DILUTION IN CURAÇAO

mariekeAndDomenico-11Domenico Mangano and Marieke van Rooy are currently doing a residency at IBB (Instituto Buena Bista). They are working on the last film from their three part movie series about dilution. Dilution, meaning breaking the borders between a psychiatric clinic and the rest of the community. The project involves filming, letter writing, and a performance with clay flutes made by the students from IBB and the clients from ‘Klinika Capriles’ (a mental and health clinic).

During the interview we did not talk a lot about the project, because they have explained it several times already in detail. You can also find information about the project on the IBB website. The interview was more of a conversation about what lead up to them being here, and their experience on the island. Domenico explained how the trilogy was not planned out from the beginning. During the interview, he said; “When I made the first one my mindset [sic] was; Ok only one”. It was after Marieke found an archive about ‘Den Dolder’, while they were filming in ‘De Wissel, Friesland’, that they decided to go there. Then again, while in Den Dolder, a connection was found with Curaçao. Marieke explained how it was interesting for them to go to the Netherlands Antilles to see how they structure their psychiatric clinics, so you can get a good comparison with the Netherlands. During the interview, she said; “We were also curious to see how the Netherlands does things outside”.

mariekeAndDomenico-12From this we segued into discussing how they have been experiencing the island. Domenico told me how he likes Curaçao, because it reminds him of Palermo (where he grew up). He said; “It’s hot, people are very funny and they scream a lot like crazy, and beautiful beaches. The plants, the cactus they are the same, they are always the same so for me its like a specular”. He said that it is very tempting for him to shoot at other places around the island, but it is important for him to keep the focus on the clinic. Although he also said; “Maybe I will try, at night, to shoot ‘Isla’ (an oil refinery), because you can see it from the Klinika. I like to see it at night because it looks like a futuristic vision, with the lights. You don’t understand that it’s Curaçao, if you saw it from the Klinika. Curaçao is famous for nice beaches and other nice things but [not an oil refinery]”, but at this point he is not sure what will be in the final video. He said that it is sometimes difficult to make an art project with pictures. You have to make sure you do not become stereotypical or too cliché. For him his videos are like paintings, there are a lot of long scenes and the passing is a bit slower. This is because for him it is about observing, and with this last film they said it is proven to be a bit more difficult. They want to capture the real essence of the place, but they do not want to shoot similar scenes to the previous films. Although, unlike the previous projects there is more engagement with the clients from the clinic. Marieke noted that; “In this one, the last one, we are really making more connections. We are now trying, ourself, to establish a connection’.

mariekeAndDomenico-10Lastly something that really caught Marieke’s attention is the diversity on the island, the mixture of different cultures and languages. During our conversation she mentioned how she finds Curaçao very cosmopolitan, she said; “Much more than Amsterdam. It’s of course not true, because Amsterdam is of course much more cosmopolitan. Amsterdam has all subgroups, so everybody stays in their subgroup, and it is very difficult to make connections with the Moroccans, the Suriname’s, the [people from] Curaçao. Everybody has the possibility to stay in his own group, and in the end you do that. I always want to get out but it is not easy. Here because there are so few people, I meet everybody. I meet the Chinese from the shop, I meet the people from Colombia that sells me empanadas. In one day I switch from Dutch to Spanish”.

The opening for this project will be on the 21st of April starting at 17:30. They will not be showing the final film yet at this opening, but there will be an exhibition of the letters and drawings made by the students of IBB. There will also be a collaborative performance with Domenico and Marieke, the clients from the clinic, and the students from IBB.

Karel Leusink’s Experiences at IBB

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What am I, as a trainee, experiencing at the IBB in Curacao?

I see the Instituto Buena Bista as a very unique place on the island of Curaçao.

This preparatory training in art is much wider than the name suggests.

Situated on the grounds of the psychiatric clinic Capriles, the initiators David Bade and his close friend Tirzo Martha, have gathered a good staff around them together with whom they’ll celebrate their 10th anniversary this year. I see this as a great achievement. Just to think that this came into existence and will remain here thanks to the hard work of this group of people. Besides the training and guidance towards the students, everyone is also responsible for his or her own practice as artists. Art must go on.

But what more happens here at this art training place?

With patience and respect the students get a lot of art education, perseverance, development of how to take responsibilities, presentation of their work and research that they have to do in Dutch and English. Reflective studies of their own projects in order to look more critically at their own work. Actually they get a lot of education in order to continue well in life. All of this separate still from whether you will earn your living in the arts.

Here the students are taught to be independent, to collaborate and to work towards a goal.

There is a very nice and positive work environment. It’s a pleasure to be here.

P_20160304_133027P_20160304_115815P_20160304_114217At the moment we are preparing a short film, directed by Damian Marcano, a film director from Trinidad. A “tribal story” where the students make all the props and costumes, but they’ll also be the actors. The film is set in a stunning location on the north coast of the island.

Everyone is excited to work in order to make the film a success.

Damian intends to submit the film for a film festival. So it’s quite serious.

If you see what is developed or made here with relatively few people, then I must say that this people deserves a lot of admiration.

For myself this is the opportunity to develop myself and to reflect on what is happening here.

For me this is a special experience from which I gain a lot.

I feel in myself the energy to express myself through my work. There is a positive interaction here at the IBB.

When I see how much energy is put into the IBB and the developing of plans for the 10th anniversary celebration, the exhibition and summer class of 3 months this year at Kunsthal Rotterdam and how hard everyone works for the existence of IBB here in Curacao gives me a lot of admiration. It’s hard to believe how much is being done here and with such an enthusiasm.

“Lucky me,” that I’m here!

Karel Leusink.

Reflective essay on your work

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Art is my passion and at first I wanted to become ‘a great artist.’ That was my wish when I was 10 years old, when I saw a beautiful painting of a ballerina. Our assignment for today was to draw something about Christmas break. Each student got a different word, using the definition of the word to combine it with your work. The point was to try something different than we have done before. “Oeuvre”, is the body of work of the artist or an author, or simply a work of art. I was very happy to get this term because it is the kind of word to which anyone can relate too. I decided to use a big black sharpie to make the edges of the line appear rougher, since I usually love to draw with thin and fine lines.

