The project “Conversio” is a multi-element textual and visual narration based on the stories of migrant women from Europe and postcolonial countries to the UK. Its heroines are women of different ages, with different ethnic backgrounds, speaking different languages, who for economic, health, family or others have left their home countries. In Latin “Conversio” means conversion, exchange, circulation. It refers to both the Polish “konwersja”, “wymiana”, “przemiana” and the British “converse” or “conversion”, indicating either conversation and/or adaptation, inclusion in the new community and the changes made under new life conditions
The project is based on the biographical method -a series of conversations led by artist with migrant women. Another method of work is a series of literary and artistic workshops, during which migrants describe or visualize their stories. On the basis of the collected material artist prepare video-animations. Additional elements of the “Conversio” will include neon-diptych objects and print publications.
During the residency, artist will track the process of adoption experienced by women who begin their life under new economic, cultural and social conditions, as well as observe necessary re-evaluations in the face of change. “Conversio” is kind of documentation functioning between cultural barriers, language blockades and the limitations of the body. At the same time, the aim of the project is to discuss the notion of femininity understood as a representation of culture. Examines female corporeality in terms of historical memory
“Conversio” is a multi-voiced dialogue with history which to the early 90s of the twentieth century has been examined mainly from the perspective of the universal West. In this context, the project focuses on the attitudes of exclusion (migrants, stateless persons), and will constitute a platform type of translation between the East and the West.
In “Conversio” artist on the metaphor proposed by Elizabeth Grosz, who perceives the body as a Moebius ribbon in which the body is an internal penetrating and permeating with the outer reality, upon which is written a sort of cultural tattoo. That’s why artist turns towards the diversity of the bodily expression and discourse and proposes assumptions based on the premise that here does not exist the common pattern and the idea of the body and a singular applicable image for the different cultures.
Methods of working:
1. Work on the project is mainly based on the biographical method (thematic autobiography, psychobiographical, historical autobiography and documents), a series of interviews with about migrant women settled in Birmingham. UK. These are women with various ethnic and social backgrounds, of different ages, using different languages.
2. The creation of animations accompanied by a series of literary and artistic workshops carried out with women and consisting on describing their stories in their native language or creating visual narrations.
Residency dates: 2/8/2015-2/9/2015
Exhibition dates: 2/9/2015- 12/10/2015