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Thursday 21.09.2017

VOZ RARA at Grand Union, curated by Anna Santomauro and Valerio Del Baglivo

Grand Union, Birmingham, with Anna Santomauro and Valerio Del Baglivo


This is an events programme, running from Sept 2017–May 2018. Please check the website for dates and times.

Kim McAleese
+44 121 643 9079

Grand Union Unit 19 Minerva Works
158 Fazeley Street
Birmingham, B5 5RT
United Kingdom

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VOZ RARA is a season of public programming curated by Valerio Del Baglivo and Anna Santomauro, 2017 curators-in-residence at Grand Union. Responding to Grand Union's 2017 public programming theme 'Voice and Communication' the two curators propose a series of workshops, screenings, performances and public talks looking at the use of voice as a cultural and political agent.

The programme will feature work by Hamish MacPherson, Sabel Gavaldon, Alex Martinis Roe, Jaume Ferrete Vázquez, Mikhail Karikis and Katarina Zdjelar.
The title VOZ RARA is inspired by the work of Catalan artist Jaume Ferrete Vázquez (in English 'rare, unusual voice') and it refers to exceptional uses of voice as metaphor and practice of collective participation. The programme looks at multiple ways in which people seek to negotiate a sense of self both individually and collectively in times of all encompassing neoliberal procedures. Precisely it explores the invention of new ways to navigate the everyday, as stated by Michel De Certeau in 'The Practice of Everyday Life' (L'invention du quotidien). In the book the French philosopher constitutes a genealogy of silent and commonly diffused 'ways of operating' to manipulate mechanisms of control and to create 'miniscule' actions re-inventing collective life.

In line with these analytical and practical trajectories, the artists of VOZ RARA look at specific groups and communities and at the spaces that they carve out for themselves in the world by inventing new forms of communication to regulate everyday life. The artists analyse existing collective forms of communication in order to either expand them with the communities they encounter through workshops or empowering activities; learn and translate them in other contexts and media; document and disseminate historical documents on otherwise marginal practices; or analyse their, often avoided, hierarchical and normative structures. The inaugural workshop Improvising Politics: out of touch by artist Hamish MacPherson proposes playful group choreographies that look at new ways to reflect on politics using touch-centred approaches and dance. In October curator Sabel Gavaldon presents his on-going research on gesture and subculture by looking at the emergence of voguing and the drag ball culture emerged in NY as a case study in radical performance. In November artist Alex Martinis Roe will lead her workshop called Our Future Network: Workshop on Practices of Alliance which she developed out of her long-term research on feminist political practices with the aim of investigating minor histories of solidarity-in-difference and, together with participants, to develop a toolbox for practices of alliance.

Jaume Ferrete Vázquez presents Voz Rara Rara Rara a research workshop, and the performance There are none so deafinvestigating the micropolitics of voice in relation to power and the way it is exercised in the everyday. Artist Mikhail Karikis will present a consistent portion of his film production, sharing with the public his work with local communities affected by global capitalistic exploitation and industrial obsolescence and investigating the voice as a political trigger to imagine different scenarios. Finally through a screening and a talk Katarina Zdjelarexplores language and sound in relation to cultural contexts interrogating the role of voice and sound in defining the collective unconscious.

The programming run from Autumn 2017 – Spring 2018 includes the following events:

September 28, 2pm
Improvising Politics: Out of Touch
Workshop at Grand Union

October 21, 3pm
To strike a pose is to pose a threat
talk at Grand Union

November 2-4
Our Future Network: Workshop on Practices of Alliance
workshop – venue tbc

November 30 – December 2
Voz Rara Rara Rara
workshop – venue tbc

December 1, 7 pm
There are none so deaf
performance in Minerva Works

February 2018
Vocal Terrains: sound, collectivity and labour
a screening of Karikis's films and a performance lecture at Birmingham University

May 2018
Between the sounds
a screening of Zdjelar's films at Birmingham City University