Said Dokins, Story Collector
We are made from stories of our experience; our lives are based on memories and events of the past, as if it was a book with multiple intertwined stories. Stories are universal because they go beyond cultural, linguistic, or age differences and we usually relate to each other through information told in a narrative form, be it visual, textual, or sign.
The Mexican artist Said Dokins has developed a body of work based on his reflections on history, collective memory, and participation. For more than a decade he has collected various stories through interviews, videos, objects, photographs, words, drawings, or actions that serve as an object of deconstruction, transferring these stories to his own visual language.
Through calligraphy and the encryption of signs, he creates cartographies, questions, or representations in which he values contextual statements and where those thoughts become form.
In this mural entitled Eclipse, Said Dokins refers to the multiplicity of possible definitions of a city like Vienna, asking passers-by to define or tell a story of their own experience in the place using a single word. Each word that people provide, Dokins integrates into his mural intervention, creating a single collective definition of Vienna from the multiplicity of definitions, encrypted in his personal calligraphic style. In this work, Dokins shows that there is no single vision of the city or the world, that there is no uniqueness of reality, but that the agency of art could be precisely articulating or harmonizing polyphony.
Calle Libre Festival
RE:PRESENT is the general topic for the 8th edition of the Calle Libre Festival.
The topic finds its roots in the current new waves of political illiberalism, social polarisation, and the obsession with security. In the wake of growing divisions and polarisations, it seems fundamental to look at the heterogeneity of our shared pasts.
Indeed, these trends find their roots in centuries of colonial past, cultural appropriation and subjugation of collective memories. For too long realities have been taken out of their native contexts, leading to skewed representations of identities, cultures and peoples. These misrepresentations have caused many divides in our societies, manifested through racism, xenophobia or the “othering” of those who do not share our same customs or traditions. Undeniably, the time has come to reclaim and rethink the history and agency of those who were dispossessed and subordinated by Imperialism in its various forms.
Through a number of artworks in the public space as well as some inside the Weltmuseum Wien, international and local artists will have the opportunity to present new visual worlds and novel patterns of interpretation of their socio-cultural realities and their peoples’ collective memories. Specifically, this edition’s artworks aim to foster honest dialogue, to overcome stereotypes shaped by art history, and to come closer to the deconstruction of hegemonic imagery.