it hides in the cracks out of plain sight but always doing the most for those who want change
Dissident Business brought together the practice of artists Davide Christelle Sanvee and Antoine Guay who collaborated to create a spatial intervention informed by various written and visual statements provided by self-organized learning initiatives.
The statements, which were collected by School in Common through the ongoing publishing project a school (is a school,is a pamphlet) show modes of work and study that co-opt traditional education from within to destabilize its borders and invite new ways of being into the existing institutional frameworks.
Instead of taking a literal approach to these statements, Sanvee and Guay interpreted the strategies to further inform their own practice of infiltrating the non- spaces inside institutions. These spaces, which are otherwise unused and without clear function, become the site for their work, utilizing their endless possibilities in an attempt to question and protest the space from within. In doing so, the artists play with the notion of camouflage, to hide and obscure their work in a constant process of inhabiting the institution differently.
Self-organizing and working withinthe cracks of institutions becomes a common ground between the practices of alternative learning communities and Sanvee and Guay’s artistic work. They both operate as if in a dance;within, on the margins of and outside the institutions, always asking themselves; ; how can we play with the conditions that are provided to us in order to carve out a space for those ways of being and learning and being that are silenced in traditional art / educational environments?
In the context of Candyland, the artists opted for an installation to reflect this, housed in a storage space in the gallery. Together with School in Common they brought their “Dissident Business;” a four step commons economy. Disguised as a liquor store, in commentary to Swedish state-controlled alcohol consumption, this Dissident Business trades in services, skills and resources amongst visitors to interrogate andtrick the omnipresent and entangled institutions of money and state in our capitalist society.
In this store, customers registered their transactions on paper cards by entering something they could offer (a dinner at their home, a dance class or a guided tour in a museum), allowing for new meetings to happen that offer more socialisation than a glass of alcohol alone ever could. All cards with services and resources entered into the exchange economy where the new visitors can swap cards for cards and contact the previous owner to enter their exchange outsidethe shop. In addition to this, customers were offered a booklet explaining the Dissident Business as well as the critical and feminist pedagogies the project is rooted in through various resource lists and quotes .
Image/ Paper card with an offer from a Dissident Business customer
Davide-Christelle Sanvee is a performance artist who focuses on spaces and staging. Investigating public space, she hunts for architectural, behavioural and gestural elements to create scenographies that fully surround his spectators. In order to activate these new spaces, Sanvee uses fictitious elements and performative actions built around political and social realities.
Antoine Guay is an interior architect who focuses on redefining existing spaces. His main interest is to concentrate on how subversion and alternative appropriation of space are organised and - as a result - forces the public sphere to redefine itself. This has led Antoine to focus on practices, rituals and self-defined limits taking place in forgotten territories