A series of three workshops as one continuous three-week program, through three very different artistic practices. All working with ritual. We connected on and offline from our different homes, temporary residences or studios, based in various countries.

These workshops were: Decolonizing Rituals with Fazle Shairmahomed, The Good Stuff Doesn’t Sit Still with Maureen de Jong | ‘t kleinkookbedrijf, Sense of Place with Arita Baaijens The online sessions took place on three consecutive Thursdays in November 2020 and ran for about 2 hours. In the week before each session, participants were introduced to the artist and their practice per daily e-mails, which included material for reflection, daily ‘tasks’, incentives and visual inspiration. Everyone was invited to keep a log of each week; as a memory, a trace or a map of their journey through the practice.  

With this preparatory offline engagement and commitment by everybody who took part, Dancing on the Edge was seeking to create an embodied experience, where we could be ‘present’ in a way that online workshops don’t usually achieve. All three artists invited us to approach their practice in a very personal, self-reflective way. To draw a line of connection through our past, our bodies, how we relate to our immediate surroundings; with attention for inner rootedness, nourishment, ways of being together. The logs provide beautiful traces of all of this, both in image and word. The visual reflection is compiled by designer Corine Datema. 

The Good Stuff Doesn’t Sit Still – Maureen de Jong | ’t kleinkookbedrijf

Fermentation, an age old, cross-cultural practice, harnesses time as a tool for transformation.  Focusing on the hands, and the knowledge and secrets that lie in them, and using movement, attention and time as our tools, this workshop guided us through the making of kimchi. A meditation on food, we started by choosing the ingredients with intention. 

‘An act as quotidian and practical as making your own sauerkraut or kimchi represents nothing less than a way of engaging with the world. 
Or rather, with several different worlds, each nested inside the other: the invisible world of fungi and bacteria; the community in which you live; and the industrial food system that is undermining the health of our bodies and the land. To ferment your own food is to lodge an eloquent protest-of the senses-against the homogenization of flavors and food experiences now rolling like a great, undifferentiated lawn across the globe. It is also a declaration of independence from an economy that would much prefer we were all passive consumers of its commodities, rather than creators of unique products expressive of ourselves and the places where we live…’

– Michael Pollan, in his foreword to The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz

Traces 

Bring all of your fingers together and apply, no more no less than a certain pressure, and disconnect and move the wrist in a small curve 

Stirring rapidly in one direction, either to the left or right, in an up-and-down circular motion

Thumb and finger come together while making a wave movement 

Stretch a little further till you feel tension in lower arm 
So, a back-and-forth movement, putting pressure on

Relax and raise hand (and lower part of arm)
Throw your hand forward
Keep your hand relaxed/loose while throwing 
Repeat

Move your hand clockwise 
Repeat till you are at twelve 

Make it fluent and fast 

Flat hand, backside up 

Move backward 

Move forward

*** 

My senses are the measurement
MY GRANDMA TEACHING ME HOW TO WORK WITH THE DOUGH. CIRCULAR MOVEMENTS, FEELING THE TEXTURE

I’ll call someone and ask them to listen to the sound of the stirring
MY MOTHER CUTTING AN APPLE WITH ROUTINE. THE MOVEMENT BECOMES SMOOTH, EFFORTLESS, GENTLE.  I REMEMBER WHEN I FIRST DID THE MOVEMENT LIKE HER 
The circular stirring motion is maybe the most important cooking motion of all

PARENTS TRYING TO TEACH ME  
I am constantly moving in circles

I AM OUTSIDE AND FEEL THE FRESH AIR IN MY NOSE.
THE LEAVES OF THE LETTUCE ARE IN MY WET HAND.
WHILE THROWING THE LETTUCE FORWARD,
I FEEL THE VIBRATION IN MY HAND.
I LOOK AT THE LITTLE DROPLETS FLYING AROUND. 

To see the traces of the first workshop, click here.
To see the traces of the third workshop, click here.

To read more about the full program, click here.

Credits

Artists – Fazle Shairmahomed, Maureen de Jong, Arita Baaijens
Curator – Natasja van ’t Westende
Creative Producer – Agnes Matthews
Designer Logs & Visual Reflection – Corine Datema
Marketing – Bora Sirin

Produced and initiated by Dancing on the Edge
With support of Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst

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