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Member Spotlight: Red Bind (Toulouse, France)

Red Bind (Toulouse, France) are multidisciplinary artists; they investigate subjects such as dominant/dominated relationships, social yokes, gender and its limits and ambiguities, issues of the double and of the multiple characters under a single skin, codes and what happens to them out of their context, or yet the identity, status and image of Woman.
[ Gilivanka Kedzior & Barbara Friedman ]

1. Can you tell us a little about your group’s mission, your history and your performative concerns.

We, Gilivanka Kedzior and Barbara Friedman, met in November, 2009. We were supposed to collaborate on a project involving a third person that ultimately didn’t materialize. Some weeks later, we embarked on our first project together. It was an installation-performance called [ LOVELY VIRGIN DOLLS: 7 Women’s Skins ], imagined within the framework of an exhibition of the fleeting collective to which I (Gil) belonged at the time. This collective consisted of 7 women artists also living in Toulouse. The theme of this exhibition was the Skin.

On this project, Barbara first worked as an assistant to carry out the installation. It was a very ambitious project which required a great deal of work in a very short lapse of time (3 weeks). Indeed, it required a plaster cast of the full body of every woman in the collective, an operation which lasted between 3 and 5 hours by mould…Knowing that I still worked as a mediator in a Junior High School at the same time.

Barbara also made a very particular sound environment for the performance, which carried me a lot during the performative act in itself. The realization of this soundtrack was very chaotic, due to our lack of means and time. We ended the preparations one hour only before the representation, but the result really exceeded our expectations and came as a bombshell within the public and the collective.

Against all odds and despite all the difficulties related to the context, our meeting was quickly raised as an evidence. We revealed strange complementaries. Previously, I had only participated in performances created by other artists. [ LOVELY VIRGIN DOLLS ] was kind of my artistic “coming out”, and Barbara supported and framed me in this adventure. She also enriched the project thanks to her greatest artistic experience, her sensibility and her technical knowledge.

From there was born our common project, [ RED BIND ]. We make it a point of honor to handle subjects related to our personal experience and our stories as women. Exutory, speech, pamphlet, revolt or sigh, our art remains anchored in a social and political reality. It is indispensable for us to create polysemous works and to avoid any didactic comment. We chose to produce strong, often disturbing works, which rarely leave unaffected.

2. What projects are you working on now?

In terms of production, we are preparing a new double portrait in connection with the question of gender. We are also working on the documentation of the works already produced.

In parallel, we’ve almost finished two projects of video-performances. We’re applying to present them in contemporary art festivals. We also seek funding to acquire professional equipment and be able to concretize larger-scale projects. It has been almost two years since we work in our sitting room, without means and no subsidy from the French institutions.

We are looking for artistic meetings and worldwide collaborations to enrich our work.

3. Tell us a little bit about your members?

GIL:  Despite a degree in Art History and Psychology, I am self-taught in terms of my artistic practice. I held a lot of different jobs: warehousewoman, cashier, bookseller, mediator … My artistic activity feeds on my experience as a mother of a 11-year-old girl, my daily life, from my personal experience, and not on a classical arts curriculum.

To perform allows me to stage the range of characters that I restrain in my daily life, due to my obligations. I live each performative act as a breath of freedom stolen from life itself, from the social yokes in which I am compelled. I’m addicted to our art, it became indispensable to my sanity.

BARBARA:  After studying Fine Arts at the university, my practice oscillates between video and drawing. Real touch to everything, there is not a medium that is beyond my curiosity and my need for expression. A muted violence emerges from my work, between childish cruelty and fumed pain. I particularly like the portrait and history associated with it. I peel people. I try to understand their “truth”. I touch this truth in a sensation more than in an explanation, it is what brought me to create sound and visual atmospheres.

4. What was the last piece that you saw that you would recommend to the Network and why?

GIL: For my part, it’s the video of the performance “Red Dragon” by Suka Off. I was captivated by both the simplicity of the mise-en-scene and the strength that emanates from the performative act. It’s an extremely strong work, which blends powerful beauty and contained violence.

BARBARA: After reflection, I decided to name the autobiographical documentary “Tarnation” by Jonathan Caouette. To me, it is a jewel of raw truth. This film juxtaposes images of a whole life, the cameraworks, the sounds mingled with the comments. Like a painful birth on Philip Glass music or a car accident on a Charles Baudelaire’s poem… A whirlwind from which I didn’t go out unhurt.

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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