Curated by Maya Tounta
‘Sometimes, waking, I forget where I am’, I imagine Felix telling me over the phone. ‘I am glad to know what I am worth, as everyday raptures. My collected customs like words begin to form a certain vocabulary, cliffs for another life. I bring them together as if to measure the value of everything. The tide rises, the tide falls. I hear the globe spinning, you landlocked in the hoof of the earth, me loosed from it, expelled, often arriving at heaviness. Some- times, waking, I forget where I am, but out of the airy treasure, a sound opens sound, a place opens another place, and I can see again–miles of arteries, cavernous cities, words through sea salt–and my pseudonym begins again. Every day, I depend on a small seizure from the body I spent, to document the world by documenting myself–the dissonance traveller.’
From a body I spent is the first solo show by Rusian-born, Toronto-based artist Felix Kalmenson in the Baltics. It is a survey of video works from 2012 to today, and sculptures created on-site with collected materials from the city. Kalmenson’s work variably narrates the liminal space of a researcher’s and artist’s encounter with landscape and archive. By bearing witness to everyday life, and hardening the more fragile vestiges of private and collective histories through their work, Kalmenson gives themselves away to the cadence of a poem, always in flux. From Birobidzhan, Cornwall, Kuala Lipis, Toronto, Vilnius, Riga, Moscow, St Petersburg, Singapore, and elsewhere, Kalmenson looks onto the world, and traces the inconspicuous histories that follow their gaze.
Felix Kalmenson is a ‘rootless cosmopolitan’ whose practice navigates installation, video and performance. They have an exhibition with long-time collaborator Rouzbeh Akhbari coming up at the Hay Art Cultural Centre, Yerevan in May 2018. www.felixkalmenson.com
Maya Tounta is a writer, curator and video artist based in Athens. Her work deals with play, mental illness, affect and ritual. Recently, she curated Carved to Flow by Otobong Nkanga at Betonsalon and Villa Vassillief, Paris. www.mayatounta.com