Heliographies of Memory


Said and Leo did an impressive live presentation of the project they’re working on currently, Heliographies of Memory, with the collaboration of visual artist Andrea Hilger, director and founder of the Biennale, who was responsible of the illumination at the back of the opening ceremony room, and with the musical intervention of the group SARDH with BALOG JOEL SCHWEIGER WORMSINE VOXUS IMP, who accompanied the performance with their sound.

Said Dokins used the luminic tools he has created to perform a series of calligraphic actions surrounding the public, while Leonardo Luna’s lens was capturing them. At the end, the luminic trace of Said’s actions where revealed through a projection that let the public saw the inscriptions Said had traced all around them. The crowd applause was followed by a welcome message from the curator, inaugurating that way the Biennal activities.

Besides the performance, the Biennal also shows a selection of Heliographies of Memory series, taken last year in Bordeaux and East Germany. If you’re in the area, don’t miss it!

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In words of Said Dokins: ‘Heliographies of Memory is a long-term project that explores diverse social and historical relations that define specific places and, at the same time, resignify the sites within contemporary imaginaries, such as displaced memories encrypted in the flow and transit, a Non-place.


Heliographies of Memory consist in a series of photographs that capture the calligraphic gesture, the very moment where the action of inscription is taking place. But this is not usual calligraphy writing. The texts are written with light, so the words disappear as soon as they were suggested by the moves of the calligrapher, invisible to the simple eye, they just can be captured by a process of long-exposure photography, that reveal what happened, even though no one could see it. Through these ephemeral interventions with light calligraphy, we capture the invisible, acting on air, using as locations iconic places: historic sites, public plazas, monuments, bulwarks, abandoned places become re-signification spaces.

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