Today we tried to understand the role of the public in any artistic activity. It is the audience which is the reflection of how your idea works in practice. An observer is exposed to my project, reacts emotionally and intellectually. In a way judges and verifies me as the inventor of the idea. Of course, as the author I am the first censor who evaluates how the project meets my expectations. How the idea differs from its realization. In ideal situation I can say “yes, that is what I wanted to communicate and exactly in such form as it happened”. However it is different from the spectator side. He filters out my work through his personality, sensitivity, experiences and intellect. The better the project is completed, the better viewer’s reception coincides with my intentions. The first exercise, “deaf phone” made us realize how quickly a simple message is distorted by successive “filters” of subsequent recipients. Everyone “hears” something different. There are as many interpretations as recipients.
Of course „deaf phone” game is particular. The message in a way is one-dimensional, not supported by light, images, sounds.
The second exercise involved people walking the streets. Observers became participants of the event. A moving group of students performed a variety of strange poses or gestures. People were observing us with surprise or smile. They were moving along with us, but at any time they could leave the game. They participated in our event, succumbed to our action, however no one broke the convention imposed by us!
Later we had the task to present a chosen street in the form of a short film. The task concerned the relationship of word and image. A word can be illustrated by referring to its construction (division into two parts) using colloquial connotations (beige – color of the sand), or referring to cultural codes of a given community (the character of witch hat).
I chose a fragment of space that connects two structures of very different climates. The first; concrete – very clean and smooth, in a sense neutral. The second; brick – porous, cut by joints of mortar. You can see history written on it.
The contrast between these two surfaces takes place on many levels: old - new, smooth – porous, dark – bright, closer – further and so on. This diversity of contrasts will be my inspiration. I would like my costume to contain one or more of these opposing values. Maybe my contrast will be “ more quieter” but definitely perceptible.
Today the task was to give new, different meaning to the already existing space – without using any additional requisites. We were given the space next to the exit, nearby table-tennis tables. We decided to use existing elements as props for our performance. We changed the sliding door into electronic control gate ( such as in airport check-in entrance), and the area with tables into training room for the best players of table-tennis. The success of the performance was mainly based on how much we are able using words and gestures to convince the viewers that the space is not the school corridor. Viewers were prepared to be transformed into different space. We were to prove that it is really. The number of people in the group caused that every time we had to change our roles. I think that if each of us was assigned a specific character, it would be easer to be credible. Within ten minutes time we acted many characters, which in the absence of acting talent, made it difficult to be credible.
The situation changes in the second task. This time we could select the space for our performance. We arranged that each member of our group would play a specified one character. The action unfolded linearly along marked sections. Each of us had defined path in time and space in which his audience was taken. Then the audience was handed over to the next student. We invented a story about traveling circus and each of us portrayed one of the circus character. This will be the starting point for our further actions.
In both tasks we have become creators of new situation in the space which function has been already defined.
Today I made first attempt to project a costume inspired by the contrast. I used three different materials. The left side of the costume was to be left purest. That is why it catches the eye most. It is closely related to architecture, which was exactly my intention. The other side was made of very thin tissue paper and bubble wrap. These materials after preparation and suitable molding are closest to biological and natural materials. When combined they constitute the whole which stands in opposition to pure, geometrical right side.
I attempted to operate on a white plan. I tried to add an element which would more fully characterize the technical wall – would express its cold, in a way repulsive effect.
However any action on that plain resulted in a strong dissonance with the lower newspaper structure. I created two opposing worlds which are close to each other and together form an entity. And it is this strong contrast which makes the whole thing interesting. Monumental and geometric, the form had to stay pure and intact. Introducing any additional element would disturb explicitness of the message. The aspect of color is very important to me. The mass of white fabric (purity) is standing in contrast to the crumpled mass of various newspapers. It is of great importance to keep this opposition of colors.
Body monument as a means of expression is an extremely interesting problem. Sometimes I sit on a bench in the park and watch people passing before my eyes. It is unending spectacle of various characters in which, however, some common features for different categories of people can be extracted. For example, women generally walk differently from men, obviously young people from old.
These are the most evident categories talking about gender and age.
His was the subject of our today first exercise – to visualize by means of drawing these two defining characteristics of a man. But by observing the body movements a lot more information can be drawn.
This was the topic of the second task – how human body changes under the influence of emotions. Xymena Zaniewska, Polish theater and TV set designer said very accurately that “it is easer to say with the body that you love someone then that someone is your uncle”. Such emotions like joy, sadness, depression, rage, self-confidence are expressed by body consciously or subconsciously. The less means of expression we use to articulate a given emotion, the better actors we are. Sometimes we use the phrase “overdone character” to describe actor’s performance, which means that actor used too strong artistic expressions to build the character.
But there is a whole range of information about a man, which can not be expressed by body movement or facial mimics. They go well beyond sphere of emotions.
I resigned from the bottom white matter. I had the need to get even closer to the climate of brick wall. I got the idea to build the lower part using a newspaper. It is “natural” because is recycled. It has a color print, which makes the final effect closer to the colorful brick. There is still one more essential element in the expression of the newspaper. Printing is always subjected to the principle of vertical columns and horizontal verses. These are in a way common elements with grey, technically geometric wall which inspired major part of my costume. This is the important element which causes that both surfaces can coexist! The upper part is strongly influenced by Rick Owens, who is the master of transferring large and geometrical architectural planes to clothing.
I think that the clash of these two separate worlds in a single silhouette through the use of a newspaper and large upper plain will be much more pronounced.
Looking at two different walls I wonder why some combinations of two values work and are acceptable, whereas some do not. In the case of my two walls, I think the answer is the grout between bricks. Them through their geometry and color refer to the oppositional, grey, technical surface. Modifying my project I will take it into account.
Despite little time we dealt well with the basic problem. We had to join together five different projects. The concept of contrast was a starting point. We adopted our projects as the metaphor for one day in the life of a business man. We tried to showe the contrast between corporate world and the private home atmosphere.
I think, that one of the most interesting element of our presentation was combination of different spaces. One of the projects was presented through Skype from completely different place. Later we showed films which we had done few days earlier (projected on a wall), and the presentation ended here and now, namely as the life show. This lack of time and place unity made our presentation outstanding. In the final phase of the presentation we showed worm, cozy interior of a house arranged in the classroom. To those watching, it was a big surprise that at some point we stopped to narrate our idea and became heroes of our arrangement and the last domestic sequence was played live by us.
The interest of many students and the response of teachers gave me a lot of satisfaction.