The beginning of transitstation
The idea transitstation, exhibition as event, started with the observation of images alongside the tracks while moving on a train between places and destinations in foreign towns. The fleeting landscapes, cities and homes became the ephemeral and could only be imagined as a foreign every day life. I envisioned an exhibition concept, which is dominated by a multiplicity of images and small event places like huts, wagons, constructed walkways, temporary platforms in different heights, all mounted together within the confines of the Gallery Space. A world within a world within a world.
The visual impact of different activities, foods, curiosities and superficial challenges for the visitor’s eyes: an overload of impressions and nothing that could stand still.
The Gallery space at the time was visualized with different temporary structures. Artists could temporarily occupy places to counter-act with the idea of Live Art and Performance Art. The core question, which preceded the idea of transitstation apart from observing the passing of distant cities, was a very subjective question: what is Performance Art? Knowing that many people are still relating this art practice to Theatre, Live Art, Performing Arts and Entertainment strategies. My understanding and intention with Performance Art is however very different. I felt the challenge to allow this question to be positioned within an exhibition concept. Like in a mirror maze, the viewer and artist alike were imagined to share experiences and time in a dynamic situation, to search ways through different places and actions, walking up and down, passing through doors, climbing ladders, standing on platforms. …
The artist and the work on tour traveling, nomadic and transient as he carries the pack like part of the caravan, is confronted with a restlessness that hides an inward longing for what is known and familiar. The meaning of “home” is indeterminate and temporary. People working and living whilst traveling are in a binary position in regards to the idea of “home”. They are traveling and establishing an alien temporary position: a structure for the moment. “When the caravan passes, the dog barks” and when transitstation stops with its vivid images of either comforting or distressing moments, life just goes on and time passes regardless of the dog’s eternal complaints.
Apart from the initial images of “staging” an exhibition, it became more important to experiment and research the idea of transience and to engage with the notion of “the nomadic artist”: Artists on the road, Artists transporting their work, Artists searching for destinations and places, Artists making their work in foreign countries, Artists facing their identities, Artists meeting different witnesses, Artists meeting Artists, Artists in solitude because their home is not their home. The artist’s orientation is the discovery of new landmarks.
There is an image between stations en route; a train is moving between locations and different cultures whilst moving through the landscapes. Every now and then it stops at a station: a transitstation.
The work transitstation and the exhibition concept developed in the process of production on a transient route involving organization, coordination, and operation.
Kabakov, “the Palace of Projects“ (1995-1998)
“In principle, such a Palace can … be disassembled and assembled in any other place, similar to a traveling circus.“
Kabakov’s work consisted of 65 staged, themed and constructed projects, known, created and invented by the author.
Over the years, since 2003, it seems that the process of moving is governed by networking with new artists, regional artists’ organizations, host-city partners, host spaces, accommodation of traveling artists and the organization of funding for each transitstation event. The procedures embrace the methods of synchronized encounters, networking, and most of all an idealism for a systematic sensitivity to meet with interested audiences and people from everyday and professional lives.
transitstation stop Copenhagen 2010 has a total of 72 participating artists performing and exhibiting 57 individual works and actions during a 24-hour weekend. 22 regional Scandinavian and Danish artists are greeting and hosting 50 visiting artists. Artists are coming together to present their artwork within the weekend of April 17-19, 2010. The work of transitstation is seen as “Gesamtkunstwerk”. It begins to shape itself only in the duration of the entire weekend with non-stop action in art in action as a total exhibition event.
The process of nomadic moves between host cities, their partners and foreign spaces and foreign languages require several visits and negotiations. Three production teams conquer communication difficulties in a slow process until they are able to speak a language, which seems foreign to society but familiar to art communities.
The invention of transitstation is dealing with the kind of mastery of chains of situations. Numerous situations occur during the transitstation weekend which defy the rules and boundaries of assumed categories within the contemporary art practise. If the viewer attempts to capture a definition or a category of genre or conventional differentiation, the moment of experiencing Live Action in the process is lost.
Where is the art amidst a space that changes according to perception and interaction? Even presence, endurance and “the act of witnessing” cannot give the viewer a chance to capture a total image of transitstation as “Gesamtkunstwerk”. It accepts to stay an ideal.
Artist next to artist next to artist next to viewer next to viewer next to object next to object next to viewer next to artist.
The gravitation code of artistic genre within continuous, overlapping actions has been redefined and apparently the centre of assumed genre is off balance. The project is everywhere, the places are everywhere and the “author” is visiting strange locations and times with his personal, foreign “bundle”. Though the structures are clear and the margins are defined on the outskirts of the transitstation space, which is suggested by the scaffolding sculpture, the space with continuous Actions remains in the constant state of change.
A world within a world within a world defines itself through live experiences, viewers and artists alike: the transformation of ideas, objects and spaces, which are re-directing the expectation level for completeness. A free ticket is offered into the permissiveness for curiosity and surprise. Artists and viewers alike are amenable to possibilities of de-categorization between performing art and fine art, between classical music and experimental sounds, fashion and painted clothes between film and theatre, between projection and speech. The experience itself offers change.
During the transitstation weekend the idea of freedom and the expansion of social or personal opportunity in a mixed inter-disciplinary and inter-active context opens the door to a live experience. The audience-viewer-artist relationship neglects the untouchable distance between work and artist, and creates a platform of immediacy and intimacy in an unpredictable situation.
The viewer’s position is one of discovery.
Follow transitstation train to the next stop Copenhagen 2010 at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts on 17 April and 18 April, 12 – 12 pm both days.
… excerpt from the Brothers’ Grimm:
“I will give you three days, time,” said he, “if by that time you find out my name, then shall you keep your child.”
On the third day the messenger came back again, and said, “I have not been able to find a single new name, but as I came to a high mountain at the end of the forest, there I saw a little house, and before the house a fire was burning, and round about the fire quite a ridiculous little man was jumping, he hopped upon one leg, and shouted –
‘To-day I bake, to-morrow brew,
the next I’ll have the young queen’s child.
Ha, glad am I that no one knew
that Rumpelstiltskin I am styled.'”
Imagine Rumpelstiltskin, after all the people have left: he is dancing alone in the circles around the fire, talking to himself with ironic smiles: hihihi, no one knows how to call the art!