Artistic experiences - process

Work around multimedia performance on collective memory – KoÅ ice

Place of the workshop : Košice, Faculty of Art, Technical University, DIG gallery and Open department of Prešov prison

Partners involved:
– Thomas Louvat, artistic director and trainer
– Guillem Llotje, trainer and video technician
– Roger La Puente, trainer and film director
– Andrea Olmedo Rio, trainer and visual performer
Anna Figueras Torruella, film archivist
PhotoART Centrum
Pavel Smejkal, lecture, archivist,
Lena Jakubčáková, teacher,
Gejza Legen, project manager

Audiences and territories involved:
– Audiences: Eight Slovak art students, two free adults, two Slovak artists and 8 inmates
– Territories: Faculty of Art, Technical University in KoÅ¡ice, Slovakia; Institute of Creative Photography, Silesian Univesity in Opava, Czech republic; Heeb.She art association; PhotoART Centrum KoÅ¡ice; Remand prison PreÅ¡ov ÚVV a ÚVTOS, open department, PreÅ¡ov, Slovakia)

Archives used: Spanish amateur film archives from the collection of CIMIR

Concept of the workshop : To prepare a multimedia performance on collective memory

Summary of the methodology proposed:
Because of the specialization and experience of the Spanish team, we decided to aim on the work with students and inmates with theatrical, multimedia and performance character, reacting at the Spanish archive. Participants of the workshop were also dancers from Heeb.She group, a non-profit association aimed on contemporary dance and performance.
Students came from new media departments and photography, and all other participants were with limited knowledge or experience with movement, body, dance or performance. The Spanish archives were “home videos” from the fifties up to seventies from the small city of Reus near Barcelona. It was amateur footage people had shot on 8mm cameras during their holidays, playing with kids, birthdays parties, in their free time, city fiestas, outdoor events, children fiestas etc., in some way similar to the Slovak archive we worked before. The participant group was very mixed, from student of various universities, citizens interested in this kind of activities and in collaboration with prisoners, dancers and inmates. The group was very different from the point of view of life experience, age, education, art skill, dance/theatre experience and relation to freedom.We wanted participants to talk together about their ideas, memories, feelings, but also about their skills and artistic visions before and during the work. We wanted them to make personal reflections on archive images, which were different but also in some way similar. What was also very special was the aim to work with our bodies and connect it with film archive, music, sounds and choreography. We made two groups from all participants, both randomly mixed, and leaved them to chose a small part from family archives we have seen from CIMIR pre-selection. Surprisingly both groups selected very similar motifs, but finally used them in different way. We encouraged the participants to combine different techniques, approaches, to throw away their bashfulness and the lack of self-confidence, especially in connection to the body movement, dancing or performance in front of the audience.

Results of the workshop: Both inmates and free people were very intensively involved in the work, resulting in relatively quick done piece of work. Very good results were showed at the end of the workshop as we can see from the video record. Within a week we have prepared the show, the stage, to organize all things around, to come up with interesting ideas, to prepare the stories, exercise choreography, and to finish the performance. The participants responded well to the challenge, they were able to realize some very interesting body of work in this short time. The work with archives helped them all to deeper understand the history and the language of images and other media. The work with their bodies helped them to forget the situation of life they are now and encourage them to go on with theatrical approach to the archive topic. We will help them to go on with the work later, the situation at the end of the workshop was very promising and all they were full of new energy to go on!

copyright Pavel Smejakl
copyright Pavel Smejkal
copyright Pavel Smejkal
copyright Pavel Smejkal