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Werktag


City-culture-specific
International workshop

     
 
     
 

Theory

 

 

 

 

 

 

Werktag

'an Edu-Action Event'

Werktag is a one-day in-situ Live Action Art/Performance Workshop for students of Fine Art BA Courses at European Academies and Universities. The ‘marathon’ Werktag Performance Art Workshop takes place over a period of 12 hours, 7 am – 7 pm. A second day may be organized if an exhibition and public invitation is included.


It is the aim to organize this workshop at least once a year in one European City. Students who have participated in previous workshops are invited to join local and regional students from associated institutions. The objective is to work and collaborate with interested tutors of Fine Art Courses at local Art Academies. Preparations include coordination of sites, locations, places, debates and public presentations.

The learning process assesses a cultural experience with ‘local’ people, urban settings and country-specific places. It creates links to artists' working practices in the process of intervention and adaptation of ‘foreign’ encounters, for example language and ‘street impressions’.

Connections between social and environmental understanding are explored via the concept of subjectivity as an examination of `Self' rather than a division between information technologies, which can sometimes prejudice one's own system of knowledge. The live body of the artist and his/her consideration of presentational politics are negotiated against a `plane of immanence', which takes on a highly absorbent presence in the understanding of the “now”. At the root of the art-making process lies the production of subjectivity in an event far less specific than the mere manifestation of a method: instead, we create actions with and alongside foreign cultural backgrounds. Individual actions and interaction give rise to clarity of situation and image making which carries over its generosity to the audience’s impression and memory.

At Werktag 1, Werktag 2 and Werktag 3 (Berlin, November 2003, March and September 2004) research, coordination, transportation and accommodation were funded by Kingston University and kunstwirkstoff. Our aim continues to be the development of a conceptual structure of international student exchange with the emphasis on Live Action Art and Performance supported and funded by Institutions.

 
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Practical instructions,
notations, reports and
images


  Werktag 1
Berlin February 27, 2004
 
         
      Werktag 2
Berlin September 21, 2004
 
 

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to see this film.

 

This is the second workshop held in Berlin this year 2004. Werktag 1 took place in March 2004 during a study trip to Berlin organised by the MA Art and Space Course Kingston University. A group of ten students signed up for a marathon Live Art/Performance workshop which involved several prominent public locations in the city of Berlin and Marzahn to experiment and practise live action in specific situations.

Werktag 2 took place on four days September 20 - 24th.
It included a seminar day with discussions around the subject of 'creative idea process', 'the object of transformation' and issues around the documentation of Live Art/Performance Work and video production.

During Werktag 2 practical aspects of Live Art/Performance were incorporated in site-specific places in Berlin which were pre-selected.

Each student developed a specific, individual piece of work and/or documentation which was based on cultural-urban references to the city of Berlin and the notion of 'places of repetition and renewal'- strategies of urban living.

Students of Kingston University, Fine Art were responsible for booking their own flight, accommodation was arranged locally and reserved prior to arrival.

 
   

the beginning: Pick - up Schedule

There is a sign to be carried to the airport to welcome people arriving.
Dagmar is picking up Rita, first to arrive, she has the key to the flat
Rita will pick up Katherine and show her the way to the flat.
Katherine will pick-up Pete and Adam and show them the way to the flat.
Pete and Adam will pick-up Jess and Olli and show them the way to the flat.
Jess and Olli will pick-up Nanna and show her the way to the flat.

 
   

Gathering:

Tuesday 7:00 pm at 103, Café at the corner of Zions-Kirch-Strasse and Kastanien Allee in walking distance from Anklamerstrasse.

 
   

Action Days
Day one
Wednesday 22 September 2004

Everyone one to find their way to Oberspree, U 8 at Bernauerstrasse to Hermannstrasse (U-Bahn ends there) and change into S 47 in direction of Spindlerfeld.

Get off at Oberspree and meet me there at 9:30 am.

Shopping for the day in local Super Market, if there is one.

Practical on-site Bodyspeak Performance Workshop appropriated to llocation.

Evening or next morning time for reflection, critical witness and analysis.

 
   

Day two Thursday 23 September 2004

Breakfast Meeting and Gathering for open discussion (prepare your issues about your work) and briefing of the day.

Time and place to be announced.

3:45 meeting for Public Performance during Weddinger (Spät)kultursommer at Wedding S-Bahnhof, take U 8 Bernauer Strasse to Gesundbrunnen and change into Ring Bahn going in direction of Westend.

Performance will begin exactly at 4 pm in the Gallery KunstRaum, Lindowerstrasse 18. Punctuality is crucial.