What I did during My Christmas break is that I created my own working space in my old brothers room that is no longer being used . My brother is still living in Holland so it wasn’t a problem. My drawing was about the fact that I spent my entire Christmas break drawing and sketching everything that I found inspiring when I was a teenager, now that I finally have time to do it. My drawing is actually quite simple, but I loved it and I’m pretty sure that from it I can create another amazing drawing. On the drawing I drew myself sitting in the center in a yoga or mediating like pose. My face is relaxed and content, and you see several drawings floating around, connected by wires to me. With various drawings floating around me, in the background I added a door which represents ‘the exit.’ The door also depicts where I’ve come from; the university and eventually at IBB, whenever I’m being creative I forget about my surroundings and I focus on my work until I’m finished. I decided to rip off the sharp edges of my drawings because it made my work look too edgy and perfect, so I wanted to remove that look.

I sketched new things, redrew old drawings using my improved skills, and used references on the side to help me when I need it. Its fun to explore when you have your own work space. I used to have my working supplies in a box and stowed away in my closet, and they will be unused until I needed them. Putting my art supplies away in a box makes my inspiration harder to find. Sometimes I ended up buying things I already have. I felt empty when I saw my old abandoned works, which I had put aside to make time for my studies . I always loved and admired other artist for having their supplies neatly organized, racks on racks right next to their desk. These are usually professional artist working in their office, often crammed with plenty of coloring pencils, brushes, pencils, markers and paint tubes. I didn’t have enough space in my room, but what I didn’t notice is that these artist working space isn’t necessarily their bedroom. It wasn’t until I was at IBB I realized I could simply move into a new room and use that as an Atelier.

Stressed and tired of hours studying, I used to see art as a cash cow and quickly make money during my teen years. This idea has gotten worse after my car accident in 2007. I was a student at VSBO Marnix college. Ever since this accident, I slowed down with painting. After hours of working on a painting my shoulder starts hurting a lot, and to make it worse, I had to study on so I wouldn’t fall behind with school work. Because of this, I eventually started cartooning, working for the Amigoe news paper. Without thinking I jumped into a career I knew very little about, eager for having a job in art. Again I had to struggle combining school and my art lifestyle. I was interviewed three times during my stint as a cartoonist. My first interview was online by Carolina Gomez –Caresses of 1000awesomethingsofCuracao, my second was at Go Weekly, my third at Hoben Posetivo. Usually I dislike talking about this type of things because I’m afraid life would jinx it, I dislike showing off. But hiding and keeping things to myself also limited myself greatly. I was interviewed once again after winning third place for a coffee shop challenge. However, In the end, I had to stop working for the newspaper.

The reason why it is important for me is that my only focus now is to express myself and rebuild my world that I have left behind. Now I no longer worry about being good or being paid for what I make, but simply create as much as I can. My experiences opened my eyes and I no longer focus on what I get in return, but simply my development. IBB saved my life, and of course anything I have studied before paid off as well. All this time, I was finding myself and I didn’t know I was lost. I notice some first year students already became second year students, I now my goal is to work even harder so I can develop my art and working process.

Ethany Martina

It Is What It Is

An impression of the work experience during project Nick and Simon- ‘OPEN’

Introduction

Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle. (Foto: deswollenaer.nl).

Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle. (Foto: deswollenaer.nl).

The project started with the selected eight visual artists who have let themselves get inspired by the songs of Nick and Simon’s new album titled ‘OPEN’. Each artist began to work based on one or more songs by the duo. The goal of this exhibition was to make a connection between music and fine art. After research and meetings with the director of museum de Fundatie in Zwolle, artists David Bade and Tirzo Martha decided that it would be a great opportunity to participate in this project. The arrangements of the project were clear and the goal was to collaborate with students from Cibap Zwolle and IBB alumni to create four stages, or better said, four installations.

A large group of students worked together with Tirzo Martha to build the foundation of these installations. After the first week into the project it became clear that the workshops with local students wasn’t planned well enough and thus the rest of the project continued with only IBB alumni and mentors Tirzo Martha, David Bade, and Fiona Henriquez for the duration of October 27th until November 20th 2015. Despite this miscommunication the project proceeded with a great working atmosphere in which the installations grew into an intriguing whole. This was very contrasting with the environment of the museum. The following report will give you a concise impression of the experiences acquired through the project Nick and Simon- ‘OPEN’.

Understanding life a bit better with IBB (a quote on one of the sculptures)

Various IBB alumni came to work daily on the installations which created a rotation effect on the project. Each person had their own input in their own manner which was not only based on the inspiration of the songs by Nick and Simon. The work also formed itself into each individual creation. Next to each stage a specific song continuously played through speakers where viewers could gain a better understanding of the working method by students and mentors. By working in the middle of the museum we also got the chance to talk individually with the viewers to explain what we were doing and would often lead to conversations on personal topics. This method of working was a well fit for IBB in which interventions of art and the social element stand central.

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IBB alumni werken aan de verschillende podia

An example of this was when David had a conversation with a man who appeared to be a total fan of his work and the IBB institute. A moment like this is certainly unique because this individual had the opportunity to talk with the artist while he was standing and working on his piece. Or like the moment while I was painting on one of the installations and a man asked what the work was about. In this conversation I discovered that this 85 year old man was endlessly working on his creative process to reach a minimalistic result in his work. We both started to laugh because I had previously mentioned how minimalistic art intrigued me while my previous work was more figurative.

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David Bade in gesprek met een bezoeker.

These conversations happened regularly and organically because of the interaction between the workers and the public. The very present coffee bar in the beautiful dome hall created even more attention and triggered a certain ‘passive participation’. This was a fascinating experience for me, especially because people tend to stand still for a second and take in the work and/or try to understand it. The discussions between the viewers were often questioning if the installation could be considered to be art or not. It is of course clear that people attend museums in the hope to admire and analyze “beautiful art”, but what do we really see and define as “beautiful art”?. A subject which contains both little and a lot to debate on because each individual has their own opinion and has the right to express this as well. That is why we hope to have reached the public with this project to let people think not only about art, but about life as well.

David Bade/N&S and the new Perspective/A4/Acrylpaint on paper.     

David Bade/N&S and the new Perspective/A4/Acrylpaint on paper.

It is what is is

The four songs by Nick and Simon were playing endlessly, of which each song was based by its matching stage/sculpture basis. ‘Het is was het is’(‘It is what it is’) was one of the famous songs of which I was able to sing along by the end of this project. For me this song was the most relevant with the process of our work in the museum because it can be explained as simple as ‘It is what it is’. Most of the viewers expected a more elaborate explanation of the work in which the individual does not give himself/herself the space to experience to analyze or understand what they are witnessing.

