RUIDO DE PAPEL / PAPER NOISE / BRUIT DE PAPIER
Artist in Residence: Amanda Gutiérrez
25.03.2021 - 01.05.2021
April 17, 2021 at 6pm
Live performance by Amanda Gutiérrez. For more details please click here.
Saturday 20 March : 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sonido Verde is an interdisciplinary workshop, given by Colectivo Vivas (ARG) and Amanda Gutiérrez (MX). The workshop addresses aspects of listening to and creating the soundscape as a form of resistance and creation. It will analyse and work with creative processes linked to ecofeminist and xenofeminist practices, where technology functions as a collective tool of oral history.
By: Amanda Gutiérrez y #VIVAS
Young people and adults
Free activity - Limited capacity
email@example.com | 3338182575
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Text by Lola Baraldi
Collage, self and city: the wandering steps of PAPER NOISE/BRUIT DU PAPIER/RUIDO DE PAPEL
Amanda Gutiérrez (b. 1978, Mexico City) Trained and graduated initially as a stage designer from The National School of Theater in Mexico, Gutiérrez uses a range of media such as sound and performance art to investigate the aural culture of everyday life. Gutierrez is actively advocating listening practices while being one of the board of directors of the World Listening Project, formerly working with The Midwest Society of Acoustic Ecology, and currently as the scientific comitée of the Red Ecología Acústica México.
Currently, she is a Ph.D. student at Concordia University and a research assistant at lab PULSE and Acts of Listening Lab. Gutiérrez has held numerous art residencies at FACT, Liverpool in the UK, ZKM in Germany, TAV in Taiwan, Bolit Art Center in Spain, and her work has been exhibited internationally in venues such as The Liverpool Biennale in 2012, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. A recipient of a grant from the National System of Art Creators, in Mexico, Gutiérrez recently was the recipient of residencies at the New York Camera Club, Harvestworks, and MISE-EN_PLACE Bushwick.
Lola Baraldi is a creative project manager currently working with MUTEK Montréal to coordinate partnerships, the virtual platform, and digital projects. Passionate about our relationship to urban space and the dialogues on the walls, her research on music and street art has been published in initiatives like Norient’s “Sampling Politics Today” series and Queens University’s “Context and Meaning” conference. Lola is now studying a Masters in Cultural and Artistic Management and has been active in the music industry since 2017, starting as a writer promoting Montreal’s electronic music scene and picking up new hats along the way. She sits on Montreal’s Night Council, run by MTL 24/24, and is always interested in learning more about the night-time economy and music history.
It’s march 2021. Creative spaces are muted, social lives are dormant, and different forms of control are draping cities in rules, regulating how our bodies may move. As I walk towards SBC with paintbrushes in my bag and a pandemic at our heels, having somewhere unknown and indoors to go to feels transgressive. Out of sync.
The 5 empty floors leading up to SBC Gallery add to the secrecy. Sitting above scurrying St. Catherine’s street and its undeterred buyers, this gallery has become an impromptu maker space. Tonight, it hosts a few members of Collages Feministes Montréal, whose usual mobilizations are sandwiched between the end of daylight, and the start of curfew.
Painting has already started. A4 Letters that are usually placed to dry on bedroom floors and balcony corners are strewn across the common floor. One colleuse slips up while painting a curve, and crumples the paper. “It’s messed up now”, Kira says. Amanda Gutierrez rushes to grab the discarded paper before it’s thrown away, setting it on one of the gallery’s passing installations; “that’s perfect.”
She gives a knowing glance as she looks around, her eyes registering what we are less trained to see - the invisible theatre of a shifting space.
PAPER NOISE/BRUIT DU PAPIER/RUIDO DE PAPEL
Gutierrez has been giving a silhouette to the ephemeral for two decades now, as a lifelong student of sound and performance. Her work surveys conflicts of collectivity and identity in the urban space - and how they are wedded into the surrounding acoustics. Through a participatory research approach, she examines how the perception of our self and our other is shaped and swayed by inherited systems, surrounding sounds and social norms. She questions how human-made constructs - such as borders and gender - affect and restrict one’s identity, one’s movements.
PAPER NOISE/BRUIT DU PAPIER/RUIDO DE PAPEL explored the use of physical and audio collage as tools of resistance to these restrictions, and mediums to articulate one’s place within the city’s codes and flows. Throughout a six-week residency, Gutierrez assembled perspectives from feminist collectives entrenched in urban life: Collages Féminicides Paris, Collages Féminicides Montréal, Collages Féministes Montréal, VIVAS Buenos Aires and Womxn Walk the Walk.
