Bow and arrow: skål-salud:street stories

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A Global Public Space
This project will generate a virtual, hybridized public space where two artists serve as “ambassadors”
for each city. They will engage their peers to become involved and create a representative platform
for their stories—as it often is on the streets. Skål-Salud: Street Stories will generate a website
serving as a virtual “wall” where artists can be seen and heard. Without being silenced or underground,
those involved are encouraged to discuss the politics which affect their behavior and actions.

In Die Traumdeutung, Freud defines the interpretations offered by psychoanalysis as translations from a
foreign mode of expression into the one which is known to us, stating that “a dream is a (disguised)
fulfillment of a (suppressed or repressed) wish.”1 However, the emancipatory effect that this exteriorization
has on the individual has been studied by Habermas in his theories of the public sphere as a space for
“self-reflection.” He identifies this self-reflection with translation: translation of the unconscious into
the conscious. “In discourses that focus on a shared subject, participants turn their backs on their private lives.
They do not need to talk about themselves. The line between public and private spheres does not become blurred;
the two complement each other instead.”2

Cutting the Space
Lima is chaotic, crowded and underprivileged. Stockholm is more spacious, controlled and wealthy—or is it?
This idea approaches the human problematic. The curator has lived in both cities discovering that desolation,
oppression and poverty are strongly felt for many individuals; the presence of these factors grows rapidly
on the streets. In Skål-Salud: Street Stories, translation is not merely personal or subconscious; it is also
material and often a curator’s role. “Such translation emphasized the inevitability of betrayal, which gnaws at
the heart of the difference between the speaker and the translator.”3

The goal of overcoming ingrained differences between participants will be addressed utilizing the tools of
friendship and communication. The project’s primary participants (“Blue,” Yonas Millares and Rossana Mercado Rojas)
speak Spanish fluently, have shared one beer more than mandatory and their cultural perspectives serve as a
catalyst to further examine urban art—street slang inclusive. For instance, a specific word (e.g. hora) is spelled
the same in both Swedish and Spanish, but it has different meanings which inspire word play for some urban artists.

Interdisciplinary Input
Skål-Salud: Street Stories does not intend to only present a multidisciplinary result / conclusion but a configuration
of dialogues and references originating from multiple languages and codes. This interdisciplinary approach will assist
in “cutting the space” between Scandinavia and South America and between practices.

Virtual Bar
“Blue,” Millares and the curator began conversations (in Spanish) August 2011. They wish to cultivate the ambiance of
a genuine bar table, disregarding conventional “work meeting” structures to liberate dialogue and better exchange
cross-disciplinary input. Skype chatting and drinks are tools to construct this virtual public gathering and bar space.

More On the Name
Having a Peruvian background, sharing a beer in a bar was a natural professional meeting form to work and produce.
One could be productive in this setting, develop ideas and make them happen. Artists often gather in bars to produce
art. In Peru,4 there are no strict closing times nor defined rules for selling alcohol. Alcohol consumption relates
to the spontaneous part of the day; people often drink outdoors and play music after a hard day’s work. Yet, alcohol
also relates to sickness, to the venom of the poor, forgotten and unheard, making them invisible and unbearable to view.
With alcohol, their sorrow is undignified. Therefore, society neglects them; they are seen as pariahs.

Work meetings in Stockholm rarely happen in bars or spontaneously during an evening out. Systembolaget’s weekend
shopping ritual differed from the curator’s previous perspective on drinking. Millares once offered Mercado wine
from the couch of his piece Monetary World (2011). Since then, they share a goal to create strategies to dissolve
icy rules between individuals, between “the people” and an oppressive system which can be a catalyst for injustice.
Many urban artists suffer the consequences of practicing in a society such as Stockholm—with high fines and sometimes
unavoidable consequences. So, they practice underground and develop behavior, ranging from paranoia to combative or
defensive responses. Coming from a Peruvian / Latin-American perspective, a correlation exists between hyper-controlled
public spaces and the difficulties poverty presents.

