press release

Floating Territories was an invitation to experience how to constitute territories under the conditions of mobility. To find out more on the evolution of Floating Territories projects, >YONA FRIEDMAN had conjured-up a special log book called ‘POINTS OF VIEW’. Thanks to it he entered into a dispersed debate with young sound artist NICO DOCKX and his BUILDING TRANSMISSIONS TEAM. The result of this debate will subsequently be gathered in a publication and presented at Manifesta, Bolzano on 13th of September 2008 >THE UNREADy 12 – Pages 11 and 12 THE STORYTELLER first issue hosted by: UNTITLED Magazine, London “The Greenland Metaphor” Alex Cecchetti / Christian Frosi Conversation recorded on September 13th in Greece, during a trip on public transport from the port of Zea Marina to Athens. Second issue: will come out on July/August on PIST PROTTA, a Danish art magazine, with 4 pages With contribution of Tris Vonna Michell/Susan Philipsz >ON THE BOAT, a boat movie by Evelyne Jouanno, a drifting world as fiction: “I would like to ask you to become the heroes of this film and to say in front of the camera what would be the role of art for you in this world. The film in itself will be the collection of all this reactions where you are all the main characters”. A 52? film will be released shortly. With interviews by Mario Cristiani - Robert Kluijver - Yushi Uehara - Tina&Yang Jiechang - Maurizio Bortolotti - Map Office (Laurent Gutierrez & Valérie Portefaix Francois Quintin Francine Méoule Alexandre Perigot Evgeny Svyatsky Tatiana Arzamasova Lev Evzovich Yan Lei Gavin Jantjes Sam Samore / Lectrice actrice turque Wong Hoy Cheong Omer Ali Kazma Manray Hsu Yorgos Sapountzis Mariek Van Hal Maria Papadimi trion Stefanos Tsivopoulos Farida El Gazzor/ Yannis Hadjiaslanis Bart de Baere Brigitte de Malau Paolo Scibelli Huang Yong Ping & Shen Yuan Adriana Garcia Galan Eloisa Haudenschild Allora & Calzadilla Adel Abdessemed Suely Rolnik Hou Hanru (skype) Okwui Enwezor Cao Fei (on Second Life)


‘Floating Territories’ is a boat, laboratory and program. A bold journey into the great beyond, inviting artists, curators, thinkers and experts from various backgrounds to explore the responsibilities and limits of art. This within the context of an ever-evolving Europe, engendering at once enthusiasm for fresh possibilities, as well as fear of the unknown.

Over the course of its ten-day journey, linking three key Mediterranean destinations -Istanbul, Athens and Venice - ‘Floating Territories’ will spawn an eclectic selection of projects both onboard and in these respective cities. Rendering it a platform for artistic production generating cultural exchange with the Istanbul, Athens and Venice Biennials.

An opportunity to broaden both physical and cultural horizons, ‘Floating Territories’ is part of special programming of these three International Art Biennials.


Evelyne Jouanno / Chiara Parisi / Nico Dockx / Yona Friedman / Brigitte de Malau / Anselm Franke / Bart De Baere / Hannah Hurtzig / Suely Rolnik / Brian Dillon / Jennifer Teets / Pelin Tan / Cevdet Erek / Erden Kosova / Irene Kopelman / Mariana Castillo Deball / Bulent Tanju / Eva Meyer / Katerina Gregos / Kodwo Eshun & Anjalika Sagar / Hila Peleg / Grant Watson / Dieter Roelstraete / Michalis Paparounis / Jennifer Nelson / Konstantinos Papageorgiou / August Ort’s / Alex Cecchetti / Christian Frosi / Suzan Philipsz / Alasdair Roberts / Stanley Brinks (ex André Herman Düne) / Tris Vonna-Michell / Liam Gillick / Jalal Toufic / Abdelwahab Meddeb / Bouchra Khalili / Pascale Cassagnau / Ewa Zadrzynska / Christian de Marliave / Muriel Teodori among others.


PROJECTS AT SEA AND IN THE RESPECTIVE CITIES ANOTHER BROADCAST FROM 1887 ON THE SUBJECT OF OUR TIME, 2OO7 An installation by Liam Gillick Artist (New York) “It’s tomorrow”, a ‘fictitious’ radio show, in reference to a novel written by Edward Bellamy in 1888, imagining a golden age that remains fictitious to this day. Liam Gillick designed the Floating Territories logo.


