculpture, installation, film, and painting, at Emmanuel Church in West Hampstead from 19th through 31st March 2017.

Click the thumbnail to view/download more info:
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‘The Life and Death of Bierzigster Iarhgang’ – collaboration with Marcin Czarnopyś for Connect:Katowice project

Reposted from ConnectKatowice.com, the following describes a recent and ongoing arts collaboration with Polish artist Marcin Czarnopyś…

The artists

Project description/intent

Wrocław (Poland), November 2016/1856

One late afternoon in November, Marcin and Kelise wandered into an old bookstore in Wrocław’s main town square. A book, dated 1856 on the ragged spine and gently reeking of cigar smoke, fell into Marcin’s hands: “Neueste Nachrichten aus Dem Reiche Gottes”, or as Google Translate suggests: “Latest News from the Kingdom of God” by Bierzigster Iargang. As we thumbed through the contents, a postage-stamp sized portrait of a woman fluttered from between the pages:

kelisemarcin_proj_stmt_image01Intrigued and 40 złoty poorer, the book was ours.

Who was Bierzigster Iargang? (We called him “BJ” for short). The final pages of the book revealed some of his story:

BJ was born in Przemyśl (Marcin’s home town!), to a German/Polish family that owned several coal mines in the Silesian area. A religious and righteous man, yet troubled by the corruptions that accompany great wealth, BJ received a series of heavenly visions over the course of a year – which he called, “Neueste Nachrichten aus Dem Reiche Gottes (Latest news from the kingdom of God)”, wrote them all down and published in a book of the same title. This was directly followed by a spiritual calling to go to New York (where Kelise’s family originates) as a missionary, and he traveled to America around 1856-7, leaving his wife and six daughters behind until he could get settled and send for them to join him.

But in New York, he seems to have disappeared, presumed dead, shortly after he arrived and his family never heard from him again.

Our project aim is to unravel the mystery about the life and death Bierzigster (BJ) Iargang, and to discover the truth about what connects his story to Marcin and Kelise.

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Proposed outcome

Currently we are working with an installation of found objects, text/prints, photos, and video which will present our research into BJ’s life as well as present the found connections between him, Marcin, and Kelise, (and particular, the artists want to unpick already discovered common ancestry between Marcin and Kelise).

Timeline

  • June to Nov 2016: Kelise and Marcin communicate via email and regular post to become acquainted and discuss project ideas.
  • Nov 2016: Kelise visited Marcin in Wrocław, to work together and progress one or more project ideas
  • Dec 2016: Kelise and Marcin present work in Connect:Katowice in London at Hornsey Town Hall with Kelise to deliver talk/workshop around their project which both worked on together to develop (working ideas include: a book-making workshop, souvenir exchange, story-telling, etc.)
  • Dec 2016 to June 2017: Marcin and Kelise continue to work over email and regular post to develop the project
  • June 2017: final work(s) and/or documentation presented in Katowice, Poland

Click the link for more about the collaboration between Marcin and Kelise – “stories between the UK and Poland

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Duo show ‘Fragments and Traces’ about time, memory, and travel – Platform 1 Gallery, Wandsworth Arts Fringe

Fragments and Traces: l’invitation au voyage

Kelise Franclemont and Antonia Jackson  explore memory, travel, and passage of time through paintings, installation, and new media. Throughout each day, along with the exhibition of artworks, Antonia and Kelise will engage visitors in trading memories and creating new ones in an ongoing make-one/take-one souvenir postcard exchange.

Fragments and Traces: l’invitation au voyage” is in conjunction with Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2016, a festival of creativity and performance throughout the borough from 6 to 22 May 2016.

Fragments_Traces_e-flyer_02b

One subsequent weekends at Platform 1 Gallery are two more shows:  “Transcending” from artist Ema Mano Epps with Verica Kovacevska and Norman Mine, and finally, “Fragment” by sculptor Anna Flemming.

Click the flyer below to see more details:


More links about “Fragments and Traces”

Event details: Fragments and Traces” presents during Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2016 from 5 to 8 May 2016  at Platform 1 Gallery on Wandsworth Common Station, Platform 1, Wandsworth Common, London SW12 8SG (entrance to the station and Platform 1 Gallery from Jaggard Way). Free admission, step-free access.

