Author Archives: manuel

The Art of Pain

I want to introduce the concept of pain as a companion.

Since we are born we feel pain and from day one we need to deal with pains. Our organism is constantly producing energy and alimenting cells that live and die. A lot of our daily energy is use against the forces of nature that push us toward the ground, that change our body temperature, that blow against us, etc.

Since we are born we experience a number of different pains and different level of pain. We also learn to manifest our pains and to search for remedy. We immediately understand pain as something against us, as something external to us with a clear negative connotation. When we grow we associate the idea of pain with medicinal (pain relief), hospitals, treatments. More recently we also connect the idea of pain with inefficiency and unproductivity. While I’m writing these words I’m also aware that pain is growing as a sort of taboo… it is such a bad thing that it is better not to speak about it… unless it is necessary. Well it has become really necessary to share some thoughts on pain and most of all to change mine/our relationship with the idea of pain.

I remember recently watching a documentary on flamenco and listening the experts of the art saying that the dance, the music and the singing can manifest only if in connection with pain… without the real suffering we can not connect emotionally in what we all share and battle every day of our existence. For the first time I linked the relationship between art and pain: art being a manifestation of pain and in a way the celebration of one of our most innate companion. To be in pain it means to live. It mans to be, to sustain, to inhabit life, to inhabit our body, to breath. If we focus for a second to our most functional activity of breathing we realize that breathing means exhaling (empting our body of oxygen) and inhaling (filling our body of oxygen). This repetitive action is a sort of daily therapy, a procedure of self-cure. To cure it also means to empty or to destroy so to build or to rebuild, to strengthen. More we are connected with our pains and more we can activate our systems of self-cure and of protection. If we distance each other from our daily pain we allow the pain to grow and develop forms that are harder to cure. In my society of pain-taboo is very easy to create a separation with the pain. Most of all, I have been educated to see the pain as some already anonymous and alien to my system which remedy is a another alien substance. Basically I have been educated to see my pain as a ‘transaction’ of anonymous viruses exchanged for artificially created ones. I have been educated to be a tourist of my body and to understand the richest tourists owning the healthier bodies. I have been educated to keep my pains as secret as obstacles toward my success. This culture is a culture of pain expansion. While we are constantly reminded of the prosperous result of the application of technology and the innovative progress of our research, we are battling against new forms of pain. We have definitely learned to prolong our life and sedate the pain but we have not learned to live with it and share our life with it. The acceptance of pain in our life it means the creation of a deeper connection with the tissues of our existence. It is not to job of the doctor to encourage a deeper relationship with our body and the pains of our bodies but it is the job of the educator and the artist. In this case I see the educator and the artist sharing the same role and practicing the Art of Caring. The real remedy to the pain is a stronger connection, the dialogue and the coexistence. We need to start understanding the pain as a partner that needs a lot of daily care and the result of this marriage is a more peaceful life. To cure our own body it also means to cure our social body, our family, our community, our country, our world. It means to allocate a larger quantity of our activities and energies toward practices of correspondence and acknowledgment with the pains of our world.

In a society where we learn to hide our pains and to overcome our deep pain decorating the surface, where we learn to reward our anxiety practicing the insignificant Art of Shopping, where we learn to direct all our energy to fuel the market and celebrate the profit as the Art of Happiness… we need to re-establish the ‘respect’ for the forces of nature and reconnect with our essence. We have distanced ourselves from the other living species because we can imagine and create, well, we went a bit too far and it is time to use our creative energy to bridge back with our origin and perpetrate co-existence instead of uncontrolled individualism and artificial dominion.

The Art of Caring must become a new shared ideology that informs our conscience and drives our behavior.

The Art of Caring is not addressing a radical battle against the market and the use of technology. The Art of Caring is calling for an urgent action toward solidarity and respect. Directing a bigger part of our energy and time toward the connection with our pains it means automatically to reduce our time spent to produce and consume, it means to re-establish a moderate use of technology, it means to re-gain our control toward the market and not allow the market to control us.

We, artists and educators of this world need to start first practicing the Art of Caring so to share our discoveries, our actions, our exercises of connections. We need to become the example, the models upon which the rest of our community can confront with. Like children of this world we can only apprehend by imitating and repeating. The new children of this world need to have the possibility to practice the Art of Caring.

Manuel Vason (Mexico City 2016)

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Exhibition/collaboration at Coleman Project Gallery

After one year collaboration with artist Anne Bean, I’m very excited to see the images exhibited.

Exhibition/collaboration at Coleman Project Gallery

EMIT a dialogue through time
Preview:             Friday 17 March 6-9.30 pm

Dates:                 March 18 – April 9 2017

Times:                12-6 pm Fri, Sat, Sun. & by appt.

Performance:    3 pm  Sunday 9 April

Talk:                   4 pm Sunday 9 April

Coleman Project Space is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Anne Bean that have grown out of her film-performance project ‘Night Chant’ – originally conceived for the Whitechapel gallery’s 2015 symposium ‘Performance and Politics in 1970s’. Bean is interested in the different ways artists have been influenced over the years by the permissive space that performance art has provided. ‘Night Chant’ is a short film that explores her personal connections with five artists who sadly, and suddenly, died a few years ago. Two of them – Alexis Hunter and Rita Harris – were based next door, or very near, to Coleman Project Space during the seventies. In a recent Art Monthly interview, Bean said of these relationships: ‘We are each other’s archives and legacies’.