Public debate by Abdelwahab Meddeb, writer, poet and essayist, Paris. From Istanbul to Venice, from the Orient to the Western world, beyond the authentic shock which has always existed (refer back to ‘The Persians’), the stop in Athens will set the tone. That of the buffering of the shock through the use of logos as a shared historical reference (in which you can hear the voices of Dante and Ibn Arabi crossing over one another, from one end of the Mediterranean to the other). Do we need to restore a shared logos (as suggested by Benedict the XVIth in Ratisbon) or reinvent a universal reason which in its constantly differed occurrence, would draw from all intellectual exercises, even ‘savage thinking’?


Lecture by Suely Rolnik, Psycho-analyst, critic, curator (Sao Paolo, Brazil) “We are also going towards another way of seeing otherness. The Other is not like a form on which we project a representation, but rather the Other is a living body which affects us”. The trajectory of the Brazilian artist Lygia Clark occupies a singular place in the movement of institutional critique that developed in the 1960s and 1970s. At the time, artists from many different countries focused their research on the institutional power that the so-called “art system” brought to bear on their works: from the spaces accorded them to the categories whereby the (official) history of art described them, by way of the media employed, the genres recognized, among other elements. Revealing, problematizing and overcoming such limitations became a major orientation of artistic practice, indeed, the precondition of its poetic force – of the artwork’s very vitality, from which emanates its power to critically intervene in reality.

THE WITHDRAWAL OF TRADITION PAST A SURPASSING DISASTER Lecture by Jalal Toufic, a thinker, writer, and artist.

This lecture provides an overview of Jalal's concept of the withdrawal of tradition past a surpassing disaster: ‘To detect this withdrawal, whether symptomatically or otherwise, one is well advised to look for it in messianic movements as well as in artistic and literary works: “With regard to the surpassing disaster, art acts like the mirror in vampire films: it reveals the withdrawal of what we think is still there. ‘You have seen nothing in Hiroshima’ [Duras/Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour]. Does this entail that one should not record? No. One should record this ‘nothing,’ which only after the resurrection can be available.” We will examine if and how one can record this “nothing,” as well as how to contribute to the resurrection of the withdrawn tradition—without this resurrection tradition becomes a counterfeit of itself.’


“The territory of documentaries reveals a working process common to artists and film-makers – the fact that they set up film elements in a non-linear way and outside purely narrative structures. In that regard, the relationships between documentaries and reality or narration are always critical and ambiguous,” says Pascale Cassagnau. A theory borne-out by the Paris-based art critic’s choices for this screening. They include Dora Garcia's ‘Zimmer’ (2006), in which the director relates the encounter between a Stasi officer and a female civilian informer in an anonymous flat in Leipzig without explicitly outlining the setting and historical context; 'L’Amour du Peuple' (2005) by Israeli filmmaker Eyal Sivan deals with the memories of a former Stasi officer and is based upon documents, archives and films from authentic Stasi film archives and fragments of movies made by East German dissidents who imitated the surveillance and monitoring techniques used by officers of the political police; Clemens Von Wedemeyer's 'Report on China' (2006), is a film shot in Shanghai, underlining links between Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ and the reality of Chinese urban spaces to show the analogies existing between two eras of a political, urban utopia.