Private View: Thursday 5 May, 5:30 to 8:30 pm

Opening hours:

Friday 6 May, 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Saturday 7 May, 11:oo am to 5:00 pm
Sunday 8 May, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Platform1Gallery_logo2   WandsworthFringe_logo

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‘A walk through Palestine’ installation included in ‘Ruins of Time’ exhibition – The Crypt Gallery, St Pancras, London

This small stone was once part of pleasing mathematics in tessellated patterns… a fan, a leaf, a flower. It remained in that belonging for nearly 2000 years until one day, it was dislocated from its home. In this instant, this fragment was transformed from artefact into another kind of ruin. A relic, this souvenir now belongs to no more than a memory, a resurrected existence in minutes and megabytes, and thus has become something much easier to destroy and to forget.

If you missed seeing “Ruins of Time” at The Crypt Gallery in St Pancras, click the link to walk through the virtual tour herehttps://vimeo.com/154992121 [Vimeo, duration 13:02 minutes]. My work appears at 4:45.

Kelise Franclemont, detail ‘A Walk through Palestine’, 2015, iPhone and video, duration 10:00mins (looped)

More links and information

RuinsofTime_e-flyer

  • You can see “A Walk through Palestine” in the upcoming “Ruins of Time” exhibition at The Crypt Gallery, St Pancras, London – 25 through 30 November 2015 – In the first project by London Munich Exchange [LME], 13 British and German artists descend into The Crypt beneath St Pancras to stage “Ruins of Time”, an exhibition of contemporary art that explores “time and its specific expression in the architecture of the site”.
  • A Walk through Palestine” was first exhibited in the MA Fine Art Summer Show 2015 at Chelsea College of Arts, London – 4 through 12 September 2015 – Helena Anderson from Candid Arts Magazine writes, “Some artists whose work stood out among the crowd were Kelise Franclemont, whose video, sound, and found object installation ‘a walk through Palestine (collectable, artefact, relic, souvenir)’ raised important questions of historical accuracy, the ethics of tourism, and cultural heritage”
  • Find out more about “Ruins of Time” exhibition at The Crypt Gallery on their official website
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‘A Walk through Palestine (collectable, artefact, relic, souvenir)’, 2015, installation

This small stone was once part of pleasing mathematics in tessellated patterns… a fan, a leaf, a flower. It remained in that belonging for nearly 2000 years until one day, it was dislocated from its home. In this instant, this fragment was transformed from artefact into another kind of ruin. A relic, this souvenir now belongs to no more than a memory, a resurrected existence in minutes and megabytes, and thus has become something much easier to destroy and to forget.

As seen in:  

MA Fine Art Postgraduate Summer Show 2015

at Chelsea College of Arts, London

Chelsea_MA_Show_e-flyer

More links and info about the MA Fine Art Summer Show

Chelsea_UAL_logo

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‘lockers’ – pop-up residency and exhibition, Chelsea College of Arts, London

Lockers_flyer_02It’s a pop-up show in the CG05 corridor (near the part-timer’s base room) in which each of us takes one locker and curates an exhibition in the 30 x 30 x 43 cm cubby. It is a response to the locker as a space, a container, a set of limitations, boundaries, a wish granted, or some other response.

Of course, there are only 20 lockers and almost 30 people in part-time 1 & 2 group so this might also turn into an exercise in negotiation, compromise, and teamwork!

What I propose is 1-2 (or more) people choose a locker, and put an object in or installation… and then place a padlock on the door (for safety). During the exhibition, the lock is enigmatically left on or perhaps the door is left wide open for uninhibited viewing.

 

 

More links and information about ‘lockers’

Exhibition details: a pop-up residency and exhibition (18 – 25 June 2015) in 20 lockable spaces, located in CG05 corridor, at Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street, London, SW1P 4JU

 

Chelsea_UAL_logo

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‘alchemy of the perfect fragrance (growing up in Illinois)’, 2015, found scents and installation

The_alchemy_of_Growing_up_in_Illinois
Kelise Franclemont, detail of ‘growing up in Illinois’, 2015, installation in ‘lockers’ at Chelsea College of Arts, London. Photo courtesy the artist.

