Are there practices for working with groups regardless of age, nationality, social status, or profession? We sought answers to this question together with the artist and teacher from Rome Jacopo Natoli during the workshop “Involving communities through artistic practices”.
For artists, cultural managers, working with communities is often central to their practices. The issue of involving people becomes even more relevant in times of pandemic when we are maximally separated from each other, but the need for the community remains. Realizing this, Jacopo Natoli and Jam Factory Art Center decided to hold a workshop on working with communities.
In September, Jacopo collaborated with the Art Center “Jam Factory” as part of the residence “I’m where I’m fine.” Soon the artist returned to Ukraine with an informal visit: for travel and his own research works. The Jam Factory Art Center team used this opportunity to hold an educational event.
For a two-day seminar in Lviv, applications were announced and 11 participants from the cultural sphere were selected: artists, curators, curators. The workshop consisted of a theoretical part, joint practices, and group work.
On the first day, participants discussed keywords of working with groups: Body, Time, Nature, Attitude, Form, Event. They also looked at examples of the artist’s work with groups and discussed what creates a community. The group came to the conclusion that all the unifying factors for groups simultaneously divide people: territory, identity, interests, economic and social conditions, goals. The practical part of the first day included artistic practices of “rhythm and image”, during which the participants performed simple tasks, communicating and getting to know each other.
On the second day, Jacopo shared resources and research to study the topic. Afterward, the participants were divided into groups and given the task to create a concept of their own association (name, goals, mission, program, visual materials). This practice helped to think about the purpose and process of creating any associations, to find creative ways to involve people in solving common needs.
The workshop answered 2 main questions: How do artists work with communities? And how to improve our skills in forming a community as a single organism? Participants sought ways to co-create through artistic practices. During the active discussion, everyone agreed that through “rhythm and image” it is possible to establish the first connections with the community for further cooperation and that the most important step is to create conditions for free expression and lack of judgment.
The Video recording will be available soon.
The workshop is part of the MagiC Carpets project which is co-financed by the European Union program Creative Europe.