Category Events

Art project SEEDS OF BLISS / بذر / גרעינים is defying political, religious and geographical borders in the Middle East

Photo: Shula Covo, all rights reserved

The intention of SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים is to bring people in the Middle East together to chew a total of ten tons of sunflower seeds in neighbouring cities. This intercultural cooperation project by interdisciplinary artist Noam Edry, in collaboration with the Haifa Museum and Artis Contemporary, is not about nationality, politics, religion or any other differentiating factor; all participants are individuals living in a Middle Eastern city and they come together with their neighbours to share the pleasure of a tradition deeply rooted in their part of the world. Jordanians from Aqaba and Israelis from Eilat live within 6 km from each other with an equal distance of less than 1 km to the Red Sea. Now we have entered August, which is when the sunflower seeds are ready for harvest and the sunflower seed donations for SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים have reached a total of 3 tons. The artist, who is travelling around Israel for meetings with the country’s seeding companies, is met with great enthusiasm and it should not be long until the ten tons have been raised.

In September, ten people from Eilat will cross the border and get together with their neighbors in Aqaba to chew, spit, drink coffee and socialize for five days at Al-Fardos Café.  Later on, the people from Aqaba will cross the border over to Eilat and continue the seed-shelling with their new friends. To get the Israeli State to approve the Jordanian’s VISA applications is a complicated procedure, but Noam Edry is working on the bureaucracy together with trusted volunteers. Additional neighboring cities to take part in SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים are Nablus-Haifa and Jenin-Afula. All stages of the project are being documented and the 5-day performances will be filmed and publicized in the press in real-time. Though in its early stages, SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים has already received huge TV and press coverage in Israel and is stirring quite an interest worldwide. After the completion of the project, the artist hopes to exhibit the remnants of ten tons of sunflower seeds and the documentation in London, as a humorous Middle-Eastern response to Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds. “The Chinese are expert craftsmen. Our expertise is to chew and spit” she explains.

Photo: Shula Covo, all rights reserved

Noam Edry describes her recent visit to Aqaba in her own words:

“I came with my photographer and the people in Aqaba adopted us immediately. Hasan, the owner of Al-Fardos café, hosted us and treated me like a real friend. Hasan introduced me to his friend Nabih, the manager of the mosque, and single-handedly they put together a team of ten very trustworthy and responsible Jordanians, who understand the nature of this project.”

Every evening the artist got together with Hasan and people from all around Aqaba to enjoy the friendly atmosphere at Hasan’s café, where the conversations flowed naturally accompanied by sunflower seeds, shish and coffee. Although the city has plenty of entertainment to offer a visitor, it was nothing that could beat the contentment of simply chilling out, talking about life and discussing the beautiful possibilities of SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים. Throughout the evenings people discreetly joined the group with a passport in their hand and expressed their wish to participate in the project, which put the artist in a very humbling position.

Noam Edry has been studying Arabic in order to better communicate with her volunteers. Thanks to the abounding conversations that have taken place during the initial stages of the project, all happening in a sunflower seed chewing spirit, the nature of SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים is becoming increasingly organic and collaborative. The starting event will take place on 23 August 2012 in the artist’s birthplace of Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan, a small communal settlement in the North of Israel, with the participation of the neighboring Arab-Bedouin villages of Ras Ali and Khawaled. Together they will chew the first few kilos of sunflower seeds.

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[More on Noam Edry]

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Interview Series 2011

Part 1 – A constant battle for the freedom of speech in a web of taboos and envy

Part 2 – From sharp-edged politics to an S&M club and back again

Part 3 – “I Am the Terrorist”

Feature on Childhood

Born a War Painter

Reviews

Museum of Art, Ein Harod, Israel, 2012

Goldsmiths MFA 2011

 

Noam Edry was born in 1982 in Israel in a communal settlement and raised in London. Her work explores questions of identity, mechanisms of power and domination and their physical relationship to the human body. She works internationally on ambitious projects that often involve a large number of participants, merging the physical with the political; the body and the private space of the individual function as allegories to the social and political sphere. Edry completed her Master of Fine Art with Distinction at Goldsmiths, University of London (2011) and a BA of Fine Art at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design Jerusalem (2005), she studied painting at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts de Paris (2003-4) and acting at the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio, Tel Aviv. Her recent solo show at the Ein Harod Museum, Israel titled “The Silver Salver” (2012) explored the relevance of national Israeli emblems and involved living sculptures; actors and actresses who dressed up as exported fruits and vegetables in a reconstruction of a bloody battle field. Artis Grant recipient 2012, shortlisted for the Red Mansion Art Prize (2011), Israeli Arts Council Grant recipient (2008), winner of the Bremen Art Grant (2008), winner of the International Jewish Artist of the Year Award (2004).

Art quote:: The track came in a dream

On the creation of track Where the Beats Say They’re Sorry

“I remember I had a dream and this guy actually said, “This is where the beats say they’re sorry” and there was this beat playing that kinda sounded like it was talking, like it would start and stop. I tried to get that into the track when making it. All of the tracks on Cloud Rat were recorded quickly. Most Doc Deem is about just waiting and waiting until a good day and then I sit and knock it out. I’m like a surfer. The tide has to be right, I wait for the waves. Then when it’s good, I get on my board and get as much surfing in and then go home.

