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After School – Collective Strategies

Overview        Talks        Workshops        Open Call        Group Exhibition


18 people will be selected through an open call to participate in the workshops and be part of the public group presentation in London this autumn. In three groups of six, they will be working with one of Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Hal Silver and Hemera Collective over three sessions. These three workshop groups will run in parallel to develop their output over the afternoons of 18 May, 8 June and 15 June 2019, with the talks being on the mornings of the same days. Synopses of the workshop groups are below. Click here to apply to the open call.

1. Alejandra Carles-Tolra – An Uncertain Present

What are the identities that define our communities and our cities? Are these losing or gaining strength at a time of change? In this era of uncertainty and tension, our identities and sense of belonging might be at risk of dissolving and becoming part of a past that once defined us and the cities we lived in. This workshop will reflect on what it means to belong in today’s society and how identities are shaped and defined by our surroundings. Participants who are interested in exploring these themes through a collaborative approach are invited to apply.

In this hands-on workshop participants will be expected to collaborate and experiment, do research and create new work. Together, we will look at different examples of artists reflecting on these themes of identity and representation, engage in collaborative exercises, discuss the power dynamics between photographer and sitter, and develop skills to navigate long-term projects. Along with the photographic material produced during the program, participants are encouraged to experiment with other mediums too (i.e. sound, installation, text, video, etc.).

The work produced during the program will be presented as part of a final exhibition in the Fall. Participants are expected to make collaborative work during and after the workshop sessions.

More specific instructions will follow once participants have been selected.

Thomas In The Woods, from Fall In series,
Alejandra Carles-Tolra
Above two from Where We Belong series,
Alejandra Carles-Tolra

2. Hal Silver – Calling on the Dead

Hal Silver invites participants to three workshop sessions exploring various strategies for developing a collaborative practice. Hal Silver is interested in how collaborative process can breakdown the habits of the individual practice and open up a freedom to experiment.

Drawing heavily on LARP (live action role play) and the act of mythologising, workshops will create experiential events exploring group cohesion, collective identity, and the role of the individual to the group in a playful environment. In the first session we will seek contact with the practices, ideas and ghosts of dead artists through improvisation and creative storytelling, drawing meaning from a fictionalised past into a contested present in an on-going attempt to answer our defining question: who/where/what is Hal?

The workshops will be experimental in nature and the focus of each session will be on collective forms of making, improvisation and group dynamics. This could take the form of games, role-play, unskilled mask and costume making, photography, video and sound recording. These process-led activities can be gathered into a final exhibition display, the form of which will be established throughout the workshop sessions.

Hal Silver Speaks, Live performance at Aid & Abet, Cambridge
Night & Day, The Photographers Gallery, London

3. Hemera Collective – Nascent States  

The workshops will offer a series of set ups to explore collective relationships, or nascent states, where the group may correspond with the work they are making, or discuss the ethos of working together. Activities range in generative modes, for example, on considering the politics of listening as a foundation to open up spaces for understanding, or recognising ingrained patterns of production in order to reimagine them. The workshops offer an ecology of curatorial methodologies and practical tools for actively working together to produce new projects – and equally, propose potential ways to dismantle them.

Pio Abad, Resolution is not the point., Photo 50 at London Art Fair, 2018

Secret Agent, Guest Projects, 2016

Secret Agent, Finnish Museum of Photography, 2015