Mixed Media | Dynamic Lab
The Artists insights
There are so many things I can say about my experience participating in Media Mix - Dynamic Lab; it influenced both my work and myself in various ways and I am certain it will continue to have impact on my work processes in ways I am yet to be aware of. It was a wonderful, very intense, sometimes exhausting and truly enriching experience which allowed me to focus on my work, develop and understand it in manners I am unable to when I’m alone in my studio. Working with other artists makes ideas reverberate in completely different directions and frequencies.
When I think about the way Sahar, Efrat and I planned this very short and ambitious multi-faceted event it now seems so naïve to me- did we really expect to move our studios, work on new pieces, combined pieces, greet random visitors with their creative whims and install a dynamic exhibition in only four days? If I were to do it again, I would take more time, bring less pieces from my studio- choosing only abstract and repetitive ones, I would limit visiting hours and designate a table for visitors to create their own work, I would refine the theme of the project, and I would choose a more structured way to work with Efrat.
Despite all this, I think our experiment was a huge success- I couldn’t believe the reactions we got. I didn’t think people would understand the project, let alone find it interesting. I thought it would be too artsy, too vague for others - I was very pleasantly surprised and am very proud of the three of us.
I hope and believe there will be more dynamic labs in the future.
I would like to thank Sahar Azimi for his generosity, openness, creativity, overwhelming enthusiasm and his faith in two artists that he hardly knew before then.
Thank you Efrat Eyal for participating in this crazy project, for your talent, brains, sense of humor and creativity which made this artistic brainstorm so worthwhile.
The four days of Media Mix - Dynamic Lab were a unique experience for me. I didn't know what I was getting into when I agreed to Sharon's invitation to join her and work together in Sahar Azimi's BeAhava gallery. I did not know Sahar and I did not know the place. I could tell Sharon had a vision of what could be done there, but I was quite in the dark. For me it was like jumping into the unknown.
Over the years I developed my methods of thinking and creating which largely depend on the space and content of my studio. I know I can find there almost everything I need in order to express myself. I found it challenging to decide what to take from my studio so as to make this "something" we agreed not to define in advance nor to grant any specific purpose to. It felt as if by choosing, I was restricting myself in a way, narrowing my options.
What I found is that I don't need much, and that it doesn't really matter what we have in the beginning in terms of where we can go. In a way, this experience freed me a little from my dependency of the material I commonly use -clay, and from the material-based thinking I frequently utilize.
Another big issue for me was exposing of the creation process- in two aspects. It is a very intimate and non-defined process that I am used to do by myself. A state of mind that moves between the sub-conscious and the conscious. In one aspect, Sharon and I needed to find a way to blend our two separate processes to one that is more than the sum of its parts. In order to establish this more than 4 days are needed, so I guess this experience was more of a primary calibration and the mutual process will build itself over time.
The other aspect is working and communicating with the gallery visitors. I think Sharon will agree that it is impossible to do both well at the same time. Although in order to maintain as much creative freedom as possible, we didn’t want to call this experience an exhibition, the fact that there were people coming and looking did put boundaries that we couldn’t ignore.
Sahar presence was esential to make this work smoothly and pleasantly; on one hand providing a much-needed flexible and adjusted environment, and on the other hand, his enthusiasm and curiosity to boost creativity motivated us.
I think it will be interesting to see how this collaboration will develop in the future.
Curating and hosting this action of Sharon and Efrat was a great opportunity for me to put all I learned from coaching performance artists in test, exploring the same values on plastic artists. Its clear that the motivation of the last is not to perform their process and even opposite, used to work in solitude at their private studio’s I feel this invitation to share their space with another artist was already an act of performance, yet along the traffic of audiences visiting throughout these four days made them relate to every artistic decision in a more playful way than ever.
Observing the both it was evident that my invitation to use my space as a playground and create with no need to look at the result as a final definition of a full idea as they are used to, gave them an authentic channel to communicate with each other’s habits and disciplines. I could see how the goal of presenting an exhibition as a result at the end of the four days’ time “pushed” them into fast decisions, an action I recognize as an improvisation tool, they uncovered their interests and ideas in a less controlled way finding the next action in the last and manifesting the ideas more intuitively.
I could see the visitors enjoying the invitation to pip to the exposed process and even try to effect it or at least take part in the way it will be formed. Some people wanted to make sense by asking many questions while others asked to be part of creation by using the materials for their own tryouts with cement or ceramics. Using the different molds and materials both Sharon and Efrat invited the guests to play around and used all the results in their end result.
This dance of the two artists in an improvised duet became a group dance of art forms, materials, habits, ideas and conversation. I could see how all connects into a result just because time frame indicated an end to the action.
The week of presentation was also evolving thanks to the fact Sharon kept on changing and creating out of the same “agreement” she and Efrat made for coexisting in this open studio action.
I belive that if ever I will curate a similar dance I will ask the artists to share the studio for at least a full week if not two weeks, allowing them few hours a day of working behind closed doors before opening the doors for visitors. On top of all I would insist of offering a kind of workshop for audience as another way of exploring new tools and communicating the new language that was forming around the specific issues and differences.
I guess its safe to say we all felt this action was successful and has a real effect on both the artists, the audience and myself. Looking forward to see if they will keep nourishing this unique mesh up of ceramics and cement, of Sharon and Efrat.