r              o

                                             s       s              i       n     g       s



Friday, September 16, 2022
Archive Berlin
Reinickendorfer Straße 17, 13347 Berlin

Readings, performances and interventions
In English

Free admission

Crossings is part of
Archive’s research stream
(re)memberings and (re)groundings

With Aziza Ahmad, Ruth Buchanan, Mariana Castillo Deball, Gabriella Kolandra, Yaniya Lee, José Carlos Oscar, and Rebeca Pak.

Curated by Chiara Figone and Paz Guevara

Uneven Bodies (Reader), eds. Ruth Buchanan, Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh, Hanahiva Rose; The scene in which I find myself / Or, where does my body belong, exhibition guide, both designed by HIT. Photocopy of newspaper clipping and list of poems to be included in Evacuation Tapes as prepared by J.C.Sturm’s son, John Baxter.

The body archives stories­­: it saves them from oblivion and at the same time gives them new life. What languages of the body come into play to articulate the stories of those inter-generational chains of memory? How does the performance of embodied knowledge transform us and the space around us? What humble and active role can these gestures play in transforming infrastructures and reimagining social conditions? Confronting the violent material and psychic fragmentation inherited from colonial modernity, Crossings engages with the complex archival practices of remembering and grounding that happen in the body.

 Aiming at inhabiting archives collectively, intersubjectively and in enlivening ways, Crossings is a series of encounters that opens up permeable formats to civic engagement and diasporic memory. Crossings # 2 is dedicated to feminist inter-generational traces, resistance and migrant knowledges and the politics of the body –in readings, performances, social displays and food-sharing.

 Crossings establishes spaces to traverse knowledge divisions, rehearse forms of togetherness and engage with complex consciousness. Driven by a genealogy of feminist thinkers, these spaces recall M. Jacqui Alexander’s pedagogies of crossings, which engage fragmented stories of the diasporic experience that yearn to be told and pine for wholeness in the midst of dismembered life. These spaces also invoke Gloría Anzaldúa’s strategy of crossings as the experiences of actively going beyond (national) boundaries, and the diversification of consciousness and knowledge that results.

 Crossings is part of Archive’s research stream (re)memberings and (re)groundings


13.30 – 15.45
Uneven Bodies
Ruth Buchanan
Reading Circle (email registration required)

Chiara Figone & Paz Guevara

16.00 – 16.20
Collective Reading
By Archive with Aziza Ahmad, Yaniya Lee, a.o.

16.20 – 18.00
Ruth Buchanan
Why poetry is a perennial, 2022
One-to-one readings

16.30 – 18.00
Mariana Castillo Deball
Story and eating figures

18.00 – 19:00
Rebeca Pak,
Bar Somente Hoje, 2022
In collaboration with Gabriella Kolandra and José Carlos Oscar
Social display and food-sharing

Programme Details

Reading Circle (email registration required: malin@archivesites.org  – space for 10 people only)

Artist and volume co-editor Ruth Buchanan will open up the reader Uneven Bodies (Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021*) by introducing the concept and context of the collection. Uneven Bodies comprises outstanding practitioners rethinking art institution infrastructures from the perspective of the dynamic and contested relationship between the body, power, language and the archive. With the lively familiarity of an editor, Buchanan will delve into the practice, affinities and connections of the authors, and present the specific strategies that they shared and published in Uneven Bodies. Foregrounding the editor’s role in shaping debates in collective and convivial publishing spaces, the Reading Circle will closely read and discuss a selection of excerpts from the reader, including passages by Aotearoa scholar and Decolonizing Methodologies (1999) author Linda Tuhiwai Smith on decolonizing art institutions; Anishinaabe curator Wanda Nanibush on the practice of performing sovereignty in the museum; notes from Taranaki artist WharekhokaSmith on the process of acquisition into collections; and about the Samoa House Library micro-collections that transform standardised methods of cataloguing and archiving.

 The workshop is open to everyone interested in practices of transformation at cultural institutions that begin with the body. Convivial lunch by Archive will be part of this activity. Please write us to register here, and include a few sentences introducing yourself and your practice: malin@archivesites.org

 * Ruth Buchanan, Aileen Burns & Johan Lundh, Hanahiva Rose (Eds). Uneven Bodies (reader). Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021.

One-to-one readings (registration on site)

 Ruth Buchanan’s artistic work addresses the contested and dynamic relationship between body, power, language and archive. Her one-to-one readings are gestures of inscription that bring bodies into presence and proximity. Buchanan conducts her readings face to face with visitors, creating an intimate space through poetry. The readings are based on an ongoing engagement with the poet J.C. Sturm (1927–2009), one of the first female Māori writers to have her work published. Sturm addressed the paradoxical situation faced by women in society: while they have more autonomy, their status is perpetually unstable. Buchanan’s feminist gestures challenge these entrenched imbalances, embodying the space of exhibitions while resonating along the resistance voices of the perennial. 


Story and eating figures


The eating figures made of amaranth recall the use of the plant amaranth, meaning in Nahuatl “the smallest giver of life,” whose seeds are one of the most important foodstuffs in Mexico, and it is also an ingredient related to different rituals.  Harvested over thousands of years, amaranth resisted colonial extinction, when it’s use was forbidden by the Spanish due to its importance in indigenous ritualistic practices. Amaranth survived in subversive cultivation, and it is still used to prepare ixiptlahuan, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures that are ritually consumed in Mexico. Following that recipe, Castillo Deball mixes amaranth seeds in nahuatl huahtli with black maguey syrup and, after kneading it, she shapes figures made of that dough. The amaranth resistance makes visible and narratable what keeps speaking to us in the present, linking the struggle for sovereignty with cultural food memory.

In collaboration with Gabriella Kolandra and José Carlos Oscar

Social display and food-sharing


Rebeca Pak’s Bar Somente Hoje is an ephemeral intervention, whose title means “only today bar”. Evoking a present-oriented temporality of one-day and of the here-and-now, it’s a playful spatial strategy that embodies Pak’s research on identity in-transit. Within the program of readings and performances of Crossings, Bar Somente Hoje restages the social space of the ‘boteco,’ a popular bar in Brazil, to intertwine moments of gathering and sharing. Through a social display, Bar Somente Hoje invites us to engage collectively and awake various senses. We are asked to join the low seating arrangements, a modality recovered from Pak’s Korean-Brazilian family reunions, transferred here to subvert the normativity of body politics at institutions, and partake in the offering of the recipe of Supplimchi de bacalhau, from Pak’s Brazilian, Korean and Italian background. On this occasion, Pak collaborates with curator Gabriella Kolandra. Drawing on the practice of popular painters-typists in Brazil, they commissioned a series of posters to the Carioca ‘cartazista’ José Carlos Oscar to announce Bar Somente Hoje to passersby, and reinforce the work’s hospitality and social dimension. In this way, Bar Somente Hoje continues as a fabulation that moves between different diasporic dimensions.