In my opinion this installation was the ultimate challenge for Museum de Fundatie and her public to let go of the so-called ‘beautiful art’. We hope that they have experienced something totally different, something totally out of the ordinary. When going to the exhibition, visitors had to take the elevator to the third floor. Upon exiting the doors they were immediately confronted with the installations. Often I would hear “wow this is so great how they are working here in the middle of the museum”, or “Is this really art?”, and “well you don’t see this everyday”. No matter how different the opinions were, this project has certainly left various impressions on the public. An example of the connection between fine arts and music can be read in the following lyrical fragment of Nick and Simon’s song “It is what it is”:

“…if everything will be OK

in the near future

it stays a common quest

and I turn into the limbo..”

We each try to understand life a bit better by our individual journeys. Art allows people to interpret life in various ways and for artists to express everything with their talent. The more we see and experience the more knowledge we will gain, not only for art but also to try to understand life. Eventually this report comes to its final conclusion,

It is what it is.

November 2015, Fiona Henriquez

Interview artists in residence Bart & Klaar

Bart&Klaar02Bart and Klaar are the type of artists that don’t always make tangible 2D and 3D art, but they create movement in the society they are currently in; they do intervention art.

Bart says: “We don’t say that art for the white space is over and done with. Everybody says these days that art must be all about society. But that is not necessarily so, because it’s also about ethics, and art is just art. But when we arrived on Curaçao we saw a society for which the best way to understand it was to go and visit where it happens. So it depends on the local context what we do.

So it is not about a country, or to make a work about a country, but with that country. And then you need to be where the things are happening, where there dynamics are. And that is not always in a museum.”

Klaar says: “If I may sum it up: To me the context is the location, and the physical location is irrelevant. To me the central question is: how do I relate to the context? I’m convinced that the context shapes me. I am not a neutral Klaar. I’m in interaction with the context all the time. I am different elsewhere, and here I’m clearly the Dutch Klaar. I’m a different Klaar in Surinam or in Peru. This is something that intrigues me. Also there is a very specific history here. If you haven’t immersed yourself in that, you actually haven’t been here.”

On Curacao the expectations about artists are different: people quickly assume that if you are an artist that you can paint well. Have you encountered this a lot here? How do you go about it?

Bart: “If we explain what we do, people ask: Yes, but what do you make?

And we say: it is sometimes ‘a hard question’, sometimes not, but it is hard to explain. It’s hard to explain here that a hard question like that, can be part of your thoughts about something. It doesn’t have to be only a drawing or schedule. Artists are often reduced to only making objects. We often say that there are already many objects. It can feel like you are producing objects like an assembly line.

That’s what I like about IBB: you don’t only produce. There is also space for reflection, citizenship and being involved in social processes. It’s not just this assembly line where each time a painting drops off. You don’t do art justice when you reduce it to only making works that are tangible objects, although, that is what people can buy.”

Klaar: “Here people don’t even ask if you paint but what you paint. Landscapes or portraits? But because we are more about relation-based instead of transactions, objects are not relevant. They are only relevant as medium or as stumbling rock or as intermediary. And an art object without context or relationship is something we haven’t made in a long time. We are now at the point that we wish to make souvenirs, and those are objects to remember the relationship. And that is the downside of relationships: if you leave, the relationship fades away.”

Bart&Klaar class11132015 (2)What do you think is necessary to make a work like that, a souvenir, come out in the best way possible?

“The souvenir is a success if it recalls the specific relationship and not the cliché. We have seen a lot of souvenirs here and you are guided to a not realistic experience. For example the Chichis refer to big sized women in colourful bathing suits, but you don’t see women smiling happily at the beach sitting in those and it’s not something you really experience. It would be ideal if a souvenir would refer to a more personal experience.”

You are very engaged with the students here. They immediately notice that you are here to pour your time and knowledge into them and not that you are here primarily to do your own thing, they love this. Did you always have this sort of effect?

“Here comes the IBB promo”, Bart jokes. “No, It really depends on who invites us. The interest we always have, but at some places there is this stiff doctrine of how things are done; you can feel that you are the Christmas decoration as an artist. And that can be okay, that you do something on the side, parallel. But what we found interesting here is that we could think about different approaches and how to think about making art. But also about the few lectures we gave that are about the creative process, what is in your mind, and not what comes from your hands. To be aware about concepts. If I look at art I always try to look at the person, those things go together.

For me when I look at a great artist, I also see a great person. For me a great artist can’t be a bad person.

With art you can also do good. And this is something that we try to do with interaction at IBB. Not to only feed our own ego, which we have too, but that it can be mainly about the interaction. So the students are also open towards us. So it also depends on the demand.”

Do you have some educational background?

Klaar: “I don’t, but I am a true teacher. I’ve made a lot of works, performances, in which eventually people participted, and this evolved into a concept. To bring back what you do to a few simpler steps is a good way to teach. I love to give instructions to which people can get a certain think- and acting process. And for us it’s like a party to talk about concepts. To me it’s the most radical freeing form of art. It’s immaterial and doesn’t require any techniques than to only see things with a clear eye. The art is egalitarian because just instructions are more than enough, you don’t need to possess.

Bart&Klaar11062015 (37)It would be great to leave behind your manifesto for us.

Bart jokes: “I feel a gentle pressure…”

Klaar: “Yes, in that sense our work is conceptual because we always find ways to pass it on.”

Bart: “And we like to have this airy approach where we teach about other artists too, and not just about ourselves because we want others to learn about other artists. It is not about his ego either or how skilled this artist is, but more about his conceptual approach. For example an assignment on the work of artist Erwin Wurm, we didn’t really explain the students what to do exactly but just showed pictures and talked a bit about it.”

Klaar: “But we like that people just know the basics, just the concept and then just go and do their own thing. And also check if it made sense.”

Bart: “Where is something good or where is something less good? It can be something very small that makes a difference if a picture is good or not. This has to do with beauty or aesthetics.

A student (Leomar Imperator, red.) loves to walk long distances and discover new locations. He came to us and asked if he could use that for his art. It would be great that he can transform the daily things in life to meaning, instead of routine. And with that in some way you gain back your own authority on your daily life. We think that people are losing this more and more. The choices you are allowed to make in life are fewer every day.

The essence of an artist is someone who forms his own opinion but also his own action.

If that tradition loses its foundation, because you decide less and less, this means that art becomes less and less approachable. We can’t put ourselves in the perspective of the individual that searches and acts himself.

Still here in Curaçao people wonder: But how do you get food on the table?

