An installation artwork made of metal wires , gypsum , cloth and video art
An installation artwork made of metal wires , gypsum , cloth and video art
This is a kind of mock-up of something that’s been floating around my head for a minute. I’ve been crushing on illuminated manuscripts recently (particularly the 9th Century Christian Gospel manuscript The Book of Kells), and have been thinking about how to do a similar thing for a text-based adventure game (for example, here’s one I made earlier – I have no idea what the new game will be yet, but I’m trying to be ok with working in the dark about that and just following my guts). So this is it, an animated border for a game to come.
For over 5 years now whenever I start a new painting or drawing, before I put anything else down on paper, I draw some guts. It feels like they should be the foundation from which everything else is built on top of. The image of guts have become a stand-in for me that speaks to eating, digestion, shit, waste, and desire. So it feels appropriate for this to be one of the first things I make as part of the residency.
Welcome to my studio, where I can share my practices and my experiences.
This space belongs to an emerging Palestinian artist called Shaima Sheikh Ali or “Mohammad Ali”, since the israeli colonial forced us to change the name of our family in the “israeli ID”!
My multimedia art explores the liminal space between the personal and the collective, which is a point of intersection and a point of departure. I use sculpture and video as the main elements in my installation art.
The most common challenge that artists in general and the Palestinian artist in particular, is experiencing challenges of all political, societal and religious censorship that may be imposed by the authority, in which this external censorship gradually turns into self-censorship imposed on the Palestinian self. Internal control requires deception and covering up of information we know about our real issues; this comes from the womb of truth and reality. Access to this information raises the value of freedom of expression and critical thinking.
In addition, there is a scarcity of supporting institutions, and lack of Palestinian artistic platforms, especially in Jerusalem, due to the restrictions and oppression imposed by the colonists. Parents also have power that can limit their children’s progress, and impose their control, which prevents them from taking important steps towards what they want. In addition to these challenges, physical disability also has a place, which I struggle with in particular. It’s the reason why I can’t access some exhibitions and art residencies; a situation that makes the everyday difficult, and makes the difficult impossible.
This residency will give me the platform that I need to expand my experience in order to share it with you. I am excited to be on this residency on Vital Capacities, to develop one of my techniques that I previously developed for one of my artworks.
You are very welcome to take a look around my studio, and if you have something that you want to say or to share with me please feel free to leave a comment.
Hi, my name is Bassam Issa, welcome to my studio. I am a film maker and artist based between Belfast and Dublin. For this residency I will be working with artist and researcher Jennifer Mehigan.
We have been developing a collaborative project over the last 12 months that explores the mythology of Japanese knotweed, its lineage as the largest female organism on earth, and its alignment with gendered tropes of dominatrixes, goddesses, giantesses, and other dehumanised feminine bodies. We are interested in exploring this in the space between abstraction and unreality, examining the dirt, the bodies buried within it, and what they might bring to light.
I will be spending much of the residency on character design and creating CGI environments for them to inhabit. I will be posting some WIP shots of the work so please feel free to follow along 😊
Text here with an edit
For the eighth Vital Capacities‘ residency, we partner with Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), Shubbak Festival, Videotage (Hong Kong) and Wysing Art Centre (Cambridge) to work with artists from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Palestine and Hong Kong. From 1 May, artists Bassam Issa, Sammy Paloma, Shaima Muhammad Ali and Su Hui-Yu & XTRUX will join Vital Capacities, to undertake research and develop new work. Working with our partners, they will explore and exchange new ideas using their studio spaces, and create new work throughout the residency.
The artists for May 2023’s residency are:
Bassam Issa works across digital animation, painting, sculpture, and textiles creating visions of resistance, transformation, and queer possibility. He completed a BA in Visual Art Practice from Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology in 2016. Recent solo exhibitions include: IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE, TAKE THIS! The Douglas Hyde Gallery(2022) I AM ERROR, Gasworks, London (2021), and De La Warr Pavilion, Sussex (2022).
