“I think, the participants became the body (or focus) of this project. Their characters, their voices, their words, their ideas… All of that, is the artistic object”
Ines Lampreia is first and foremost a writer. However Lampreia is not a stranger to visual and performative arts, she gets close to different media according to the content of her work. During a short period of time in Tranas, Lampreia created a core group of contributors for her project who have been working at the studio space provided at Kultivera. They have also connected through digital means during the past few months. In that sense distances and differences of culture and languages did not effect her work.
Before we started the project you said when artists work on Languages they mostly work with memory. You wantd to do something else. Can you explain a little more about your project and its inherent theme? When I received the invitation to collaborate and take part in the Legacy project, which is directly related to the experience of multiculturalism and bilingualism I thought “well… this is all about memory”, because it has to do with experiences and memories. So, in order to avoid this first reaction, I wanted to attempt to try another perspective. I started to think about forgetting. Acts of disappearance: What we lose, what we forget, what we cannot recover or recall from the many experiences we have in life. And all of that is part of the processes of memory as well. What do you lose in the process and why? The studies about intergenerational transmission of memories, actions and speeches from a collective and traumatic past are quite present nowadays in artistic practices. Memory studies is one of the most researched topics in Arts. For that reason I wanted to avoid recalling memories, but how we do this with a group of people who has multicultural experiences, experiences of trauma, life changing experiences between different cultures? We cannot avoid memory. Its intrinsic… but I was excited to try and follow another path of investigation. Rather than starting a project by rationalizing, recalling memories through the use of words, speech and creative writing; I felt it would be interesting to approach the issues of the absence of memories. We began by re-discovering sensitive means such as gestures. Also, I wanted to work more on senses and not with words and/or writing. In this way we might be able to capture the absence of the certain manners. What are the gestures that we are not using? There is this collective map you created together with the participants? What was the reason behind creating this map? I decided to start with gestures because it is another kind of language. Secondary, most of the time… we hide a lot in our gestures – personality, feelings, emotions, desires and fears, etc. It is impossible to live in a culture/society without knowing its gestures. I utilized the map to create a possibility for the group to work together in a rhizomatic net of words, to connect with the meaning of gestures. How spatially and temporally distant our bodies are at first and why? How a gesture or the loss of a gesture can potentially reflect a traumatic past? How about the collective poem and other such exercises. It looks like you prefer to work with workshops and exercises in your practice? Why do you prefer such a method? When I first realized that I was going to be in contact with a group of people that have many different life experiences, it was clear to me that I needed the time and space to be with them. It was necessary to build relationship and understand each other especially in such creative processes. It would be very easy for me to do interviews with each person then to work from them to create an artistic object. The collective processes we developed created a new multicultural space; a rhizomatic and an unpredictable space. You are a writer so obviously language is of great importance to you. What is the difference for you when you work within a visual arts context? Are there any advantages or challenges? The advantage was to have the opportunity to open up new ways to work with language and literature. The challenging part is the transformation of the processes. From the sheet, the paper, the script, the literary narrative to the space. I mean to experiment with three-dimensionality. Another challenge is to look into artistic practices I know of but never tried. You created a core group of people in Tranas who are working with you for this project in such a short time. They are from different backgrounds but they’ve been living in Sweden for some time and some learnt or are learning Swedish. What do you think attracted their interest to your project? In fact it is a great question to ask them! I guess the opportunity to be challenged and to be with other people that we don’t know is already very attractive. We are all willing to have meaningful encounters in our lives. So, I believe that this project created that opportunity. You’ve been working with different projects in Tranas since 2015. What is it you appreciate about working in a small town like Tranås? Tranas is maybe just another Swedish municipality far away from the big cities but because there are people who are willing to contribute to a democratic and open public space, that are willing to improve cultural life I like coming back here.
What will be the outcome of this project and what do the participants bring to the project? As I mentioned before, any person can make a difference. Everyone is different and makes a difference. For now, we are just collecting information, researching. In the end there will be something between an installation and a work of auto-theatre… but I don’t know yet which is the final output of the project. It depends on the way I will work with all the contents I have collected. Its important to state that the participants became the actual body (or focus) of the project. Their characters, their voices, their words, their gestures, their ideas… All of that, is the artistic object.