Beachhead's PEACE OF MIND
May 5 - June 25
Morehshin Allahyari, Marwa Arsanios, Khaled Barakeh, Don Driver, Harun Farocki & Andrei Ujică, Matthew Galloway, Bouchra Khalili, Şener Özmen, Savaş Boyraz, Khaled Sabsabi and Hito Steyerl
Bringing a selection of art works, which politically share a common ground demanding critical thinking, social justice, and global peace, the exhibition entitled Beachhead’s Peace of Mind retrieves an archival image found on the Internet associated with the newspaper, Beachhead, which appeared in Venice of California in 1968. The first issue of Beachhead, which still serves as a free community paper* today – with a few breaks in publication over the years – started with this editorial note on its first page:
“This paper is a poem. It is the first of a series. Your participation will decide how often we appear. This paper is a poem for the people. We decided not to sell it to some of you, but to give it to all of you. It is a poem for all the people. It is also a paper made by people who love to make poems and dig doing a newspaper which is also a poem. Our subject this issue is Venice. Our purpose is to create a community. We would like to give you a new poem every day. We hope to do it, for now, every two weeks."
The image, associated with the call, displays a group of people gathered on a beach collectively forming the peace symbol. The sign was originally designed for The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND); the British nuclear disarmament movement by Gerald Holtom in 1958, and also associated with the “Ban the Bomb” movement and later with others such as “flower children” in the Summer of Love (1967) in San Francisco. A decade of radical changes, liberation movements and political transformations extended its meaning from an “anti nuclear energy” sign into generational statement.
Inspired by the unique history of Beachhead, Allen Ginsberg’s “Flower Power” and also the rich New Zealand history of political protests against land confiscation, nuclear energy, and racial discrimination, Beachhead’s Peace of Mind is constructed through an urgent call for peace.
Borrowing Beachhead’s strategy of writing, printing and distributing an open ended form of content development, and process based community oriented editorial approach; the project does not only investigate the currencies of how we can imagine a better world, but it commits to generating an online blog of artistic research, archive material and content in the public domain on collectivity, physicality and contemporaneity of resistance and hope.
With contextual focuses on specific projects from the Middle East with links to its location and global agenda, the exhibition operates as a critical agency for rethinking how migration, national borders and transnationalism influence our understandings of peace, the ethics of war and global terrorism. The programme includes two closed events in different locations with strongly referential histories and highly relevant currencies that aim to generate critical reflections through the re-visits that this project undertakes.
The rose coloured lenses of the 60's seem to be replaced by a socially realistic picture of our time with a postmodern tone in these works. Eventually, this shift in the understanding of politics, clearly defines new artistic positions and their references of identity, community and culture.
Combining diverse strategies of being an artist, a researcher and an activist, Iranian born Morehshin Allahyari investigates the possibilities of reconstructing, reanimating and resurrecting the artefacts, which are destroyed, lost or damaged by cultural terrorism or religious conservatism. Her ongoing project “Material Speculation” is a recreation of the Syrian cultural heritage in Palmyra, destroyed by ISIS on 23 May 2015, as open source digital files, 3D printed forms and their photographs. Allahyari develops an open form of resistance by positing ways in which one can reconstruct hope for the survival of intellectual property and the sustainability of historical memory.
Welcoming speech with Khaled Sabsabi LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/artspacenz/khaled-sabsabi
Opening May 5, 6 PM
Artist Talk with Matthew Galloway. LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/artspacenz/matthew-galloway-bpom
May 7, 2PM
Off Site: May-June
Workshop: “Understanding damage” co-edited by Şener Özmen, Savaş Boyraz, Hito Steyerl and Misal Adnan Yildiz, Diyarbakir, Turkey
As part of the exhibition programme Beachhead’s PEACE OF MIND, Artspace NZ organised a workshop entitled “Understanding Damage” with Mardin based artist Rojda Tuğrul, Stockholm-Istanbul based artist Savaş Boyraz, and Berlin based artist Hito Steyerl in collaboration with Diyarbakır based artist Şener Özmen, in Diyarbakır of South Anatolia, Turkey.