The first part of this screening will be devoted to recent works by French-Moroccan video-artist Bouchra Kalili. Works, which have been described as “a subtle revelation of the situations and tensions that territory, borders, and the urban space provoke in our subjectivities” These video include ‘Aerial View’, an overhead journey above an unspecified major western city. In it, we see a large television screen that projects advertising images within public spaces, a heavily urbanized architecture, an occupied coast. At the same time, voices evoke meetings, failed or still to come, cinema as utopia and “the world as the will to represent”. Meanwhile Kalili’s ‘Straight Stories-Part 1’, is the initial section of a video triptych about wanderings in border zones, where physical and imaginary geographies become indistinguishable. In addition to producing her own works Bouchra Kalil is a member of The Board of Directors of the Cinémathèque de Tanger, which opened in December 2006, and the Co-Programmer of this young artistrun, non-profit organization. It is therefore fitting that the second half of this screening event will spotlight ‘fragments’ from the Cinématèque, which houses a unique archive of Arab shorts movies, documentaries, video art, and vernacular film work. All of them deal with daily life, Moroccan soil as a heterogeneous space, and contemporary issues such as displacement. Among the offerings are: ‘Tangier: Vues du Grand Socco et du Petit Socco’, a 1935 movie by Gabriel Veyre that encompasses the first moving, color pictures shot in the City of Tangier; Abu Ali’s experimental short ‘Wahab’ (1994), tracking the wandering of a plastic bag in a Tangier street; ‘Moroccan girl in two-dimensions’ by Brahim Bachiri, in which 70 questions are projected against a backdrop, one after the other, to incite the audience to take part in a debate about the calamities blighting our world (hatred, war, pollution, famine, sickness, etc); ‘The Train’ by Brahim Fritah relates an unforgettable encounter between Giuseppe, a young law student, and Ahmed, an elderly man who's just been released from prison. For further information about the Cinémathèque de Tanger: MOOD SALON, a three-part, three-city project initiated by Anselm Franke, Director of Extra City, Antwerpen, and Bart de Baere, Director of MuHKA, Antwerpen, with various partners.

MOOD SALON I -ISTANBUL This edition, organized by Anselm Franke, Jennifer Teets and Pelin Tan, showcases a miniature version of Hannah Hurzig’s Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge -an installation for the exchange of expert knowledge, which since 2005 has been traveling to a variety of European cities, each time involving up to 100 experts with a kaleidoscope of individual expertise, gathered around a specific theme, offering knowledge in 30 minute-long, one-on-one sessions, which can be booked for a symbolic price. In Istanbul experts from the curatorial and theoretical field will be sharing their knowledge of "Atmospheric Politics" for just one euro. Explaining how the right or wrong gesture in a given moment can change everybody's mood and what it is that makes gesture meaningful.

Participating experts will include: Jennifer Teets, resident curator at the Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center and former chief curator of the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City. Mariana Castillo Deball, Berlin-based artist; Pelin Tan, sociologist, writer and editor living in Istanbul; Irene Kopelman, Amsterdam-based artist; Bulent Tanju, professor in Architectural Theory, and writer based in Istanbul; Cevdet Erek, artist living in Istanbul; Brian Dillon UK-based editor of ‘Cabinet’ magazine; Anselm Franke, curator of Manifesta 7 and Extra City, based in Antwerp. Dieter Rolstraete, Brussels-based curator and writer. Erden Kosova, writer and curator living in Istanbul.

"Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge" is a format of the Mobile Academy, a project by Hannah Hurtzig with changing partners located at HAU, Berlin.


Organised by Bart De Baere, Katerina Gregos, Grant Watson, with Vassilis Charalambidis, - this edition will focus on the theme of ‘lucidity and its shadows’. Asking whether a resurgence of the heritage of the Enlightenment and its rationality is necessary and if there be a continuation through a notion of atmospheric politics? The salon will include an opening lecture by philosopher/theorist Eva Meyer and the presentation of films by the Brussels-based artists’collective 'Auguste Orts' -a production and distribution platform executing art projects at the crossroads of cinema, video, visual arts, documentary and experimental film - founded by Herman Asselberghs, Sven Augustijnen, Manon de Boer and Anouk De Clercq. ( It will wrap up with a screening of ‘Otolith II’ by The Otolith Group. Participants will include: London-based artists Kodwo Eshun and Angelika Sagar (participating in the Athens biennial); philosopher/performer Dieter Roelstraete; Athens-based artist Jennifer Nelson, philosopher of law Konstantinos Papageorgiou from the Athens University, and art publisher Mihalis Paparounis.


