Documentary of Behavioural Currencies, 2016, Manifesta 11 "What People Do For Money"

Georgia Sagri, Documentary of Behavioural Currencies, installation view, Manifesta 11, Bank Julius Baer, 2016; photo: Flavio Karrer

Georgia Sagri, Documentary of Behavioural Currencies, installation view, Manifesta 11, Luma Foundation, 2016; photo: Flavio Karrer

Georgia Sagri, Documentary of Behavioural Currencies, installation view, Upstate, 2016; photo: Flavio Karrer

24 - 10 - 2016
Parrhesiastic Acts

Georgia Sagri in conversation about her participation in Manifesta 11 with Sofia Bempeza.

my first science fiction book, Religion, 2015, KW Berlin & Public Affairs Festival and Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul

Georgia Sagri, my first science fiction book, Religion, 2015, 3D video (47‘12‘‘) 3D glasses, sound, clay, sand, gypsum, print on fabric, linoleum, LED lights, vinyls (“SPYRAL”, “RING”, “ARROW” and “FLASH & HYMN”)

Georgia Sagri, my first science fiction book, Religion, 2015, music composition, website & livestream, installation, 8h performance with Julie Besandilov (kubut), Evren Can Kamam (ud/oud), Annie Garlid (vokal ve viola / vocal and viola), Matan Gurevitz (kontrbas/contrabass), Rebecca Lane (vokal ve flüt / vocal and flute), Önder Kiran (kanun/qanun), Cecília Kleine (vocal ve darbuka/vocal and darbouka) Adi Levi (kajon/cajón), Manolis Maroudis (vokal/vocal), Debjit Pahari (tabla), Babua Pahari (bansuri/Indian flute), Jan Sameh Regelin (flüt/flute), Kennmichael Stafford (vokal/vocal), Sophia Zeyse (vokal/vocal), Katharina Zeyse (vokal/vocal)

“Mono no aware, literally "the pathos of things", and also translated as "an
empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera", is a Japanese term for
the awareness of impermanence or transience of things, and both a transient
gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing as well as a longer, deeper
gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life. The phrase is derived
from the Japanese word mono, which means "thing", and aware, which was a
Heian period expression of measured surprise, translating roughly as
"pathos", "poignancy", "deep feeling", "sensitivity", or "awareness". Thus,
mono no aware has frequently been translated as "the 'ahh-ness' of things",
life, and love. The awareness of the transience of all things heightens
appreciation of their beauty, and evokes a gentle sadness at their passing. Its
scope was not only limited to Japanese literature, but rather became
associated with Japanese cultural tradition in general.
Her artistic practice encompasses installations, videos and self-enacted
performances that evolve into a communal shared experience. In Istanbul,
she presents my first science fiction book, Religion, a multifarious installation
combining different media that suggests a new egalitarian way to exist in the
world. In particular, Sagri questions our understanding of religion as
institutional protocol - including our recent faith in the potentialities of the
cyberspace. In order to imagine how religion can be liberated from its
etiquettes and totalities of representation, she brings people from all religions
together and they sing in unison. Together, their voices merge and became
sounds one never heard, sacred and yet otherworldly – almost a music from
the stars. The science fiction book consists of the comments of the viewers
watching the performance online; the film is made in 3D; and the sculptures
are fragments of movements. Is it possible to go up against the protocols and
to reveal the call for absolute love from all of the religions?”

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev


exhibita.ch/EAT THE TOOL, 2015, Forde, Geneva


exhibita.ch/EAT THE TOOL
April 19 – Mai 17, 2015

There is an old story that gets told in North America about an Eskimo who has thirty-six different words for snow. It probably isn’t true. But I am more interested in what the story is about than whether or not it is true. What are people trying to communicate when they tell this story? What do we talk about when we talk about Eskimo snow argot? What are we saying about language and about how it relates to every day behaviors? The simple response would be, presumably, that Eskimos have a great deal more experience of snow than non-Eskimos do, and so they have developed a highly sensitive faculty of taste in the matter of snow; they can distinguish between different kinds of snow with a specificity that boggles our own less-experienced minds. Because we lack this language to describe winter precipitation, each of our experiences of snow are, pardon me, rolled up into one word: snow. Even as we understand that there is a big difference between a few, small, gently sifting flakes and driving streams of sleet and large casual floaters that vanish before the dawn.

We understand these differences, but when we try to remember them, we find that we don’t have the tools. Or we have to supplement endlessly the one tool we have; “It was snowing, and the snow was x, y & z.” This, rather than saying simply “It was x-ing;” where ‘x’ is one of these other, more specific terms for snow, the way that ‘broil’ is more specific than ‘cook.’ As a result, our vision of the past doesn’t account for a great deal of our experience and much of our life-with-snow goes unrecognized and unrecorded, which is almost the same thing. I’ve been thinking about this lately because I’ve been losing my languages. I wake up and go down to the workshop and reach for my oldest words, my tools, and they are not there. The equipment with which I have hitherto constructed my habitat is vanishing, has vanished. It would be easy enough to leave the matter there: I’m losing my language! Sighs! Signs! Moody Possibility!

But that wouldn’t help me much, and moreover, it would risk making a metaphysics of language such that in mourning my language, I would also, in some sense, be mourning metaphysics. This was the sort of thing people did a lot when I was growing up: mourning metaphysics in the guise of investigating language. Very intense, very precious; often very remarkable. Sometimes I like to think my generation is more practical. We’ve had to be, I think, because it turns out there is such a thing as objective conditions after all.

What words exist in Greek that don’t exist in English? Once I have those, I will make up words in English that correspond to the missing Greek words. Part of me feels that this trans-linguistic exchange might be the only way to defeat nationalism once and for all. Just, you know, get it over with and make whatever language we are living in as big and as beautiful as possible. Consolidate all the inventories, and give similar terms more specific meanings, until we can all remember everything forever and by its own name.

Stephen Squibb as Georgia Sagri
Georgia Sagri would like to thank: Sacha Béraud (website programming assistance), Maria Trofimova (photographs, documentation) and Serafin Brandenberger (exhibition assistance)


Elusive Earths I, II, III, 2014

The videos Elusive Earths I, II, III each are short advertisements promoting the production, benefits, and character of particular proto-pharmacological earth pills. Sharing their title with the group exhibition Elusive Earths curated by Jennifer Teets, each advertisement’s text, design, graphics and editing not only serve as publicity materials for the exhibition, but also promote the exhibition’s unique “products”—the earth pills themselves.


Long Live the Wolves, 2014, The Kitchen, NY

Part of the group show "The Rehearsal", curated by Mathew Lyons I presented a remake of my 2008 cement sculpture Square, as well as Athens Toy, a PowerPoint slideshow featuring some photographs from Athens and my texts. On July 17 and 31 at 7pm, I presented "Long Live the Lions Wolves," a performance that relocates the political climate of contemporary Greece to that of 1973 through voice and sound.