A Museum in a School: A Performative Archive, social practice, performative installation. 2017.
  • Exhibition text
    A Museum in a School is an autonomously developed project in Salvador, Brazil with the privilege of working with Grupo de Mulheres do Alto das Pombas (GRUMAP), a highly politicised black feminist women’s group. GRUMAP is a highly active group in their neighbourhood where the government is still denying the ownership to their homes. In this neighbourhood they are running a school to educate their young. During the development of the project the school was on strike due to budget cuts and other forms of governmental pressures. A Museum in a School is an archival project formed by the photo collections of the women’s group. The archive then was duplicated as a memory game introducing new images to it, that were made by the children from the neighbourhood. The memory game functions as a gesture towards a performative archive for the community. When not played the memory cards remain as an image archive. During exhibitions it forms as a durational art work performed by the students. Other times it remains as a game. This blurring between life and art, archive and game reaffirms the students as artists, expanding their reach towards art and art’s reach to their lives. As a performative archive the memory game activates remembering as an act of resistance while building a bridge for transferring knowledge. The memory cards played/performed on a flat surface constantly appears in new constellations, proposing new relations between images generating a compositionist practice of looking.
  • A Reflection
    As I write this text with its length determined, I decided to start from the most condensed version. Starting from the condensed and knowing it would be translated assured me it might sound like a poem in this concrete carefulness, in a city that swallowed me. A good translation of a bad text or a bad translation of a good one makes poetry. Because it tells about it to itself. It informs itself anew and old. Salvador is poetry. Jacob Sam-La Rose once regarded his city as ‘They tell me you have changed and I don’t believe them, different lives thread through the same needle-thin streets … capital city of milk and honey, gold and all the other tired tropes’ Threaded by many, everyday newly but old, a city contains many; A long history of imposed silence, disrupted languages, interrupted speeches, the unspoken, the unsatisfied, the late and the latent, the in-process, the pre-thought, the not-yet-manifest, the undeveloped, the unrecognised, the delayed, the unanswered, the unavailable, the not-deliverable, the discarded, the over-looked, the neglected, the hidden, the forgotten, the un-named, the un-paid, the missing, the longing, the invisible, the unseen, the behind-the-scene, the disappeared, the concealed, the unwanted, the dormant and the most peculiar; the furniture, furniture without memories. These chairs brought to here, carried, handled, cared for, touched yet without memories. They are moved here perhaps by invisible forces, flying through the city; a parade of flying chairs. Like how we are moved to here by the magic of our collective hunger to unearth the earth. We are here to remember. Against the erasure of the violent past, against a chronology that is timeless as a matter of both past and present, remembering emerges as a political act and an act of resistance; remembering in our own name, becoming ourselves, inventing it anew, unearthing the earth, in children’s hands.
 © Baha Görkem Yalım 2012 All images on this site and their copyrights owned by Baha Görkem Yalım unless otherwise stated.