Showing posts from June, 2011

The Translating Factory at the Language Cafe Special this Saturday

This Saturday I will be at the Language Cafe with the "Translating Factory" where we will be translating people's answers to the "What do you love ?" questions in as many different languages as we can. Bring your dictionaries !

"Language Café Refugee Week Special. We are delighted to invite you to our Language Cafe Refugee Week Special this Saturday at the Forum.It will be a special extended version of the Language Cafe where we will highlight some of the more unusual languages spoken among our community. There will also be a ‘Language Cabaret’, a barbecue and music in the garden. Please see the flyer below for full details."

Gloria Swanson by Edward Steichen



Today I have been offering a mini photographic studio space to a group of women, mainly from Eritrea (Africa). Every Monday, they come to St Paul's Church and leave their children at the Nursery for a couple of hours to study English and do some other activities. I shared the workshop with my friend Mirela Bistran who was showing them how to make some cake decorations.

I had planned a "high tech" interactive installation, for them to be able to see themselves in a TV monitor while taking the pictures. I wanted to offer them a private space to take self-portraits while having control over their own poses. Something similar to my own self-portraits in mirrors. The main idea for me here was of "self-empowerment" : giving them the intimacy of a space and time where to feel confident enough to choose poses and select the images of themselves that they prefered.

One side of the installation, the other being a tripod with the photo camera.
The technical side of the …

Mongolian is RRRReally Harrrrd !! .... for a French person ...

Working at a commissioned sound piece for Solo Art, Solo Heart in July.
In collaboration with the Language Cafe, I have asked people to answer the questions from "What do you love ?" in their language.  They help me to practice. The final piece will be my voice saying people's answers in different languages.

James here is helping me practicing with Mongolian ... with great patience and perseverance !!

Most recent statement for "What do you love ?"

What do you love? Ongoing interactive installation from 2002 – presentThis work has been shown as an itinerant, ever-growing interactive mobile in which people can step in and write their answers to those questions: what is the most important … date, person, object, place in your life? What do you love? Participants can also write in their mother tongue if it isn’t English.
More than 200 people have already taken part since 2002. Already about 15 different languages: English, Welsh, French, Portuguese, Kurdish, Jamaican patois, Catalan, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Thai, Japanese.
Another part of the work consists in the never-ending translation of each single paper (individuals’ answers); each paper is numbered, the answers typed and then translated in as many different languages as possible. It takes the shape of a booklet. This work is not presented here.
“I am currently working collaboratively with the Language Café in Nottingham toward the production of a sound piece for Solo Heart Solo …

On show at the Central Library 1st floor - Nottingham

I have been invited to take part in an exhibition for the national Refugee week, along with other artists. I am very pleased to have the piece shown in a library where people already read, write, day dream, think ....

First images of the installation at the library

COMMON GROUND event - June 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 11:00am - Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 4:00pm
Location: Hanley Park, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom

Common Ground is a weekend long arts event in Hanley Park, Stoke-on-Trent, organised by AirSpace Gallery Studio Artists. The project invites the public to discover art works hidden and placed in the city park. The art works work with the historical and physical reality of the site, and set out possible future visions for a public park in need of activation.
Common Ground has been commissioned in response to a recent public consultation project, Quality Streets, where the public expressed a desire to see activities and events taking place within the park.
Common Ground will see artists intervening in public spaces; loudly, quietly, secretly or overtly, in a manner which questions the use of public parkland in the 21st century. The works will last the weekend, be sensitive to the place they are situated, and offer opportunities for delight and magic in the city.


What do you love ? Interactive installation in Hanley Park - July 2010

More to read HERE

“What do you love ?” - Common Ground Commission Proposal - 2010

Proposal for Common Ground

Hanley Park is, on a multicultural point of view, one of the richest places in Stoke-on-Trent. Certainly much more than a dozen of different languages can be heard there. The Shelton area has a highly diverse community: Asian resident community, International students, European and East European migrants, asylum seekers from various countries and now families who have become residents in UK. Opposite the park is also the Cauldon College where a lot of foreigners go to improve their English when they first arrive in Stoke-on-Trent. This is where the idea and the first trials of one of my works started, in 2002, when I first arrived in UK, coming from France. This piece is an interactive and progressive installation called “What do you love ?”. It consists in a circular portable mobile : from the outside, on hanging pieces of papers, people can read what answers have been given to the questions* and from the inside, they can individually write their own answer…