Talk by Helene Paris

  •  works start with a question: good idea for starting point / one question leads to another/ different thoughts, words, ideas, ways of exploration, materials to be used / brainstorming process  – creation of  a broad plan which can be modified and narrowed at a later stage
  • currently working on smell / collaboration with bio sciences: smell is a medium which is difficult to understand unless you have live experience, it cannot be captured in an image or video / maybe the only way to be indirectly captured is by documenting persons’ reactions when smelling
  • liveliness 
  • ephimerality – common in live performances and smell
  • smell and memory – remembering smell, persons, feel transported back to a specific place
  • works in small audiences/ closer to audience / what the audience can give to the performance and the performer : the audience has a boundary-less interaction with the work / cannot bypass the work because it is not an image / they cannot look for five seconds and turn around

Works by Kater Attia dealing with memory – Exhibition @ Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 12th April – 30th July 2017 (accessed 15.10.2017)


Thoughts/notes on Gifts from Cabinet magazine (2/2)


Identification / identity / proof as to who we are / cultural characteristics / collective memory / common characteristics of a nation / how these characteristics change through the years / people with different identities / immigrants / combination of identities / creation of new identities


  • An exhibition centered around four acclaimed Alaska Native artists whose groundbreaking contemporary works question institutional methods of identifying Native heritage, examine their own mixed-race identities, and challenge perceptions and stereotypes about indigenous peoples. Runs through September 8 at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAF) (accessed 07.10.2017)
  • Nikos Kessanlis / Greek /shadows/ elimination of individual characteristics

“Shadow play differs in form in the West and in the East, reflecting thus the divergences in their social and ideological practice. The main element that changes -beyond the visual diversification in the figures and the subjects – is the following: in the East it doesn’t matter if the puppet player is visible to the public, while in the West he remains invisible so as not to destroy the illusion of the spectacle. In the East it is possible to create the illusion nevertheless; they don’t consider the puppet player as a stranger that intrudes into the world of the imaginary, but as someone who serves this world and contributes to the ritual of its emergence. Contrary to the East, the Mediterranean thought tends to separate the creator from its creation. The creator is hiding behind the opacity of his creation; meanwhile in the East there is no border to separate the creator from his creation. The visibility or invisibility of the player in the Asian and Mediterranean shadow play reflects the deep rooted primordial beliefs of the people that used it. At the same time, the realistic observation of everyday life provides it with prime matter; sometimes it imitates life and sometimes it intends to exorcise and rationalize its transcendental features” ( accessed 07.10.2017)

Thoughts/notes on Gifts from Cabinet magazine (1/2)


Dust / mist as the result of a phenomenon or action with direct effect when breathed

In late 19th century London, the dust could be set to have  a double meaning: miasmic/disease and as a reference to development/future/new era

Dust in the air transforming as dirt on the floor/furniture/people – as a symbol of covering/transforming/ decaying/ referring as old/ not to be touched/not to be breathed/stay away

Dust created from digging a hole in the ground – reference to new project and mines/artificial environments-landscapes/ grey bluish colour of stones  – creation of dust

Dust/mist as a veil / blanket as a means of covering/hiding something – a blurry /undefined image / waiting for the atmosphere to clean / waiting to see what will be revealed/

Elimination-cleaning of dust / what can work as the vacuum to clean/define/reveal

p.96 “the storytellers have not realised that the Sleeping Beauty would have awaken covered in a thick layer of dust ….  dust constantly invade earthy inhabitants and uniformly define them” (by George Bataille)

p.98 “Dust, Bataille suggests, may one day gain the upper hand oeuvre domestic servants; he pictures a city in which dust has triumphed, “invading the immense ruins of abandoned buildings, deserted dockyards.” In fact, Bataille hints in a fragment entitled “Debacle”, we may already be living in this grotesque and desiccated dustscape.

Ruskin on process of crystallization



Images clockwise

  1. Jorge Otero-Pailos, produced by Artangel, Houses of Parliament 2016 (London) ‘The Ethics of Dust’ (title from Ruskin’s book)  – (accessed 04.10.2017)
  2. Francis Alÿs (Museum Of Contemporary Art Tokyo)
  3. Detail of “The Persistence of Modernism,” 2012 (dirt, found office furniture) by James Croak (US).