2nd residency – autumn 2019 – 1st part September Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace
“We are social beings, but paradoxically we are very separated, even though we are physically very close. How important is contact with a person, even just eye contact, for us? How can it improve our day?”
Two days in the hall of Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace with invited people who help with the search for the theme of “meeting of two people” – dancers, actors, performers, dramaturges and directors. Together we named and tested what such meetings might look like, what they create between the actors themselves, and at the same time what relationship is formed with the third party – that being the viewer, or the onlooker, or the one who is just a silent witness. We were wondering if it was possible to physically meet another person without words. How much more can we free up and reveal at this time and only stay with the other person on a physical level for a while. We made simple rules, and every day we invited a few completely random guests – friends; we also addressed people from the street who we liked or had something in them that aroused our curiosity and desire to meet them in this way, and finally, during the rehearsal process, the attendant lady joined us. In addition to the meeting itself, we thought about how to share all this with the viewer, what the role of the viewer is, and if there should be any role for the viewer at all. How much to stage and define the rules, or vice versa, to let it all live its own life. It is an experiment, a social experiment, but it raised a lot of questions, to which we will continue to look for answers during the next meetings. The feedback from the invited guests was very beneficial; for example, one observation was why did this whole thing take place in the gallery space? The establishment of communication with another person eye-to-eye will create an effect and can affect the experience of future “looking” at anything. It changes the intensity of perception and focuses, for example, on detail, creating space for perception itself. Targeted and unconscious. After this event, after this experience, they felt that the spectrum of seeing had changed, or the perception of detail and time, noticing other things, etc.
The question for the next time remains: How does one create an environment and navigate people so that they become actors and at the same time spectators? Does one create a question in the end? Can they do all this even outside of this experiment? Can they try something like this spontaneously in a café or anywhere else?
The THEME common to this residency and the others with experience from the workshop from Bassan – meeting with Quim – is “LOOKING”.
2nd residency – autumn 2019 – 2nd part – writing a plan:
I begin by thinking about the meaning of two terms – “gallery” and “museum”. Because I am looking for a way to find the starting point of this project in relation to local conditions, to me and then to the whole topic of “dancing museums”. I find this, for example:
At the Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) of the ICOM International Museum Council, held on 7 September 2019 at the Kyoto International Conference Centre (Kyoto ICC) in Kyoto, Japan, a new definition of museum was proposed, but not yet approved, but pointing to the possible direction of the future global interpretation of the term museum, burdened by a new ideology:
“Museums are a space for democratisation, inclusion and multiculturalism, in which there is a critical dialogue about the past and the future. They recognise and resolve the conflicts and challenges of the present, preserve artefacts and examples for the good of society, protect diverse memories for future generations, and guarantee all people equal rights and equal access to heritage. Museums are not profitable. They shall be participatory and transparent, working in active partnership with and for the various communities to collect, preserve, research, interpret, exhibit and improve understanding of the world in order to contribute to human dignity and social justice, global equality and planetary well-being.” At the same time, a call arose within the Dancing Museums 2 project – the design and joint elaboration of “issues” or the current situation in historic cities in relation to tourism, namely to connect Venice, Prague and Barcelona. Which brought me back to our starting point, where we divided the whole work into three pillars: outdoors (or outdoor space), the way inwards, and inside (indoor space). While there are a lot of tourists outside, there is no one inside, and we don’t know how to create a natural pathway from outside to inside. How can we revive the original name – the Royal Way, but from a different perspective, as the road that connects all venues of the Prague City Gallery? I read Kateřina Šedá’s book and contact her for help.
A few words about Kateřina (my extracts from the net): Kateřina Šedá: (the first winner of the Architect of the Year Award, even though she did not study architecture, says that she is an architect of interpersonal relations)
She tries to break down barriers between people in an unconventional way.
Theme – normal life
Theme – tourism – issues related to tourism, congested cities on the UNESCO World Heritage List
Prague/Venice – beautiful cities where no one lives in the centre, shops that no one needs and streets where people do not meet but avoid each other
“We don’t need 30 jewellers in the city centre”
She founded the company UNES-CO for the project in Krumlov and employed several dozen people, to whom she offered a salary and accommodation simply for living a normal life in the historic centre.
Kateřina is interested in relationships between people – and that is what architecture grows out of.
Brnox – a book about an excluded locality in Brno …… Raises questions: where is the boundary between authorial interpretation and social research, between art and civic activity ….
All this fascinates and amuses me, and I would like to be inspired.
This results in one thematic line – ideally cooperation with Kateřina Šedá – working title: for example – The Royal Way.
And to this I add a second thematic line – a workshop in the venues of the Prague City Gallery for the initial two communities (people from Prague City Gallery and Tanec Praha). With this activity we would like to fill the empty spaces of the gallery and create a guide or recipe for “how to look differently, how to behave differently, how to feel differently, how to see differently…” in the Prague City Gallery venues and galleries and museums in general… in the form of regular meetings once a month in the Prague City Gallery venues, ideally each meeting in a different space. The question remains, which day and at what time?
Both thematic lines will be launched in November and, ideally, will be held continuously and will be worked on until June 2020.
Finally, it started in January 2020, the plan was six workshops in six places for six months, and the last activity took place in June as part of a workshop in Prague. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this did not happen and it is postponed to the autumn of 2020.
I’m still thinking about the Museum and the Gallery and the institution in general ……
… “The current definition, which is also followed by museums and galleries in the Czech Republic, says that a museum is a non-profit institution that ‘acquires, preserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humankind’ in order to communicate education, instruction and entertainment to the public. This wording has not been modified for several decades, now there is a radical change in the air. A commission was set up under the leadership of Jette Sandahl, founder and head of the Swedish Museum of World Cultures and the Danish Women’s Museum. The need to adapt the classic role of museums to the requirements of the 21st century. Its proposed definition calls on the institutions to be democratising spaces “for critical dialogue on the past and the future”, for the exhibits presented “to guarantee all people equal rights and equal access to their heritage”, to work “with different communities and for different communities” and last but not least, their existence contributes “to human dignity, social justice, global equality and planetary well-being”. This ideological manifesto is unacceptable. This threatens to turn museums into experimental laboratories.
Many European and American museums were created as celebratory monuments of colonialism. ‘Museums are civic spaces that must play a role in solving current social problems.’ Thanks to this, we can learn about the past so as not to repeat it. In America, there is a ‘Museums Are Not Neutral’ campaign – they are always spaces that are dependent and not apolitical. The campaign calls on professionals to become more visibly involved in the debate on human rights or climate change with their institutions, as this is also the role of museums for the 21st century.”…