Exchange between art students in NRW & Prague
BLÍZKOST I VZDÁLENOS
PROXIMITY AND DISTANCE
Prague 29.10.-4.11.2018 (first part)
Bochum 20.11.-26.11.2018 (second part)
What artists and cultural workers lack most on their professional path is the opportunity and the time to find artistic freedom for dialogue and for the production of art without pressure. Artists and cultural workers, especially those at the beginning of their careers, are forced to work in a goal-oriented way in order to establish their work on the market. In doing so the contact to institutions, galleries and art festivals within the region they are based in, is what is mainly initiated and fostered. Only rarely the view is opened up to aesthetics and ways of production outside the respective country. It is however the international exchange which inspires the individual artistic work and professionalizes the approach to topics and aesthetics. Students at the end of their studies and artists at the beginning of their professional careers are increasingly asking themselves what conditions artists from other countries are exposed to, what the funding and production structures look like, what aesthetic questions are asked, and what topics are in focus.
In 2018, Scenic Research at Ruhr-Universität Bochum initiated an exchange with the Czech Republic, focusing on the dance and theater scene in Prague. The program was aimed at artists from the field of dance and theater as well as young artists from the Czech Republic who were at the beginning of their professional careers. The reason for the exchange with artists from the Czech Republic was the appealing Czech art form of dance and theater, which moves between the focal points of performance, physical theater and artistry. The involvement with artists who’s work strongly focused on the body is promising and a fruitful dialogue can be anticipated. On a topical level an increasing orientation towards political questions could be perceived. Collectives working in the fields of theatre and dance increasingly grappled with the Czech sense of national identity as well as with the question of the future of Europe. Focusing on “Proximity and Distance,” the exchange program sought to stimulate critical and political dialogue among participants across national borders.
What separates us? What keeps us together? How do young artists in Germany and the Czech Republic work, live and create? What are the production conditions like in our neighboring country? How do we communicate and can we dialogue with each other through our art? Together with the collective Performalita from Prague, the study program Szenische Forschung at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Cheers for Fears initiated a German-Czech artist exchange for the first time in fall 2018. Five artists living in the Czech Republic shared time, muse and ideas with five artists living in Germany and worked together on the themes of “proximity” (Prague) and “distance” (Bochum). The exchange project ended with a public presentation on Saturday, 24.11.2018. All participants presented their individual and collective projects at Tor5.
The project was supported by the German-Czech Future Fund, the German Embassy in Prague, the Cheers for Fears initiative and the master’s program “Scenic Research” at the Institute of Theater Studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum.