For the last week of the course the ‘To Make a Work’ group will be completing installing and performing material relating to their practice as it has developed over the year for a final group discussion, evaluation and assessment. This process will take place across two days with Wednesday 17th June being used by the group to set up their projects in discussion with course tutors Yael Davids and Grant Watson, and Thursday 18th June for a walk through of the works and performances. Rather then a situation where each artist talks about their practice and the piece presented in terms of its development or conceptual underpinning, the conversation will be led by their peers and their tutors who will give feedback and offer reflection on what they see, what they know about the work's genesis and how it relates to themes addressed on the course during the year.
The presentation of works will take place close to the DAI at the Showroom on Langstraat 20.
Course tutors Yael and Grant will lead the May session of ‘To Make a Work’ along with guest artist and theorist Jean Matthee who will lead a workshop that will take place on Wednesday.
During this DAI week, the focus will be on the continued development of works by individual students through face-to-face meetings. These will be used to discuss what progression there has been in each student’s practice following the trip to Brazil and to think about the best approach for completing the course in terms of a presentation of a work in June. Meetings will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, and while Jean’s workshop will run from 10am to 5pm, students will need to step out of it for their individual tutorials.
Jean Matthee will convene a workshop called ‘Disquietude and Creation’ where she will interview individual student one by one about what is at stake for them in the micro – political and how this relates to their practice. While the interviews are taking place Jean will ask the student group to record them on film or in any other media of their choice.
Following the intensive workshop at the Casa Do Povo, Sao Paulo, from April 23 – 30, during the following DAI weeks, To Make a Work will shift focus to the development of individual student practices. This relates to the central aim of this course, which is to develop and complete a work during the year as part of a group process. One to one sessions will take place with Yael Davids and Grant Watson and the students on both the Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd.
Rather than the usual seminar on Wednesdays 22nd students not involved in one to one tutorials will take part in an extending film screening and discussions (outlined below) relating to themes that have emerged during the seminars to date.
1. James Baldwin an Interview with Mavis Nicholson, 20 minutes
2. Stuart Hall Lecture - Race, the Floating Signifier, 70 minutes
3. Otolith Group
The Otolith Group’s new video essay People to be Resembling can be described as a five sided portrait of the methodologies of the post-free jazz, pre-world music trio Codona, founded by multi-instrumentalists Collin Walcott, Don Cherry, and Nana Vasconcelos in 1978. Consisting of stills by renowned photographers Roberto Masotti and Isio Saba, newly filmed and archival footage and original music performed by musician Charles Hayward, People to be Resembling reimagines the poetics of permutation that informed the sonic geography of the first Codona album recorded with ECM in September 1978. People to be Resembling returns to 1978 in order to redream the recording process at Tonstudio Bauer as a meditation upon the relations between visual anthropology, anti-colonial choreography, nuclear annihilation and Weltmusik. In its arrangement of positive and negative with colour and black and white and still and moving imagery, The Otolith Group's People to be Resembling stages an experiment in mnemonic cohabitation inspired by the visionary music of Codona.
4. Wendelien van oldenborgh, Maurits Script 2006 , 68 minutes
(Eight participants read and discuss fragments from, among other things, the letters of Johan Maurits van Nassau, governor of a Dutch colony in northeast Brazil between 1637 and 1644.
The entire film is recorded live in the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.
Johan Maurits has a reputation of being an enlightened ruler, who commissioned scientists and artists to study the new colonies, including the painter Albert Eckhout, whose life-size ethnographic portraits of the local population have become well known.
The story of the 17th century Dutch colony is about a community made up of different groups with conflicting interests who have to live together. The script, composed of reports from the Dutch West India Company, chronicles of a Portuguese friar and letters from Johan Maurits forms a complex image of a society full of paradoxes and conflicts.
The work also charts the legacy of the colonial history. In the discussions that this provokes in the film between participants and the public, the topicality of this rather neglected period in Dutch history comes to the surface.
Maurits Script is a part of A Certain Brazilianness. In this series of works, the roles of the participants are continually changing (director, actor, personage, audience) as a reference to a revision of fixed social positions and patrons.)