Sammy Paloma is an artist, poet and witch living in Shetland, on a croft by a beach, next to a bog, with 11 chickens. She paints, prints, tattoos, writes poetry, and makes computer games (with Uma Breakdown). Her work is into how divination disturbs linear time, grief rituals and necromancy. Her current obsession is the overlapping folklore and paranormal phenomena surrounding both boglands and crossroads.
Shaima Mohammad Ali is an artist from the destroyed village of Beit Thul in Palestine. She uses sculptural elements and video art to explore the liminal space between the personal and the collective, where it is a point of intersection and where it is a point of departure. She draws her inspiration from that which demands an interruption to the every day. Her art is political in that it refuses to take on a singular perspective, preferring to reflect the mixture and entwinement of politics in the day-to-day of the Palestinian individual through their life, hopes and dreams.
Su Hui-Yu & XTRUX – Su Hui-Yu is a Taipei based artist who has been working on his specific “Re-shooting” series which focuses on Taiwan’s colonial histories, martial law memory and body-politics for many years. XTRUX is a Taiwanese collective art founded in October 2020 with a number of creators whose works focus on new media art. Su and XTRUX have been cooperating on experimental projects since 2022.
Residencies will launch on 1 May 23 – find out what artists are up by joining our mailing list and following them on: vitalcapacities.com
May’s residency programme is delivered in partnership with Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), Shubbak Festival, Videotage (Hong Kong) and Wysing Art Centre, with support from Arts Council England.
Vital Capacities is an accessible, purpose-built digital residency space, that supports artists’ practice while engaging audiences with their work.
Vital Capacities has been created by videoclub in consultation with artists, digital inclusion specialist Sarah Pickthall and website designer Oli Pyle.
images of a forest, nature and rocks with 3d modeled figures superemposed on top of the images
wait a moment
as your body slowly turns into wood
a voice note mixed with choir singing
continuing to sketch > < continuing to sketch
visible roots left in the ground > < follow up for the tree
tabla tabla strings and vocals >
a call to recent studies >
video description: set to another Lollywood classic, this short clip splits the screen into two separate panels. Each one follows the camera movement from dead roots laid in the grass upward to a living tree and then up again to the blue sky – the movement is from grey decay to lush green and blue life. As the intro to the song finishes and the first vocal is about to drop in, the image pauses for a brief moment…two tabla-like images appear side to side. Both are rotating circles with an inner circle of a blackened wood texture, made to appear like the syahi, the central point of the tabla skin. Both rotating circles give the sense of vinyl records being played, with the outer ring on both circles featuring two distinct family images. One is of my two grandfathers sternly sizing each other up. The other is of my grandmother and her best friend sizing up the camera. As the song continues and fades out, the images are taken away by a burning line across the screen.
Some Depressing voice notes
I was going to post my voice notes that I made to capture a tone I needed in the work I am making but actually, I dont want to share these with anyone until I am ready so I am not posting them all but Ill post one.
Im using my voice notes to try and process my feelings
A British conceptual and installation artist born in Ilford.
Landy is best known for Break Down, a performance piece where he categorically destroyed all of his possessions in a disused C&A on Oxford St. It has been widely read as a critique of consumerism, following on from early work of his that overtly criticises a growing consumerist ethic. I think the work contains an inner dimension that allows for a deep denial of materiality (not just material), making it spiritual and ascetic. The work was visceral and emotional for Landy.
After ‘Break Down’ he took a hiatus from making art before returning with Semi-detached. The latter is a lesser known work of his but I find it conceptually important that after destroying all of his possessions that he felt the need to recreate his home. This house is such a ubiquitous image in Ilford and witnessing it in the gallery space gives me mixed feelings. In some ways, the work seems to be a direct discussion about the area, home and Landy’s personal history. Mobilising the aesthetic feels representative. The work engages in a kind of elevation of normality. An edification of all of the processes of house-building: window fitting, door framing, coving, roofing etc. While obviously not unique to Ilford, this building is a complete replica that brings Ilford into the gallery space and it makes the address in Ilford another site of the work.
