The Other Side / L´Autre côte

At Cimetière des Rois (rue des Rois 10), Geneva, Switzerland  from Wednesday, June 19th 2019 at 5pm until October 13th. The exhibition is curated by Anna Barseghian / Utopiana.

Our curiosity and our need to understand other forms of intelligence have brought about, among other interests, the study of the life of bees in different centuries and cultures. There is a striking number of thinkers who have shown an interest in the ingenuity and the extraordinary capacities of bees. Since ancient times, these insects have also been associated with immortality and the ability to communicate across parallel worlds.

Among the texts selected to The Other Side Geneva, one will recognise Jorge Luis Borges, whose remains rest at this cemetery. Other authors are Virgil, Elias Lönnrot (FI), Maurice Maeterlinck (BE), Mercè Rododera (CAT), Svetlana Aleksievich (RU), Johanna Sinisalo (FI) and Jo Shapcott (UK).

Listening to the writings encourages one to understand that the bees are embedded in our natural environments, lifecycles and cultures so profoundly but in such subtle ways, that their significance is often being ignored, until they recently started vanishing from our lives.

This is the third edition of The Other Side aural space by Ulla Taipale, where the audience can listen to fragments of bee related texts by eight authors vía Arilyn smartphone application. The earlier editions of the work were installed in a public park in the centre of Helsinki in 2016 as a part of Melliferopolis Fest and in 2018 in Barcelona where it was commissioned by the Fundació Joan Miró for the Beehave exhibition. The site-specific work is developed in a Utopiana artist-in-residence from October 2018 until the opening.

The Swiss edition of the project is dedicated to the extraordinary naturalist François Huber, who was born in Geneva in 1750. In spite being blind, he made groundbreaking discoveries regarding the magical and mysterious life of the bee.

The work is site-specific and thus, the recorded audio excerpts are available only when the installation is exhibited. Each place gives the work its special feeling, and the meteorological or seasonal changes of the environment influence to the listening experience.

Photos: Oceana Antonyan

“The Other Side” is part of “Les 1000 Écologies / The 1000 Ecologies” by Utopiana at Le Commun between September 9th and October 10th, 2019.
Address: Rue des Rois 10, 1204 Geneva
Exhibition dates: from June 20 th to October 11th (The Cemetery is open daily from 7.30am to 7pm)
Rue des Rois 10, 1204 Genève
Exposition : du 20 juin au 13 octobre (7h30-19h)

Illustrations: Andrés Marin Jarque Readings: Barbara Baker (fr), Kira O´Reilly (eng), Andrés Marin Jarque (es), Emilia Esteban Langstroff (cat). Recordings and editing: Kirill Lorech, Mikko Viskari and Guy Schneider Map design, invitations and posters: Christian Bili Exhibition montage: Alexandre Papaloïzos

Thanks to:
Office de la Culture et du Sport (Canton de Genève); Fonds municipal d’art contemporain (Ville de Genève); Département
de la cohésion sociale et de la solidarité, Service des pompes funèbres, cimetières et crématoire (Ville de Genève); Commune de Presinge, Frame Finland; Activités culturelles de l’Université de Genève; Chambre de l’économie sociale et solidaire – Après-GE; Melliferopolis; ArtSchema; Kone Foundation.

Featured illustration: Oceana Antonyan