This one’s about memories, and how they are made… in this case, through my sense of smell. Each of 12 scents is carefully crafted and a little story is attached to the bottle. The viewer could ignore my story in favour of their own…

Part of the ‘lockers’ – a pop-up exhibition and residency in 20 small lockable spaces, at Chelsea College of Arts, London.

18 – 25 June 2015.

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‘Memoirs of a stone (part 1 – the flight from Hyrcania)’, 2015, installation and found items, in ‘Housed’ at Chelsea College of Arts, London

17 Chelsea MA students (12 MA Fine Art, 5 MA Curating & Collections) enter into a week-long cooperative exhibition in which the curators, who see the show for the first time mid-week, will reconsider curation and transform the space. The project is an experiment which aims to “…challenge the ‘occupancy’ inside the regimented frameworks” such as may be found in the academic or gallery setting. From 7-10 April 2015 at Chelsea College of Arts.

Read more about ‘Housed’ on kelise72.com

Re-examining the relation between artist and curator

The basis of Housed: was about the relation (some might say “hierarchy”?) between artist and curator, firstly in a gallery/exhibition setting, secondly in academia. In the first half of the week, the dozen artists installed the show, collaboratively of course, installing their work with consideration for the siting as well as “conversations” between the nearby pieces.

Learn more about the project and how it evolved on the ‘Housed’ blog

My proposed work, ‘memoirs of a stone (Part I – The flight from Hyrcania)’ was an installation of drawings on paper, a short looping film with sound, and several found objects, most importantly, a small piece of red shale about 1 cm big.

In the first part of week, a writing desk was situated in the doorway, a small intimate space which may inspire quiet reflection as the viewer may pause and read or handle the drawings. Further along in the exhibition in the next room, one might come across the small red stone on a black velvet jewel block, positioned on the floor.

Mid-way through the week, the curators came into the project with a fresh perspective to re-hang the work, possibly creating new conversations and altering the “flow” of the exhibition overall.

‘Memoirs of a stone’ was relocated to another room entirely, which somehow “opened up” the work in a positive way. The little stone, placed next to Paul Abbott’s work (the video/busts on plinths – left image) somehow crystallised for both works the reference to Greco-Roman era, with busts on plinths and the Roman-era mosaic tile. Then the writing desk, even though in a more open space, still allowed for intimacy placed in the corner, adjacent to a large airy window.

For many of the artists, the re-curation improved the flow and openness for the exhibition overall, and opened up each work to have more “breathing space”, a marked positive change. If nothing else, the project allowed for a different way to see and experience the works in this very successful week.

Read more about Housed:

Chelsea_UAL_logo

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Dreams of the Rat Race 2 (No Exit), 2014, projected video installation

Kelise Franclemont, still from 'Dreams of the Rat Race 2 (No Exit)', 2014, projected video, duration 15mins (looped), in 'Office Party' as part of 'Office Sessions III', East India docks, London. Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Kelise Franclemont, still from ‘Dreams of the Rat Race 2 (No Exit)’, 2014, projected video, duration 15mins (looped), in ‘Office Party’ as part of ‘Office Sessions III’, East India docks, London. Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.

This is the second version of “Dreams of the Rat Race 2 (No Exit)”, a short looping video [15:03] in which I engage with this office space as my memory of my own prior office career… That 20 years always felt like kind of a trap, or like Sartre’s “no exit”… The viewer can be part of this nightmare; as they stand in front of the projection, their shadow becomes included in the memory of that former life…around and around never really getting anywhere… this time, there is a running course marked in the circuit of approximately 330m. The viewer goes ’round and ’round and occasionally, another runners appear in the frame.

More Links and info about Office Party

Exhibition details:  Office Sessions III is at Anchorage House, 2 Clove Crescent, E14 2BE (East India on the DLR).

“Office Sessions III” is open to the public on all three floors (4-6) on the following dates:

  • 27 November 2014:  6:30 PM – 10:00 PM
  • 29 November 2014:  11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • 30 November 2014:  11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Please note there is also a performance piece by Kelise Franclemont scheduled on this date from 11AM, “Right to Movement Rat Race (an exercise in subjectivity and space)”, so look out for the marathon runners (and maybe stick around to cheer them on)!