We give lectures, workshops, we teach. We also get assignments. It creates tension because in fact we go against the capitalistic system of buying more, taking more loans, more money, more use of stuff, etc. Always more, but more doesn’t lead to a better world, it only makes the piles of waste grow, so there is more tension. We also got this question in the Netherlands and it’s a challenge, but the miraculous part of it is that we can live from it, and for a long time already. On the long term we don’t have worries but surely there are the little things short term.”

Klaar: “And we live modestly, but it is a switch that you make.”

Bart: “It’s uncertainty. It’s a dynamic, a choice in which you have so much freedom. You search for the risk because you make art. But this question about income is a good one. When I do studio visits the first question I ask looking at the studio is: how much is the rent? Because this practical question is important to indicate if the artist can keep it up. I’m not a practical idealist, that’s too opportunistic, but there is an interaction between thinking to be able to afford this life.”

Klaar: “And that’s why because we find that conceptual work is so important, because many artist must work for income next to their creative work. The more time you can transform from pressure to choice, the better. It will be very freeing, to transform for a large part the time you have to the way you choose. For example Leomar can take his walks, but these he can transform into something. It’s the same with worship. You can celebrate creation with work, taking out the characteristic of duty, replacing that with volunteer work and everything you do is in the context of the planet. When you are doing the dishes it get’s a total different charge.

And maybe we are lucky bastards and we can’t promise the artist life we have to young people, but then at least you are obliged to formulate an alternative strategy. Bart, do you agree?”

Bart: “No, I don’t agree. I think that everyone can fight for that if they feel the urgency to do so. We are not raised in luxury, we give lessons to young people because we have the drive to show that you can, without money, without status, without means, make art. Without romanticising it. I love to work in neighbourhoods where there is poverty and problems, but I like those problems more than the problems of a rich neighbourhood. I can relate better to people who improvise than to people who put walls around their mansions being afraid that their possessions will be taken from them. I find those white gated communities here an awful world that is not my own. And that is the difference between capitalism and socialism: it’s your starting point, the individual or the collective. But something like this gated community looks like a collective, but it’s actually individual people who are afraid to lose what they have gained. Those walls are very symbolic, and to me those gates are disturbing because they are never about trust.

Outside of Europe there are many countries where everything is gated, even the car you park in a cage, afraid that it gets stolen. And that is the beauty of a residency; that you are forced to look in a different way to things you don’t understand, and you can get familiar with it. Now we also live in a house with gates and it also means peace and safety. But I think: where are we then?

Well, for the same reason you lock your bike in Amsterdam, to say: this bike is not a giveaway. But in a village in the Netherlands you don’t need to lock your bike.

Klaar: “I heard from a father of one of the students that young people who don’t have the means to buy an expensive watch, commited a robbery on a Chinese store to get to what they want. Living in a materialistic world and wanting to count, having no work, you will think of all the fast ways to get what you need to get to count; swallowing cocaine pellets, committing robberies, etc. But the stupidity is that you steal from each other, a very destructive way to bring down your own community. So I can understand the gates, but it doesn’t solve anything, because it challenges the thief to take the gate down. Instead, how do you make a young person count in this society? How do you take away the urge to have an expensive watch?”

Are there moments that you do want to do a residency purely to make individual work, with that urgency?

Bart: “No, I don’t think so, because we are very curious. Of course we will make works, but we are very curious to know new things and to compare things to what we already discovered. And it’s always exciting to see what part you will take in this interaction with the previous experiences. So I don’t know if you can call me an experience artist, so to speak. To students we say: You think of something large and abstract, bring it back to yourself and to your own experience. It becomes personal and then has an effect. Sometimes concepts like capitalism against communism for example are so large it’s very difficult to say something about that, but when you have an experience, you actually care. I find it difficult that the youth now can be indifferent and get easily bored and can’t find this spark. Everywhere in the world people are in this way isolating, moving less and meeting less. No coincidences. Kids are brought and picked up from school, being in one safe space. There is little surprise, little disappointment and the chance for failing hard is rarely there. Fact is that we only live within our own lifestyles, and we are like in this trunk. Rich kids lead a very protected life and on the other hand poor kids are that much on the streets that they get this twisted idea that they can become successful without doing any effort. I saw a few videoclips of Curacao rappers in which women are standing on the car, singing and taking out their guns and then their expressions stop, because the gun takes over everything. My point is: what sort of culture do we form together?”

Klaar: “I rather not pay attention to stuff like this because it’s not something I took part in, it’s a different generation with its own media. If I can’t place myself in them I rather not give my opinion. I have no idea how it feels to find it normal to always be “connected” (social media connected). I don’t know how it feels to be able to swipe on a screen since childhood. I have no idea as to how a non-physical world can be such a large part of your memories. It’s very strange to have been to places that don’t exist. So I think this is mysterious and I rather do something in the physical reality.”

Bart: “But we work with the phenomenon of ‘we’, and we work in public space and then you pay attention to the behaviour on the street. And what makes it different for us is that you don’t have the phenomenon of the pavement here. So the pavement is a weird meeting place for neighbours and of the street, but here in Curaçao a lot happens from within the car and from this airconditioned box. There is little space of greeting and chatting with each other from the car.

However families take a whole day to spend time with each other on the beach. This we don’t know in the Netherlands and I find that impressive of family life here.”

Bart&Klaar class11132015 (4)We don’t have many local artists here like you who do socially involved playful actions to bring awareness about something. What makes a fertile soil that could bring forth artists like you?

Bart: “Yesterday we were in the neighbourhood Fleur de Marie, which went through a transformation by a combination of strive and party. The premises are owned by Monumentenzorg, the houses are built by people themselves, a combination of authentic houses and self-built houses. And here you see that they kept the combination of both styles and did not make it all clean and smooth in one style, getting rid of whatever looks poor. I found that really nice to see, it’s possible to transform but keep the original character. So I would create artist-in-residence spaces within these neighbourhoods. To go as an artist and live and feel and be there with people who have been living there for 80 years. That I think is a super challenge and those neighbourhoods are here. Not to make art about the people but with the people.”

Klaar: “The fertile soil is that it happens and when it happens you will see that more people will follow. When it’s there and then it happens more.

But, essential in this process is communication. So it goes together with the willingness to communicate. That is the precarious part. And here people are distant, they stay quiet and don’t share, not because they don’t have an opinion but because they don’t grant it to you.

If you don’t share it won’t work.

So these, communication and trust, are the essential parts.”

Does being a foreigner in this process make it easier or more difficult?

