Below are some guidelines on how we like to conduct workshops and some additional information on how we approach work in general. Strong language and potential political incorrectness are all there intentionally. The structure of our workshop is based on the way Bojan Jablanovec and the theatre group Via Negativa work.
You cannot be smarter than you already are.
Think about your audience.
If we don’t make art for all, we won’t do it.
Grow with your partner.
Be honest: nasty, bold, respectful, as prepared as possible …
Always be ambitious.
We insist on creating authorial material. We want our participants to find ways to work together, write their own texts, search for their own way of communicating in the “team” and with their audience.
We are all here and now: performers and the audience. We know they are here and they know that we are. This acknowledgment is crucial, if we want to create an equal, inclusive and open relationship with our audience. And we do want that.
15 participants maximum.
Getting to know each other, our work, how we think, work, communicate… Presentation of our “methodology”. Participants work in pairs (in case of the odd number of participants – one trio). If someone already knows with whom they would like to work, that is okay with us. Assignment: prepare a scene. Together with your partner.
Showing “pieces”/”performances”/”scenes”, followed by analysis. The main objective is to practise feedback.
Development of new/old “pieces”/”performances”/”scenes”. The main objective is to create a short scene.
Before we finish the workshop, we will have a feedback round. We begin and then it is the participants’ turn.
“Session”: 10.00-17.00 (one hour lunch break).
Minimum 2 days, preferably 3.
The schedule can be altered.
Additional information for participants
Please read the “toolkit” above.
We expect you to prepare scenes in pairs. We want you to prepare a scene that you believe in, a scene that is honest, understandable and that shows the potential to be the next big thing in contemporary performative art as such. What we want to say is be ambitious, but don’t overestimate yourself. If you have delusions of grandeur, it’s all cool, just be aware of them and work with them. Please try to be clear, stick to the beginning, the middle part and the end. Or at least the beginning and the end. 🙂 Think about your strategies, story-line, dramaturgy… Think of them as an integrated whole. Think holistically. And unless you show something, we don’t have anything to talk about. Take this shit seriously.
Why pairs? We find it important that you work together with a partner. Find common ground, consensus and especially find something that intrigues both of you. It’s a mini practice of dialogue, inclusion and conviviality. But try to look at it also as a practice that will help you understand your audience better. And this is one of our key focuses. We always try to create radically honest work that communicates across different social, educational, cultural, class… groups.
The main objective of the workshop is to give good, valuable feedback. We often get silly suggestions, misinterpretations, and projections in response to our work, and it’s frustrating and time-consuming. This is why we will all give feedback, with the two of us acting as occasional moderators. The pair that have shown the scene that is being commented on will just listen – without any comments or explanations. All the other participants (who have watched the scene) will provide feedback. What we will say is important. This process is quite time-consuming and gives each participant a lot of responsibility. Be constructive. Stuff like “Yeah, I know what you meant in your piece…” or “You are so intelligent…” or “I would do this differently…” are examples of the kind of comments that stop dialogue and are not very productive (or even nice). We always speak from our own position, we always try to understand what the other has presented, we always look at it from a feminist perspective, and we never judge the person behind the work we have seen… But we sure as hell question the work itself. We always separate the artist from the art. Don’t be afraid. If someone has already said everything you have wanted to say, it’s totally O.K. to just approve of their opinion. You don’t have to repeat what they have said just because you have to say something. This is sometimes very hard to do. But you learn a lot this way.
For the scene:
A theme (whatever is decided) is the guideline, focus… Do whatever you want. Talk, dance, perform, act… With or without text.
It will be stressful, but a lot of fucking joy, fun and love for art will keep coming out of it.