REVIEW OF THE TARGU-MURES LAB
The 3rd and last co-creation Lab of ‘Make a Move project’ was hosted between 9th and 18th December 2019 by the University of Arts Târgu-Mureș, Romania, welcoming resident artists and collectives of the project, as well as local Romanian and Hungarian artists (Delia Dușa, Anette Marka, Adél Püspöki, Otília László, Pálffy Zsófia, Miruna Lazăr, Ioan-Antoniu Nica, Aletta Zselyke Kenéz, Răzvan Târnovan, and Irisz Kovacs). Together with the artists, the event included the researchers of the project, Lia Conțiu and Traian Penciuc from the University of Arts Târgu-Mureș and Adina Mocanu from the Institute of the Arts Barcelona, and the external evaluators, Cristina Da Milano and Darko Lukić.
Considering that artists may find it difficult to talk about their artists products, the theme of the 3rd Lab in Targu-Mures was ‘Inside Out – Positioning non-institutionalised theatre practices in a critical journalistic and business context’, where different approaches of ‘translating’ the artistic universe into words were taking into consideration, using tools from the area of theatre criticism, journalism or aesthetics.
The activities of this lab were held in the spaces of Studio 2.1., in the western part of Târgu-Mureș, a professional venue that belongs to the University of Arts, which is mainly used as a performance and rehearsing space for students at the Puppetry studies. Having interculturality as a valuable asset of the city (and of the ‘Make a Move’ project, as well), the Artistic module of the Lab organized in Târgu-Mureș had ‘the added value of interculturality’ as a starting point, therefore focusing on: different artistic practices and approaches, creative processes and methodologies related to collective creation; exchanges of information, skills, and experience between international, local and regional participants on the topic of artistic excellence and audience development; meetings with focus groups, which included students of the university; preparation and development of short-term project ideas with local, regional and international artists; presentations for the local public, the press, opinion-makers, and cultural professionals.
On the first day, 9th December, after a short session of getting to know each other – resident and local artists –, the participants had the opportunity to learn more about the multicultural heritage of Târgu-Mureș and how the Romanian and Hungarian ethnic groups share and collaborate in this space. The city presentations were done by two professionals in the field of communication and performing arts, Angela Precup (cultural journalist) and Patkó Éva (theatre director), representing, at the same time, the two ethnic groups of the city. The afternoon was dedicated to draft planning of a focus group with students of the university, trying to define some ways of involving students, of gathering information via theatrical games, improvisation, open talks, etc. The session was moderated by Patkó Éva, a director with a great experience of working with students.
The next day (10th December) was dedicated to a lecture and workshop led by Raluca Blaga, PhD in theatre and performing arts and university lecturer, who gave practical examples of how contemporary European theatre directors take audience into consideration, besides the regular/traditional performer-audience relationship, while the afternoon session focused on defining some topics of interest for the artists to explore with students. The group decided to have a home, healing, background, otherness and collective memory as exploration topics.
The artists having been divided into groups according to some work methods they were interested in exploring, the 11th of December was a big day for them, as they met students in a focus group session. Working in groups with students proved to be a rich experience for both sides: for some of the groups, deep emotional states were triggered, while others had a lot of fun knowing the clichés and jokes about living among Romanians and Hungarians in Târgu-Mureș.
Other two workshop sessions were led by Angela Precup, press historian and cultural journalist from the Romanian Television, who talked about ways of presenting the artist and the artistic product in today’s very event-crowded environment, while Patkó Éva presented her director’s perspective on the involvement of audience, thinking about the audience not as a passive receiver of a cultural product, but as an active member and a supporter of the artistic community, giving example from Romania, Hungary, and the United States.
After deciding the working groups, methods and some ways their artistic work-in-progress moment would like to take shape (whether as pantomime, as exploration of local lamentations and stories, video story, or as audio installation, as live sound and body movement exploration, and, last but not least, as cooking show), the artists started rehearsing in the spaces of Studio 2.1, preparing the public presentation on the 15th of December. And the big day has come, with students, professors, journalists and local audience, all very curious and traveling from one hall to another to see the work-in-progress moments.
Excellent feedback was provided and future collaboration groups started to take shape, which means that one of the missions of the project was deeply accomplished.
The last days of Lab were dedicated to a Grant Writing boot camp, coordinated by Barbara Rovere, a process of presenting various project funding mechanisms and live writing and correcting of resident artists grant proposals.
Photo credits / New Generation Studio