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Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam

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Guest studio Bazel 2015: Gil & Moti report

Last year artists duo Gil & Moti stayed for an Artist-in-Residency in Basel. The residency is organized by Kaus Australis together with CBK Rotterdam. Below their report of the period.

Home Is Where You Fit
During the residency period in Atelier Mondial in Basel, we developed and realized the performance project Home Is Where You Fit. The work deals with the themes of freedom,
mobility and xenophobia, and tests the multiple meanings of inclusion and exclusion, urban diversity, integration, anti-discrimination and tolerance that lie at the heart of the discourse on
contemporary society. We investigated how a metropolis welcomes its new migrants. Where do people feel at home and where do they fit? And how do newcomers develop them
potential in the new environment?

Refugees and asylum seekers are one of the painful consequences of the war. In an era where geographical boundaries are constantly opening and closing, our project aims to go beyond
the motto “Protects refugees! Not limits. All this inspired us to the project Home Is Where You Fit to make.

We have started a field study at the local asylum seekers' centers; the research developed into a photo report. Our regular performative presence in the neighborhood
one day we came across a young African refugee from the asylum seekers' centers who simply asked us if he could stay with us (temporarily), and an adventurous one immediately started there
collaboration that resulted in the video installation: The Way You Smile.

Ebrina told us that he is a Muslim homosexual refugee from The Gambia, who has been running away through the African desert and later through Europe for more than five years and has not yet found his place or peace. We were allowed to record his story on video. What is he leaving behind? Will he ever regret it? Will he find his destiny / happiness / home elsewhere? These tricky questions are reflected in the video. We also get a personal insight into the complicated daily life in asylum seekers' centers. Finally, at his request, we exchanged clothes and smuggled them to Germany.

With this project we question the refugee issue from our wayward position in art. By illuminating this complex issue from the human dimension and giving the refugee a face, we throw a different light on the problem and encourage nuances.

During our stay in Basel, we approached curators and professionals from the local art field and informed them about our project. We were therefore invited to
give three lectures and participate in three group exhibitions:
- Artist Lecture, Postgraduate Program in Curating, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland
- Artist's lecture, ANGE (SE) HEN, Basler Münster, Switzerland
- Artist Lecture, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland
- The Blackout Exhibition, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, 5 – 20 September 2015
- Group exhibition of 6 current guest artists in Atelier Mondial, 4 – 13 December 2015
- Visual Politics / Regional 16, Palazzo Kunsthalle, Liestal, 28 November 2015 – 3 January 2016

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Publication date: 17 / 02 / 2016

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