Technique(s)
» Dialogues in a virtual public bar to create topics regarding public space: an artistic platform mirroring socio-cultural factors.
» Millares and “Blue” share musical and visual arts knowledge which will be used to generate an alternative interpretation to
contextualize an audience, utilizing not only a museographic approach but also empathy, experience and casual conversation.
» Both artists work with public space, and their art represents a narrative related to their respective societies.
Site-specific elements will surface, expanding conversation between two realities to generate a new shared space.
» The exchange will knit an informative web starting with these two realities.
» Two interpretations of each artist’s reality will emerge: visual and musical.
» Using anecdotes and conversation, this project will illuminate legal influences on these urban art scenes and their strategies.

bow and arrow: skål-salud:street stories

Concept / Theory / Inquiry
Skål-Salud: Street Stories is a curatorial experiment aiming to explore constructions of otherness and
expand communication, beginning with a dialogue between urban artists from two locations: Lima and Stockholm.
This construction is not static nor is it exclusive of the interlocutor. Instead, it intends to be an osmotic
platform where participants configure an alternative form of contextualization, revolving around their
practices with regard to their sociopolitical milieu. The interest lies primarily in urban street artists.

A Global Public Space
This project will generate a virtual, hybridized public space where two artists serve as “ambassadors” for each city.
They will engage their peers to become involved and create a representative platform for their stories—as it often is
on the streets. Skål-Salud: Street Stories will generate a website serving as a virtual “wall” where artists can be
seen and heard. Without being silenced or underground, those involved are encouraged to discuss the politics which
affect their behavior and actions.

In Die Traumdeutung, Freud defines the interpretations offered by psychoanalysis as translations from a foreign mode
of expression into the one which is known to us, stating that “a dream is a (disguised) fulfillment of a (suppressed or repressed)
wish.”1 However, the emancipatory effect that this exteriorization has on the individual has been studied by Habermas in his
theories of the public sphere as a space for “self-reflection.” He identifies this self-reflection with translation: translation
of the unconscious into the conscious. “In discourses that focus on a shared subject, participants turn their backs on their
private lives. They do not need to talk about themselves. The line between public and private spheres does not become blurred;
the two complement each other instead.”2

Cutting the Space
Lima is chaotic, crowded and underprivileged. Stockholm is more spacious, controlled and wealthy—or is it? This idea approaches
the human problematic. The curator has lived in both cities discovering that desolation, oppression and poverty are strongly
felt for many individuals; the presence of these factors grows rapidly on the streets. In Skål-Salud: Street Stories,
translation is not merely personal or subconscious; it is also material and often a curator’s role. “Such translation
emphasized the inevitability of betrayal, which gnaws at the heart of the difference between the speaker and the translator.”3

The goal of overcoming ingrained differences between participants will be addressed utilizing the tools of friendship and
communication. The project’s primary participants (“Blue,” Yonas Millares and Rossana Mercado Rojas) speak Spanish fluently,
have shared one beer more than mandatory and their cultural perspectives serve as a catalyst to further examine urban
art—street slang inclusive. For instance, a specific word (e.g. hora) is spelled the same in both Swedish and Spanish,
but it has different meanings which inspire word play for some urban artists.

Interdisciplinary Input
Skål-Salud: Street Stories does not intend to only present a multidisciplinary result / conclusion but a configuration of
dialogues and references originating from multiple languages and codes. This interdisciplinary approach will assist in
“cutting the space” between Scandinavia and South America and between practices.

Virtual Bar
“Blue,” Millares and the curator began conversations (in Spanish) August 2011. They wish to cultivate the ambiance of a
genuine bar table, disregarding conventional “work meeting” structures to liberate dialogue and better exchange
cross-disciplinary input. Skype chatting and drinks are tools to construct this virtual public gathering and bar space.

More On the Name
Having a Peruvian background, sharing a beer in a bar was a natural professional meeting form to work and produce.
One could be productive in this setting, develop ideas and make them happen. Artists often gather in bars to produce art.
In Peru,4 there are no strict closing times nor defined rules for selling alcohol. Alcohol consumption relates to the
spontaneous part of the day; people often drink outdoors and play music after a hard day’s work. Yet, alcohol also relates
to sickness, to the venom of the poor, forgotten and unheard, making them invisible and unbearable to view. With alcohol,
their sorrow is undignified. Therefore, society neglects them; they are seen as pariahs.

