“Sensing Salon”
VALENTINA DESIDERI and DENISE FERREIRA DA SILVA
with
Justine A. Chambers, Amalle Dublon, Stefano Harney, Mariana Marcassa, Byron Peters, and Constantina Zavitsanos 

November 24–December 16, 2017
Opening Friday, November 24, 8pm

Healing, as much as art, is a praxis. It is something to do and it does something: it restores. In their collaborative work, Valentina Desideri and Denise Ferreira da Silva explore healing as an art form, a praxis of sensing and making sense that includes studying, thinking, reading and restoring experiments that reach for the deepest level of our entangled existence. Ferreira da Silva and Desideri will host a Sensing Salon at Artspeak—a studio for the practice of healing arts—where different reading and healing tools will be shared and available for use, such as Tarots, medicinal plants, Fake Therapy cards, books, Astrology, Reiki, etc.

The Salon will also host sessions of Poethical Readings, a study group dedicated to experiments in entangled existence. Invited artists Constantina Zavitsanos and Amalle Dublon will share their practice of Astrology through a public reading and a workshop. Valentina Desideri will lead a one-day workshop to share her practices of Fake Therapy and Political Therapy. Invited artist Justine A. Chambers will host Rest to Move to Rest a workshop that will consider the space between rest and simple repetitive movements adapted from social dance, somatic practice and western contemporary dance.

In partnership with the Critical + Creative Social Justice Studies Research Program, UBC Social Justice Institute, during the Sensing Salon, Artspeak will also host an iteration of the Elemental Panel: AIRWAVES: Anti-Colonial Methods. The Elemental Panels program assembles academics, artists, and activists whose contributions to critical racial, anti-colonial, and feminist thought and practice draw from the signifying richness of the elements – air, water, fire, and earth.

The Salon will be open and available for use during Artspeak’s regular opening hours, punctuated by weekly contributions and events by the invited guests and artists.

* SCHEDULE *

OPENING: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 8PM
Introduction to the Sensing Salon with Valentina Desideri and Denise Ferreira da Silva
Astrological reading with Constantina Zavitsanos and Amalle Dublon

Constantina Zavitsanos and Amalle Dublon will introduce their approach to Astrology and will perform a public reading for Artspeak by looking at its natal chart and current transits.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2PM
Workshop on Astrology with Constantina Zavitsanos and Amalle Dublon

Constantina Zavitsanos and Amalle Dublon will give an introductory workshop on Astrology. They will explain the basic structures and elements that compose an Astrological chart, focusing on the specific vocabulary they employ for reading.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, by Appointment
Poethical Readings sessions with Ferreira da Silva and Desideri

What if, instead of providing a resolution, a direct answer, or a definite interpretation, a reading helped us to navigate the complex reality, its different positions, relationships and layers that also constitute us? Every reading exposes possibilities, reveals blockages and shifts perspectives. Beyond the principles of non-contradiction and identity, readings design a space where multiple articulations of situations and events coexist without the imposition of a single meaning or direction.

Drawing from each other’s practices Denise Ferreira da Silva and Valentina Desideri come together for experimental readings. They experiment with ‘reading tools’ inspired by well-known and newly-designed practices—such as the Tarots, Political Therapy, Palmistry, Fake Therapy as well as Reiki, Astrology and Philosophy. Relying on the kind of knowing that Walter Benjamin calls mimetic (intuitive) faculty and Carl G Jung associative thinking, these tools assemble a reading or an image. Reading as imaging, in their practice, consists of an assembling that exposes and navigates the complex context constituting the situation, event or problem that concerns a person or collective at a given moment and place. As such, it aims at expanding the horizon of interpretation, that is, to open up possibilities and unsettle realities.

How does it work? Each session, attended by an individual or small group (5 people maximum), will last for about 45 minutes. There is no need to come with a well-defined question. For ‘the question’ can also come up during an initial reading and it can be further narrowed or expanded when addressed by other tools.

Please call Artspeak to book an appointment at 604.688.0051.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2PM
Elemental Panel: AIRWAVES: Anti-Colonial Methods with Stefano Harney, Mariana Marcassa + Byron Peters

Presented in partnership with the Critical + Creative Social Justice Studies Research Program, UBC Social Justice Institute.

Artspeak and UBC’s Social Justice Institute invite you to a conversation inspired by the element air. This conversation is part of Anti-colonial Methods, which is a series of events—panels, workshops, screenings, performances, conversation, writings—in which we would like to explore the synergies and tensions between critical and creative work that engage ongoing colonial and racial violence in their various (total, symbolic, subtle, overt, unexpected, quotidian, casual, official, … ) modes of actualisation. Inspired by four elements (air, fire, water, and earth) we hope to create space for and support conversations that spark our imagination and both sustain the anti-colonial practices in which we are already involved and the ones yet to be unleashed.

The Critical + Creative Social Justice Studies Research Program offers learning, research, and practice opportunities to students interested in creating artistic work that engage with critical tools and formulations developed in critical, racial and anti-colonial, feminist, queer, and trans* scholarship. Focusing on the potential of the creative work to disrupt ingrained ideas and representations through affecting the senses and the imagination, this research program sits at the intersection of art, activism, and academic work.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 7PM
Study Group: Experiments in Entangled Co-Existence I with Denise Ferreira da Silva and Valentina Desideri

In these sessions, we will read and discuss texts in philosophy, and art & political theory as well as experiment with practices of entanglement. Anybody taking part in the study group is invited to bring in further texts, practices, exercises, side-thoughts and intuitions that could potentially contribute to our study.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2PM
Fake Therapy and Political Therapy with Valentina Desideri

Valentina Desideri will share and transmit her practice of Fake Therapy and Political Therapy. Fake Therapy is a practice between two persons that stimulates and reactivates the sometimes hidden capacities of anyone to heal anyone (or anything) else. It is a practice autonomous of disciplinary origins and refuses expertise or any form of knowledge-authority. While Political Therapy is a one-to one performative format that creates the condition for conversation and some speculative thinking around political issues, via the body.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 7PM
Study Group: Experiments in Entangles Co-Existence II with Denise Ferreira da Silva and Valentina Desideri

In these sessions, we will read and discuss texts in philosophy, and art & political theory as well as experiment with practices of entanglement. Anybody taking part in the study group is invited to bring in further texts, practices, exercises, side-thoughts and intuitions that could potentially contribute to our study.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2PM
Rest to Move to Rest with Justine A. Chambers

In this workshop participants will alternate between rest and simple repetitive movements adapted from social dance, somatic practice and western contemporary dance. By practicing individually while together, participants will work with a gentle awareness on the transmission of felt information between bodies. We will practice movement to rest our minds, and return to rest to feel the perpetual movements of our bodies.

Thank you to our partners University of British Columbia Community Engagement and
The Critical + Creative Social Justice Studies Research Program, UBC Social Justice Institute.

Artspeak is a non-profit artist run centre established in 1986. The mandate of the gallery is to encourage a dialogue between visual art and writing.

Artspeak actively contributes to cultural communities through our commitment to artists producing challenging, innovative work in diverse media, our affiliation with like-minded organizations, and the public interest we generate in contemporary art.

Tuesday–Saturday, 12–5pm