'LIngerIng Cut' - Jaša

Installation & Live Performance:

Mon 21 - Fri 25 June 2021 (detailed programme below)

Various locations in Folkestone

Installation opens:

26 June - 12 September 2021

HOP Projects Space, 73 Tontine St, Folkestone, CT20 1JR

“Lingering Cut” is a body of new work by JAŠA, commissioned to inaugurate a season of new live-art programs in 2021 called “Lake Lazarillo”. Conceived as a complex, multi-dimensional and multi-layered work that unfolds over time, “Lingering Cut” encompasses moving images, site-specific installations, durational and light & amp sound performances, along with an artist lecture held on multiple sites on Tontine Street and the Harbour Arm in June 2021.

 Since his first intervention and performance at CT20 in 2017, Jaša’s work bracketed a period of social upheaval and the surge of far-right politics in the West. After the horrors of social distancing and months of isolation due to the pandemic, we re-emerge into a fractured world in which oppressive political alliances have tightened their grips on power. Jaša’s poetic gestures point to the realities in his home country in Slovenia (Lubjlana) and the urgency of creative resistance, more so than ever. As JAŠA explains,

“The elements of the story have been spreading out like rooms of a memory palace. Now they are taking shape in real life. The result will be a Munch-like scream within the new normalities of the (post)-COVID societies and menacing options of post-Trump politics in Europe. An expression of a voice that says: ‘we will all join the club of the silently screaming, our minds will melt into one loud cry of pure angst.’ This will be integrated through the use of various media as ‘interventions,’ as I like to call them. All of it, the reality, is still made of the same fabric, but something inevitably and undoubtedly has changed under the surface.”


Live-performance Programme: [also be broadcast daily on social-media and website]

 

Sat 19 – Sat 26 June *: ‘Lingering Cut’ screenings on the Folkestone Harbour Screen (viewable on Folkestone Harbour Arm car park)

Mon 21 – Thu 24 June *: Daily performance inside 73 Tontine St, Folkestone (viewable from the street)

Thu 24 June / 6 – 7:30pm: ‘Angst’ Performance, 73 Tontine St, Folkestone (viewable from the street)

Fri 25 June / 5 – 9pm: ‘Lingering Cut’ Installation Opening, 73 Tontine St (Mill Bay entrance), Folkestone (max 6 ppl)

Fri 25 June / ­7 – 8pm: ‘The Revolt of One’, Artist Lecture, 73 Tontine St (Mill Bay entrance), Folkestone (an intimate evening with the artist – spaces are highly limited & booking is essential**)

 

Site-specific Installation:

Sat 26 June – Sun 25 July / Thu – Sun 11am – 5pm: Installation opens to the public (private tour with the curator, max of 6 ppl **)

 

* Spontaneous actions without prescribed time or duration

** Max 6 ppl allowed inside the space. Please pre-book or email to make an appointment with the curator.

‘Lake Lazarillo’

‘Lake Lazarillo’ is a radical new programme of Live-Art commissions and a season of talks taking place in the public realms in Folkestone. ‘Lazarillo’ is a literary reference – to the Spanish picaresque, ‘Lazarillo de Tormes’, published anonymously in 1554. ‘Lazarillo’ refers to a wandering anti-hero; it encompasses the desire to escape and explore.

Literary outsiders, or anti-heroes, have a long history in all cultures, and this common thread brings together artists from different nationalities to create visions that draw upon diverse cultural references, fictional and real, rhetorical and abstract, finding episodes of familiarity in an estranged landscape. Though the representation of human behaviour in picaresque is often grim, it mostly makes you laugh in bitter recognition.

‘Lake Lazarillo’ is a logical continuation of our picaresque journey, and its subversive echoes resonate as we left 2020 a sea of deafening voices. We enter 2021 with trepidation. Perhaps uncertainty is a virtue of exploration, and not a weakness. It is an opportunity to transcend the complexities and pluralities of current situations.

Art, like literature, has the language and power we need. Through which, we re-discover kindred spirits who help us to make sense of the terrains – physical, political and psychological on which we stand. Researching for the project, I came across the Chinese author Xun Lu. In a preface he penned to a collection of short stories entitled ‘Na Han’ (translated literally as ‘Shout’ or ‘Call to Arms’) almost 100 years ago in 1922, he described such a sentiment:

‘…if a man’s proposals meet with approval, it should encourage him; if they met with opposition, it should make him fight back but the real tragedy for him was to lift up his voice among the living and meet with no response, neither approval nor opposition, just as if he were left helpless in boundless desert.’

Lu was writing as a revolutionary with a desire to use art to cure and uplift the ‘human spirit’ at a time of deep crisis, and the anguish he felt when a lone voice is met with the apathy of the dispassionate crowd. A passionate outcry reduced to silence, rendered invisible. Edvard Munch’s haunting self-portrait, ‘The Spanish Influenza’ in 1919 also conjures up an image of chilling despair and peers into the darkest abyss of men. At around similar time, T S Eliot wrote the poem ‘Gerontion’, to convey the impossibility of finding meaning in one’s existence where all system of beliefs had collapsed. Alluding to the heroic failure of the first world war, it set the scene for a powerful vision of despair, where people sleepwalk through their daily lives and where life becomes mechanical and empty, where communications and meanings break down. In this vacuum, Eliot predicted the rise of fanatical ideologies and their power to galvanise a large number of believers to participate in the march of history, which ultimately led to catastrophic chaos and the building of a worse society.

These dark visions of early 20th century is a nightmare of civilisation and its destruction of humanity, a world which we do not wish to return or repeat. They remind us that our own blindness to injustice had played a part in the blossoming of extreme violence and oppression.

‘The very sense of loss keeps alive an expectation.’ [Berger] What we are experiencing now is a process of destruction and rebirth accelerated by the pandemic. Change is an inner process that unfolds over time, as we slowly readjust our understanding. We can only look forward, to what lies ahead, at the end of a disaster.

 

Nina Shen-Poblete

May 2020