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‘Corduroy Dog (or, How Memories Become Real)’, 2019, digital film and digital/AR objects (trailer)

Here is the story of how a memory and a seminal artefact from my childhood became Real.

Mock-umentary (duration approx. 20 minutes), digital film and digital/AR memory object (Corduroy Dog). Directed and edited by Kelise Franclemont. Reading from “A Velveteen Rabbit” (1922) by Margery Williams.

Feature short coming soon (28 August 2019)!

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Spending time with Thyrsis (Volunteers Week at Tate Britain, London)

A vital component of my art practice is finding ways to share my passion with others (outside of exhibiting my artwork or teaching, of course!) So when the opportunity to join Tate as a Volunteer Visitor Host came up, I said “yes!” immediately. I have always loved Tate since my first visit to Tate Modern in 2004 where I experienced Olafur Eliasson’s “Weather Project”, one of those life-changing artworks I’ll never forget.

Tate’s real “superpower”, though, is not just in this one artwork; their true strength lies in the impactful way of taking the viewer on a journey – it’s their ability to tell a story through the experience of art that I find compelling – and I wanted to be a part of that story. ¬†Also, my role as a Visitor Host is a great way to share my passion for art with other people whom I might not meet otherwise. It’s a real pleasure to help others enjoy Tate‚Äôs collection in variety of ways – it might be a chance conversation about a particular artwork, providing information about activities that day, or just guiding them through the 500 years of British Art.

Which brings me to “Thrysis” (James Havard Thomas, 1912, bronze), prominently displayed just inside the Millbank entrance. Thyrsis¬†hasn‚Äôt always been a favourite; but I noticed it more and more each time a group of school children came through the door; of the four works in this foyer, the kids seem to notice Thyrsis first, pointing and giggling, while adults rarely notice him at all.
James Havard Thomas, ‘Thyrsis’, 1912, bronze, at Tate Britain, London. Image courtesy Tate.org.uk
Who is this naked flute player, I asked myself. A few minutes and an iPhone led me to the story of Thyrsis depicted here, a bold shepherd boy who challenged a god/musical genius, Corydon, to a singing contest – and lost. Perhaps, as is often a god‚Äôs way, Thyrsis lost his life for his audacity. Or at the very least, his dignity, which was hardly fair, considering Corydon’s poetic prowess.
Another reference more contemporary to Thomas’s time was a poem with which the artist surely was familiar, by Mathew Arnold (1865) about lost youth Рin which Arnold writes that it was Time that conquers Thyrsis, not Corydon. Standing next to the sculpture now, I find it beautifully ironic that all the kids notice this bold young man (frozen in the moment of dauntless hope that he might win a contest against someone far more experienced and accomplished than he, a god), while adults pass Thyrsis right on by and don’t offer a second glance.
I’ve heard it said, “youth is wasted on the young”, yet the way our young visitors engage with this artwork may suggest otherwise…
Images courtesy http://www.twitter.com/tate
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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.

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One subsequent weekends at Platform 1 Gallery are two more shows: ¬†‚ÄúTranscending‚ÄĚ from artist¬†Ema Mano Epps with¬†Verica Kovacevska and¬†Norman Mine, and finally, ‚ÄúFragment‚ÄĚ 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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‘The Promised Land (in amazing stereoscopic vision)’, 2016, digital video and stereoscopic goggles

Kelise Franclemont, 'The Promised Land', 2016, HD digital video on iPad with stereoscopic goggles and sound, duration 1:40 (looped). Image courtesy the artist.
Kelise Franclemont, ‘The Promised Land’, 2016, HD digital video on iPad with stereoscopic goggles and sound, duration 1:40 (looped). Image courtesy the artist.

The “Promised Land”, the land of milk and honey, the place where all good things will come to the chosen people and the true believers. In London,¬†the “Promised Land” is not just for immigrants and dreamers, those who aspire to wealth and privilege that can be had in the capital, London is already here for the posh and the prosperous. This great golden city belongs to the movers and the shakers, the 1% who can afford to live in¬†high-rise flats and¬†work in their downtown shiny offices.