Work meetings in Stockholm rarely happen in bars or spontaneously during an evening out. Systembolaget’s weekend shopping
ritual differed from the curator’s previous perspective on drinking. Millares once offered Mercado wine from the couch of
his piece Monetary World (2011). Since then, they share a goal to create strategies to dissolve icy rules between individuals,
between “the people” and an oppressive system which can be a catalyst for injustice. Many urban artists suffer the consequences
of practicing in a society such as Stockholm—with high fines and sometimes unavoidable consequences. So, they practice
underground and develop behavior, ranging from paranoia to combative or defensive responses. Coming from a
Peruvian / Latin-American perspective, a correlation exists between hyper-controlled public spaces and the
difficulties poverty presents.

Technique(s)
» Dialogues in a virtual public bar to create topics regarding public space: an artistic platform mirroring socio-cultural factors.
» Millares and “Blue” share musical and visual arts knowledge which will be used to generate an alternative interpretation
to contextualize an audience, utilizing not only a museographic approach but also empathy, experience and casual conversation.
» Both artists work with public space, and their art represents a narrative related to their respective societies. Site-specific
elements will surface, expanding conversation between two realities to generate a new shared space.
» The exchange will knit an informative web starting with these two realities.
» Two interpretations of each artist’s reality will emerge: visual and musical.
» Using anecdotes and conversation, this project will illuminate legal influences on these urban art scenes and their strategies.

How Does it Work?
“Blue”-Millares-Mercado
» The curator and artists Skype-talk in a staged virtual bar, exchanging ideas for website production.
» The curator sends emails initiating topics in preparation for each virtual bar meeting (e.g. each city’s public space,
artist’s connection to their urban art scene).
» One preliminary idea is to generate a video with music by “Blue” and visuals by Millares. A website will display results.

Nodes of Connection
This project has been virtual from the beginning; it will be a platform for each city’s urban art scene. This community portal
will host videos, images and conversations uploaded by artists and other participants. “Blue” and Millares serve as nodes of
connection to the grouped street artists of Zona 30 and the underground, outlawed artists of Stockholm.

Stockholm-Lima
The project intends to bring Millares and another Swedish street artist to Lima to produce and exhibit work in
Zona 30 and collaborate with other collectives; in parallel, an “underground” event in Stockholm will be arranged for “Blue,”
and her events will be anonymously live-streamed (in regards to location). This exchange will provide closure, enforcing the
idea of this proposed community.

Itinerary
» “Blue”-Millares-Mercado: three months is needed for project development, scheduled for March 2012.
» Nodes of Connection: website launch is scheduled for February 2013.
» Stockholm-Lima: this sub-project is dependent upon many factors; deadline tbd.

How Project Assists valeveil
Skål-Salud: Street Stories is a curatorial approach reaching individuals in Peru, Sweden and elsewhere. The project allows
individuals from these two contrasting backgrounds and sociopolitical circumstances to collaborate. This project intends to
further examine South American and Scandinavian creativity; there is room for creative experimentation in the field of urban
street art in both Lima and Stockholm. The curator and two ambassadors for each region are not anonymous, but additional
participants have the right to protect their identities.

In Suzi Gablik’s essay “Connective Aesthetics: Art After Individualism,” the critic argues for a new kind of artist who understands
that “the boundary between the Self and the Other is fluid rather than fixed, that the Other is included within the boundary of
selfhood.”5 Yet, this statement is contrasted by the differences between Lima and Stockholm, between cultures that will surface
while working on this project. The goal is not to generate a merged common space but to identify the identity of each part. This
project aims to create a more open discussion based on reconfiguring the individual in the public space. By examining public space
as a political sphere which is oftentimes restricted, this project aims to amplify marginalized voices of both cities. Skål-Salud:
Street Stories seeks real and direct representation for artists perceived to be underground.

Additional Collaborators » Zona 30 (Peru) is an artist residency and platform for experimentation processes. Within a period of 15 days, the artist
Yonas Millares will be installed in the space to present a work in progress, workshops and talks. The project is process-based.
Zona 30 is open to collaborations joining fellow artists, researchers, activists, friends and strangers. There are no site-specific
prerequisites but investigative ones for Zona 30.