In other ways, the work misses an opportunity to have a discussion about how dynamic Ilford is as an area. The focus is on a frozen moment in the artists history and does not engage more widely in the creation of place. The neighbours, the local supermarket, the high street, the bus stop, the local park. These aspects of home-place-making are all conspicuously absent from the work.
Anyway, the work is actually all about Landy’s dad who was confined to the house after a mining accident in 1976. It’s about his father’s incapacitation and a reflection of working class conditions in 1970s Britain. So of course, it isn’t about Ilford at all neither elevating its normality nor missing its dynamism but keeping a focus on the father-figure. In some ways, Landy’s work is about ancestry and those who have come before. The excerpt from a Guardian interview with the artist below strings together the relationship between Break Down and Semi-detatchced.
“One object that Landy didn’t destroy until right at the end, which went round and round the conveyor like an unclaimed suitcase, was a big old sheepskin jacket – his dad’s. “My mother had bought it on credit just before he had his industrial accident. After that, it became too heavy for him to wear any more. She still had to pay it off. In a sense, this sheepskin coat became him, travelling around on this yellow tray…Landy later made a significant work about his dad, Semi-detached, in which a precise replica of his parents’ Ilford semi was erected in Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries in 2004. It was the sort of emotionally loaded artwork he couldn’t have imagined making before Break Down. “I was interested in my dad’s value as a human being. What’s rubbish? What’s a weed? Why is my dad a total wreck case? That’s what preoccupies me.””
(( THIS WAS A GREAT REVIEW OF ANOTHER SHOW OF HIS ))
Most recently Landy has been making work about Essex, the county of his and my own birth. Reviled as the capital of countries nouveau-riche, Landy documents the nations view of Essex in his 2021 exhibition Welcome to Essex at the Firstsite Gallery in Colchester. His archive Essexism turns the mirror on a liberal-metropolitan elite who have written about the rise of Essex as a kind of phenomenon. It shows them as frightened of the emergence of a new kind of middle class who do not seek the sanctified sophistication of upper-crust England but use their wealth to adorn themselves while otherwise staying authentic in speech, action and style. While the classism is a clear issue tackled in the work so is the accompanying misogyny.
The construction of the ‘Essex girl’ has been used as a way to demonise young women and label them ‘stupid’ for seeking different kinds of mobility. In the accompanying documentary, Landy meets superstar businesswoman, Amy Childs, who it turns out is his first cousin once removed. He makes a point about their similarity and even uses products of hers in his exhibition as part of the archive.
The work feels authentic, political and as described by Landy himself iconoclastic. I appreciate that he includes his mother in the documentary work, that he explores spaces he knew as a child and that he admits how ignorant he was about Essex throughout most of his life. I feel inspired by how genuine he seems and through reading about his life and work I take away the following lesson:
bringing the family into the frame, forgoing the material, seeking something of home,
Looking for a pace of world building that doesnt throws you in the mist of a story
The shots in the film
wow—an amazing sense of scale and movement having history unfold behind the main characters
loved the slomo painting shots
These could go on forever
i winder if the episodes can have a visual like this
slow but progressing somewhere
Ive been writing the new draft of the script which currently is aweful but slowly is coming togther. I definitely think writing in an episodic way will let me get a better idea of the pacing and how to do the story.
anyway have a read
Sepp : Hey…looks like it’s just us.
June : Looks like it (giggles)
Sepp : Did you enjoy the ceremony?
June : Hahha fuck no… these traditional meetings feel empty to me especially as they never include me.
Sepp : Yeah…I know…they are wrong for that…you should definitely be front and center
June : front and center? I don’t think I want to be verified to that extent.
Sepp : well Maybe It would make me pay attention a little more …closely
June: ….oh and why would that make you pay a little more attention
Their bodies are closer now, almost touching. Almost breathing on each other.
The sky cracks in half as the long forgotten voice of a lost GOD returns to earth.