  • 5 December 2014:  6:30 PM til late
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Right to Movement Rat Race – Office Party Marathon

Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, 'Right to Movement Rat Race - Office Party Marathon', 2014, performance, duration varies. Pictured (l-r): Adam Zoltowski, Kelise Franclemont, Jonathan Slaughter. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.
Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, ‘Right to Movement Rat Race – Office Party Marathon’, 2014, performance, duration varies. Pictured (l-r): Adam Zoltowski, Kelise Franclemont, Jonathan Slaughter. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.

A group of runners will pace around and around and around this uncommonly short course (of approximately 330m) in order to make up the marathon distance of 42K. Some people sign up for runs like this for the challenge, or to achieve a particular fitness goal; others have nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon.

“Making the mundane tolerable”

What else happens besides work in the workplace? Outside the norm when the conventions of behaviour are relaxed for a while. A ritual that acts as a pressure valve. Making the mundane tolerable.

— Adam Zoltowski, artist and curator of “Office Party” (12 Nov – 5 Dec 2014)

This particular race is a response to the site itself…a circular office would be a perfect (and perfectly ridiculous) race track demonstrating and documenting (thru video and still image), the silliness that is running for 4-6 hours at a time (marathon runners have to be a bit mad no?) as well as the silliness that is containing this 42km in a 350 metre track (130 laps, give or take)…

Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, 'Right to Movement Rat Race - Office Party Marathon', 2014, performance, duration varies. Pictured (l-r): Kelise Franclemont, Jonathan Slaughter. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.
Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, ‘Right to Movement Rat Race – Office Party Marathon’, 2014, performance, duration varies. Pictured (l-r): Kelise Franclemont, Jonathan Slaughter. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.

A number of people from the Right to Movement running club have been invited to participate, as a sort of preparation for the upcoming Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem, which sees runners going around a necessarily abbreviated course multiple times because an enormous concrete wall prevents a single circuitous route of 42K.

Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, 'Right to Movement Rat Race - Office Party Marathon', 2014, performance, duration varies. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.
Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, ‘Right to Movement Rat Race – Office Party Marathon’, 2014, performance, duration varies. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.

At the same time, this race would be reminiscent of “the rat race” that this office space once embodied; the endless cycle of getting up, going to work, “making a living”, coming home, sleep, get up again next day, and start again. Over and over. Another kind of madness…

Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, 'Right to Movement Rat Race - Office Party Marathon', 2014, performance, duration varies. Pictured (l-r): Adam Zoltowski, Kelise Franclemont. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.
Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, ‘Right to Movement Rat Race – Office Party Marathon’, 2014, performance, duration varies. Pictured (l-r): Adam Zoltowski, Kelise Franclemont. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.

Suddenly this race becomes an experiment in the subjectivity of time and place…there will be no markers along the course to indicate distance, nor will there be a race clock, leaving the runner to decide:  when is enough, enough.

Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, 'Right to Movement Rat Race - Office Party Marathon', 2014, performance, duration varies. Pictured (l-r): Adam Zoltowski, Nalini Thapen. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.
Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, ‘Right to Movement Rat Race – Office Party Marathon’, 2014, performance, duration varies. Pictured (l-r): Adam Zoltowski, Nalini Thapen. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.

More Links and info about Office Party

Exhibition details:  “Office Sessions III” is at Anchorage House, 2 Clove Crescent, E14 2BE (East India on the DLR).

“Office Sessions III” is open to the public on all three floors (4-6) on the following dates:

  • 27 November 2014:  6:30 PM – 10:00 PM
  • 29 November 2014:  11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • 30 November 2014:  11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Please note there is also a performance piece by Kelise Franclemont scheduled on this date from 11AM, “Right to Movement Rat Race (an exercise in subjectivity and space)”, so look out for the marathon runners (and maybe stick around to cheer them on)!

