• Samira de Smedt (The Netherlands)
    public talk, a series of workshops

    Yerevan, Armenia
    February-March, 2011

Samira de Smedt likes nomadic Being: ‘To wander like Alice in modern life. To wonder as woman, the world we live in where there is demand of ‘unconscious feminine’… A beetle digging its way in the sand. People exchanging words… Bodies performing their function. Tracking traces of human occupation… What is going on? Sometimes I think I understand. More often I’m left with nothing to grasp. Only a hunch remains. Drifting instead of the sedentary sedated. Creating and destructing. Stories. Images. No beginning, no end. The void in the middle. The movement in between. Sometimes bouncing in the mass, sometimes rearranging at the periphery. The learned signs have no meaning. Everything has been shattered. But right there other things dawn. Things smaller and bigger than before. Different connections. Another terrain. Where Reason has been overthrown. Now I’m in the world of crystallizing and dissolving. Anything can be connected to something other and disconnecting with the Other. And when it does, it becomes an intensity that signifies. A new growth. The after image re-injected for the jump in the next appearance…’

During her two-month stay at the ‘Art Commune’ AIR Program (February-March, 2011), Samira de Smedt carried out a research in the fields of culture and contemporary art of Armenia. The initial stage of her program was marked by a talk and screening ‘Culture taking shape. Social landscape’. However, the most important work by de Smedt was realized in collaboration with students of the Department of Fine Arts of the Armenian Open University. Samira held a series of workshops with the students named ‘Influence’, focusing on the notion of ‘nomadic existence’ as a kind of attitude for contemporary artists that also echoes with one of the feminist concept of Rosi Bridotti (Founding professor of the Women’s Studies program in Utrecht. Bridotti is a Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University and Founding Director of its Centre for the Humanities) and her concept of ‘nomadic subjects’ ( Braidotti R., ‘Nomadic Subjects. Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory’).

Samira De Smedt (b. 1973, The Netherlands) obtained her BA in Development Economics (1996-2001) and MA in Anthropology, Sociology, Philosophy (2005-2009). However, in 2006, her interest in spatial installations brought her to the art field and, since then, she has participated in numerous international exhibitions. Samira has also participated in several residency programs in New Pacific Studio, New Zealand (2009-2010), Platform China, Beijing (2010), 943 Studio, and Kunming, China (2010).