The air began to resonate as it shifted through the atmosphere of carbon nitrogen and oxygen. The make up of life changed unbeknownst to anyone.
June : What the fuck was that?
Sepp : (covering her head) Jesus sounds like the whole sky exploded.
June is already running to a window. There are a lot of murmurs in the bar.
June looks out the window but sees nothing
A few others who were in the room have also run to the window.
No one says anything as they stare transfixed outside.
Sepp : (after catching up) Do you see anything?
Sepp comes close to them and holds their arm. It’s the first time they have touched all evening
June : (wrapping her arm under the waist of Sepp) No…but I feel like…(they look at Sepp and notice the anxiety on their face)…Hey are you ok?
The air was charged. Like a thick soup of static. As the voice wrapped itself around the planet and began to touch the ground the static rose on the skin of their backs.
June’s hair was floating as though she was submerged in water.
Everyone looked at her but their hair remained normal.
A buzzing sound could faity be heard.
June : It feels like I’m surrounded by electricity (they stop and listen)…can you..(they listen again)…do you hear something?
The buzzing sound gets louder.
Sepp : Let’s get away from the window.
The buzzing sound can be heard by everyone now. Although it had begun as an auditory experience, its frequency had begun to resonate within their bodies.
June sinks to the floor feeling a wave of nausea as their organs shake with the sound
June : Sepp I…I…
A pulse shook through the ground.
Sepp falls to the ground beside june.
The two bury their heads into each other’s shoulders.
They scream in unison as they expect the building they are in to fall in on them.
And then suddenly
June: Are you still here…
Sepp: I’m with you…im with you
Their heads rise to meet each others gaze.
They are only an inch apart
The other members in the room are all standing against the walls as if the pulse had not been felt by them.
Their gaze fixed on the two holding on to each other
They watch them in silence.
June : Sepp…
Sepp leans in whispering
Sepp : Don’t leave me tonight
A radio is playing in a bedroom with june asleep in bed.
Whats more sensible religion or atheism
Radio : ….and surely No one was able to sleep in such a painfully traumatic freak weather event, a phase of extraordinary awe full weather.
Call in person: I called the next morning as I was due to go into surgery and now I’ve been told I need to rebook, and rebook means I loose 100 percent of the amount we paid for…
Radio Host: …but you surely know that they don’t want to operate on you if this could happen again…it is disgusting however that you have to repay for…
Call in person : My surgery is life saving…there is no other date…I don’t have that time….unless i go to a private surgery…which is what we have to do now and that’s going to cost me everything, I want to go to small claims….
Radio : look if you went to the hearing I am not sure you would win I’m afraid and that’s all the time we have for you… our next caller says they have some background info into this freak weather….Hi Lady Da
Call in perso :…Don’t say it…not you…not yet not every…
Radio Host :…okay
Lady Da : The Fabric of The earth has changed
Radio Host : oh hear we go
Lady Da: from small wood to the largest group It will grow and those that don’t grow with it….wont grow at all
Radio Host : ok….so Sometime we get people like you and I am half tourn if we give you air time or not…i mean the rating love…..
Sepp walks into the room fully dressed
Sepp : Hey wake up….we overslept
June : mmmmmmmmhmm…
Sepp : Get up please I need to go now
June : Just go without me….i leave later
Sepp : No I don’t want to do that June
June : Ugh why not….
Sepp : Did you forget my name….
June : (June blushed) …There were a lot of names at the ceremony…and I was talking more to your other ….lips…
Sepp : Oh….Shut up (giggle) look we have to go right now…I’m sorry you need to leave
June : What tine is it
Sepp : Go
June : (annoyed) What? Ok why are your being so rude…what’s going on.
Your suddenly asking me to leave out of no where…
Sepp : I can explain….
June : wait…hold up…explain…oh no
June gets up and starts to put on clothes
Sepp : look we can talk late..