I like it to be spontaneous and explode my guts all over the track, and then just walk away from the wreckage like nothing happened. Feeling real cool about it, like this is it; time to surf.”

Doc Deem on the creation of Cloud Rat. Excerpt from upcoming interview, stay tuned.

 

Art quote:: DJ Food on the power of Telepathic Fish

Can you give us a detailed description of how the Telepathic Fish parties started?

There is a funny story about Telepathic Fish which is recounted in a couple of books; David Toop’s Ocean of Sound and Simon Reynolds’ Energy Flash. I was 22 and it was a weird point in my life. Having ended a long and very serious relationship I felt completely fresh, new and free, ready to experience everything. I just went along with whatever happened and this was one of those things weird situations that take you down roads.

It started one day at a car boot sale, where I found a keyboard with no power supply or instruction book. I said to the guy ‘Look, I obviously really need that to plug it in and to figure out how it works’. He told me to go to his mate’s house and gave me the number. I really needed the keyboard, so I went to the home of this rasta character with massive dread locks, apparently a dealer, who built his own speakers big as wardrobes. I sat down and took it easy while he was getting along with his routine and then he started talking about how fish was really important in life as a part of Christianity. I was a little white kid who’d only been in London for a couple of years and the situation confused me completely. He started talking about ‘Taking the fish’, meaning that if everyone ‘Took the fish’ it would provide us with a telepathic link which would enable us to understand each other in a profound way. He said ‘Wherever you look, the fish is there. If you look along the lampposts lining the Thames River, there are fish carved into the lampposts. I give the postman a fish.’ When I asked him what he meant, he brought out a bowl of little goldfish and said ‘Stick your tongue out!’ He literally slapped this fish on my tongue and said ‘Just swallow it, don’t chew it. Just swallow it’

So this was the whole thing; if you eat a live fish you have a special connection to everybody. I completely didn’t know what’s going on, but I thought ‘Ok’ and eventually my flat mates wanted to ‘take the fish’ too, so we went back there. The rasta dealer had some good weed and all the rest – it was a cool thing to do back then, when we were all raving and chilling and chilling and raving and raving and chilling and it was just more chilling than raving. We were looking for a good name for a party and decided to call it Telepathic Fish. It didn’t mean anything and it meant everything as well, although I never formed some telepathic link or went on to preach the ‘fish gospel’.

Read full interview DJ Food – From ten to tomorrow

 

Art quote:: DJ Food on the meaning of music

What is the experience that you want to give to your listeners? Do you have a general idea of where you want to send your listeners off to?

I definitely want to send people somewhere and I am always looking for that magical combination of sounds and rhythms that produces something indescribable. That moment, that rush, that magical something in a song where there is a brief pause and then everything goes BAM, or there is a build or a drop or a chord change that just really excites you. I was very into hip hop for many years, but it eventually got very dull  because it was constantly about reality, about ‘Keeping it real’, and ‘It’s all about the game, we’re trying to survive’. It was just too much of it. I know that reality is grim, but let’s not bang on about it. Let’s keep it unreal like Mr. Scruff; that is what this is all about, pure fantasy and pure escapism! The Search Engine exists to take you somewhere outside of your every day and when you put that album on you can escape, even if only for an hour. I love doing quite long tracks sometimes, because they really string out the experience and allow you to immerse yourself in them. It is amazing with groups like Future Sound of London and the Orb who make long proggy sort of albums which allow the listeners to just drift off and dream.

Read full interview DJ Food – From ten to tomorrow

©All rights reserved by Strictly Kev

Art Accelerating Art at the Saatchi Gallery

 

 

www.artacceleratingart.com

 

 


Live interview – Meet Jeffrey Silverthorne

Meet Jeffrey Silverthorne at Daniel Blau
::6th September 7 pm::

Introduction Brad Feuerhelm, Director of Daniel Blau Gallery London
+ Photography slide show
+ Live interview with Elinros Henriksdotter

American photographer Jeffrey Silverthorne is visiting the gallery for a comprehensive live interview with Elinros Henriksdotter from ContemporaryTalks.com in connection with his participation in “Haunting the Chapel  – Photography and Dissolution” (1 Sept – 8 Oct 2011); an exhibition of vintage, anonymous, vernacular and spirit photography.

Jeffrey Silverthorne invites his audience to hidden worlds that are fully ignored by most –because of their danger, ugliness and difficult nature. He is an anonymous spectator, who instantly steps aside from his point of view and leave us alone with our experience.

What it is like to stand next to an unidentified dead person in the morgue? Do questions bombard your mind, and if, what are the answers sought for? Maybe it is a mind-numbing experience that silences you for days. Is it possible to go so far as to imagine oneself in that position; the body cold and stiff and everyone deprived of the last goodbye?

The slide show will take you on two rapid photographic journeys; first we will visit the morgue and secondly the borderland located on the Mexican side of the Texas-Mexico border, where prostitutes in high heels are seen on and off duty in bathrooms and bedrooms. Outside awaits guarding dogs, railroad tracks, illegals and newspaper editors.

Through Silverthorne’s photography we are presented reality’s inherent complexity via simplicity. The world might stop for a few seconds and take on a new significance.

 

Please RSVP to london@danielblau.com, £5 payable on arrival

The event incl: Michael Grieve in conversation with Aaron Schuman