ARKEN Museum: The body of the audience as performing part of the art installation

In the educational programme developed for the temporary exhibition Between Towers by Danish artist duo Randi & Katrine the educational department at ARKEN worked with learning through bodily involvement.

The exhibition consisted of one large-scale art installation in ARKENs largest space, Kunstaksen, filling the entire space with eleven true copies of transformer towers connected by electric wires. The installation resembles a huge set design waiting for its actors, and thus the educational staff at ARKEN found it interesting to develop workshops where the bodily experience of the work and the space sets the agenda.

In the workshop the participants are taken to a sensorial walk-through where they listen closely to each tower, touch it, and look at it. Then another walk, a “competition of slowness”, where they have to find an individual pace that will take them half through the space in exactly 4 minutes, conducted in complete silence. The aim of these introducing exercises is to make the participants get “in sync” with the installation and start to open up their senses.

After the introduction the participants go on experiencing the work by creating small intuitive performances in groups based on the idea of body-storm. The participants express whatever bodily impulse comes to them spontaneously, and afterwards the postures, movements, and sounds are put together in small choreographies. Body-storm is thus a method of gathering /creating bodily knowledge, as opposed to brainstorm that is a method commonly used to gather/create discursive knowledge.

In the last part of the workshop the participants are producing visual content in other ways, sharing their experience and interpretation of the artwork. Depending on age group and other contextual matters this may for instance be building “tower friends”, creating digital collages, creating dialogue between two towers as film clips, creating dance choreographies or creating shadow poems in the low-lit space.

Photo 7 - MANUCULTURA partners in action “between towers”


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