Research presentations | Tundé Adefioye, Imane Benyecif Khoutoul, Garine Gokceyan, Irma Földényi, Ruth Loos, Joud Toamah, Saskia Van der Gucht | 2023-10-16 | 14:00 - 17:30 | Showroom, Sint Lucas Antwerpen, Van Schoonbekestraat 143, 2018 Antwerpen

Curious about the new research projects starting at SLARG? Come to our sharing session!

Irma Földényi: Voices of Materials is a PhD research project on materiality through a jewellers' eye. How can jewellery act as a performative medium that tells stories about material finitude on a planetary and local scale? Just as the ‘Blue Marble’ image shed new view on Earth, can jewellery, with its small scale in this world, be able to create new, caring ways of relating to planetary processes or hyperobjects we are part of, yet which remain, in their complexity, hard to grasp. From an eco-critical approach, I propose an inquiry that goes beyond the human time scale to materiality. Actively listening to three materials - sand, coal and water - forms the basis for three case studies, and a range of outcomes that explore how materials can register and tell changes of their environments from geological deep-time to contemporary events.

Garine Gokceyan: The PhD project Exploring Armenian Multiscript Design investigates the microhistories of Multiscript typography, with a focus on the specificities of diasporic scripts. Taking the Armenian writing system as a laboratory script, I seek to unlearn my westernized design practices and find ways to access written and unwritten archives. The key research questions revolve around the challenges of designing/using contemporary Armenian typefaces and creating discourse around it in the absence of a rulebook, a specific terminology and an understanding of the various perspectives within the diaspora and Հայաստան.

Ruth Loos: In the one-year research project Closer than your jugular vein (Qur'an 50:16), I explore qualities of the religious book, specifically القرآن الكريم. The search for the multiple identity of this worldly, inter-worldly and other-worldly book proceeds through questions such as: Where/how/when does The Book unfold? I explore 'bookness' through the creation of two communicating works: a sacred text-based, conceptual collection ملامسة الحروف and an artistic-visual collection حديقة قرآنية En route, there is space for experiential and sensory book/faith practice.

Saskia Van der Gucht: On Sand: unpacking preciousness is a one-year research project which questions, through the Symbiocene as an overarching theoretical and practical framework, what could be the role of jewellery and treasured objects in the age of re-learning interdependence with living and non-living beings. In a 2022 UN report on sand and sustainability, sand is reported to become scarce as it is the second most used resource, besides water, on earth. It is present in every structure, road, window and screen we use daily. As abundant as it seems, it is predicted to become scarce due to overconsumption by industrial use. In this artistic practice, the metonymy of packaging and preciousness, jewellery boxes being a well known example, becomes a means to question and visualise how the finitude of this raw material is underestimated on the one hand and could serve as a precedent for future care on the other.

Joud Toamah: Courtyard of Memory is a one-year research project that centers the practice of طاسة الرعبة or fear soothing bowls, both as a ritualistic practice related to time-space, water and inter-generational relations, and an object with craft knowledges, engraved prayers and traced motifs. How to remember the practice of طاسة الرعبة? How can generational practices of personal and communal protection and medicine be remembered and reactivated in situations of state-violence, erasure, exile and diaspora? I explore these questions through special installations and experimentations with gathering formats based on Courtyard and Barzakh philosophies, poetic imaginaries and critical fabulations.

Imane Benyecif & Tundé Adefioye: In the last few years, the idea of safe and safer spaces have become part of what many of us try and create in and out of institutions. But what are Braver Spaces, what are the best ways to aspire towards them and eventually create them? Since the beginning of 2021 a small initiative started by some young people and two lecturers, has aspired to answer this question. This has been done through weekly meetings, healing spaces, Supper Clubs and a Summer School. This year, we want to slow down in order to reflect on what we have done and where we want to go. Through discussions and reflections we hope to gain more clarity about the work we are trying to do.