Logbuch #2 – Woche 4

THE CUBE: questioning performing and making

This week begun with a similar format to the previous week: we initially planned to follow a half-day structure led by each member of the group on the ideas emerged while brain-storming on the subject of the Body of a Diplomat. We soon realised though that we had already been exposed to many different subjects, which was incredibly precious and enriching, but that we now needed to spend more time on each topic presented and to approach each day as a single workshop for developing a single idea.

Kathrin started with a workshop focusing on surfaces, which came from her interest in looking at the architecture of the embassy, given that through the use of objects too we had already developed an interest on how to design the space. The structure created in the space could represent topics that we have been dealing with:
– the volume inside the cube, or the content (the material used in performance: movement, text, relations with other performers),
– the cube itself (the performing space, the dance floor or the performing arena), and
– the bigger square (the theatre that contains the relations between the performers, everything that is performed and the audience).

Joe took the new stage design as an input to create an improvisational structure, naming the space in his own way. From Kathrin’s and Joe’s suggestion Susanna offered a movement workshop around the themes of skin and touch that allowed each performer to explore a variety of movement qualities in response to touch. Andrew re-worked Joe’s improvisational structure with an interest in overlapping the maps created during a previous workshop on ‘Dream Mapping’ in week 3.

On Friday evening we invited Efrosini to participate in a performance in which she could give directions via Skype.…


Logbuch #2 – Woche 3

MAPS: Materialising the speechless Diplomat

After discussing the ways in which the methodology of a collective could function in relation to the topic of the Body of a Diplomat, we decided to look for new strategies in order to translate ideas into practice. This involved contextualising and de-contextualising the activities and relationships of the diplomat to their environment.

As artists working in different disciplines we devised a format that enabled us to exchange and develop knowledge. We organised the week so that each artist proposed a workshop. As a starting point of this series of workshops, we looked at Anna’s proposition: how do we transform ‘space’ into ‘place’?

Overall, this week gave us a chance to lay-out and connect the different threads of our workshops. Our focus on diplomacy has triggered new questions on how to formulate and express our ideas on diplomacy, but also on how to reflect through what we are doing the specific methodology that we are developing. We looked at each person’s proposition individually, but also in the way it could inform another’s proposition. In the end, we were faced once again with the question: How much information is in the room, and what is the value of such information? In other words, how much can we trust the way we exchange knowledge, and how much faith should we actually have in language? Or, once could say, in the word of a diplomat?…


Logbuch #2 – Woche 2


The week started with the arrival of Anna Hasche (interior architect, PL/DE) and Joe Wild (movement practitioner, GB). On their arrival we shared our individual experiences of the previous week through a mapping exercise. Each collaborator presented an interpretation of the previous week using different formats to communicate events as they experienced them.

For the rest of the week, each day started with our morning physical practice. This consisted of stretching, sitting meditation and Authentic Movement, each taking between 15 and 20 minutes. Then a ‘weather report’ allowed us to connect to the group and share sensations, states of mind and impressions from the previous exercise.

Group readings of Ranciere’s text continued and facilitated an understanding of how we wanted to approach working collaboratively. In particular, discussing topics such as translation and language in relation to our artistic practice provided a common ground for us to approach the subject of ‘the body of a diplomat’.

A key moment in the week consisted of a workshop led by Anna, where we investigated space and place and were introduced to the principles of Marc Auge on the concept of the ‘non-place’. This led us to an exploration of Oldenburg, as part of which we searched for a specific place that we then reconceived and presented as our personal place. We then invited the rest of the group to an experience inspired by that place either on location or transferring in to a new location (i.e. the theatre). From this we arrived at new questions about diplomacy as a spatial practice which would then inform many of the activities of the following week.…


Logbuch #2 – Woche 1


As if diplomats visiting from our different countries, Andrew Graham (performer, FR/GB), Efrosini Protopapa (choreographer and writer, GR/GB) and Susanna Recchia (dance artist and teacher, IT/GB), were picked up at Bremen airport by Kathrin Felzmann (applied theatre practitioner, DE), who had arrived a day before; the group then made its way to Oldenburg and enjoyed a welcoming meal, before settling into the theatre and getting ready to start the project.

The first couple of days included discussions around the long white table of Theater Wrede, amongst ourselves and with theatre director Winfried Wreke, which focused on the project’s aims and objectives, the methods we were going to use to work as a group and the practicalities of the residency.

Already from the start we were faced with questions, such as: How will we work collectively, building at the same time on the individuality of each person? Given the length of this project, how will we take the opportunity to try out new things and risk, but also how will we share our findings with others at the end of the residency? And, most importantly, how will we approach the topic of ‘the body of a diplomat’, as an interdisciplinary group of (bodies of) artists?

A main activity of the week included group readings of Jacques Ranciere’s ‘The Ignorant Schoolmaster’ (1981), which was followed by discussions on issues of knowledge and the principles of learning, will and laziness, attention and intelligence, language and communication.

Parallel to this, we started exploring some of the notions that are central to the theme of the project. For example: the figure of the diplomat, who is often described as polite and trustworthy, discrete, patient and loyal, a ‘fair-player’, a ‘gentleman’; diplomacy as an art, which often aims to conceal in 100 words something that you can say in 1 word; mapping and spatial representation, as potentially political acts of creating and negotiating borders.…