‘HOW TO DO/HOW TO BE’ A Performance Art Workshop
Artist: Tomasz Szrama (POL/FIN)
Sun 12th Nov 2023, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm NZDT
Altiora (The Gym)2 Worcester Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand Tomasz Szrama offers a one day masterclass in performance art practices.
Tomasz Szrama presents himself as a performance artist for whom the very moment of creation is essential. For the past 30 years he has been performing in institutional contexts and venues, as well as in unique places such as streets and markets, an aeroplane deck, a ferry boat, a Mexican desert or a yurt on the Mongolian steppe, often in conditions that are far from ideal. Now he wants to share his experiences, which have reinforced his belief that performance art is a perfect art form, and that the best way to learn it is by actively experimenting live, in the face of the eternal potential for personal failure, as well as watching others do so.
In Szrama's workshop participants have the chance to practice the implementation of the concept of performance/action art set in a specific context (time, space, given conditions and constraints), as well as looking at and discussing different possible approaches to this exciting discipline.
Szrama aims to provide participants with a platform to explore the possibilities of creating in front of an audience, to learn the relevant tools and to find their own vocabulary, methods, strategies. Although the course will focus primarily on 'HOW TO DO / HOW TO BE' with an emphasis on working under pressure, quick decision-making and compromise, there can be a lot of fun in it too.
Participants of all skill levels and disciplines are welcome, wear clothes you feel comfortable in and that are not precious, as it may get a little messy!
*Please bring a packed lunch, as we will have a break for lunch but want to keep everyone nearby.
If you have any questions or queries, please be in touch!
Tomasz Szrama (b. 1970 in Poland) graduated in 1998 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland. Currently he lives in Helsinki, Finland. Szrama shifts between multiple disciplines, including photography, video and other time-based works. Regardless of the medium, a dominant thread, common in his work is the use of his own body and methods of performance art, which he has practiced since 1993. Characteristic features of his work are the use of spectators and improvisation. Szrama has been regularly performing internationally in various live art events and festivals in 30 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America. Further, over the past 16 years, he has been an active performance art event organiser. Szrama has worked as a producer, designer, technical manager and has been responsible for organising live art events at HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme. Currently, Szrama teaches, gives lectures, and offers workshops. Szrama is a working grant recipient from the Arts Promotion Centre Finland for the year 2016, 2022 as well as the years 2018–2020, from the Kone Foundation for 2017 and from the Finnish Cultural Foundation for 2021.
I am fine and I’m scared to death
I do not have any fixed views. I do not believe in any system, or any absolute truth. The world is evolving. Cosmos expands. As I age, I have more doubts.
My art is in a constant flux between sincerity, humour and complete despair. I am frantically trying to capture the essence of a situation, a state of mind.
My performances are a forum, a space in time for interaction with the audience. I hope that in my desperate gestures' viewers will find for themselves something meaningful, even transcendent. I still naively believe that anyone can create a phenomenon on a cosmic scale, and I feel it will be a meaningless sacrifice of an insignificant man.