An immersive multimedia installation which tackles themes of trauma, displacement, personal narratives and landscape. The work is an intimate account of the personal experience of travelling through an unfamiliar landscape reminiscent of the experience of refugees.
Through the use of video, photography, light and sound, Altered Landscapes aims to engage the viewer in a journey. It asks the viewer to navigate the different elements in the gallery space so as to be absorbed in the experiences and journeys of the refugees, in order to open up contemplation and discussion about the current situation in Europe, a place that that has become filled with militarised border control.
For this exhibition delGado travelled to Greece, Macedonia and Calais to film, photograph and record the journeys taken by refugees. delGado has not filmed these ‘invisible’ people, who proliferate our media, but the places they have passed through. There are traces of their existence, fragmented experiences, fleeting moments and marks left on the land as they pass through to find safety.
Inspired by the text The Metamorphosis by Czech writer Franz Kafka, the project centres on a personal diary from a narrator, a European subject, who is describing how his human identity is gradually being transformed into something else, as a response to the suffering he is viewing.
These reflections are provoked by the events and debates of the last few years around the refugee crisis and are contextualised in a landscape which is strongly embedded in our collective imaginary, Greece with its Acropolis, the ancient citadel of Athens, and the birthplace of the democratic values and culture.
Events running alongside the exhibition:
Saturday 16 April – Saturday 14 May – A series of workshops led by Juan delGado and The Paper Project. Click here for more information.
Saturday 21 May – A symposium to discuss issues of displacement and migration, exploring how art can catalyse debate around human rights and create a dialogue around these issues. Speakers include Michaela Crimmin (Culture + Conflict), Áine O’Brien (Counterpoint Arts) and Saphia Crowther (Amnesty International). Click here for more information.
Altered Landscapes is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Artist Juan delGado has been awarded an INSIDE commission from New Art Exchange and DASH. INSIDE is a Disability Arts commissioning programme led by DASH with funding from Arts Council England.
Saturday 21 May – To complement the Altered Landscapes exhibition, we will be screening Filming Syria: Stories From The Jasmeen Tree a series of Syrian short films in partnership with Bidayyat for Audiovisual Arts, a non-profit civil company.
Juan delGado works across a range of media including installation and photography and has produced an extensive body of work that explores themes of trauma, landscape, disability, dislocation and gender.
delGado has exhibited widely including at ARCO’05, Madrid, End of the World Biennial, Argentina, and the 2014 Mardin Biennial, Turkey. He was selected in 1997 for the John Kobal Photographic Portraiture Awards, for the 2012 BBC Big Screens programme, in 2013 he was shortlisted for the Jerwood Open Forest exhibition, and in 2014 he was awarded a major project commission by Unlimited that premièred at the Southbank Centre, London.
His work has been supported by many prestigious organisations including the British Council, the Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England, Spanish Ministry of Culture, and ArtSchool Palestine.