Hunter used photography to powerfully buck sexual, social and gender stereotypes, while Harris became a recognised master of t’ai chi, using her art as a healing tool – such as leading a ritual ceremony as part of Bean’s ‘365 dresses’, a CGP London commission performed locally in Southwark Park in 2005.

For the exhibition at Coleman Project Space, Bean has worked with performance photographer Manuel Vason, to create a series of images for the main gallery depicting sites of significance to the work and lives of Harris and Hunter. These include the room where Hunter made her most radical feminist works, such as ‘Domestic Warfare,’ 1975, and the park where Rita worked and taught t’ai chi. ‘Night Chant’ will be projected in the shed space, which will also become the site for Bean’s new performance work: ‘Secret conversations we didn’t know we were having’.

 

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Double Exposures at Arnolfini Gallery

Part of a program of short films curated by the Live Art Development Agency, Double Exposures images have be projected on the walls of the first floor gallery for 5 days.Double Exposures at Arnolfini Gallery

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The PhotoPerformer: Permanent Actions – Disposable Images Exhibition

This is the first exhibition of the PhotoPerformer in Mexico!

The PhotoPerformer : Permanent Actions – Disposable Images

“Perhaps all anxiety might derive from a fixation on moments — an inability to accept life as ongoing.

The camera lens has become the supreme focal point of that existential anxiety, through which we exorcise the ultimate fixation on freezing the flow of existence.  

Sarah Manguso

 

In the exhibition Permanent Actions – Disposable Images, The PhotoPerformer proposes to see photographs as actions, as unfixed images, in constant search of meaning, in constant deterioration.

The action of taking a photograph here becomes a poetic act of transformation: before taking somebody else image, the PhotoPerformer becomes an image.

The images created are not a self-portraits but the documentation of his/her relationship with photography.

These images are not asking to be explained or decoded; they resist to get neutralized.

In a world translated in pictures we need to blur the photographic evidence and sharpen our imagination.

The PhotoPerformer: Permanent Actions - Disposable Images Exhibition

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Workshop of Photography and Performance in Queretaro

In preparation of the upcoming exhibition at the Museum of the city of Queretaro I will be working with a group of 16 local artists selected through an open call.

I see this workshop as a great opportunity to share the PhotoPerformer philosophy and spend five days of training practicing and exchanging skills.

My ambition is to include some of the work produce during the workshop on the exhibition.

Workshop of Photography and Performance in Queretaro

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Toward a Poetic Image – Workshop

Toward a Poetic Image workshop led by Manuel Vason and Maritea Daehlin at the Centro de las Artes de San Agustin (Oaxaca, Mexico 2016). During the 7 days of workshop each participant was asked to create a symbolic action to … Continue reading

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Talk at the Centre of Photography Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Really looking forward to this talk/presentation at the Centre of Photography Manuel Alvarez Bravo. I will be sharing the talk with Rubiane Maia and investigate “methodology” as the theme of the talk.

This will also be a great opportunity to present the work created during the workshop at CASA the Centro de las Artes de San Agostin with a group of 14 incredible artists!!!Talk at the Centre of Photography Manuel Alvarez Bravo

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Workshop – Hacía una imagen poética – Oaxaca

Friends in Oaxaca, I will be giving a week long workshop titled “Hacía una imagen poética” from the 2nd of December at Centro de las Artes de San Agustín. The Centre can offer accommodation for the artists living Outside Oaxaca.

Workshop - Hacía una imagen poética - Oaxaca

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The body and other small tails @ Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete.

I’m glad to share that The body and other small tails. Performance at the State Museum of Contemporary Art collections is traveling and opening on Friday November 25 at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete.  The exhibition is dedicated to the body and performance art through the presentation of photos and videos, and installations resulting from actions and from exhibitions that took place in recent years at the State Museum of Contemporary Art and compose a significant part of the museum’s collection.

The body and other small tails @ Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete.

Some of the work I created in 2013 ” Becoming and Image” exhibition will be in show.

 

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A new live action and installation titled: “INspiration” – Exercise toward a vital photography.

On Friday 25th of November I will be presenting at ARTspaceMexico gallery a new installation and live performance titled “INspiration” – (ALIENTO in spanish).

A new live action and installation titled:

 

In preparation to the live performance I wrote a little text:

Respiration can be the deepest photograph of my emotions.

While I’m photographing my breathing, I invoke the images woven around the inner wall of my body.

 While I’m photographing my breathing, I’m syncing my internal with my external image.

 While I’m photographing my breathing, I’m closing my eyes and picturing behind the surface.

While I’m photographing my breathing, I’m tensing my body and releasing my vision.

While I’m photographing my breathing, I’m giving light to the darker side of my memory.

While I’m photographing my breathing, we can all listen to the voices of all the images stored inside my cavities.

 While I’m photographing my breathing, I have the tendency to become mechanical but the creative impulse will help me to break the program.

While I’m photographing my breathing, my mind becomes a bit dizzy and the focus becomes my pure uncertainty.

 While I’m photographing my breathing, I stop anticipating my stimulus and the entire activity become more unpredictable.

My photographic capacity is built-in to the anatomy of my body.

The PhotoPerformer (Mexico City 2016)

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