Suijn (Needle)

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Sujin was a curated series of visual and performance pieces as part of the ‘These People Are Working’ project. The central theme of These People Are Working is Labour. This project has several virtues, consisting of views with solo and group art shows, seminars, and discourse at different times and places. Avan Omer was a conductor and curator on the project and analyses its targets. The projects contained ten shows presented between June and July 2021 in Sulaymaniyah.

Sujin (Needle) Show

Five pieces by five females’ artists. Four of them were videos except for the final performance. The audience were invited to spectate the art pieces in a separate room – this set-up theatre was marked with posters designed by the SA’ATCHI gallery, alongside social media posts and announcements.

The Artists:

  • Avan Sdiq
  • Avan Omar
  • Rozhgar Mahmood
  • Marie-Andrée Pellerin
  • Hazha Khalid

Curator: Avan Omar

Date: 10-15 /07/2021

location: Kareem Chaw Shin Gallery. Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan.

Converting the texts to the English: Hassan Rasul

Documentation: Chya Jamal

Production Assistants: Shirwan Fatih, Chenar Nzar, Bibak Ameer, Osman Qadr, Soran Rafat, Reben Majid, Avan Sdiq, Rozhgar Mahmood, Hazha Khalid.

It is a common occurrence in daily life to face many questions. Said questions could be generated from curiosity or investigation, one of the most highlighted and emerging questions would be “what do you do for a living?’

The evaluation of this realm is to get an idea of what ones classification may be among society.

On the other hand, there is a difference between excitement and being enthusiastic to be on board for this activity. Another facet of this concept is gender’s equity and its judgements. Gender has a role to be divided for getting an appropriate occupation, at least in our society. Each job depending on its heaviness and difficulty. Hence, the occupation depicting your value or value in society is the second and third parties’ perceptions.

We are coming to the point of describing this theme as What is the ‘job?’

What would be the pros and cons? Have economies had their influences on the equality and equity between both genders? How could we survive without having an occupation?

This project highlights our integration with the occupational, activities, and how to be related. How does this boost or demolish the individuals? Working toward converging the verity of perspectives for better outcomes. The various ideas caused discourses regarding gender with a group that attended this project. Hence, this effort was run voluntarily and cooperatively, was not funded or supported by any organization or government. Mainly the performance was in Sulaymaniyah but, at different times and places.

The panels:

My mother washed the mountains by Rozhgar Mahmood 2021/ video documentation. Duration 4.14 Minutes

The idea behind this performance was standing for a poet that are written about motherhood. It is an effort to depict and display those words through familiar materials and gestures. As well as, aiming to analyse and point out its context ironically and with fantasy. This converges both concepts, the motherhood and the poet for building warm perceptions with the audience. At this stage, the modifications of the words and the protagonist leads us to another platform. Simplistically, criticizing the circumstances, and the meaning of existence. The text was paraphrased by the famous author Latif Halmat as it was originally inspired by Persian text. (a text By Rozhgar mahood)

The poetry:

My Mother

My mom has washed the windows glasses

Even the carpet that located under our feet

She washed all the rooms

All the glasses of the oil lamp are washed by her

She washed all of dirty stuff

All over spaces and all the angles washed by her 

She smiles with telling us that the summer came already

I have to clean and wash up everything children

Then with her most soften hands

she cleaned all of our laundry

After washing our clothes, emotionally and kindly, she started to wash away our sadness, and worries

My mother washed the mountains by Rozhgar Mahmood 2021, Suijn Show

This performance was performed twice during These People Are Working project. Firstly, as a solo performance, at the Dayk Park (means mother park) as a live performance. Alongside the audiences randomly who were there not purposely without any invitations. Then, the documentation of the performance was displayed during the Sujin exhibition.

This performance is a product of plenty research, and sketches by the artist. Fortunately, the These People Are Working project was an appropriate platform for this performance to be displayed. The artist was interested in a text from Latif Halmat’s book (The sparrow on the tree), paraphrased from a Persian text. Hence, Rozhgar has utilized it carefully for the performance in terms of context and its philosophical background. The artist has highlighted many concepts. Alongside many different objects that Rozhgar used for this work, but text and voice are very important elements in this performance.

Restriction (Chaq) by Hazha Khalid, 2021 performance

The human uses tools, instruments and machines to midgate the job and do it perfectly in terms of acceleration and quality. The machine has been replaced instead of mankind labour. However, the housework or home duties have belonged only to the women in some patriarchal communities. Society has identified women as the household duties machine. ( Text by Hazha Khalid)

Restriction (Chaq) by Hazha Khalid, 2021 performance/ Suijin Show

Restriction (Chaq) was a solo effort presented through a series of performances in different times and places such as the mall, shopping centres, public transportations, and other public places. As one of the series shows was arranged by the These People Are Working project.

Firstly, the work was a performance with people that randomly were there, which means was spontaneous not for a specific audience. Then later took part in the Sujin show. The time that the artist has performed for the audience were integrated into the show. Due to the work’s various conditions, the Chaq has been performed respectively many times during that period.

