LEAVING WARSAW – DISTURBANCES IN AN OTHER BACKYARD

I left this third and last residency of Expeditions with some mixed thoughts and feelings.

I left with the impression of having touched a little more closely how the explorers are going further, deeply doubting and finding new opportunities day by day ; how the rhythm of the residency is changing, how every day brings its new possibilities mixed with fears ;

I left feeling that I get to know each explorer better and better, their way of working, their purposes, their strategies, what their propositions carry ;

I left after having dealt with my colleagues of coordination the main issues to come, after having shared and confronted with them some invisible but strong directions and visions of the project ;

I left because the background of the project needs me also at the back.

 

Expeditions is similarly a strong professionnal experiment on the coordination side. This layer of the project shares some types of disturbances with the other disciplines mixed and involved here :

 1/ Disturbance of the “professionnal identity” (in echo to some of Zofia’s questionnings in Maurepas).

This experience of Expeditions is interesting and disturbing to me by the way the presence of coordination has its own part in the middle of everything. I am not used to share this “kitchen background” with the artists, pedagogues and reseachers involved. Because usually it is what stays invisible. It is what allows the actions to be carried, the experiments to be concretized. It is not the chore but an initial condition “sine qua none”. It is the skeleton but not the flesh.

On one hand, the coordinator needs to keep a certain degree of control on things, to be able to manage the structure in which actions and activites are implemented. On the other hand, the coordinator needs also to be adaptable and creative, as the other explorers. This brings a constant negociation between the “course” (le cap) and the “frame” (le cadre) of the project (cf Romain’s post Life on board / La vie à bord).

2/ Disturbance of the context of work : how to work and live in an immersive residency (especially in your own city).

To work in your city, in your daily conditions, managing at the same time to work the closest to the conditions of the residency, brings a totallly different way of working. To me Maurepas was a hard experience on this aspect. I understood what Natalia from Casal l’Amic said to me in Tarragone : I work the double. Because it is impossible to get rid of the common life and constraints, both professional and personal.

In Warsaw, for the first time I managed to deal with more serenity with it. Being far from the “best” conditions of working (solitude allowing concentration) and dealing with it ! Before Expeditions, my experience of coordination looked like this : you spend 90% of your time in the office (including meetings indoor and outdoor) and you get only incursions on the field (the field understood quickly as the artistic actions such as a residency). For sure, the field and sharing the chore of the actions feeds you, gives all its sense to your work. In Expeditions, this “extra-time” spent on the field is like a precious gift which was not so easy to accept and touch from the very beginning.

 

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