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Culture in France

Speed art at Feldstärke International

Audio 07:26
Edouard Caupeil
By: Rosslyn Hyams
11 min

A group of young people from far and wide, and from a wide array of cultural disciplines, come together to pool talents and ideas in a programme called Feldstärke International. The French phase of the project was held over a week in Paris.

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It's a newish city-hopping experience in the creative process and says Courtney Geraghty at the 104 Centre in the north-east corner of Paris: “The emphasis is on learning to function in the international art circuit. It’s also on the creative process rather than on a finished work."

Of the 50 or so students, most of them are close to graduation from prominent art schools in France (e.g. Femis Film School, Landscaping Versailles, Dance Angers), Germany (Folkwang University, Ernst Busch School, Ruhr Bochum) , Turkey ( Bilgi University, MIAM, Yildiz) or the US (CalArt).

They spent just a week in Paris, formed a working group and came up with a project. Like they had done in Germany previously at the Zollverein in Essen and were set to do in Istanbul. They exchange experiences of discipline or approach, what they've learned and what inspires them.

At the end of the week, and after only three days of production proper, their work was exposed. A certain philosophical or game-playing approach was common to many endeavours.

Dancer Uri Turkenich is originally from Israel and now lives in Germany. Along with two Iranians, Mohammad Abbasi and Madjid Tahriri, and two Taiwanese students, Chang-wen Hsu and Yu-Hsuan Wei, they performed White Balloon 1+2, which started out as one piece and ended as two.

“I made up this game inspired by choreographer Xavier Le Roy and I wanted to use these balloons, and we put it together and the ideas didn’t work together," Turkenich says.

Laure Flammarion, one of the French participants and formerly of the School of Arts Décoratifs in Paris, created a film/installation called If you wear me, with dancer Enad Marouf.

She's female, he's male. There are three television screens. Screen one: a pile of neatly-folded clothes. Screen two: Enad Marouf puts on and takes off the clothes piece by piece. Screen three: a jumbled pile of clothes that grows as Enad discards each garment. Flammarion is, amongst other things, surely asking whether you are what you wear.

“The work is a question about him, me, who is who, who is wearing who, and what. The conclusion is... it’s really weird how my clothes fit him. I’ve locked my luggage.”

Flammarion chose a background to her tightly-focused body-in-action, whose grey and white tiles suggest a laboratory and experiment. “I’ll take more risks in film-making in the future," she says.

Sound and vision interconnected liberally in the different projects. Some groups decided to connect their work directly with the neighbourhood.

Film was an “appropriate medium for working fast... and for building a relationship with the people in the city,” commented Peter Hubert, a graphic artist from Germany.

After he and his Franco-German-Turkish co-art students hung a garland of letters from a disused bridge over the Canal de l'Ourq near le Parc de la Villette, which read Enterrer tes Doutes (Bury your Doubts), they interviewed local people along the canal about doing just that.

Some were confused, others philosophical, pessimistic or optimistic. At the end of the 10' film, Kursçka, it didn't even matter what was said somehow. What remained were their faces, their expressions, the local, human, colour and flavour. And a fascinating ’pendant’ film study of pet pensées and a sense of philosophically fun, creative achievement.

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