Roots to Routes

Roots to Routes

Roots to Routes

[1] Anastasia Sosunova, Agents (still), 2020. [2] Flo Kasearu and Sara Bédard-Goulet, (Dis)covering … Mountains, 2020. Book as part of a performance work.

November 10, 2020
Roots to Routes
August 28, 2020–November 30, 2021
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Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one’s room?*
-Elizabeth Bishop “Questions of Travel,” 1965

Roots to Routes is a collaboration between artists, curators and non-profit organisations from the city of Marseille and the Baltic countries, curated by Merilin Talumaa, Maija Rudovska and Justė Kostikovaitė. The project took place in Marseille as part of Manifesta 13 Biennial programme Les Parallèles du Sud from August 28 to October 25 and will continue in Riga this year, as well as throughout 2021. The project invites strangers to encounter the unknown and unfamiliar within the urban environment, while exploring and challenging concepts of “homebase,” “belonging,” and “identity.” This project was made possible with the support of the newly created Baltic Culture Fund that aims to support collaboration between art initiatives in the Baltic region and cultural agents abroad.

Conceived before and during the time of the pandemic, Roots to Routes interacts with the notions of belonging and displacement. Geographical proximity and physical relations that are lost, rediscovered or limited during the pandemic activate our imagination and remind us of the interconnectedness that exists between people, places, spaces and ideas.

Spread through a web of locations and partners in Marseille - Salon du Salon, 93 rue de la République, Palais Longchamp, Acelem cultural association, Le Bureau des guides GR2013, Cabanon Vertical and Galerie Kolektiv 318 at the Cité Radieuse project brings together artists from Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and France who deal with topics such as identity, territory and belonging. It aims to address the concept of the stranger (taken from Georg Simmel’s The Stranger, 1908): someone who arrives to a community and who, in a complex interplay of simultaneous nearness and distance, imports qualities into it which do not and cannot stem from the group itself.

Participants of Roots to Routes program throughout 2020 and 2021: Anastasia Sosunova, Anne-Sophie Turion, Antoine Nessi, Daria Melnikova, Dovydas Strimaitis, Eglė Budvytytė, Emilija Škarnulytė, Evita Vasiļjeva, Flo Kasearu, Ieva Epnere, Ingel Vaikla, Katrīna Neiburga, Kristina Norman, Lina Lapelytė, Maarja Tõnisson, Sara Bédard-Goulet, Monika Lipšic, Ieva Kotryna Skirmantaitė, Ndayé Kouagou, among others.

Artist Flo Kasearu (EE) collaborates with the writer and academic Sara Bédard-Goulet (CA) for a work (Dis)covering … Mountains (2020). Guided by COVID-19, they embark on an epic journey to Marseille, exploring various places along the road until they reach the Parc de la Barasse. Their travels are recorded in the pocket book, which describes la Barasse’s hidden culture and landscape, including its famous red mud mountains. The project is conceived together with Le Bureau des guides from Marseille, and will be presented in 2021.   

Ainārs Kamoliņš’s (LV) book The Philosophy of Furniture will be presented as part of Daria Melnikova’s (LV) Palette: Three-legged Evidence in December 2020 in Riga, created in collaboration with Kim? Contemporary Art Center. Palette is a journeying platform with a focus on the process and exchange of experiences and ideas. As a continuing platform, first exhibited in Marseille at Salon du Salon (September 25–October 25), the work will travel to Riga and transform into a stage and a host for discussions on and around furniture. As Kamoliņš puts it: “Furniture can allegorically describe the subject’s inner world—after all, furniture, like one’s consciousness, stores thoughts, and holds history.” 

Monika Lipšic (LT) and Ieva Kotryna Skirmantaitė (LT) engage in a film-research on nuclear opacity, and the process of digging and un-digging the material past as archaeological imaginary. The face of Marseille is one of the characters of the film, which is planned to be finished and screened in 2021.

Roots to Routes is supported by:
The Baltic Culture Fund, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Culture Abroad, Latvian State Culture Capital Foundation, Lithuanian Embassy in Paris, Estonian Embassy in Paris, Manifesta 13 Marseille. The European Nomadic Biennial, voyons voir | art contemporain et territoire, Fonderie de Roquevaire. 

For more information please contact:
rootstoroutesmarseille [​at​]

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