Not everyone is so lucky in the lottery of birth and not everybody finds the better life they seek when they get to “The Promised Land” they keep hearing about from their parents, friends, and politicians, tales that have been told since the Industrial Age…the sounds of building a high-rise contrasts starkly with the images in a different story of broken promises, dead-ends, and forgotten dreams.

Kelise Franclemont, ‘The Promised Land’, 2016, HD digital video on iPad with stereoscopic goggles and sound, duration 1:40 (looped) – EXCERPT

If the video does not auto-play, please click here.


‘The Promised Land’ was recently exhibited in ‘Fast Forward/Rewind’ – Chelsea Alumni Summer Show 2016 at Punctum Gallery, Chelsea College of Arts, from 18-22 July 2016.

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‘Postcards’ selected for ‘Identity’ group exhibition with AWAH, Manchester

¬†“Postcards from the Land of No People (wish you were here)”,¬†2015, printed postcards in a wooden rack ¬†

A contemporary Orientalist sees herself in Palestine through a series of souvenir postcards… whether or not she belongs or is welcome there…

This piece is about how memory and identity intermingle and become truth for the author of that history. A series of found images dated from late 1890s are appropriated from the US Library of Congress “Holy Land” archives and the artist inserts herself into the image attempting to become an integral part of the narrative by almost any means possible. This can be a metaphor for personal history, the artist having once been immersed in all things Palestinian by marriage or the images could point to some vague but potent longing to belong to the exotic “Other” culture, even for just a moment as a tourist to some foreign land. There is an element of humour here, with the artist fully aware of the “square peg, round hole” issues at play here and the absurdity of a certain tone of Colonialism that tries to overwrite history, yet there is no lacking in sincerity for the love of this corner of the Earth once known as the “Land of No People‚ÄĚ.

On the reverse of each card is written a message from the artist to “My darling” (a lover? a family member? a friend?), with the sentiment, “wish you were here!” along with¬†a short message to share the experience with the postcard recipient.

To see this and the many other works in “Identity” (21 January to 13 March 2016), head to Manchester to Art with a Heart [AWAH], a charity arts organisation in nearby Altrincham.

Founded in 2012, AWAH is a charity that comprises of 4-5 small exhibition galleries, hosting workshops, exhibitions, charitable events, and volunteering opportunities aimed at supporting the arts and creative communities, as well as promoting Altrincham heritage and history.

If you’re in the area, have a look in!

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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.

Even the photos we take on our smartphones, stolen memories are remade to suit our own histories.

As seen in:  

MA Fine Art Postgraduate Summer Show 2015

at Chelsea College of Arts, London

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More links and info about the MA Fine Art Summer Show

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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 ‚Äú‚Ķchallenge the ‚Äėoccupancy‚Äô inside the regimented frameworks‚ÄĚ 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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‘Postcards from The Land of No People’, 2015, printed postcards in a wooden rack

A contemporary Orientalist sees herself in Palestine in a series of souvenir postcards… whether or not she belongs or is welcome there…
Because isn’t this what we all do, when we travel to an exotic place, proudly saying “please” and “thank you” in exactly the correct pronunciation of an Other tongue, imagining ourselves for a moment, in asking for the bill, to be mistaken for a native…

while the server, laughing behind his or her eyes, sees right through your identity to a colonial past that is, along with your fantasy, part author to this current moment. Nodding and smiling and complimenting your excellent Arabic, which you both know is harnessed to expectations of generosity, which you gladly bestow for recognition of being seen as you wish to be seen. All of us pretending in this business transaction, an exchange until all accounts are empty.

MA Fine Art Interim Show
Chelsea College of Arts, London
 
22 January 2015
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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.

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‘broken window’ charcoal-drawn animation is part of 2013 BA grad show – Wimbledon College of Art

Kelise Franclemont, ‘broken window’, 2013, charcoal-drawn digital animation, duration 00:00:22s (looped)

A brief memory of a broken window in Nablus, Palestine. What can be broken, what can be fixed, neither remains.

More links and information about ‘broken window’