2015.2016.2017.2020 . BREEZE FROM CALAIS.
Bone china. Installation with music by Hemn and Stad Tina. Showcased at:
. 6bis Paris. (Dec 2015)
. Clay Art Center Portchester. New York. (Jan/March 2016)
. Hogarth New York. (June 2016/June 2017)
“Everything is broken here in the Jungle. Everyday we spend here in the Jungle we are more broken”.
“People are breaking their limbs and dying trying to jump the fences. There is no other way, no other chance…”
The Jungle is how people name the refugees’ camp near Calais. They are mostly English speaking political and war refugees trying to cross the border to England, hoping to rebuild their lives. There are people that have been there for months, including children.
I met Hemn and his brother Stad at the Jungle. They were coming from Iran. Hemn showed me a song he made with his brother back in Iran that he had on Facebook. They play traditional instruments from Kurdistan. Music is like air that helps you breathing and reminds you who you are. The conditions at the Jungle are devastating.
At the Jungle there is a pirate network that works occasionally and refugees can connect with their families and the rest of the world through their phones. Stad showed me a picture of his girlfriend. I looked at his hands. They were musicians. They just wanted to be themselves.
There is also a social hub, a distinct tent that looks like an igloo where people tell their stories, organize activities like theater, yoga, kung-fu and sessions for kids. People decorated it with fabrics brought with them during their journey from their countries, in an effort to make that community space a place of beauty and hope.
All meaning of human fragility and freedom -free flow- is embedded in the piece. The rhythm of these elements set on the wall is like imperceptible music, brought by the wind from a remote place. Breeze and music -beauty and delicacy- imply the necessary soothing elements for survival. A beauty that together with the music and the harshness of reality implies the painful desire for evasion and its uncertainty.
The delicate existence of those porcelain pieces, their pilgrimage through different countries and continents, became the expression of those immigrants' painful reality: a journey motivated by hopes and desires of “prosperous lands” where to finally rest and simply be; the resolution of a nomadic, uncertain and exhausting reality that with greater or lesser extent we all might have experienced. They express through their physical (and therefore psychical) limits, the memory of their own resistance. As in those unexpected circumstances that will transform us, brutally sometimes. A history tattooed in the body. In Foucault’s words, “our body, the surface of all intensities, the place of all experiences of being in the world, the actor of all utopias”.