Social Sculpture

Creation draws a line between being a passive and an active agent in people’s life. Creation starts with questions. This process of discovery is both exceptionally broad and incredibly relevant for creating strong contextual work and social behaviour; regardless of whether we are conceiving of socially engaged performative art work or a highly sophisticated installation.

Particularly, the sequences of the workshop/performance focus on human behaviour in a group and as individuals. The workshop confronts the participants and audience sometimes in a real, sometimes in a metaphorical manner with situations of Conflict-Confrontation-to be on your own–against each other. However, the way the sequences of the workshop/performance are structured also leads to reflections about solutions, in order to find ways of collaborating and creating a democratic process.

Nevertheless, the political situation and state of the world is quiet far removed from a culture of collaboration and strong democracy. Not only distant politics and politicians are important for us, so that we become aware of conflicts and confrontations, our loneliness or powerlessness. At the same time, being creative and willing to act collaboratively, in democratic ways, in order to overcome conflicts, is crucial, regardless of whether these are enacted in our own daily lives and environments, or on the political stage.

Social sculpture is part of the concept for my personal project, but at the same time, it is implemented in interactive and participative workshops for the general public/audience. I add my own ideas and concepts, as well as the keywords “Conflict”, “Confrontation”, “Collaboration”, and “Democratic process”.

Social Sculpture, by Johannes Gerard, revolved around four main axes: body awareness, spatial awareness, creative awareness and collaboration. Social sculpture is a term to describe an expanded concept of art that was advocated by the German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986), in the seventies of the last century. Beuys created the term social sculpture to embody his understanding of art’s potential to transform society. As a work of art, a social sculpture includes human activity that strives to structure and shape society or the environment. The central idea of a social sculptor describes a person/an artist who creates structures in a society, using language, thoughts, actions and objects.

The position of the body in the surrounding environment/location is vital. The concept focuses on the relations between bodies to each other, movements, objects and the surrounding space/environment. Participants are engaged in physical movements and actions, changing roles, decision-making, exchange of ideas and interrogating performativity. Sculptural and textile materials are introduced as working tools for creating communal body configurations.

We would like you to watch these Respublika produced videos, presenting of the 3 participatory performances by Johannes Gerard Social sculpture 1, Social sculpture 2, and Social sculpture 3.
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