Following on from Iman Tajik's durational performance 'Where the Body Meets the Land' on Portobello Beach as part of our 2020 'All At Sea' programme, Iman has been working on an artist residency with Art Walk Projects over the last six months, developing a series of works that respond to the locality of Portobello, to be exhibited as part of 'Assemble' 2021 Art Walk Porty.
WORKS + EVENTS
'I Had a Dream' (Morton Street, Beach Groyne) 4th/5th Sept
marks the many lost and unrecorded deaths at sea from migrants and refugees arriving through treacherous sea journeys, in search of a better life to another land many miles from their own, and more increasingly than ever, to UK shores. This momentary intervention (installed for the first weekend only of Art Walk Porty 4/5 Sept) references such journeys.
Accompanying this installation is a new film from Iman Tajik that details the numbers of lost lives and missing migrants crossing by sea to the UK in 2020, available to view below.
'Welcome to the Border' (Promenade, near to Figgate Street) 4th to 12th Sept
introduces a temporary border at Portobello Promenade that generates debate and discussion around the notion of the border, as a line that divides and separates, rather than welcomes. Tajik invites us to consider the crossing of the border.
He calls for conversation through this work around how the boundary, literal or imagined, effects our sense of welcome, of being welcomed, with the divisive nature the border instils.
'Aliens Welcome Here?' (Portobello Kilns, Bridge Street) 11th/12th Sept
On approaching the structure around Portobello’s kiln (waiting to be refurbished), we perhaps think of a UFO landed from outer space. What may first appear as Tajik’s playful take on this familiar local site, at the same time invites us to look again, and to reconsider the terminology around “alien” and its relationship to immigration and displacement. Dictionary definitions of alien include “a creature from another planet” as well as “belonging to another country”. The UK Aliens Act of 1905 declared that “undesirable immigrants” be denied entry to Britain. This act was amended in 1919, however the British Nationality Act of 1981 still defines an alien as a person who is not a British citizen. This powerful & compelling work by Tajik, brings sharp attention into focus around the use of such dehumanising language.
View accompanying images relating to this installation here
'Welcome to Portobello' ('Assemble' Group Exhibition @Art Walk Hub)
189 Portobello High Street
Open: Thurs/Fri 11-4 Sat/Sun 11-6
4th to 12th Sept
Sat 4th Sept, 3-4pm - Artist-led walk starting from Prom, by Morton St
Join Iman to hear more about his residency and works created for 'Assemble'
Sat 11th Sept, 7pm & 8pm - Border Sharing Dinner (two sittings) with food created by chef/forager Judith Lamb, poetry and a few instructions to follow around sharing across the border line.
Limited numbers available, each serving sits 12 people.
Iman’s own experience of crossing geographical borders fuels much of his practice, with a strong desire to activate debate around the impacts of barriers and boundaries, including those also socially constructed. This new series of work resulting from his 2021 residency with Art Walk Projects responds to the locality of Portobello, situated on the edge of the city, bringing its position and relationship to the city centre, into focus.
Iman Tajik is an Iranian artist based in Glasgow whose work is anchored in a strong social interest connected to international movements for social change. His practice focusses on migration and freedom of movement bridging the gap between art and activism. imantajik.com
Read 'in conversation' 2020
with Iman Tajik & Art Walk curator, Rosy Naylor
Video documentation from his 2020 work commissioned by Art Walk Projects is shown below:
Iman Tajik is an Iranian artist based in Glasgow. Tajik’s work is anchored in a strong social interest connected to international movements for social change. Tajik’s work addresses issues of contemporary conditions of life with a particular focus on migration and globalisation – thereby bridging the gap between art and activism, to create work as a form of socio-political currency, addressing power structures. He works across video, photography, installations and performance through which he ’performs the border’ and that speak to personal experiences of crossing geographical borders. All insist on the right to freedom of movement. imantajik.com