improvisation as a creative act
The herbarium is a result of our collaborative working sessions in improvisation after a period of seven years.
The reason of our continuing encounter is the exploration of the creative process itself: to create by doing, to listen to each other and to enter in a free play within the given conditions: Bart as a musician and Barbara as a visual artist. In fact, this guide line gives us the possibility to experiment within its limitation, while our approach and reaction towards each other shifted in time. Our material as the cord, the bow, the cello, the paper, the color, the voice, the movement and the found material “on stage”, is open to both of us; the bow as a longhand to draw, the papers used to make sound, the voice who leads the movements and so on. These overlappings happen uncontrolled, the score is written in action.
During our reflection time at home I am unconsciously returning to my original point of departure as a visual artist. So I still use our tools in this perspective, even though I make sound with my pencil, papers or my body and move in space according to my human counterpart and the ongoing sensations.
In the herbarium we show the body of our work. It functions as a documentation and portfolio. With a video documentation we found it impossible o scratch the sphere of the performance itself. Instead the video camera became another tool during the sessions. While we started to use Bart grandmother´s herbarium in our free play and in workshops with others, the decision grow to use this particular format as our visualization and voice for the work we are doing together.
Collecting and putting words, images and visualized sounds together and not to bind them in a book, to let them even grow while enfolding them, is for us the ideal way to show the work. In this very moment, the herbarium shifts from a portfolio to a working instrument, a tool we use to communicate. In the setting of discussions we pass our work along, the herbarium goes from one hand to an other, then people are asked to chose one page, which talk to them the most.
Therefore the order of the pages is changing every time, the amount of pages is not determinate. The herbarium shrinks and grows, like a physical body. Only if we freeze a status quo, we can name it an art piece.
When we open the herbarium we talk about two choices we can offer:
- We share verbally what we already did by showing the fragments we have collected. These collecting pieces contain images of the plants, which Bart´s grandmother put together in her herbarium, text excerpts of our e-mail exchanges after a meeting, drawings of the sessions and projects, which are linked to the herbarium.
- we integrate and share our practice with other artists from different domains.
The content of the herbarium, the improvisation and collaboration work of two people in space, functions like the herbarium itself: by integrating and working with other artists, the seed spreads and another herbarium is on stage.
The herbarium tells us about the living power, which inheres the creative process.
In the herbarium we plant the free play, our experiences and the sharing are seeds, reinventing our grandmothers and our history are the and the growing and involving projects are the collection of plants.
PLANTs (the project, the product, the (written)outcome