ArtWorks 945 Explores Surrealism
As I watched the Pilobolus performance on Monday I actually thought to myself, “this is surreal.” Then I remembered, that was the whole point. I was with ArtWorks artists who have been studying surrealism and, with financial assistance from the Arts and Science Council, came with open minds to see surrealism in action—in beautiful, strong, curious movement.
It’s a great example of why the ArtWorks program is making such an impact on people’s lives. They are providing more than just space to create, they are offering growth. Before attending Pilobolus, the students learned about the history and ideas of surrealism. Life skills of personal discovery, awareness, collaboration, and communication were examined through activities of automatic writing and drawing, dream journaling, and drawing games. The lessons were meant to prepare participants to fully experience and appreciate the live performance, and to help strengthen the connections made between the art forms of dance, theatre, and visual arts, and the participants’ personal lives.
Today marked the last Surrealism lesson and the wrap up for the month. Exquisite Corpse is a game founded by the Surrealism movement where each person contributes a section of a drawing with some guidelines, but without seeing the others’ contribution to the same composition. The students did three sections, a head, torso, and legs, and then opened the paper to see the result. It amazed us all the way some things were disconnected, but connected at the same time. Very similar to the dance choreography of Pilobolus where the body does things that we never imagine and morphs to become something recognizable, yet completely new.
These activities led to acceptance of the new and unusual. Students who were initially skeptical and uncomfortable have become more trusting and embracing of new processes—a good lesson for all of us.
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