[June 1 – Aug 11] Manifesto from Lorraine by Zahra Poonawala

Manifesto from Lorraine”, a poetical interactive sound sculpture, consists of a loudspeaker made from “pâte de verre” glass. It addresses the public with agile movements and proclaims recorded manifestoes of different subjects, authors, countries and epochs, from poetical, artistic, feminist, political, scientific, to religious manifestos.

Building 10a / Nolan Park / Governors Island

Open to the public: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holiday Mondays from June 1 thru August 11, 2019

Manifesto from Lorraine, the sculpture consists of a motorized glass loudspeaker mounted on a tripod. The glass speaker tilts and nods while reciting extracts of manifestoes of different subjects and authors, from poetical, artistic, political, scientific, to religious manifestoes of different countries and epochs. Texts will be randomly read out loud, picking an extract from that large collection of manifestoes. The glass speaker was made in Lorraine, eastern France, in a “Pâte de Verre” technique at the International Center for Glass Art in village next to Nancy called Vannes-le-Châtel. Construction and motorisation of the sculpture was done with collaborator Revel Woodard in NYC. The Harvestworks Residency covered the programming of the motorisation on Arduino and Raspberry Pi, the sound triggerings, prototyping and testing the “interactive scenarios”.

The sculpture’s title, Lorraine, is a feminine first name. It is also the name of a region in France that has suffered a lot from post-industrial aftermaths. Naming my piece “Manifesto from Lorraine” is a way of personifying the sculpture, making her proclaim, be alive and manifest.The sculpture’s formal aesthetics are it’s unique glass design and it’s physical attitudes and movements. The sculpture’s substantive elements are the sounds emanating from it, with a flow manifestos read out loud.Extract of the texts: “The crisis has rarefied employment and in doing so it has impelled us towards a preference for new ways of thinking about work and the estrangement of labor. We work on Sundays and occasionally not Thursdays. We work late at night but in the company of friends. What if in reality we only had free time… And what about you, what do you do in life?” (Les Commissaires Anonymes, Manifesto for an Art of Living at All Costs, France, 2015)

Lives in NYC
Swiss and French nationalities.
Traditionally, production and distribution circuits tend to function with a separation between visual art spaces and those linked to music. Zahra Poonawala tries on the contrary to marry the sensations and find a means of expression connected to her dual background as artist and musician. Greatly influenced by contemporary music, she questions the essence and the birth of harmony. She sees it as a spark making art become an object of a spatial experience, with its density, its presence, or its absence. She uses mediums such as video, musical performances, interactive sound installations and internet-based audiovisual projects to invent new means that compliment each other continuously. She graduated from the Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin (Strasbourg, France, 2007) and from Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains (Tourcoing, France, 2012). She has exhibited in Basel (Hek – House of Electronic Arts, Switzerland ) Rome (Macro), Vilnius (CAC, Lithuania) , Gijon (Laboral, Spain), Mulhouse (Kunsthalle), Shanghai (Chronus Art Center), Sélestat ( Frac Alsace France), Quebec (Chambre Blanche), Strasbourg (L’Aubette, Le Shadok, le Ceaac), Stuttgart , Freiburg, Mons (City Sonics) Belgium , Riga (Summer Readings Latvia). Zahra is a 2019 Artist in Residence at Harvestworks.



With the financial support from Grand Est Region (East of France Regions)
Revel Woodard : Technical Design and Fabrication
Danielle McPhatter: Programming
CERFAV (European Center for Glass Art), Vannes-le-Chatel, France : Glass making
Estelle Bajou: Voice

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