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P74 Gallery

Paula Roush, Maria Lusitano: CLASSOP (Varied Papers)

4 May – 25 May, 2011
P74 Gallery, Prušnikova 74, Ljubljana
Opening View: Wednesday, 4 May 2011 at 8 p.m.
Artists will be present.

The project CLASSOP, by the intermedia artist and teacher Paula Roush originated in collaboration with the theorist Louise Michel and the artist Maria Lusitano. The project (its name is an abbreviation of the Portuguese term “classe operaria” – “the working class”) is a sampling from a unique library specializing in the period after the Portuguese Revolution. An archive of texts and images from books on architecture, urbanism, and education, it reveals the impact of the historic events that shaped the antifascist movement, the 1968 student demonstrations, and the Portuguese “Carnation Revolution” of 1974, which transformed Portugal from an authoritarian dictatorship into a democracy.

This unique “fictional book” about a library is based on fragments of a multiple reality. In the intermedia installation we journey through various kinds of documents, a collection of texts and icons from past decades. The library is both a place and a non-place, a city and a non-city, a relational space where conversation begins, questions are asked, and memories awaken. The myth of one’s own country (and its history) is thus revealed and intertwined with other myths in a critical intertextuality.

The second part of the intermedia project presents a performative action in the gallery and includes a virtual experience of the “book” through online encounters with the help of Skype and a webcam.

Louise Michel is a writer and theorist, who is known for her theory of the book-archive. In her writings she distinguishes between the classic book and the book-archive and connects them with the meta-generation of books and literature as well as current processes in the transition to the optical book.

Maria Lusitano is a media artist who deals with the topic of the book-archive, digital performance, and web communication. With Paula Roush she has developed projects that have been presented in recent years at AGM09: under_control and Radiator Festival (Derby, UK), Living Room 2010 (Auckland), and Intimate TV (Kunstverein Hamburger Bahnhof, Hamburg 2010).

Paula Roush is a new-media artist, curator, and lecturer at the London South Bank University and the University of Westminster. Her artwork includes digital art, social media research, critical urbanism, the analysis of surveillance systems, and open-code models of publishing and distribution. She is the founder of msdm, a research platform for “mobile strategies of display and mediation” for new media. Her art production is based on an intertextual approach. In her interactive projects she uses video, photography, performative installations, and public interventions, and connects these with discourses from the critical theory of gender and (historical) representation. Her projects have been presented at many important international art venues, including at Kunsthalle Exnergasse (Vienna), K3 (Zurich), Space (London), EV+A (Limerick), Heimat Moderne (Leipzig), the Institute of International Visual Arts (London), Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst (Bremen), and the Living Art Museum (Reykjavik).