A commemoration of a June 1999 performance by Francis Alÿs and Honoré d’O in Venice, when they both wandered around the Italian city carrying one half of the same bombardon, until they found each other and were able to produce sound together. ON THE BOAT - by Evelyne Jouanno, Paris and San Francisco- based independent curator, critic and founder of the Emergency Biennale in Chechnya. A movie made during the journey, conceived from a fictional disaster scenario about a “drifting world”. It will gather together a collection of interventions made before the video camera (placed in an isolated cabin) or sent by mobile phone, text message as well as e-mail. People involved in the biennials (artists, curators, collectors, gallery representatives, intellectuals and visitors) as well as those who cannot attend these events for whatever reason, will be asked to answer or comment on some of the questions evoked in this disaster scenario about a world in which the dominant system will generate only hate, violence, inequality between human beings. A world in which the values of this dominant system would solely be based on the pursuit of financial interests, a world where even art’s commitment to taking a critical stance on reality would become completely constrained by these conditions. Developed along the FLOATING TERRITORIES itinerary, On the Boat seeks to reveal the hidden but nevertheless powerful voice of those who yearn for a brand new world in our time – a sort of bottle thrown into the sea. Shooting from 2-5 pm: In Istanbul Sept. 6th-8th/ Athens Sept 13th/ Venice Sept 15th / or by appointment / + 90 534 286 39 26 (for Istanbul) SWIMMING IS SAVING – by Chiara Parisi, Director of the Centre International d’Art et du Paysage, Ile de Vassivière, France Parisi has invited the highly respected architect/artist and philosopher Yona Friedman to write the logbook for the journey – titled ‘Points of View’. The onboard crew will be encouraged to add their own comments to it, so that they may be subsequently published alongside the original book in a single volume. The Belgian sound collective ‘Building Transmissions’ will be presenting a series of live improvisational sound events and performances at both the Istanbul and Venice Biennials. They will additionally be developing an online pod-cast radio project while traveling from Antwerp, to Istanbul, to Athens, to Venice and back to Antwerp again. This sound project will be based on field recordings and conversations collected on the road. It is initiated by Nico Dockx and Kris Delacourt. Special Guest Brigitte de Malau will also be creating edible performances celebrating the ritual of sharing THE UNREADY, a magazin project by Alex Cecchetti, artist and editor-in-chief, Milan/Paris THE UNREADy is an independent magazine which uses the pages of other magazines, art catalogues, books and other media as a means of distribution. The mechanism of intrusion is simple: Alex Cecchetti and his team ask a magazine for space - one or two pages - and publish their articles there. The Unready pages are printed upside down among those of the hosting magazine pages they’re intruding on. During the ‘Floating Territories’ sea journey Cechetti will invite a guest editorial team consisting of Christian Frosi, Suzan Philipsz, Alasdair Roberts, Stanley Brinks (ex-André Herman Düne) & Clémence Freschard and Tris Vonna-Michell to produce the forthcoming issue of this independent magazine focusing on the figure of “The Storyteller”, as it emerges from the homonym text of Walter Benjamin. According to Benjamin, “The Storyteller” is a craftsman able to transform experiences, even those passed from mouth to mouth, into something that can be told, into a tale with an inner-dynamics that makes the listener able to “repeat it to someone else someday, sooner or later.” This project will consists in a series of presentations of artist’s works and concerts taking place on the boat during the journey, from the 9th-12th of September. At the end of every concert a brief discussion will follow between the artists. The final version of the latest magazine will be unveiled on the 12th of September in Athens, the same day as the closing concert.


Floating Territories: a boat, laboratory and program

Istanbul: 06-09/09/2007
At sea: 09-12/09/2007
Athens: 13/09/2007
Venice: 14-16/09/2007

Teilnehmer: Evelyne Jouanno, Chiara Parisi, Nico Dockx, Yona Friedman, Brigitte de Malau, Anselm Franke, Bart De Baere, Hannah Hurtzig, Suely Rolnik, Brian Dillon, Jennifer Teets, Pelin Tan, Cevdet Erek, Erden Kosova, Irene Kopelman, Mariana Castillo Deball, Bulent Tanju, Eva Meyer, Katerina Gregos, Kodwo Eshun & Anjalika Sagar, Hila Peleg, Grant Watson, Dieter Roelstraete, Michalis Paparounis, Jennifer Nelson, Konstantinos Papageorgiou, August Ort´s, Alex Cecchetti, Christian Frosi, Susan Philipsz, Alasdair Roberts, Stanley Brinks (ex Andre Herman Düne), Tris Vonna-Michell, Liam Gillick, Jalal Toufic, Abdelwahab Meddeb, Bouchra Khalili, Pascale Cassagnau, Ewa Zadrzynska, Christian de Marliave, Muriel Teodori