The four day workshop included a collectively shared research and production schedule around a new work by Steyerl, a screening event of works by the participants as well as meetings with local professionals and site visits to the Sur area, the Diyarbakır Book Fair, and also Diyarbakır’s Amed Art Gallery.
Diyarbakır has been a conflict zone for more than a year now, fighting between the PKK guerrillas and Turkish army has been followed by curfews and ongoing military operations. In this period, the city's inhabitants have been living within a state of emergency; many lives have been lost and everyday life has been violent and dangerous. Some significant historical sites, which were declared as world heritage by UNESCO, have been damaged during these military operations. The workshop was not only an extension of the exhibition programme but also a form to render the discussion topics, and a space for content development.
Di Vê Çerçoveyê De / Bu minvalde / In this way
Hito Steyerl, Extra Space Craft, 2016, still.
Şanîdana Videoyî: DSM Navenda Hunerê Ya Diyarbekirê. 22 Gulan 2016, 19:00
Promiyera cîhanê ya xebata wê ya dawîyê ya bi navê "Extra Space Craft" (2016) a hunermend û nivîskar Hito Steyerl a ku li Berlinê dijî, li gel şanîdana videoyî ya bi navê "Di Vê Çerçoveyê De" ku DSM (Navenda Hunerê Ya Diyarbekirê) mazûbanîyê jê re dike, li Amedê pêk tê. Şanîdana videoyî li gel ên Steyerl, xebatên vê dawîyê yên Şener Ozmen (Amed), Rojda Tuğrul (Mêrdîn) û Savaş Boyraz (Stockholm) di xwe de dihewîne û di sernavê xwe de ji bilî naverok, cîge û dema xwe, pişta xwe naspêre tu tiştî. Ev çalakî ji nava xebata kargehî, pêşenga "Têgihîştina Zîyanê" (Understanding Damage) ya ku hevlayê pêşenga "Bîra Aşitî ya Ser-Berav" (Beachhead's Peace of Mind, 5 May-25 June www.artspace.org) a ku niha li Nû Zelandayê, li Artspace NZê di nava bernameya pêşenga ku Misal Adnan Yıldız wê bi rê ve dibe de cî digire ye, hatiye hilberîn.
Video Gösterimi: DSM Diyarbakır Sanat Merkezi, Diyarbakır. 22 Mayıs 2016, 19:00
Berlin’de yaşayan sanatçı ve yazar Hito Steyerl, son çalışması “Extra Space Craft”ın (2016) dünya prömiyerini, DSM’nin (Diyarbakır Art Center) ev sahipliğini yaptığı “Bu Minvalde” isimli video gösterimi dahilinde; Diyarbakır’da gerçekleştiriyor. Steyerl’in yanı sıra Şener Özmen (Diyarbakır), Rojda Tuğrul (Mardin) ve Savaş Boyraz’ın (Stockholm) son dönem çalışmalarını bir araya getiren video gösterimi, başlığında içeriğinden, konumundan ve zamanından başka bir referans içermiyor. Bu etkinlik, Misal Adnan Yıldız’ın direktörlüğünü yaptığı ve Yeni Zelanda’da bulunan Artspace NZ’nin güncel programında bulunan “Plaj-Kafa’nın Sulh Zihni” (Beachhead’s Peace of Mind, 5 May-25 June www.artspace.org.nz ) isimli serginin içeriğine paralel bir atölye çalışması “Hasarı Anlamak” (Understanding Damage) sürecinde üretildi.
Video Screening: DSM Diyarbakır Art Center. 22 May 2016, 19:00
Berlin based artist and writer Hito Steyerl presented the world premier of her recent work “Extra Space Craft” (2016) in Diyarbakır as part of a video screening entitled “In this way” hosted by DSM (Diyarbakır Art Center). The screening program also included recent film works by Şener Özmen (Diyarbakır), Rojda Tuğrul (Mardin) and Savaş Boyraz (Stockholm), and refers to nothing else other than its own content, location and time. This event was an outcome of a workshop process 'Understanding Damage', (19-22 May), which ran parallel to the exhibition program of Artspace NZ, “Beachhead’s Peace of Mind” (on view 5 May- 25 June) conceived by Artspace NZ director, Misal Adnan Yıldız.
