Överenskomna minuter

Workshop at Malongen: NKF Nordic Guest Studio initiated by Ulrika Lublin.

Participating artists: Catalina Aguilera, Lisa Trogen Devgun, Jamila Drott, Susanna Jablonski, Marja Knape, Malena Norlin, Helena Wallberg

Överenskomna minuter (Agreed Minutes)

Agreed Minutes was a three-day workshop with a fourth-day open house in NKF’s guest studio Malongen. An invitation was sent out to a group of artists who all work with sculpture and text in different ways. As a starting point there was a long table at Malongen, where space was made for conversations and objects to take shape. As a group, we had never collaborated before, but were linked by different interrelationships and acquaintances. The materials consisted of 50 kilos of clay and some reading – Marcia Cavalcante’s Lovtal till intet, Inger Christensen’s Det, and Jonna Bornemark’s Det omätbaras renässans. The texts have in common that they investigate how something wordless or not-yet interacts with what we think we know or try to understand. During the days we alternated between reading aloud and quiet, writing, sculpting the clay.

Each day, the constellation of participants changed slightly and made our conversations overlap, reminisce and repeat in a necessary way. The clay helped us think between the readings and the readings framed the clay objects. We slowly collectively approached a core of a text that wants to reinterpret the hermeneutic concept, where self alienation and openness to the other creates a space where meaning can arise, followed by half an hour of clay sculpting in silence.

A hermeneutic model of how understanding starts from preunderstanding, and is constantly moving in new directions based on this preunderstanding’s relation to what it now understands, is often drawn as a spiral. The spiral can be horizontal or vertical and the important thing is how one must constantly reorient oneself in new directions. With the activities and working methods we used in the workshop, I find that the spiral can be an interesting parable for how our understanding as a group oriented itself during the days. One can also say that we conducted a kind of call and response between us as individuals-group and in the relation between interpretation-reinterpretation. Call and response is a style concept in music where a leading, lone voice (person or instrument) (in our case alternately solo and choir) performs a melodic or rhythmic figure (call), whereupon a response (response) is given by other voices. The answer may be a mere repetition of the exclamation, see below. The other parts can be the entire orchestra, choir or audience depending on context. The conductor then performs a new figure and the rest of the ensemble answers (or repeats) it. So it continues with new call and associated response.

The workshop at Malongen originated in an interest in where and how artistic research exists outside institutions. What rooms are available for us to go beyond our daily practice, where the focus is process and not outcome?