Nervous Tension, at Careof / DOCVA, Milan, is a screening including video works by JANET LAURENCE (Dingo, 2014) and DANI MARTI (Golden Years, 2014) on 17 June 2014. Nervous Tension is curated by Anabelle Lacroix, as part of an FDV residency at DOCVA, Milan.
Nervous Tension explores the notion of survivance, a state of being between surviving and resistance. This video screening addresses survivance as a global concept and examines the responses by Australian-based video artists - artists as witnesses and artworks as testimonies.
Originally coined by French Canadians to describe the loss of their language, a frequently used term in Quebec before the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, survivance relates to cultural dispossession. The concept was popularised by well-known historian Gerald Vizenor to describe the condition of the indigenous peoples of the Americas as a sense of presence over absence and nihility; an active state of being through resistance as opposed to disappearance.
Nervous Tension aims at opening ideas of survivance as a lens to the wider contemporary context of cultural production and existence. This can be seen in the video works through different states or positions of resistance, whether physical, metaphysical, personal, environmental, or to the artistic medium itself. Furthermore, concepts or truth and permanence underline this project by considering Jacques Derrida’s take on survivance as tied to a witness, someone who lives beyond an event. Here artworks are taken as testimonies, or perhaps as evidence. The works of Megan Cope and Inez de Vega particularly highlight this idea, and are also layered with personal histories.
Survivance as a contemporary notion evolves as a state of becoming and of potentiality. The remanning works in this screening are speechless, never silent, but wordless. In their distinct approaches the works of Dani Marti, Janet Laurence, Bar Yerushalmi, Diego Ramirez, Kieran Boland and Brie Trenerry, demonstrate to state of contemplation, of reflection and of poesies.