From Monday 2 November the Dancing Museums team is joining forces online around the Barcelona workshop, hosted by Mercat de les Flors, Fundació Joan Miró and Barcelona-based choreographer Quim Bigas. Most activities and conversations are happening online, bringing to the forefront the questions of togetherness, remote collaboration, of finding the meaning in trying circumstances and a roundtable on Wednesday questions what the roles of the artists in Dancing Museums are. A chance to put the six choreographers’ current thoughts about their practices and engagement within the project on the table.
The many hats of the Dancing Museums artists
Eleanor Sikorski talked about the reality and challenge of wearing all kinds of different hats, and therefore the versatility of the artists’ roles within the project.
Dancer / choreographer / teacher / facilitator / colleague / listener / curator / organisator… Some roles sometimes combine, but sometimes they are challenging to navigate. It takes time to figure out what space is available inside the project to wear the different hats, or even be clear about what is required at a given time, since the project is focused on research.
Eleanor : I have been drawn to wearing the ‘organisational hat’, taking some interest and perspective about who is present, who do we have visiting, working inside a museum?
Ingrid Berger Myrhe brought up the important notions of Context and Constellation
Ingrid : Where am I working? Under which circumstances? Who is involved? The work and conversation can only occur considering these questions.
How to be a good colleague is also a question currently on her mind in this collaborative project.
And a reflection on the feeling that together the six artists and the teams are associated in producing knowledge in different ways.
Understanding the context as best as possible is also a strong point in Ana Pi‘s way of working, of questioning roles and positions within any project. What kind of people live in the suburbs of Paris where the MAC VAL Museum is situated for instance? How do these people feel about the museum space and what range of interactions they are comfortable with within the space?
Ana : Critical observation is very important, in order to acknowledge and compose with what and who is already there / what is missing / who is missing.
Looking at what is at the centre of her attention, she also points out:
- Dealing with peripheral imagination into insitutions organised around centrality
- Rising the temperature in the relationship, creating warmth in a context
- Connecting different people from different contexts together
- Be autonomous
- How not to be a token within the institution, within a project
Quim Bigas pointed out that ‘role’ can be a charged word, and relates to this the importance of Context and Constellation when speaking about the challenge to find out what makes sense for him in relation to each place he works with.
The challenge is also present when thinking about what it means to collaborate together, how togetherness can come from the very basis of how we work together from scratch, deciding on what grounds we decide to collaborate.
Quim : How to be a resource, to be available as an artist, to ask someone else ‘what do you need?’ I’m finding my ways of addressing that within the project as well.
In that sense Quim concluded with a wish, a hope, that his actions and his presence can create a foundation for something else to arise in the future, that would not depend on him.
Masako Matsushita talked about needs. For instance, as an artist working inside a museum space, the need to be offically introduced to everyone, to the whole team.
Masako : When talking about togetherness, why be there if the museum’s teams don’t know we’re here? Because art is not to be made alone in the space.
Being in touch with everyone present is also linked to being able to share ideas with the whole team. There is also, in her words, the mention of the delicate balance of being considered as an artist: how not to be underestimated or overestimated?
Reflecting back on the project Diary of a move that she engaged in, in Bassano del Grappa, this spring and summer – a daily archive of proposing one movement per day, gathering the contributions of sixty people – Masako shared this thought of being able to “leave traces in the space that are there for the future when I’m not.”
Tereza Ondrová shared the word ‘stimulation’, how the project stimulates a lot of thinking in different directions, and makes her curious about finding other forms in her work. She also asks this: how could we make a continuity possible for a lot of different people present in the space, not just the dance artists.
Tereza also shared what her journey inside the project resembles so far, and in relation to the pandemic:
. Walking in circles
. Getting out of the circle, and finding one direction
. Being stuck in one place now