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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”.

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’ 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

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  • 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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‘Caught in the Act’, 2015, series of digital photographic prints

This exhibition of digital photographic prints by Kelise Franclemont, candidly documents preparation for the final MA Fine Art Summer show in August 2015. Stealing a glimpse of artists in the act of making, the images invite an intimacy with the subject. Taken on an iPhone without the artist’s knowledge or permission, these documents are being shared publicly for the first time as Display #17 for Chelsea Cafe Project.

These images capture fragmentary moments of production, becoming part of the history and biography of artist and artwork. By sharing these perceived intimacies, the photographer is embedding themselves within a narrative to an externalised audience; invited here to observe the relationship between the maker and the made. – from Chelsea Cafe Project blog. Display #17 curated by Cherie Silver.

More links and information:

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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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‘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

 

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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:

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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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‘taxi driver dialogue, on highway 1, halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv’, installation for BA Summer Show 2013

From ‘Taxi Driver Dialogue’, 2013, audio and installation, 30 minutes, in 2013 BA Summer Show at Chelsea College of Arts, London. Image courtesy Kelise Franclemont.
From ‘Taxi Driver Dialogue’, 2013, audio and installation, 30 minutes, in 2013 BA Summer Show at Chelsea College of Arts, London. Image courtesy Kelise Franclemont.

‘taxi driver dialogue, on Highway 1 halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv’

2013, installation and digital audio with subtitles, duration 00:30:00 minutes

The listener becomes the conveyor of an unlikely conversation between two taxi drivers that starts and ends somewhere between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and back again.

Watch an excerpt on Vimeo (with subtitles): Chapter 1: Borders and Checkpoints

More links and information about ‘taxi driver dialogue’:

 

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