Rojda Tuğrul, Sîxûr, 2015
Rojda Tuğrul, Rê, 2015
Rojda Tuğrul, Malîno, 2014
Rojda Tuğrul, Roj, 2015
Şener Özmen, İp Atlayan Kadınlar (Women Jumping Rope), 2016
Savaş Boyraz, Evin’in Hikayesi (Evin’s Story), 2014
Savaş Boyraz, Bu arada (Meanwhile), 2014
Hito Steyerl, Extra Space Craft, 2016
Rojda Tuğrul's work (available to view online via links below), refers to the Kurdish villages of early 90s in eastern and southeastern Turkey, which were forcibly evacuated as part of a government counterinsurgency campaign intended to deprive the PKK of logistical support. As a result of this forced displacement, many of the abandoned villages in the region were inhabited by returning wild animals. Among those animals is the “Sîxûr” (Porcupine) who is the main actor in this story. The Sîxûr is used as a spy metaphor in Kurdish culture and is the hero of civilization in mythology. The migration of the Sîxûr is an indirect expression of the evacuated villager’s plight. What we know about the story is revealed through the people who decided to return in the early 2000s. “Rê” (Road) is the intersection point of Sîxûr and people. "Roj" (Day) is the day that the porcupine could save itself and find paths to migrate after the mountains were also bombed. "Malîno" (family) is the time after evacuation, being pursuit of site memory through sound.
Rojda Tuğrul, Sîxûr, 2015
Rojda Tuğrul, Rê, 2015
Rojda Tuğrul, Malîno, 2014
Rojda Tuğrul, Roj, 2015
Photo by Carla Gullichsen
On the Boathouse – hosted by Varda Artists Residency (VAR)
Sausalito, California, USA
VAR Program Program Founder and Coordinator, Carla Gullichsen organised a special event with the participation of the current artists in residence on the SS Vallejo houseboat; France Dubois, J A Kennedy, Kim Cordova and Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon.
The event took the form of a seated dinner with a pink menu. Each participant presented their recent works and current research focus. Misal Adnan Yıldız introduced his research around Beachhead's PEACE OF MIND, and presented selected film works from the programme with references to the recent workshop in Diyarbakir. Yıldız connected poet Allen Ginsberg with the project, acknowledging his past on the SS Vallejo houseboat, and finally the Beachhead community publication of Venice Beach, California.
The idea of living on a houseboat - an independent entity in between nature and urban environment - the rich history of the SS Vallejo with the many artists, hippies and intellectuals of its golden era, as well as the currencies and urgencies in contemporary art, were some of the main discussion topics of the event, alongside the experimental climate of artists studios on the water. Aiming to question the diverse layers of how we live together, the visit and event have developed an understanding of a shared question between self-organization, autonomy, and alternative art cultures: How can we create an open platform for understanding the relationship between artistic vision and scientific thinking?
Artspace and VAR have an ongoing partnership where we facilitate the residency of a New Zealand artist each year on the SS Vallejo. Thanks to: Tolo and Carla Paloma, Tora Prince Rama and the spirit of Bear the cat.
Closing event: Oceania Interrupted & Pala Molisa
June 25, 2 PM
This event was organised by the Artspace Education team: Salome Tanuvasa and Siliga David Setoga, after they participated in the Tautai tertiary trip, which helps tertiary art students explore art.
Special thanks to Hito Steyerl for her guidance and support
Lenders: Gallery Polaris (Bouchra Khalili), Harun Farocki GbR, Andrew Kreps Gallery (Hito Steyerl), Pilot Gallery (Şener Özmen). Private lenders: Carolynn & Nigel Whiteman (Don Driver), Fiona Clark (Don Driver).
Matthew Galloway's project was originally commisioned by the The Blue Oyster Trust