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Nettle cells under a microscope

The hidden, invisible, unknown and not yet seen have always allured me more than the obvious. I think that generally the invisible is more important than the visible, however one can’t exist without the other and part of the magic of such hidden layer as lingerie for example, is that it’s underneath the visible layers of garments. The closest, most intimate layer to our body, the tactile sensuality of simultaneously being dressed and undressed.

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Onion cells under a microscope

What I often encounter in lingerie stores and sewing workshops is an extreme shortage of environmentally aware approach in the choice of textiles, as if there is no choice. We live amongst abundance of material resources and by-products of various industries, but we are still so old fashioned when it comes to lingerie. We are supporting production of synthetic fibers, as polyester, made from a non-renewable resource, that requires an energy intensive production process and won’t decompose for up to 200 years. A fiber that was invented for the protective purposes due to the warOr cotton – one of the thirstiest fibres in fashion, a global, hard to trace commodity.  Or virgin silk with it’s questionable ethical aspects, when we are living in the context of growing population of vegetarians and vegans.

What does it actually mean and how would that feel to consciously come a step closer to my ability as a designer to be in touch with my sensual and soft self and my inner allure through a conscious material surface? I am certainly a dreamer and idealist but todays dreams is our future world.

 

 

Finally after long preparations and many brainstorms with my dear colleague and friend Valters Palaps we were at our first day of filming. A warm and sunny autumn day turned into a dark and obscure evening, revealing things that stay hidden on an ordinary day. Just the way we like it. I have been working very slowly on this project, including the storyline and each detail of the bear costume, and in the meanwhile realizing that this creative process would like to become a neverending story. It does not want to be rushed, it doesn’t want to say too much at once. It wants to unfold step by step. This work is about the slightly scary but at the same time highly exciting unknown. It’s about surrendering and trusting the unknown, allowing oneself that space to accept and settle with the things we don’t know or don’t understand.

 

I have some great news. This summer me and Valters Palaps are working on a series of short films that are falling in the realm of fantasy. Some serious poetry involving a bear and a fairy-girl and a dinner. An alluring mystery, one of a kind.

At the moment I am busy creating costumes for the film. The story is already written, so we are entering the last stages of preparation. Loking forward to seeing these films come together!

Attēls no Arta Balina

2017 (November) The Mountain, live performance & video, Museum night, de Appel, Broedplaats Lely. The work comprises of the live performance and the performative video.

The narrative takes place on the pile of sand at the construction site in Amsterdam. Its’ form changed rapidly and loudly each day during building of the road. And in the evening it was inhabited silently by Dorota, Arta and Yulia. Every day it was becoming smaller and their bodies were becoming bigger. They were moving though the liminal moment of the sand, element of nature before being suppressed under the masses of asphalt. A possibility to catch the rapid changes of the urban scenery that are not dependant on the artists keep the unpredictability of the outcome. 

 

 

We are continuing with DAY’s upcycling workshops where together with kids we are making sculptural objects from mostly domestic single use plastic bottles and raising awareness about the plastic pollution. This initiative is part of De Kolenkit Centrale project initiated by Cascoland and is based on three whales: farming (food production), cooking (food preparation) and the value of waste. These workshops are part of “Maak je Stad” program, organised by Waag Society and Pakhuis de Zwijger that develops the idea of De Gezonde Stad (the Healthy City).

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“Urban resort” is a site specific performative video. This work is reflecting on the fully changed environments and increase of gentrification in the city of Amsterdam where commercial and artistic spheres merge in a surrealistic outcome. The performance done in the nostalgic landscape on the edge of two worlds: broedplats Lely and new offices. In this story there is a way to escape the sense of a burden by neglecting the everyday duties. In this performative video the urban structures are being altered.

About DAY

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2017 (May) “Blue Red Rocker” performance, Living Museum, Stedelijk, Amsterdam. Group performance inspired by a work from the Stedelijk collection – Blue Red Rocker (1963) by Ellsworth Kelly.

Ellsworth Kelly explained his own work in 1996 by stating the following: “I think what we all want from art is a sense of fixity, a sense of opposing the chaos of daily living. This is an illusion, of course. Canvas rots. Paint changes color. But you keep trying to freeze the world as if you could make it last forever. In a sense, what I’ve tried to capture is the reality of flux, to keep art an open, incomplete situation, to get at the rapture of seeing.”

A natural, physical continuation of the Rocker – a movement based performance, reaction to the sculpture through the body movement. We were interested in the space that the sculpture creates – the illusion of a triangle while the sculpture has only 2 surfaces. This is the physical research on balance and support between performers, between performers and space and performers and viewers. The important aspect of the narrative is transformation of energy and speed from rush to calmness.

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One weekend I was cooking and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to strangers in New York City. The performance was activated when someone from the audience decided to step in and to interact – to feed me and to be fed. Few times I got very hungry because nobody showed up. I was not starting the meal without a guest. Friday dinner turned out to be the most social. I fed 4 people. Performances took place in the gallery space, my room or the bathtub of the artlifelab, depending of the circumstances. The lenght of the spoons is adjustable – 180 and 90cm.

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Residency program Edible bodies, Glasshouse ArtLifeLab, New York City, Brooklyn

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