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Transformaciones diciembre 18, 2009

Posted by christian saucedo in Other projects.
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Hace unas semanas tuve la oportunidad de platicar con Robert Brecevic en Casa Lamm de la Ciudad de México, donde presentó la pieza Transformaciónes, la cual se trata de un interesante ejercicio visual que me dejó sorprendido por su calidad y calides en relación a la percepción cultural que existe entorno a la cultura de las tantas comunidades indígenas establecidas al sur de nuestro país (México).

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A few weeks ago I have the opportunity to talk with Robert Brecevic in Casa Lamm Mexico City where he presented Transformaciónes, which is an interesting visual exercise that I was surprised by its quality and warmth in relation to the cultural preception  that exist around the culture of many indigenous comunities established at the south or our country (Mexico).

SOCIO-CULTURAL TRANSFORMATIONS THROUGH NEW MEDIA IN ZEGACHE, MEXICO

During the month of November, Transformaciones – a collaboration between Swedish artist collective Performing Pictures of the Interactive Institute and Mexican partners Proyecto Zegache and La Curtiduria – reaches its first phase. In the project, media art, traditional crafts and cultural heritage merge into new art works, and a mutual exchange of knowledge creates new contexts.

The project was conceived in Zegache, Oaxaca, which is also the arena where original image meets representation, where image meets its spectator – where an I meet a You.

The project manifests itself through a series of nichos which contain responsive, moving images, in short, interactive videos. The motif appears while the spectator closes in, and it disappears when the viewer goes away. The content of the videos are the product of social processes, namely estetic preparations and ritual-theatrical transformations; in itself the ground of the origin of drama.

The emigration struck village Zegache, and its church Santa Ana, is an established arena for ongoing socio-cultural changes through Proyecto Zegache*, employing contemporary art and traditional crafts as the means of social empowerment. Transformaciones build upon this existing tradition of Talleres Comunitarios (community workshops), which has played a significant role in the development of the village.

As part of the project a series of practical workshops in microelectronics is executed for the artisans engaged in the community workshops. By adding new-media elements, traditional crafts and manual skills can be rendered renewed relevance as well as much needed commercial potential for the community.

The motives behind the project are artistic as well as idealistic and pragmatic: to create universal images that build upon the relation with the spectator, and at the same time uphold cultural uniqueness through translations of a traditional expression into new media.

In autumn 2009, the first of the nichos, depicting The Lady of Guadalupe is produced in Zegache with surroundings, and given the title Movement no.7: To Appear.

*Zegache Communitarian Workshops, originates through the Oaxacan artist and philanthropist Rodolfo Morales’ (✝) initiative. Santa Ana Zegache is a marginalized population that suffers a high rate of migration, but owns a major historical and cultural heritage. The rescue of the heritage, the creation of decent jobs in the town, the return of old crafts and projects related to contemporary art are some of the goals achieved within this initiative.
Thanks to the generosity of more than sixty contemporary artists, through the support of foundations like Rockefeller, Alfredo Harp Helú and the cultural projects of La Curtiduría, the direction of restorer Georgina Saldaña Wonchee and artist Demián Flores, 18 young zegachecos are supporting themselves and their families. They continuously acquire skills and relate to artistic practice. This leads to empowerment and future livelihood.

Image texts:
1. Oscar and Chiquis are working on the nicho, which is made out of cedar wood.
2. For the creation of the first nicho, the costume of the Virgin of Guadalupe has been minitiously designed based on the many sybolics surrounding the myth. It includes an electronically enhanced mantel, filled with more than 60 sparkling LEDs.
2. Knowledge exchange and the acquiring of new skills is at the core of the Transformacions project. Edy and Eli from Talleres Communitarios in Zegache learn more about micro-electronics.
4. On the set for the shooting of the film material for the first nicho, depicting the Lady of Guadalupe’s appearance to Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac.

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Performing Pictures is Geska Helena Brečević and Robert Brečević – a Stockholm-based artist duo, working in the area of moving images and new technologies for media delivery as part of the Interactive Institute. In our artistic practice we explore and develop responsive film art from a number of formative limitations in time and space. The ambition is to do simple and straightforward tales that rely on silent action, a dramatic shift in posture, a certain gesture and a relation between one or several characters.

About Geska and Robert

Geska Helena Brečević and Robert Brečević’s works are pictures that perform – but only in the meeting with the viewer.

The artists call it “responding film”, or “film that answers when spoken to”. The works are made up of filmed micro-narratives. When the viewer reaches a certain distance to the screen or moves in a certain way in front of a projection surface, the narrative is influenced, a movement is liberated. The expression “an artwork exists only in the meeting with its viewer” is unusually relevant here. It should feel like there is a rally between the artwork and the viewer; that the viewer perfects the work with her presence – becomes a partner.

(Helena Thunell, excerpt from the introduction to the book Performing Pictures, release autumn 2008)

ROBERT BREČEVIĆ

ARTIST, FILMMAKER, DEVELOPER, PERFORMING PICTURES CO-FOUNDER

Robert is an artist and a film-maker trained at the University College of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre in Stockholm. He works with enhanced video in order to examine the on-screen choreography of player characters. His work facilitates research within the field of public spaces and enhanced media. Prior work includes commissioned scriptwriting at SF (Svensk Filmindustri), production of independent short movies as well as commissioned feature film production and screenwriting by the Swedish Film Institute. He has also worked as a game designer in Germany and Sweden; and as co-producer on major PC-game titles with TV4, published by Electronic Arts. Designer of experience centres with clients such as Coca Cola company. Developer of prize-winning interactive cinema titles and independent productions of playable movies commissioned by the SACD (French Association of Authors and Composers) and the EU-funded Media II programme.

GESKA HELENA BREČEVIĆ

ARTIST, FILMMAKER, PRODUCER, PERFORMING PICTURES CO-FOUNDER

Prior experiences include work as a cultural editor, film and drama critic and stage- and costume designer for theatre. Teacher at the school of Arts and Communication at Malmö University. In a commercial context she has worked with film and media at Scandvision Mediahouse (for clients such as Ericsson, HM) and with webbased communication at Moonwalk Stockholm. Project based work with the Exit99 Outdoor Performance Festival, contemporary dance company ccap (cristina caprioli artificial experience), the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company and others. Geska has been working with several programs and studios within the Interactive Institute since 2001, most recently as director of the Trans-Reality Game Lab.

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