In Marseille, the exhibition Out.of.the.blue.map echoes the informal crossings, the narratives and the movements shaping Mediterranean liminal territories that are inevitably linked to the city. The exhibition was imagined and curated by the collective Calypso36°21, and hosted by Coco Velten.
From Calypso36°21’s curatorial proposal arises a plurivocal and fragmented narrative allowing to experiment new ways of sensing and making sense of borders. The works presented summon a multitude of echoes and invite us to navigate between the margins, the thresholds and the dead angles of established maps.
By considering cartography and its languages as tools for the production and exchange of knowledge, the program explores the lines crossing spaces that are constantly negotiated, their limes and their thresholds. Turned towards the inhabitants of Mediterranean border spaces and shores, the project probes the unexplored parts of these landscapes.
Diwana, Randa Maroufi (2018-2019)
Diwana (the customs) brings together a set of plans depicting daily journeys drawn by smugglers in the city of Ceuta. Each journey, realized several times a week or even a day, is drawn on paper by the goods carriers, then translated into blueprints (literally: ‘blue prints’, achieved through cyanotyping). By choosing this process, Randa Maroufi confers a certain nobility and a peculiar value on these women and men who are hardly ever seen in the landscape of their daily lives. The Diwana series puts two different forms of urbanity in conversation with one another: one, the informal urban structures put in place by the work of smugglers, the other the conventional, professional built environment of architects and urban planners. The cyanotypes from Diwana constitute subjective maps, where actors of the border mark their daily routes, reflecting the artist’s desire to give material and symbolic value to these shadowy practices.
“Diwana shows us that the analysis of these state apparatuses is insufficient to account for the complexity of a territory and the controls that are exercised there. Her work proposes to apprehend a reality from the effects it produces.” [Marko Tocilovac]
Nabila & Keltoum, Randa Maroufi (2015)
“Three smuggler women portrayed as gangsta rap stars, usually parts of a system forcing them to cross the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta several times a day, loaded with tens of pounds on their backs. These proud and powerful women regain ownership of their bodies through photography. The fabric print reminds us of a flag, a piece of fabric used as an emblem for a nation or a group. Here, the fabric would be the symbol of individual resistance, which today goes beyond the limits of Ceuta’s enclave and faces the eyes of others.” Randa Maroufi.
Yemaya, Saïd Afifi (2018)
Yemaya is an immersive virtual reality installation that seeks to reformulate a plastic and poetic language with scientific tools and processes. Yemaya deploys a dreamlike staging based on models of underwater caves in the Mediterranean Sea, the digital archive of the CNRS, entirely made with the technology of underwater photogrammetry, acoustic measurements from an active underwater sensor, technical means allowing for a better scientific observation of underwater worlds, with high resolution, 3D visuals.
The work proposes a meditative and poetic stroll, where each detail is modelled as a musical vibration. With Yemaya, Saïd Afifi invites us to question the image itself, the forms of representation and their aesthetic and technological advances.
Blackmed, Invernomuto (2018-2020)
Black Med is an ongoing platform initiated by Invernomuto in 2018 for Manifesta 12, Palermo. The Mediterranean sea, once understood as a fluid entity aiding the formation of networks and exchange, is now the scenario of a humanitarian crisis and heated geopolitical dispute. Black Med aims at intercepting the trajectories that sounds trace passing through this protean area, as migration routes leave sonic trails that, in the words of Iain Chambers, “resist representation, and propose an affective economy [that is] intrinsically diasporic”. In the occasion of Out.of.the.blue.map Invernomuto presents Black Med simulation, a stereo track of about an hour composed by a selection of audio files from the Black Med archive. The next outcome of the project (due to be released in 2021) is an algorithm which is able to “play” by itself all the musical contents collected so far; audio files are being processed, tagged and expanded in order to become instructions for the algorithm. Users will also be able to upload new sounds into the system: the goal is to have a growing archive, a Black Med magma, which evolves constantly.
Black Med simulation is a test, one of many possible fragments of this not yet ready machine’s output.
On drifting, Calypso36°21 (2020)
Collective lexicon of Mediterranean liminal territories. Edition 1. Collective Calypso36°21.
Through Out.of.the.blue.map, Calypso36*21 develops On drifting, a collective lexicon that explores, from shore to shore, like an atlas, fluid and solid territories prey to liminality in Mediterranean. Translated into Arabic, French and English, this lexicon constitutes an evolving editorial object. Published several times during the programme, On drifting gathers many contributions from artists, activists, researchers, architects, sailors, exiles, as well as excerpts from maritime and territorial jurisdictions. From one shore to the other, On drifting gathers visual and textual fragments and composes a plurivocal narrative. Throughout the pages, the lexicon explores the state of suspension, the in-betweenness, and navigates at the crossroads of the ruptures that punctuate the Mediterranean.
Harragas, Calypso36°21 (2020)
The video installation Harragas, exhibited in Marseille, is an original production of the collective Calypso36°21. On a black screen, testimonies of young harragas (“those who burn the sea”) scroll by, describing their crossings from Morocco to the Spanish coast. Discovered on a public YouTube channel by the collective in 2019, these testimonies are stripped of their initial staging to preserve the anonymity of the narrators. Harragas is a proposition to navigate blindly through the mental maps of those who have crossed, and who are now on the “other side”.