Aliyah Hussain and Anna Bunting-Branch Potential Wor(l)ds Landmark  Residency

Artists Aliyah Hussain and Anna Bunting-Branch collaborate for the first time at Bergen Kunsthall on a new audio-visual commission drawing on their shared interests in feminist science fiction, embodied processes of making, and different ways of worldbuilding. Their individual practices in experimental music composition, writing and animation are informed by explorations into how narratives, histories and visions of the future are constructed.

Science fiction uses fantasy concepts such as alternate universes, time travel and new technologies to imagine how society could be organised differently. By introducing alternative worlds, dominant hierarchies of race, gender, economic power, work and ruling policies are re-imagined, turned on their head or exploded altogether.

Potential Wor(l)ds, inspired by the feminist-constructed language Láadan (created by linguist and science fiction writer Suzette Haden Elgin in 1982), explores the possibility of moving from traditional modes of communication (using a dominant language like English) to more experimental, collaborative forms of expression.

Beginning with a workshop at POEKHALI!, Landmark’s annual music festival takeover of Bergen Kunsthall’s spaces (18. august 2018), Hussain and Bunting-Branch lead participants through collaborative experiments with language in sound and gesture. These textual, visual and sonic 'potential wor(l)ds' produced by the participants form the begining of an online dictionary. See more here...

Hussain and Bunting-Branch also present individual works at POEKHALI!: Bunting-Branch's animation Well-come Time Travellor draws inspiration from Joanna Russ’s novel Bodies (1984), a contemplative story that reflects on questions of identity and community. Hussain's live performance of her recent composition Woman on the Edge of Time, which takes us on a journey through the 1976 novel by Marge Piercy, using contact mics, ceramic instruments, synth and voice.

Aliyah Hussain (Manchester, UK) is an artist based at Islington Mill studios, Salford, UK. Her practice approaches themes found within feminist science fiction literature, in particular the possibilities of co-sharing space in domestic or social settings. She works with abstract forms and uses these to construct narratives in order to explore different modes of communication and miscommunication. With a background in performance and an interest in process and material, her work moves across sound, ceramic sculpture, drawing and collage. She has released two EPs of experimental electronic music - ‘Woman on the Edge of Time’ and ‘Sultana’s Dream’ with Manchester-based cassette tape label Sacred Tapes. She has exhibited and performed nationally and internationally, most recently at the Slade research centre and Roaming Projects, London and Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, UK.

Anna Bunting-Branch (London, UK) is an artist and researcher. Science fictional tropes, from parallel universes to alien encounters and future worlds, inform her work in painting, moving image and writing to express different relations to feminism and its histories. Taking fan fiction as a model of engagement, her work remixes elements from a range of sources (including theoretical texts, SF stories and archival material) to generate new imaginative and narrative resonances. Recent publications and events include 'figure, feels, fantom', Art Licks, Issue 22 (2018); Hauntopia/What If?, The Research Pavilion, Venice (2017); I AM SF, CCA, Derry~Londonderry (2017); The Labours of Barren House, Jerwood Space, London (2017); Witchy Methodologies, ICA, London (2017). Anna is currently undertaking a practice-related PhD at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London, supported by the AHRC London Arts & Humanities Partnership.

Part of 'Who's doing the washing up?' - a series of live commissions in autumn 2018 at Bergen Kunsthall exploring feminist organisational practices and modes of communication - and the structures that support these. Connecting to other parts of Bergen Kunsthall’s programme including Education, Landmark’s annual one-night festival POEKHALI! and Unge Kunstkjennere (UKK), the Kunsthall’s collective of young people.

Supported by Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

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