I enjoyed leading a workshop exploring art through movement at an event in Concord, NH yesterday exploring the possibilities for collaboration and interdisciplinary connections in a project called Picturing America. This event was sponsored by the above organization and it funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which the intention of helping students and citizens "gain a deeper appreciation of our country's history and character through the study and understanding of its art."
Check out the project here.
I enjoyed spending time with the following images:
Looking Down at Yosemite Valley, California, 1865
American Landscape, 1930
Frank Lloyd Wright
Cityscape 1, 1963
Brooklyn Bridge, 1919-1920
... before leading this eclectic group of teachers, artists, historians, academics, and humanists in the following activity...
Main Activity: Time and Space Tableaux
Break into groups and share images - each group receives one image to focus their work, movement, and conversation on. Begin by asking participants to create a tableaux of some part of their piece of art using their bodies. They can attempt to represent a piece of the image or the whole image. Encourage group members to take turns viewing the tableaux from the outside to get a better idea of what their statues may look like to observers.
The second tableaux will focus on an artist’s earlier version of this image. What happened before the image we see now? Were the lines simpler, the space more open? Did the image start small and become bigger? Did the artist focus on one piece that developed into the image we see now? Did the image start as something completely different?
The third tableaux will focus on reinventing the form. What theme/element of this picture has your group focused the most on? How lines connect? The context of the image or the space the image exists within? Change it. Make it something different. Show us something new.
If time, participants can find ways to move through tableaux to tableaux. If not, each group will share in a sequence of their choice, their 3 tableaux. Allow for questions, comments, conversation after each group or after all groups have shared depending on time constraints.
Debrief: What, if any, nuances to these works of art did you have through playing with them kinesthetically? What did you learn about movement exploring it through the lens of art? What were the major themes that came up for you during these activities?