Hazha Khalid is one of the main participants of the main project. She had contributed to the discussion and the discourses. This performance was an outcome for her after a series of discussions. The main element of this work was the voice, tunes. The artist was the main character wearing a casual dress but lots of noises and voices were heard around her. Those voices were inspired by many household objects. It was a great performance to grab the others attention. A woman walking around with lots of noises comes out with invisible materials. It was significant to acquisitions women’s duties.

A Gigantic Ear Capable of Absorbing All the Noises of the World by Marie-Andrée Pellerin 2020/ Video installation.

The Description: A ten minutes video work. Was made from various images, for instance, a drone, landscape and some digitally 3d modelling. The soundtrack is mostly entirely constructed with female narrative voices in English, German and French. The installation also consists of some sculptural elements representing language and hearing, like enlarged keyboard keys and earplugs. The video explores the subjective and manipulative features inherent to the art of subtitling, by prioritising occasionally some non-verbal information over the spoken script, and by allowing the soundscape and moving images to affect the way the captions appear or melt in the picture.

A Gigantic Ear Capable of Absorbing All the Noises of the World by Marie-Andrée Pellerin 2020/ Video installation. Suijn Show

The concept: The video installation indoors the idea of collective and individual emancipation through language. The project was inspired by science fiction written by women (Margaret Atwood, Ursula Le Guin, etc). The departs from the idea of “linguistic worlds”, in which the language(s) we speak formate(s) our thoughts and our relationship to reality. Wittgenstein’s famous line: “The limits of my language are the limits of my world” would therefore mean that language can somehow create walls between people. From a feminist perspective, we can also say that language, discursive practices reinstate relations of power and domination. Science fiction also has a political implication as it is proposing and tests alternatives to our actual world and our relation to it. The video presents a fictional clinical experiment in which a female scientist attempts to transform radically her patient’s uses of language, by a “praxis of language disturbance”, which could be defined by a more fluid approach to naming and signifying. The work also reflects on my personal experience to learn German in Austria and how learning languages affects one’s way of being in the world. This particular video was displayed in different places worldwide, however, this time with a Kurdish subtitle. It also has many elements for its concept such as voice, words and texts, mixed up with the images that depict the concept.

 Ennui by Avan Sdiq, 2018 / video art.

Through using materials that are necessary for living and eating and are used daily for example (plate, spoon, fork and knife), I have tried to explain (Ennui) and daily routine through movements of the body, types of tools, and different ways of distributing these tools. I have shown the hidden side and internal routine of the doer through the sound of the fork and knives, each time shown differently through the routine of organizing and wrecking them continuously

I have not tried to represent one specific topic; through this work I have tried to explain concept such as limits, time, and all the (tidiness and mess) daily routines, which are sometimes necessary but other times become habits

At the same space with my video, I have added on the duration for less than a minute of the film Modern Times “which is a 1936 American silent comedy film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin”. I tried to point out the effect of routine work and boredom of both men and women in different times and places. (Text by Avan Sdiq)

Video art by Avan Sadiq, that took a part in the Sujin project. This video has been presented at another event in Hawler(Erbil), but for the first time in Sulaimany with a few modifications.

In this work, she has tried to explain a concept such as limits, time, and all the (tidiness and mess) daily routines, which are sometimes necessary but other times become habits.

At the same space with the video, She combined less than a minute of the film Modern Times “which is a 1936 American silent comedy film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin“. Her target is to point out the effect of the routine work and boredom of both men and women in different times and places.  In the room, there was a double voice, and the audience were aiming to find a balance for the clarifications. It was clear that the daily routine is a boring process. It takes its signs of progress. The theme was integrated within female matters, the maternity and daily routine’s work for both men and women.

Washing Machine by Avan Omer 2009/ video art.

The video of washing machine located in a corner of the gallery. The corner has a triangle shape and the spinning circle of the washing machine around the tringle in the middle were a remarkable symbol. The materials chosen carefully and consciously, which point out the integration with the daily materials and how related to the females.( text by Avan Omar)

Washing Machine by Avan Omer 2009/ video art. Sujin SHow

Video art by Avan Omer is one of her series works that related to the same concept.

This was an ongoing work of her previous works that cover the washing machine as a dynamic object etc. This time has been allocated with the Sujin show. Although, this was prepared in 2009 and presented in different shows worldwide but being performed in Kurdistan for the first time.  It had a triangle shape and the spinning circle in the middle were a significant symbol. Hence, Avan had chosen the materials carefully and consciously. She wants to point out the integration with the daily materials and how related to the females such as make-up and households.

About the Show

As you may notice those works were prepared in different period times but, been displayed for the first time in Sulaimany.

Performing with different five females that titled Those People are working.

The location (Kareem Chaw Shin) The gallery was a heritage house in an old neighborhood in Sulaimany. The families and individual lifetime used to be last longer.  The building architectures features were strongly related to the concepts and the objects. At the same time, there were lots of things were connecting the materials and the themes. The works were different, however, were related as a puzzle that completed each other. It was not easy to collect all on fit in one exhibition. This needs lots of effort. As mentioned earlier the works connected cohesively with each other, in terms of the concept and elements that we used in the works such as sound, voice anger, struggle, challenge and rebellion that the audience can feel and obtain from all the works that are exhibited.