Bart: “We are invited by someone on the inside. If we would just be here as tourists it would be much more difficult. So IBB invited us and being here everyone knows we are here temporarily so that can make it easier and we can get away with asking the strangest questions, but the language Papiamentu can work as an obstacle and can keep us out. Also when people invite you they say, yes come but then when you are there it can be awkward. Sometimes people here aren’t too warmly, I have to say. You feel resistance, I almost don’t want to use the word ‘makamba’ but it has to do with it.”

So if you would be Colombian instead of Dutch it would have been totally different?

Bart: “I think so, but I’m not sure.”

Klaar: “But here we are also part of the conflicts. And this brings lively discussion. It is a fact that not everything is settled with the relationship between the Netherlands and Curacao. Because of the history being Dutch and being here you’ll bear the brunt. In a way I feel honoured to get that role.

Bart: “we find it interesting to be in the middle of these dynamics, it matters. We still haven’t gotten the approach to mind our own business. And we don’t have the intention to put in our noses in other peoples business. If I can say one thing about the ISLA: a refinery is always something nasty, in every part of the world. Oil is something nasty. It’s clear what a refinery does and there hardly is a clean way to go about it. But the entire world is busy with alternative forms of energy. The government here doesn’t give the impression to steer the thoughts in this direction. There is so much wind and sun here. The entire island could easily run on these energy sources, you don’t even need any research for that. But why doesn’t it happen? And questions like this are fun to ask here.”

Klaar: “But I do notice that the island is in the grip of the past and not so much focused on the future. Not focused on new visions. What are the visions for in 10 years? Or even 5 years? People live very much in the now and try to solve things from the past.“

Bart: “We are shocked that there is no budget for education. You think you would give a better future to children than the one that you had. It’s a cliché to say children are the future, but you have to think forward. But a lot here seems to go about what has happened or has not happened in the past.

I have a hopeful ending. IBB is for us a warm bath. We can do a lot and the structure here is in a way that we can touch base on a lot of things. I think it’s very necessary to make stories together about all this useless polarisation, such as what is a real ‘Yu di Kòrsou’. So Curacao is already a society, a people as it is. So this nonsense about some people being original ‘Yu di Kòrsou’ and others not, this is something we should make artworks about. We need to actively fight this, and not only be against this, but to show that you are already something and that you can enjoy each other. Take joy in each other, as you are.

It seems there is a hostage situation taking place, but the robbers are we ourselves. Everyone acts afraid, or in a sort of weird humble way towards each other. But you are already citizens here and in your full right to demand, for example, a better education for our children. Who’s children get bad education? Ours right? With cultural projects and art in neighbourhoods, with lots of love and patience you can accomplish a lot.”

Klaar: “For us it’s new, but we are the number-so-much resident of IBB. So what we want to leave behind is a reader for the next resident. We did a lot of research and we want to share that with the next resident, so they don’t need to go through the same ritual dance on Google. I find it a pity that the residence house shows nothing of the former artist. It’s very sterile. I would like to see things that give the impression that you are in this tradition. We are the 55th resident. This is a tip.”

Bart: “Another tip for IBB is that the students do more internships at companies here on the island.

Third tip: As an artist you are busy with your public, and with social projects it’s almost dramatic because your public becomes your topic. Something IBB could think about, besides the Open Day, is to offer a master class ‘Public’. What is a Curacao public, skip the palm trees and show different things and educate your public.

After all the workshops and the seminars we gave, it is the time for practice. After all… the proof of the pudding is in the eating. At this moment, we conducted with a team of students, under the guidance of MJ Zapata, ideas/scenarios to be used in public areas of Willemstad. It is intended that a lasting relationship and cooperation remains after we are gone between the government and IBB. Our goal is a laboratory ‘art in public space’ for the students, so that ideas become experiments you can try out in the real world. Art in the center of society, not only in the white space!

In the end Bart & Klaar for the first time have students execute their concepts in the form of a procession that will take place in Punda. It will be also filmed and shown in the new Esmeralda building of IBB on the 16th of December.

Workshop for the public about our public space ‘Nos’ Kòrsou?

Public workshop by Artists-in-residents Bart Stuart & Klaar van der Lippe

Invitation to the public workshop ‘Public Space’ conducted by Dutch artists Bart Stuart and Klaar van der Lippe.

Date: 12th till the 16th of October 2015.

The artists Bart & Klaar use the public space as their working space. They have extensive experience working in The Netherlands and abroad as well; particularly in Central and South America. Working with people is very essential for them. They believe in dialogue and dialogue turned into action. The topic of the workshop is “Our Place” and covers the sharing and appropriation of public spaces. Being together is essential for working and speaking together. How can public space contribute to the strengthening of the collective?

Although there is much talk about “Nos Kòrsou” (our Curaçao) there are few places where you can actually experience and celebrate community. What do we share in Curaçao? And what would we rather not? What is the best place or best way to come together? What is your ‘we’ and how do you find a place for it?

The afternoons begin and end with a common part. Then in small groups and under the guidance of Bart & Klaar you will work together, explore, design and learn from each other.

The program of the workshop is both theoretical and practical. Knowledge is applied immediately.

It is possible to sign up for a single day or the whole workshop. All participants are however expected on Monday the 5th to attend the introduction. 

drawing by Bart&Klaar

drawing by Bart&Klaar

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. – Joseph Chilton Pearce

Dates: October 12 – 16, 2015. 

The workshop hours are: every day from 2:30pm till 5:30pm. 

Walk in at 2:30pm, seminar starts 3pm sharp.

Be quick to sign up,  there is space for max. 10 persons besides the IBB students! Please sign up here by sending an email with subject ‘BartKlaar Seminar’

The full program will be on our website (www.institutobuenabista.com)

Read all about the artists at: www.burospelenblog.nl 

Interview artist in residence Kaleb de Groot

Kaleb de Groot standing in front of the sculpture ‘Mono-Winged Angel’ of Kathrin Schlegel at the burial ground for the nameless at Brievengat

An introduction

Kaleb de Groot was the artist in residence for the period of May 8th till August 26th 2015.
He regards contention as a modus operandi, or a mode of being that can lead to new types of relationships, forms of poetry, and innovative ways of constructing the world around us.
This practice has brought him to several corners of the world: Zambia, Ethiopia, China, Indonesia and this time Curaçao.
In the period of 1983 to 1986, de Groot lived on Curacao.
After going back to the Netherlands he moved back, two years later, to this region, but this time to the neighbouring island dof Aruba, where he lived for two years.

