Justus-Liebig-Universität GießenInstitut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft

Monsters and Materials

BA 05/06/09/10/11

MA 02/04

How do we let the images, the research materials talk to us and take our work somewhere else? Monsters and Materials is a practice-based seminar focussing on the questions, the texts, the music, the objects we would like to use on stage. Sometimes a text or an image catches our attention and it is able to open up a process of artistic research. Some other times we deal with questions looking for research materials to be put at work with. What’s a good question? Why are some questions better than others? How do we look for what we need when we don’t know what that is? And if we find something, how do we let it speak without immediately bending it to what we want? How do we let research materials hijack the process? How do artists cultivate uncertainty and possibilities around the ideas and objects constituting their research materials? This seminar borrows different exercises and procedures elaborated by artists from different fields that deal with how things found through research can bring the process elsewhere ad how to let them work. These exercises differ according to the form of the research materials (text, image, academic text, urban landscape, collective or personal histories, fictional characters, objects, ...) and constitute a pool of possibilities. The final program of the seminar will depend on the interests and research materials brought in by the participants. Very often these processes are nurtured by a plurality, a group that through different interpretations, ideas and desire helps to keep the research material alive, open and not easily tameable. The focus of the seminar is on the process rather than the research materials themselves: they could be those ‘sticky’ concepts or objects that for different reasons tend to stay with you or return but could not yet find a way to the stage and might never do. They can be ‘stupid ideas’ lending themselves to an experimentation of non-domestication, or the by-product of previous works that might be used once again, or yet again something different.