June : fuck you
Sepp : its not THAT…ITS not June look at e
June : It’s not WHAT?….It’s fine you just wanted to try out….i get it…come one June why did you think this bitch would even be
Sepp looks outside the window
Sepp looks through the window
June : If you wanted to try it why did you have to do it with ne…COME ON JUNE
Sepp : June…
June : I want you to listen…This is
Sepp opens the curtains
The vision of a inverted atmosphere meets them
June : HOLY FUCK…..
Sepp : Do you feel that?
June : That pull?
Sepp : What…No…It’s like a
June : WHy is the sun….Black
The door slams shut and footsteps approach the door
AODEN: SEPP! HAVE YOU SEEN THE…..
The door is swung open
He stairs at them
June is on their way to the bus stop. It’s busy, everyone is outside. All work and schools have been shut due to the dangerous weather.
June is on the phone with a cordless headset
It’s very early
It calls and first goes to voice mail
June : Ah fuck come o pick up
No one picks up.
June : Alone again…what the fuck did you expects…you deserve
The phone rings
June : hello
Pussydon (through the phone): …hey are you ok…its 5 in the morning…
June : its an emergency…
Pussydon :…ummm….What do you neeed?
June : I mean…ok there are two
Pussydon : Bitch you know Ive just gotten up and the only emergency I can think is about you late night date with the Lady from the ceremony
June : Have you looked outside?
Pussydon : Don’t hold out on me with this mess…I need to
June : Just open the window…
Pussydon : Ok, If i do it slow enough maybe you’ll be able to tell me what happened with whoever she was
June : I…It was bad…
June: She…I dont know…she was just…using me
Pussydon: sooo… it was a one night stand?
June: Yeah….until her man came home
Pussydon : What….in the act? Oh my god
June: No no. In the morning I mean look at the time its fucking 9 am…he came home because of the whats goin on…i mean BABE LOOK OUT SIDE
Pussydon: Okay okay..but are you ok?
June: Im…ok…I just feel that this will always happen like whenever i think a girl is really interested something is always fucked up…im so tired of being alone…like are we
Pussydon: Holy fuck…JUNE what happened?
June: What im telling you….
Pussydon: THE SUN IS BLACK!
June: Oh….yes I told you…
Pussydon: …its true…(overlapping)
June:…this happened last night you didnt feel the shake?…and wait whats true
Pussydon: COme over….now
June: I am gonna go home I need to call my mum
Pussydon: I need you to come here
Pussydon: Look when you come illl explain
->go to Pussydon’s
->go to Pussydons
On the way to Pussydons june listens to the ending of the radio show
What is more sensible- a show that discusses the reason why one way of living may be more sensible then another.
The current discussion is weather it is healthier to believe in spiritual significance or if logical thinking is a healthy approach to unexplained supernatural phenomenon
Around 2 mind into it they leave the bus and take off their head phones and walk towards Pussydons house
They turn the corners and walk towards
There is a bunch of people outside of the house of pussydon
June takes her headphones off
The crowd are visibility animated and pointing down the road
Following their finger it seems as though they were pinting to wards the trees in the distance
The trees linger in the distance staring back
A light glow can be seen in the forest
As though a fire burnt in the branches
June reaches the group
June : Hey…hey…what’s going on?
Random people : we are going now….you know….you know…ok
Pussydon watches them leave eyes locked on
Something else had been left in their place that seems so much bigger
June: what’s that all about…
Pussydon: We gotta go…walk and talk
June:…what’s up girl
Pussydon: I mean I don’t know how to say it…something is in the forest
Pussydon: soemthing that wasn’t there but is now
June: You’re being way too cryptic
Scene starts with a radio show presenting the facts of the day
The sound of a scene of commotion can be heard over the commentator who are processing the scene. Sirens and shouts often pierce the reporters voice. They are having a hard time dealing with it and keeping a composure (when an Abuser makes you act as though nothing is happening)
Reporter: I am reporting from the edge of the forest which id being coordined off as I speak. (Hard swallow) For the good of us…for our good I am told to say that…everything is fine. Some of my early panicked news reports were my fault…its my fault…i am sorry….sorry…illl do better… (muffles)
It’s believed that there could be some form of contaminate in within the forest. Something that wasn’t there before, somethings that should not be there….