Liber

‘Liber’ photo courtesy of the artist

What was your first art work that always stuck with you? Your very first art work that helped define your decision to be an artist.
[he laughs]
-I need to think about that one. But the first thing that comes to mind is this huge devil figure that I constructed from a red trash chute, more than 2 meters high, with pvc tubes as the horns, maybe it was even higher. Initially I just wanted to make the object as a self standing sculpture. But actually the better execution was the self-portrait of me with the piece. I was dressed completely in blue, by chance, and hugging the piece. It was a good contrast, next to this red figure who wasn’t really a scary devil at all.
But before that I already had this conviction to be an artist. This was partly because of a family friend that made paintings that I felt were interesting at that time. When I got back from Aruba and moved to the Netherlands I started to draw. Probably because in Aruba I did this animation workshop from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy at Atelier ’89. It was the first year of this place in the year 1989 (hence the name). So I was already drawing a lot there. It became my way of expressing myself, my way to talk. Talk about my frustrations, world problems, my first loves, anything that occupied my mind as a 17-year old.

Why are you an artist and not for example a construction worker?
-That’s a tough one. [long pause] I used to be very outspoken about this, but recently, this last month actually, this firm conviction is chipping away. My entire reason for me to be here is to reflect and think about this exact thing. This has brought up so much in my mind that I entered a state of extreme doubt. It makes you analyse everything that has to do with the creative process and your role in society as an artist. Especially because I am at the IBB, which is also a social project, and on Curacao, where I grew up.

Are you undergoing this as something positive, to put yourself under the microscope like this? This shift, or this awareness, is it a good thing for you?

-Well, at this point I am in the middle of it, so I can’t answer that right now. I know how to survive in the creative process. I know how to survive with jobs like your example of a construction worker. And to work like that is not so far off from my practice as an artist. My work has to do with labour. As here in Curaçao I have several jobs in construction that enables me to think. It gives me time to think and reflect about what I do as an artist. I have always learned that if you are busy you are doing well. I think my being busy turned into acting busy

Two weeks or so ago I came to the conclusion that I have no vision anymore. And still, born out of some daily routine, I keep creating. But with this lack of belief it makes it really easy to just chuck everything in the garbage bin at the end of the day. When I just got here people asked me: so what are you going to do? My answer was: It’s my intention to make as few works as possible. Not knowing at that stage that one month later I would not feel any urge to make anything at all. It was time to think things through.

detritus dripping

‘Detritus Dripping’ photo courtesy of the artist

When you are commissioned for an exhibition, for example you need to make a series of something, you are already so focused on the end goal that you make fast decisions, rash decisions. But the creative proces should have enough time to be dubious. I was thinking this yesterday:

I teach my students at the Royal Academy in the Hague not to overthink something, because you can kill it. You need to allow your image to develop itself. This also has to do with how your routine is or how you apply your non-routine. How far do you work from intuition for example.

But you are limited to the timeframe of your residency of 4 months here.
-In a certain sense yes, I was asked to make a permanent sculpture for the IBB Sculpture Garden which I connected with giving a workshop.  And there is also another project that I want to realise. So I know that these things need to happen before I leave. I test myself, these works are alien to me.

You might even stay longer, even after your residency, to complete this other project?
-For sure I don’t want this project to be final, to stop. I had it before that I have a project, I work on it and finish it and continue with another project. That is actually a schizophrenic way of working. So you must see a red line connecting the works. Instead of having to re-invent yourself each time. It’s very tiresome and superficial.

But now you start seeing this red line?
-Yes, I start seeing the line, it’s pinkish right now.
Is it also that you have different disciplines and that these disciplines all end up showing this red line?
-Yes, with the right intention and devotion i can show you a documentary one day and a performance the other, both produced by me. Then there is this one thing that was very important to investigate these couple of months;

It is that I had the thought, being in the Netherlands, that I have this certain style. This felt very awkward and non Western.  I think it developed here because I’ve lived here before. A simple example is this: In the Netherlands I came up with this pink self mixed paint, that I used a lot in my work to give colour to my work. It was a color that I developed in my studio. When people would see these works they would find this colour abject. I never thought so. And it turned out to be a very conventional colour here in Curaçao, a customary color that you would happily use to paint your house with.

To get grip on your personal semantics can also undermine the artistic process. But a healthy amount of self-mastery is essential.

I’m reanimating objects here. But don’t think recycling in terms of green or eco.

Awkward pink

Awkward pink (photo courtesy of the artist)

boca san pedro

at Boca San Pedro (photo courtesy of the artist)

PicantoPalmtree

PicantoPalmtree (photo courtesy of the artist)

Your material research really is fascinating. How does this start with you
-Well, some objects I could never have in the Netherlands. For example the piece of palm tree. That is a rare object to find in the Netherlands. So out of greediness I get all these objects in my working studio. Also these parts of some old sketches of Sindey (an IBB alumni) have that exact color of pink I use in the Netherlands. The works I made in the Netherlands I painted with that pink and also have a similar shape. It almost seemed as someone was making my work here while I was at home. So I asked Sindey if I can use her sketches to continue with my own work. But I also got materials that I already use in the Netherlands, so not to get the idea that I need to start from scratch.
Are the materials you already use back in Holland a sort of starting point?

Yes, but it’s not like here everything is strange or new for me either. I’m not new here, you can put on the anthem on the radio at 12am and I can immediately sing it by heart.Thanks to the very patriotic act of flag raising at my former elementary school here on the island (Johan van Walbeek school). So in the beginning I was having these flashbacks which resulted in being in two places at the same time.

I work with these materials in the Netherlands and I want to continue with them. I don’t want to suddenly invent the new Curaçao version of Kaleb de Groot.
The form that prevails in the Netherlands, how does that function here? Here I am of course a makamba* and in Holland I am of course Dutch, although I feel I’m part Antillean too, which nobody can see of course.
Unless they know you.
-Yes, but even so they don’t know what that means. Luckily all my friends and my wife and kids are a mixed up bunch. I do surround myself with entities of krioyo**.

Chromangoes

Chromangoes – photo by Kaleb de Groot

He is also working on a project of the Japan NV building at the Schottegatweg Noord that got burned.

