At the start of the workshop, the group assembled into a single-file line, entered the museum, and began a slow paced, silent walk around the galleries. The rustling of paper capes and processional performance walk created a unique atmosphere within the museum space. Passersby and museum guards stared curious, amused, and maybe slightly unsettled at this unconventional scene.
Through performative introductory and concluding walks, we collectively explored relationships between the museum and self. The paper ‘capes,’ inspired by the artist Hélio Oiticica and his works Parangolés (ca.1965-1970) and Dada artist Hugo Ball’s lobster costume (1916), were designed to encourage participants to be aware of their body as they moved about the space. Between the walks, participants worked from a set of scores to explore three aspects of the self - memory, intervention, and collectivity - in dialogue with art and the museum.
After the exploration, some participants responded with comments about how the scores such as lying down in front of an artwork and the cape’s tendency to restrict movement changed the way they thought about their bodies in museums. Another commented that the weather-like sounds generated by our capes changed the museum environment. Our youngest participant, in a rave review stated, “It was actually worth my time.”
Thank you to all participants and to the Krannert Art Museum for accepting our invitation to engage with art spaces through looking -- not only at art, but also ourselves.
Authors and Event Organizers: Catalina Hernández Cabal, Ahu Yolaç, and Jody Stokes-Casey, art education PhD students
February 27, 2020