Where’s the art work? The residency and its location is the work. The group is the work. The differencesbetween the group is the work. But the group is looking somewhere else altogether. And that somewhere else — certainly, not here — must be where art is really about to happen.
We would start, perhaps, by considering the Banffness of it all, looking for answers, and questions, in the background of the 1945 National Film Board production about The Banff School of Fine Arts,Holiday at School. Then we might wonder why Alberta became one of the few places in the world that successfully eradicated the Norwegian rat? And therefore consider the status of photography now, had not the Banff photography program gone missing for 10 years after a fire in 1979. This might lead us to the creation of a concert with Gnawa musicians. Or we could decide to transfer all decision-making for the group to a committee based in the city of Beppu, Japan.
Based on research and experimentation through play, improvisation, and the use of chance, this residency will explore the methodologies of ethnographic film maker Jean Rouch, that looking catalyses a particular reality. And, Grotowski’s notion that actors co-create the event of theatre with its spectators might provide some guidance. Moving between media we will, as a group, develop processes which question the role of vision in how we encounter each other and the social spaces beyond us. The carnivalesque, the everyday, magic, documentary, the surreal, the archive, ritual, reflexivity, and the pragmatic will help us out.
It’s a collaboration. Each participant contributing equally, sharing authorship. Whilst there’ll be plenty of opportunity for individual studio practice we’ll navigate this residency through field trips, hikes, meetings with “real” people, collaborative video projects, individual quests, a lot of “show and tell,” too much late night Googling, coincidences and misunderstandings, all tempered with the enjoyment of the potential to be found in getting radically lost.