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Tomorrow's Archives:Collage Thinking, Collage Doing with Maternal Fantasies

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This workshop proposes a broader sense of translation between thinking/discourse and practice/performative visibility.

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Based on creative methods used by the art collective Maternal Fantasies the workshop proposes a broader sense of translation between thinking/discourse and practice/performative visibility. Using as a reference and starting point representative texts in the field of art focusing on domesticity and isolation as subjects, the participants will be asked to "digest" the provided materials in connection to their own recent experiences. Building on the personal experiences and individual voices expressed, the second part of the workshop addresses the notion of collage in terms of a collective action. Rotational authorship is explored as a way to reverberate, line up and layer written content. In turn, performative exercises - within online video conference and screen sharing possibilities - allow rendering the processed discourse in an audiovisual form of collage, bestowing a fantastical visibility on it.

Maternal Fantasies is an evolving and interdisciplinary group of international artists and cultural producers based in Berlin, Germany. We share our research on motherhood, care work and its representation in the arts to reflect through autobiographic material within our group. We seek to shape the discourse of motherhood through our artistic working process and to enhance the visibility of contemporary feminist positions addressing motherhood(s) in the arts. Working since 2018 on collaborative projects, we have developed our own repertoire of methods - using performative games, writing sessions, rotational authorship/direction/hosting of events, coming up with various sets of rules for our different projects in photography, performance, installations, workshops and film/video.

Isabell Spengler (Berlin) is an artist working in the field of Expanded Cinema. Her films are elaborate audio-visual compositions, branching out and connecting various forms of experimental and queer film and performance practice. Since 2006 Isabell Spengler has created a series of conceptual films and installations, analyzing and mediating the construction of imaginary worlds in dialogues with choreographers, musicians, colleagues, friends and her parents. She was a funding member of the performance group Ex Machinis, the film collective HMI, and is currently part of the feminist art collective Maternal Fantasies. Her award winning works have been presented worldwide at festivals and exhibitions since 1998, including solo exhibitions in Berlin, Toronto, Los Angeles (2017) and Tel Aviv. She has been teaching at various art colleges and universities in Germany and North-America, most notably at the Berlin University of the Arts, where she taught experimental film from 2004 to 2014 as a lecturer and a guest professor. From 1998 to 2004 she lived in Los Angeles, where she completed her studies with an MFA in Film/Video from CalArts.

Maicyra Leão e Silva is Professor at Theater Department of Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil currently on a sabbatical in Berlin. She holds a PhD in Performing Arts and a Masters in Contemporary Art, working interdisciplinary between theater, performance art and photography. Her practice-based research explores performance art in public spaces and collaborative methodologies in convivial situations. Within her collective and solo works, she has led socially engaged projects, as well as experimental artistic configurations, which have been awarded four grants by the Brazilian National Arts Foundation, and were performed along Europe and Latin America. As a scholar, she published a number of articles in academic journals, especially in Brazilian context. She recently completed a postdoctoral project at Freie Universität Berlin on motherhood and art.

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The Tomorrow’s Archives workshop series was conceived collectively in an ad hoc Southland Institute course — “what is programming?”— formed in the wake of Covid-19, and in response to an invitation to contribute programming to the Recent Pasts exhibition.

Recent Pasts is organized by Aurora Tang, independent curator in collaboration with Love’s Remedies (ArtCenter DTLA Residency Project 2020), the Southland Institute, and ArtCenter DTLA. Recent Pasts is supported in part by ArtCenter’s Exhibitions and the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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