Performance will end at 8 pm in the middle of Plantagenstrasse with archaic sound.

Time to relax and celebrate in Berlin Mitte.

 
   

Day three Friday 24 September 2004

Easy morning start to meet at 11 am at Anklamerstrasse 7 to walk to site on Ackerstrasse. Times may change according to people leaving for Schönefeld.

Practical on-site Performance Work. (app. 1 – 2 hours)

Lunch

Leaving together to go to Lapidarium, Hallesches Ufer 78

Practical on-site Bodyspeak Performance Work emphasis drawing, film and photography. (app. 1 – 2 hours)

Good-by

 
   

Werktag 2 Notations

Oliver Prothero, Werktag participating student fromKingston University Fine Art Level 2.

Berlin Werktag2 – Performance workshop report.

'A Voice From The Overfield’

We arrive in Berlin Schonefeld airport after a summer of working mundane jobs to make ends meet. My girlfriend and I. Both bleary eyed from the 4.30am check-in at Luton. We’ve come to meet fellow students, and to create ‘Art’. It seems far too early for this, yesterday I was making coffee for eight hours straight. So it goes.

We’re greeted at the airport by a tall gothic fellow – Adam; his eye behind a digital camera with the lens pointed at us, caught in the crosshairs; rabbits and headlights. ‘The cameras are on already?’ I’m thinking, ‘Quick! I should be performing!’

We grab a coffee then take a train into central Berlin. Luckily we have a place to stay: a flat on the eastern side of the city. It’s bare, unfurnished, it has no heating and we didn’t bring our sleeping bags – but it’s free. We dump our stuff and set off back to the airport again, another student is arriving on a different flight and we’ve got to give her the camera-treatment.

Later we all meet up in a bar, the Performance gang, back in Berlin, united again. Adam, Katherine, Nana, Pete, Rita, Jess and myself. It feels good, like there’s an importance to us being there – like we have a history. The day is over, the evening is starting up and it feels late enough now to think about creating ‘Art’. We catch up over drinks and laugh about being foreigners, then move on to a great restaurant. After more drinks we return to the flat, and, now that it’s filled with all our traveling paraphernalia, its cosier, more homely, like we’ve staked a claim in the city – made a base. And our bed, however makeshift it may be, is extremely inviting.

The next morning my back feels like a plank of wood. I can taste ash on my breath and alcohol in my throat. Again, its definitely too early to make art.

We wait for Dagmar, our German Ambassador, at another station. Its cold and she’s late. ‘Art’ is the last thing on my mind, and, it seems, the only thing on my mind. We grab supplies from a supermarket – consisting mainly of German biscuits – and head off to an abandoned textiles mill. We practice what we have previously learned and through this discover more. Seriousness and playfulness, apprehension and excitement; the day is marked by these alternations. Maybe, just maybe, we can make art tomorrow…

So this is it, the big day. We’re heading off to KunstRaum, part of the third Weddinger Kultur festival, to give a four-hour performance of Live Art. We enter the gallery and the performance begins…

text by Oliver Prothero

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Notations on Werktag 2
by Dagmar I. Glausnitzer-Smith

Berlin September 2004
Synopsis
The image is a moment. Every performance and Live Art Action is potentially an image created in real time and space to voluntary or involuntary viewer.

A representation is just a moment of the real. Although all images are moments the action precedes the representational character because it designates a conscious presence of the artist in the Now. What is an image that does not contain any forthcoming development, any life potentiality beyond the “dead” image?

The basis for the discussion was formed on the following aspects:
silence: one’s own siolence penetrates and the endurance of non-change may influence the environment with silence. Silence is the world without language but the situation always carries its own noise.

Appropriation, adaptation, intervention
Internvention through transformation on a larger scale follows the following three gradual levels of development:
  1. awareness,  2. analysis,  3. acceptance

  • Examination of the artist’s expectation level to meet with the assumed level of expectation of the spectator
  • Listening to the space without body movement to allow the body ‘s own motion in space
  • The space within the space is based on the power of personal presence in a situation
  • Examination of the will and deferred desire
  • What does it mean to bring the intellectual object into space?
  • Invention of new relationships besides the state of ‘nothingness’, improvisation and automatism
  • Observation of the inert levels of possibilities
  • Conscious before unconscious

Reality and the situation when action happens could be reality as a product of negotiation. To find a negotiating space, the imagination must be designated to intervene before logic creates a character. I must be able to pretend a different reality. The aim is to destroy or undo any a priori agreement about what is being perceived.

 
    Werktag 3
Berlin with students from Kingston University 28 April 2005
 
       
       
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