Performance from perspectives
Gutierrez’s scenographic conscience and theatre production background was reinvested into setting up five phases: Introspection, Collectivity, Iteration, Resonance and Dialogue.
Various works, with mediums ranging from paper to Augmented Reality, were adapted from interviews, conversations, and field recordings from the #NiUnaMenos protests in Buenos Aires.
Turning the exhibition into a space of mutation was inspired by the agitated fluxus movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and its deconstruction of norms. Like the fluxus mischief-makers, PAPER NOISE embraced ephemerality, involved the viewer, and made improvisation its medium. Rearranging SBC weekly, based on emerging dialogues, captured the spontaneity of oral storytelling - and perhaps prompted the rawer side of our reactions. PAPER NOISE demonstrated the interconnectedness of art, identity, and daily experiences. This also broke with the conception of a gallery as a white cube, to welcome the brazen craft of disruption.
Walking the city as identity
Between each of the five phases, a keen eye observed before creating.
This learned capacity to observe flows from years of flânerie and walking the city with curious pupils, reading the faces between buildings. A flâneuse turned facilitator, Gutierrez’s perspective is particularly rooted in the gendered experience of urban space. Popularized by the dandyist prose of Charles Baudelaire in 19th century Paris, the concept of “flâneurie” - roaming the city as leisure, observing, with no destination or agenda – is steeped in the footsteps of art movements over the decades, from Surrealists to Situationists. Within this tapestry, a question mark emerges, one that points to the absence of female flâneuse figures on the surfaces of modern literature (Janet Wolff, ‘The Invisible Flâneuse’). The woman freely wandering the streets of Baudelaire’s Paris, for instance, risked the association with prostitution (Susan Buck-Morss, ‘Walter Benjamin: escritor revolucionario’) before one of contemplation.
The right to move one’s body freely in the public space has historically been a different one for different genders, whose footsteps have been met with varying levels of cultural and social inclusion, exclusion, or violence. In our daily walks of life, the fear of being harmed or harassed can lead us to contort the self, in exchange for greater protection in public - by adopting new techniques, behaviors, habits or clothing.
Collage as resistance
PAPER NOISE mapped one of the ways in which organized groups of women, trans and non-binary people expressed experiences of gendered and racial violence. It spotlighted the street collage method adopted by decentralized feminist movements around the world.
By hitting the walls of a city with a black on white ephemeral slogan, these groups insert alternative words and tones into public dialogue. City space is (re)claimed and vocalized.
The act of pasting is one of performance, that recognizes the exclusions of urban life, and answers through a chosen form of “urban intervention” - which, as graffiti does, “subverts the system, persistently throwing spanners into the works, counteracting homogeneity” (Alain Bieber, ‘Desires’)
Audio as power
PAPER NOISE magnified the soundscapes of collaging: of the evening pasting process, rushed and cooperative, and of audio productions by #VIVAS, sound and live performance developed from a collective sound database of feminist political marches in Latin America.
Amanda once told us that the substance, the weight of the meaning, lies in the audio. Sound conducts the intention of our words, exposes the silence, communicates the rage, quiver or thrill of a voice. Our spoken languages frame the scope of our understanding. Sound is a medium for truths across our fragmented lived experiences.
Together we wonder - how do the background noises we hear daily create subtle sources of friction, or harmony, in our relationship to the surrounding space?
In conclusion, and continuity: Xeno Walk
The experiments of the residency continuously centered the work of collective feminists through technology, used as a medium to magnify voices and generate empathy.
Recorded throughout the six weeks, a spatial sound project named “Xeno Walk, an aural essay about collective feminism” gathers key field recordings, interviews and dialogues. Militant voices from the Global North and South are overlapped and woven into the cityscape, as they discuss constrictive environments. Presented as part of Pop Montreal 2021, the project geolocalizes audio excerpts across key Mile End locations, which walkers can listen to using an Augmented Reality application.
In using new tools to amplify underrepresented voices, Xeno Walk maps out what Elizabeth Grosz refers to as an essential alternative model and new space for women, one where knowledges and technologies are built in accordance to their experiences and needs - and not just inherited from masculine perspectives.
Projected in this new digital space, the flâneuse finally talks back - to a city that matches her in complexity.