My co-star REVEN Gnorw will report from the helicopter. Hi REVEN…what are you skiing
The loud sound of the helicopter fights with the reporter
Raven : Hey all, looking from above we have a visual on something obscured by the trees. It’s glowing its…oh god I wish you could explain this to me…they are slowly cutting away the branches and….revealing more of it and….its….
June and Pussydon are Quarentined in a quickly put together inflatable quarantine building
There is a feeling of contentment as there is no communication about what’s going on.
A person wearing a hazmat suit is holding out Some sort of throat thermometer
June :…and how much…..
Hazmat: open your mouth please
June : erm ok…Can you tell me what were doing here we need to
Hazmat:…can I just jump in for a second…your literally the last person I have to swab before I get out of here…just let me get this done
Hazmat: Just open your mouth please
June: I don’t have to do anything you tell me (she clearly shaken and reminded of past events)
Pussydon: She’s not gonna do it…we aren’t here for this
Hazmat: My job is to keep you alive to make sure
June: Alive?! What the fuck are going to die?
Pussydon : not in here like this
Hazmat: No no
Pussydon: Do me….keep me alive
Hazmat: What…you’ve been done..
June: wait you got it don
Pussydon: it’s mandatory if you need to piss
Hazmat: Do you want me to find an alternative way to….
Junes hair slowly begins to stand up
Hazmat suit does not notice
this work is a quick sketch >
it’s a rough work based on recent research >
< it also uses previous studies
the footage is taken from one mountain spring in the Harz >
suddenly any place where the water flows is a place I can imbibe with a sense of home/belonging >
bodies of water as liminal spots of belonging >
this work draws its title from lyrics in Mark of my Departure >
it is meant tobe funny >
video description: set to a classic Lollywood tune this video juxtaposes different images of flowing water in different shaped frames. The frames are sometimes overlapping, sometimes slowly elongating and are synchronised to reflect moments in the musical journey. The water is flowing from a small stream across grey-brown rocks flanked by some greenery and soft moss. The water is clear and the flow is strong.
As the beat drops and the tabla comes into full swing, two circular images are seen rotating on the screen. The two images are in the same style and both created in the same way. On the left is an image of my grandfather, reading a newspaper, looking away from the camera. His image is framed by a circular photograph of a chopped tree trunk. Using the same method, the image on the right has the chopped tree trunk frame with an image of my father and his brothers in it, all sporting the wild 1970s style of facial and head hair. The two images rotate continuously in the style of old vinyl before slowly fading out.
more studies in chopping the tabla
these are my two grandfathers surveying each other
my grandmother and her best friend
MADE THE SYAHI
Using the image of the chopped down tree stumps, I fashioned the syahi for these tabla’d images, making the symbol of dislocation the central point of attention. Reversing the process from the previous studies, trying to be more direct in the tabla reference and combing through the family pictures. This process has reminded me that so much of this work is about building an archive for/of the family that reconnects the ancestral lineage severed by dislocation.
can’t stop watching/listening to these tunes >
Noor Jehan is an icon > singer of over 10,000 recorded songs > first female Pakistani film director in 1951 > affectionately known as the Queen of Melody >
Below you can hear Noor Jehan singing ‘Lal meri pat’ >
Lal meri Pat is the original version of the song that venerates the saint Lal Shahbaz Qalander > it brings the research out from the mystic 12th century reaches > out also from the Afro-South Asian connections > straight to Lollywood >
Pakistan’s film industry set up in Lahore has its own heroes and history > if interested > this podcast has been a joy to listen to >
I’ve been blaring these songs in my room and in my headphones on the go >
I’ve been paying attention to the way these videos are shot and edited >
I’ve enjoyed the sharp, deliberate, on-beat chopping >