The organizers put a special emphasis on the SCHOOL OF PERFORMANCE, which continued to work on the concept of thematic workshops. The SCHOOL has become a holistic cycle of workshops during the last ten years. It focuses on the individuality of each participant and it is an opportunity to work in a team, to try yourself in group activities and to create a common space that generates a definitive context for the behavior of all participants. This year the SCHOOL finally covered not only different subjects but techniques. Among the invited teachers were Janusz Baldyga (Poland) with the program «STATIC PERFOMANCE – DYNAMICS OF MOTIONLESS», Martine Viale (France) with the «LABORATORY OF THE BODY» and Bartolomé Ferrando (Spain) with a cycle of practical lectures «IN THE SOUND WORK».
Janusz Baldyga’s students investigated the state of the immobility as a starting point, as a central issue that precedes to the moment of a movement. Martine Viale’s group was focused on the performer’s body, his interaction and work with a public space (the area in front of the «Theater of Dolls»), where the group members’ simultaneous presentation took place. The specifics of Bartolomé Ferrando’s work are «visual poetry» and «sound poetry». The students (some of them had worked with the teachers of the previous SCHOOL’s editions such as Janusz Baldyga, Sandra Johnston, and Alistair McLennon, etc.) received a completely new experience working with voice and sound, text and poetry in the performance.
The practice of the last year SCHOOL showed once again that it gives good results. Two creative associations exploring performance art in different areas of Lviv (a group called Zabih) and Kyiv (Live_Art_Lab_Kyiv: performative practices in the public space) were formed after Sandra Johnston and Alistair McLennan’s workshop in 2017.
The artists from Ukraine (Volodymyr Kaufman, Kostyantyn Zorkin, Natalya Lisova, Anton Saienko, Kostiantyn Smolyaninov), Poland (Janusz Baldyga, Marian Stepak), Norway (Sigmund Skard), France (Pascale Ciapp, Martine Viale), Israel (Lior Kariel, Galia Pavlichenko) and Spain (Bartolomé Ferrando) participated in the daily lecture and evening program of the festival. All of them have completely different creative background and different techniques of expression.
The first day of the festival was presented by Janusz Baldyga and Anton Saienko’s performances in the Dzyga gallery. They were filled with calm and tension, silence and a sound of the sprayed metal. These actions contrasted, although they were based on the notion of a gesture as a sign.
Natalya Lisova became the only whole organism with a room in which she performed. Thin wooden strips linked up her body with the ceiling, and the breath was mutually reinforced by the movement of these sticks – all this created a single organism, which, through the visual rhythms, became connected with the whole space and the public. Sigmund Skard offered a game with gloves called «Give me Five», which, through the embroidered extra elements (shells of nuts, small planks, pebbles, etc.), issued some strange sounds and feelings at the touch, that was very pleasing to the audience, among which were many young people. Lior Kariel uses an extremely diverse arsenal of tools including old clothes in her works. But this is not only for performance, she also sews something new from it. Once, Lior staged a defile and even a fashion show from her grandmother’s wardrobe. Marian Stepak works with clothes too, but he uses it in a completely different way, creating new independent objects that turn into a memory about a person, a sign of human life. Volodymyr Kaufman presented performance lecture with ladders, which became the subject of an hourly discussion and controversy: «Are the signs of the stairs talking about something more than the ladders themselves?», «There is no ladder abstracted from art» etc. Kostyantyn Zorkin charmed the audience with the magic of the wooden bird created by himself. Zorkin’s performances are his own form of expression, which exists beyond the categorization of this genre, and it is a special discovery of the artist.
Summing up, the festival Days of the Arts Performance in Lviv is constantly evolving, improving and can surprise each year. Special energy, special audience and extraordinary experience for each participant focus here. SCHOOL OF PERFORMANCE has gone now beyond the space of a simple workshop, and its stable periodicity suggests its significant influence on the performance art in Ukraine. The younger generation is already formed, these people are active, interesting and independent, the same time they are full of desire to learn something new. Therefore, we expect the appearance of new names among the participants of the festival, among the teachers and students of the SCHOOL in its following editions.