  • 5 December 2014:  6:30 PM til late
Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, 'Right to Movement Rat Race - Office Party Marathon', 2014, performance, duration varies. Pictured (l-r): Jonathan Slaughter, Kelise Franclemont, Robin, Nalini Thapen. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.
Kelise Franclemont, documentation of performance, ‘Right to Movement Rat Race – Office Party Marathon’, 2014, performance, duration varies. Pictured (l-r): Jonathan Slaughter, Kelise Franclemont, Robin, Nalini Thapen. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Thomas Butler.
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Contemporary art and unexpected encounters of the soiree – ‘Office Sessions III’ and ‘Office Party’ – London

Public blog post about “Office Party” which mentions also my performance piece on Sunday 30 November, the “Office Party Rat Race”. The image in this photo is from “Dreams of the Rat Race (No Exit)” – a projected video work, duration 2:23 (looped).

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Dreams of the Rat Race 1 (No Exit), 2014, projected digital video

(if video doesn’t auto-play, click to watch vimeo here:  https://vimeo.com/112634742 )

Dream of the Rat Race 1 (No Exit), 2014, projected digital video, 2:23 (looped)

A short looping video in which I engage with this office space as my memory of my own prior office career… That 20 years always felt like kind of a trap, or like Sartre’s “no exit”… The viewer can be part of this nightmare; as they stand in front of the projection, their shadow becomes included in the memory of that former life…around and around never really getting anywhere…

Installation view at Office Sessions III: Office Party

curated by Adam Zoltowski

Kelise Franclemont, Installation view of 'Dreams of the Rat Race (No Exit)', 2014, projected digital video, 2:23 mins (looped). Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Kelise Franclemont, Installation view of ‘Dreams of the Rat Race (No Exit)’, 2014, projected digital video, 2:23 mins (looped). Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Kelise Franclemont, 'Dreams of the Rat Race (No Exit)', 2014, projected video, duration 2:23 (looped), in 'Office Party' as part of 'Office Sessions III', East India docks, London. Photo credit Louise Wheeler.
Kelise Franclemont, ‘Dreams of the Rat Race (No Exit)’, 2014, projected video, duration 2:23 (looped), in ‘Office Party’ as part of ‘Office Sessions III’, East India docks, London. Photo credit Louise Wheeler.

More links and info about Office Party

Exhibition details:  “Office Sessions III” is at Anchorage House, 2 Clove Crescent, E14 2BE (East India on the DLR).

“Office Sessions III” is open to the public on all three floors (4-6) on the following dates:

  • 27 November 2014:  6:30 PM – 10:00 PM
  • 29 November 2014:  11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • 30 November 2014:  11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Please note there is also a performance piece by Kelise Franclemont scheduled on this date from 11AM, “Right to Movement Rat Race (an exercise in subjectivity and space)”, so look out for the marathon runners (and maybe stick around to cheer them on)!

  • 5 December 2014:  6:30 PM til late
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‘arabic coffee’, 2014, performance and installation

Kelise Franclemont, 'arabic coffee', 2014, performance and installation in 'Collaborationem' at St Saviour's Church, Pimlico, London. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Tom Butler.
Kelise Franclemont, ‘arabic coffee’, 2014, performance and installation in ‘Collaborationem’ at St Saviour’s Church, Pimlico, London. Image courtesy the artist. Photo credit Tom Butler.

The centuries-old coffee ritual is a custom of deep cultural significance, where this rich dark drink, often served with dried dates or other sweetmeats, is a traditional gesture of warm welcome offered to all guests who happen by. An old Middle Eastern proverb goes something like, “A single cup of coffee creates a friendship that lasts for 40 years”.

My first taste of Arabic coffee was nearly 25 years ago, by the hand of a Palestinian woman who is also my friend. What fond memories I have of the many enjoyable hours accompanied by these tiny cups, and not long after that first afternoon, how proud I was to serve from my own ibrik, a very tasty and authentic “qahweh arabiya” to make my Palestinian husband feel right at home.

It’s many years later, and those friends are miles away in a time that was decades ago; nonetheless, they are never far from mind and even now, I often crave this delicious drink, stirred with so many memories.

In ‘arabic coffee’, I have appropriated this beautiful act of hospitality again as my own, in order to explore an aspect of my personal identity as I create a moment that is enriched by sharing in which I invite guests to share a cup of coffee and a conversation with me, making memories with new friends and old.

‘arabic coffee’ is part of ‘Collaborationem’, a group exhibition at St Saviour’s Church, Pimlico, from 3-6 July 2014.