De Groot: – Either it caught fire or was intentionally set on fire. But the owners of Japan NV are in a lawsuit with the bank. It is not even certain that it will be covered. But that is such a juridical slippery slope, that’s not the direction I want to go with this project. That’s not the light I want to put on this building because it will then be about loss or rogue actions. If you want to start a conversation about that, you put the threshold too high for discussion. So the entire object, the entire building I want to consider as a work, as a sculpture. It’s a huge readymade installation. That entire object would be the biggest sculpture on the island. But I prefer not to talk too much about the spectacle of such a statement. It’s more about how people see this, the beauty of it and what artistically happens here.
I need to consider carefully how the media brings it. I will take a series of pictures of the building and will have to write a very smart and good text to go with it. I don’t have a title yet but the Lijian family has been informed I am working on this concept. Another thing that is an element of this project I want to do is about the notion of size. Think about it, I heard that the family Maal owns almost 1/8 of the island.

the island

‘The Island’ (photo courtesy of the artist)

Size and volume are very classic themes in thinking about sculpture. But also relative to social status and the economy these topics are very interesting to discuss.

About Curaçao
– I have learned here on Curaçao that people often say: “Everything is possible here.” But if I look at what the kids here at IBB go through I see that little is possible. No money, and all sorts of complications. However as an IBB student you are realising your dream and you are 3 steps ahead, comparing with somebody who thinks: not possible. So I think that this turnaround point in thinking is a psychological aspect that interests me. How people interact with each other.

kalebdegroot1

Kaleb de Groot (photo by Avantia Damberg)

Do you keep people alert with your art?
Yes, so it’s not about aggression. I think humor in this case might be the best tool. If I make a funny joke about the ISLA, who makes everything ‘green’ (read: natural) by the emissions it releases on the island, people will laugh about it, but it will stick. Parody works. Chin Behilia has for example a political overtone, in music it happens too. In the tambú it happens, but then it’s just in that corner where it is expected. Carnaval is something where you can lit the government on fire for a couple of days, but people are too afraid to lose their jobs. It’s not about picking a fight, there should be a dynamic where you can have a debate and can confront each other with mistakes. It can be part of the peoples pride here that they should not be messed with. I understand the vulnerability of the situation. But debate is in this case the engine.
And my last question: What irritates you most in your own working process?
It’s my perseverance. Or to be precise: the lack thereof.

If not busy with art Kaleb’s most preferred way of spending time is fishing, bbq-ing, swimming and spending quality time with his family.

* Name for a Dutch person developed during Dutch colonial rule. Its usage often runs the whole gamut from positive to negative.

** Creole.

Reflection workshop critical thinking and debating

By Omar MarthaScreen Shot 2015-06-25 at 1.31.52 PM-1

What I wanted to achieve with the short workshop was that the students would get a bit of an idea on what it means to actually think critically about things around them. This idea came around because we often notice that the students can’t really explain why they do something, or readily believe anything they are told.

The video series I used for the class is a college level module on the subject of critical thinking. I had them follow the parts that covered what critical thinking is, how to understand arguments, various types of arguments, and how to evaluate an argument someone is using to validate its strength. After watching the videos, they were shown a couple of video fragments and had to evaluate the arguments the people in the video were using based on what they had just seen in the critical thinking videos. The fragments covered people like Dr. Oz making claims about food products that, according to him, should never be eaten. But also fragments from a press conference by Prime Minister Asjes about his recent trip to China.

What I noticed with this part was that some students had issues with the level of English being used. While not anything out of the ordinary, the clips use some big words that the students didn’t seem to be familiar with. The fact that they wouldn’t ask anything if they didn’t understand something meant that I had some trouble gauging how well they were understanding the matter. I tried to solve this by stopping the video and asked targeted questions about what was just explained to see if the students understood or not.

After this they had to participate in a small debate “competition”. Two groups of three students were given a statement —for example “Greentown is a good idea”— and each team was tasked to be either pro or against the statement. They would have to come with well formulated arguments to back up their claims. The students seem to have enjoyed this part quite a lot. A good deal of them would try to do some research on the subject given in the 5 minutes they got to prepare for a round. Certain students though, didn’t really care for the core idea behind the exercise; which was looking at a problem from both (or more) points of view. These students would have an obvious opinion about the subject at hand and would either have a really hard time taking the other side, be very weak in their arguments, or plainly refuse to play the counter side to their opinion. 
I also noted that even when students were tasked with forming arguments along a line they agreed with, they would sometimes have a hard time doing this properly. An example of this was the statement “gay marriage should be legal on Curaçao”.

The majority of students seemed to be pro this statement but failed miserably at defending it.

From what I’ve seen in this short workshop I was able to conclude that I should probably schedule the whole module for the next school year. I would have to spread out the module over a longer time period since it’s a pretty heavy subject. Maybe one day every two weeks. Hopefully this would lead to the students at least having a better grab of the idea of critical thinking and be more free in its usage. 
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Aside of this it’s probably also better to put a stronger emphasis on the academic development of the students. Incorporating reading assignments into the regular presentation assignment could be a way to move in this direction.

Instituto Buena Bista: A report on collaborative projects

By Fiona Henriquez and Marvi Franco Zapata

Introduction

It is known that the IBB is very into collaborative projects and works towards enhancing its experiences and qualities within these activities. In the guidance of the students they’re stimulated to incorporate the social and collaborative component in their later visions as future visual artists.

Collaborative projects are not only valuable experiences for the students but also for us as junior supervisors. The following projects were collaboratives of the IBB and other organisations:

International Women’s Day (Not That Kind of Woman) and Kana Nos Kosta 2015 (Kaminda di Kabritu).

notthatkindofwoman67

Project “NOT THAT KIND OF WOMAN”

Description: the event took place on the 8th of march,2015, International Women’s day. This event consisted out of the following 3 parts: a debate about the emancipation of local women in Curaçao, a debate based on two TV series (‘Girls’ and ‘Scandal’), and an art exhibition organised by the IBB.
Collaborators: IBB and the organizer of the event.

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Project “KANA NOS KOSTA” (WALK OUR COAST)

Description: this project took place between 17 and 24 of April, 2015, In the area of Marie Pampoen (MP), Nieuw Nederland and Steenrijk. The purpose of this project week was to better the area or by raising awareness through public interventions on the issue of privatisation of the public space, in this case the coast (beaches).

Collaborators: IBB, University of Curacao (dept. Architecture & Civil Engineering, Socioeconomic faculty and the faculty of Engineering), Supersudaka, 3 sociologists from: Colombia, Belgium, and Bolivia, the University of Medellin (dept.urban design) and representatives of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood.

