Dispersing towards being & becoming together: frequential reconfigurations

SAVVY Contemporary and Oscar Murillo invite you cordially to the exhibition A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise which SAVVY Contemporary will echo, expand and jam with the different tones, marks, gestures, beats, and temporalities sedimented by thousands of children from different corners of the world in Oscar Murillo’s project Frequencies. During the duration of the exhibition, SAVVY Contemporary amplifies the rhythms and murmurs of this multivocal and kaleidoscopic project through a series of INVOCATIONS brought forth through gestures of collective nourishment expanding across dancing together, cooking with one another, and listening to the incantations and readings of our past, present, and futures.

Initiated by Oscar Murillo in 2013, Frequencies has been grounded in the dispersal and sending of pieces of raw canvas to schools around the globe. Over the past nine years, the project has visited more than 350 schools in over 30 countries and affixed artist canvas to classroom desks for a semester, inviting students to freely mark, draw and write on their surfaces. The canvases, with their accumulated intentional and unintentional marking, are collected after approximately six months of “sedimentation” in the classroom. The growing archive has collected to date more than 40,000 canvases from all corners of the world.

Intervening in and attuning to the cadences, the pulses, and frequencies of these collective archives brought together for the first time in such magniloquence in Venice, at the Scuola Grande della Misericordia, SAVVY Contemporary will embrace the A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise – the title of the exhibition – by weaving together the winds, sounds, and water molecules, the thunders, lightning, and warm and moist airs in a collective orchestration of these forces and tempos to embody the plurality of Murillo’s project.

As a response to the different moments and movements that Frequencies elicits, the public programme cooked by SAVVY Contemporary unfolds through four different focal investigations and perspectives of analysis and engagement. The first movement is the one of “Dispersal,” which reflects on the experience of the diaspora, of being parted from a place and dispersed in the world, as the initial phase of dispersing the canvases of Frequencies into the world. The second path the one of “Convergence,” referring to the getting together and sharing of a struggle across differences and geographies, evoking movements such as the Rastafarian, the Harlem Renaissance or the Panafrican—among others—when thinking through black experience, as much as the coming together of the canvases from the different parts of the world. The third momentum is the one of “Fragmentation,” the recognition of difference in the common struggle, and the importance of fragmenting to refine the struggle, “to become one, and yet many” as Ralph Ellison put it, while the last tempo is the one of “Reconfiguration,” the crossing of the canvases into each other and the new meanings that are created, the paths that are opened by these encounters and the new senses of belonging brought together.

Enacting a space of performance as a space of possibility and of collective improvisation, engaging with phonic, poetic, and corporeal elements, with their ruptures, collisions, and reciprocal responses, this “Invocation“ programme will materialise as an encounter itself, as an ensemble of notes and voices, a score to imagine new possibilities of thinking the multidirectional pasts and futures through presence, where materiality and animateriality cannot be separated.