I was in Graz for the last week, with a group of artists from around Europe and the Balkan (See the text below the drawings, for who was all in, please). It was a really great experience, working at FORUM S’TADTPARK along Amir Idrizovic, Igor Hofbauer and the usual Tonto suspects, of course. We worked in a collective process, interacting on the basis of material in each others drawings and ideas.
Above are a few of the drawings I did while there, processing three steps of interaction with text and performance: 1) Students of the ANGEWANDTE UNIVERSITY worked up a pool of some pretty tasty bits of text and phrases in short form, which they organized and split up into eight sections. 2) The drawers then went and picked a basic tone from this heap for their part of the show and worked on transforming the text to drawing for around 12 hours. 3) On Sunday, the performance group ZWEITE LIGA FÜR KUNST UND KULTUR filtered the subcontext from the text samples and drawings we worked from. They distilled a basic tendency towards death, desolation and authority from the student texts and performed a interrogation of 500 Questions for over 4 hours, whilst we were sitting in the room drawing.
This was a intense way of interacting, since most drawers normally work alone, formulating their ideas in their workspace. Like this, the normal flow of ideas and process was lead in different directions. We heard the performed questions (“Do you consider this work?!”) while drawing and had to react rather quickly to pick up on them, without much of an editing process. The drawn material was then stuck to the eight centers on the wall, now many aspects richer. Everyone had to wander the large room, rearranging sheets of paper, cutting away a lot of the surrounding layers of collaged text and pictures and focusing on an overarching narration.
You can see the final version of the works interlocking freely on the walls, today, at Forum Stadtpark in Graz. Then the show will move to the NEXT Comicfestival in Linz, where you can see the result of our braincracking boiled down to eight large frames.