International Women’s Day: Not That Kind of Woman

Our first experience began with an exhibition called ‘Not That Kind of Woman’. It was an exhibition held during an event organised in commemoration of International Women’s day. During the start of negotiations with the organiser, we found that all communication was clear and thus had an overall positive feeling about the project. As the days progressed nearing the event date, stress increased from both parties, and we quickly found ourselves in undesirable situations. The arrangements made were abruptly altered which would have made it impossible for us to install the exhibition.

Another reflective point was that we could not avoid the fact that we were invited to take part in this event as a decorative element. In this case it was a pity that our artworks were seen as such in an attempt to visually enhance the backdrop of their occasion.

To avoid such unwanted situations it would have been wise to have made a contract which both parties could agree on. In order for a collaboration to work well there should be continuous communication so that everyone understands each others needs and wants. The well known term ‘give and take,’ in which mutual concessions and compromises can be made, are evident for such projects to function well. When this is not the case it will often lead to arguments between the two parties. This, of course, is also because each person has their own vision and opinion towards creating what they think is a successful project which will always be a factor in teamwork. After  putting our differences aside it was important for us to stay dedicated and finish what we started. At the end of the day we at the IBB represent a certain level of content and qualities that must be a contribution to the growth and development of  our society.

Kana Nos Kosta 2015: Kaminda di Kabritu

This collaborative project was set up by various organisations with a shared interest in integrating the approaches of social urbanism and participatory processes. These organisations included the Faculty of Technical Sciences of the University of Curaçao Dr. Moises da Costa Gomez (UoC), Facultad de Artes Integradas of Universidad de Medillín (Colombia) and Instituto Buena Bista (IBB). Also within this collaboration were a team of technical advisors/researchers from Université de Louvain (Belgium), the Fundación para la Educación Multidimensional (FEM) from Cartagena and representatives from Latin American architects collective Supersudaca.

The objective of Kana Nos Kosta 2015 was to focus on the spatial and socioeconomic situation of the southern coastal strip in the area running from Nieuw Nederland to Marie Pampoen. Continuing on the background of touristic development of this coastal strip, the socioeconomic pressures that the districts of Nieuw Nederland and Marie Pampoen are experiencing is only getting worse. That is why project Kana Nos Kosta 2015 was of great importance in raising awareness as well as supporting the locals with this problem. The intention of the project was not only collaboration between the organising parties, but also involving the inhabitants throughout the process of debate and creating awareness and possible solutions for the problems before taking action. This however did not occur as there was a lack of time due to the project being scheduled to be completed within one week.

aithel with goat

When wanting to make impact and raise lasting awareness one should realise that one week is too short to accomplish these goals. Collaborating in such a large group with different individuals whom all have contrasting views and opinions on the subject resulted in a somewhat demotivating atmosphere. It should be kept in mind that we were working on this project with about thirty-five people consisting of creatives, architects, and students of the various schools and backgrounds. Instead of complimenting each other through shared knowledge and through that achieving what we aimed for, the team quickly became separated. This meant that each group ended up focused on producing their work based on their own expertise. At the end we ended up not with a collaboration, but with a project done separately and joined together at the end without experiencing each others process. After prolonged brainstorming sessions we came to the conclusion to use the image of a goat as our main way to express our awareness. We reached this conclusion because a goat is recognised throughout Curaçao for being stubborn and creating its own path. From this the project was called ‘Kaminda di Kabritu’ (pathway of the goat), as the goat stands as a symbol for reclaiming its territory.

As a group we brainstormed ideas on how we would design and express our awareness with the goat image. Each group was divided into the following tasks: the stencil team who spray-painted the goat images on the houses along the coastline, the pergola team who were in charge of building a wooden pergola on the location of ‘playa bonita’ (beautiful beach), then there was the furniture team whom were in charge of building seats for the inhabitants, and last but not least the team for creating goat sculptures which were placed along the coastline.

After the project we were approached by upset inhabitants because we had not communicated in advance what our plans and purposes were concerning the Kaminda di Kabritu. A few neighbours were not happy with the goat stencils on their walls, as well as being concerned that the pergola would attract the wrong public to make use of it and who would leave all their trash behind. With a team of IBB and UoC teachers we approached these neighbours to explain the purpose of our project and had hoped to reach a compromise. We quickly realised that we would have to remove the stencils on three walls, which we completed within a week. Instead of resolving these issues in a collaborative fashion, they were left for a small group to resolve. The international participants left for their respective countries under the false impression that they have completed a successful project. We regard these factors as an indication that Kana Nos Kosta 2015 was not a successful collaborative project.  When looking into the definition of collaboration we find the following:

“Collaboration is working with others to do a task and to achieve shared goals. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organisations work together to realise shared goals, (this is more than the intersection of common goals seen in co-operative ventures, but a deep, collective determination to reach an identical objective —for example, an endeavour that is creative in nature— by sharing knowledge,learning and building consensus.”

With this information it can be concluded that Kana Nos Kosta 2015: ‘Kaminda di Kabritu’ was a total failure as well as not leading up to its goals such as the important factors of continuity, social engagement, and development as a project for the neighborhood and for the status of Kana Nos Kosta projects.

kabrituonwall

Reflection

Collaborative projects van be positive or negative, but they are always learning experiences that you can use for personal growth. We can apply lessons learned in these two projects to upcoming projects that involve working with other parties. An example of this will be the upcoming project involving Instituto Buena Bista and Teatro Kadaken, a theater school on Curaçao. We believe that this project has a good chance of success as both organisations are working from a creative starting point. The lessons learned during the ‘Not That Kind of Woman’ project are some that will be valuable during this project. In the theater world props and background can be seen as decoration, this is a direction that we do not wish to take with the works produced at IBB. Collaborations should mean that both parties respect each other’s expertise and should focus on complimenting each other in producing and reaching their end product/presentation. We think that a person in the project that is able to view both sides of the collaboration from a neutral standpoint can be very advantageous to the project. This person’s job would not be to decide who is right or wrong, but experiencing the project in such a way that they can resolve or prevent unwanted issues. This could have been a great addition to the projects that we have already participated in.

Concluding, collaborations have been a tremendous learning experience for both IBB students and it’s staff. We hope to continue working in this fashion with other communities, companies, etc. An important point for the next project is that verbal agreements should be written down as both parties can benefit from the clarity this brings. It can also form a good basis for properly planning out the projects.In the end we are all humans. Humans that can make mistakes or forget agreements. This way we can make a proactive move towards avoiding situations where frustrations and irritations arise form misunderstandings faulty memories. In spite of all the disappointments and changes in verbal agreements we made beforehand, as a group, we persevered and managed to deliver a good art exhibition.

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