5. Dora Gracia, The Joycean Society, 53 min.
(Not without irony nor bravado, James Joyce had foreseen it: his Finnegans Wake was to fuel endless comments for centuries. Dora Garcia takes us to a literary hotspot, one of the famous ’reading circles’. Familiar with mazy interpretation games (like in her previous films, screened in this Festival), she chooses a single, simple setting: a small room filled with books and posters of the literary master, where amateurs fascinated by the Irish novelist’s great work meet on a regular basis to go through his text with a fine-tooth comb, analysing it patiently, word after word, page after page. They are at once dedicated and learned, but none of them is a professional expert: you’d think you were attending an informal religious meeting about some sacred book, given the seriousness and scrupulous method that prevail here. Devout as it may look, the initiative is nonetheless secular. And joyous. And playful. It is common knowledge that Joyce’s text has the particularity to have it all programmed: its illegibility and its never-ending translation, its madness and its overruling, its forbidden transparency and its renewed call to the Other. As if they were suffering from a secret and adulated disease, the readers are enthralled by the strangeness of such a common practice: talking.
Seminar with Yael Davids and Thijs Witty
The January session of ‘To Make a Work’ will be led by course tutor Yael Davids with guests – the artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh and Brazilian psychologist Wanderley Moreira dos Santos. Students will continue with a reading of Suely Rolnik’s book ‘Micro Politics in Brazil’ and develop ideas towards the seminar in Sao Paulo.
In addition to reading this text, the Wednesday morning session will include a presentation by Wendelien on her practice as it relates to Brazil and the work of Rolnik and Wanderley who studied with Rolnik at PUCE in the Nucleo of Subjectivity in Sao Paulo will expand on the configuration of macro and micro politics relating to the experience of black people in Brazil. This will develop on his thesis concerning race relations in terms of subcultural forms such as break dance. The afternoon will include selected student presentations of their work to the whole group.
Thursday will be dedicated to face –to-face meetings with Yael, Wendelien and Wanderley, which will give students the opportunity to discuss the development of their individual practices in depth.
The second seminar of 'To Make a Work' on Wednesday December 10 will be lead by core tutors Yael Davids and Grant Watson.
It will begin with a reading of 'Molecular Revolutions in Brazil' by Felix Guattari and Suely Rolnik, which we intend to follow through the year culminating in a workshop in Brazil considering how this book can be updated in relation to contemporary micro-politics.
We will focus on the forward and first two chapters of the book, which address Rolnik's general remarks about the circumstances surrounding its writing and publication in the early/mid 1980s, and Guattari's ideas about the production of subjectivity in the context of what he terms Integrated World Capitalism, in relation to art and culture.
This will be followed by a presentation from Yael Davids on her practice and initial ideas about a performance developed by the group during the year, a presentation by Grant Watson's on 'How We Behave' a project with 'If I Cant Dance' and individual presentations by students, who have been asked to lead a discussion concerning their practice or ideas emerging from the course and the readings.
Day two will include discussion of individual student's work, in smaller groups led by Yael Davids and Grant Watson. As ever students are asked to bring in materials rather than relying exclusively on laptop presentations.
The first seminar of To Make a Work, will be led by Grant Watson and Thijs Witty. It will introduce the course to the group and sketch out what we will be doing together during the year, starting with readings, which can help establish certain themes that we intend to explore.
During the morning session we will address two texts Anti Oedipus by Deleuze and Guattari and Agua Viva by Clarice Lispector.
First we will ask what kind of intervention and creative revolution Anti-Oedipus was when it came out in 1972. Gilles Deleuze had never really bothered with Marxism and psychoanalysis before, which makes the book collaboration all the more remarkable: here came a version of history no longer modelled on means or ends, but one of endless and exciting insanity, drawn out as a stuttering doodle.
The second part will address Clarice Lispector's immense influence on feminism, the craft of writing, and micro-politics at large. We will try and read Lispector's Agua Viva back into Deleuze and Guattari, as if by some referential mistake or false inversion. As you shall see, Lispector not only created a novel language, she also revised most known concepts of cause and change - in fact, her revolutions are nothing like the ones you think you know or want.
The afternoon will be an opportunity for each student to present themselves to the group and outline their main interests and how they understand their practice as artists. It will also be an chance for students to elaborate on the motivation letters that they presented in relation to the course and discuss their ideas and expectations.
Day two will include discussion of individual student's works, in smaller groups led by Grant Watson and Thijs Witty. As much as possible please bring in actual materials rather than relying on laptop presentations.