Bronwyn Lace / Alexander Schellow
A 'less-used' toolbox
This is a performance text, it invents a useless/less-used toolbox and tracks a conversation between artists Alexander Schellow and Bronwyn Lace.
Centre for the Less Good Idea
The Centre for the Less Good Idea, based in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa is founded and supported by artist William Kentridge. It is a physical and immaterial space to pursue incidental discoveries made in the process of creating new work. The Centre’s focus is to find opportunities for secondary, responsive thinking by creating and supporting experimental, collaborative and cross-disciplinary arts projects.
In 2016, Bronwyn Lace, as a visual artist/activist in Johannesburg joined William Kentridge in the establishing and animating of The Centre. Lace was the founding Animateur until end 2019 and today she sits as co-director on the board as she is living and working in Vienna, Austria. Site specificity, responsiveness and ‘performativity’ are central to her practice.
At The Centre animateuring is seen as the radical role of growing in a constant state of not knowing. The Centre has developed a space whose culture is one of empathy, intimacy and trust, it prizes questioning and risk taking and encourages honesty and self awareness. Rather than insisting artists are good or right it asks artists to simply be present. The Centre seeks to be a safe space for vastly different artists to be together, the rigour comes not from a critical stripping of one another’s ideas but rather from acknowledging the fragility of ideas and making the work vulnerable by exposing and sharing it in all its stages of growth with others.
Department animation and time-based practices
Since its creation in 1972, erg has defined itself as a school of research where the activation of modes and spaces of production leads the student to learn and unlearn by doing. The strong articulation of all courses creates a zone of convergence that brings about the unexpected, the exchange, the collective, the hybrid form, thus contributing to the training of citizen-artists in relation to the world, well beyond their period of training.
Within this logic, in a process in close collaboration with students and colleagues initiated and moderated by artist and filmmaker Alexander Schellow, erg`s department of animation and time based practices has adopted since various years a new conceptual and methodological trajectory. The department is no longer defined via a rather technical understanding of animation as a defined body of how-to-do’s to be taught to students. It has morphed instead into an expanded concept of animation, or rather “animateuring”, embracing notions such as peripheral findings, contamination, hesitation or non-productivity. In this new framework, the department encourages individual and collective experimentation based on methods across media-specific techniques or genres.
Animation here is mainly understood as an open reference system of artistic practices, which requires time and again a formulation and reformulation of one's own repertoire of procedures — to be able to enter into a dialogue. A dialogue, that forms the basis for both: reflection and self-reflection.
Credits video fragments :
COUNTING SECONDS as part of the Long Minute series
Conceptualised and performed by | William Kentridge
Cinematography & Video editing by | Chris-Waldo de Wet
Video Editing & Compositing by | Žana Marović
Workshops towards QUBULA as part of SEASON 6
Conceptualised and performed by | Nhlanhla Mahlangu
Cinematography and editing by | Noah Cohen
Fragment of COUNTING OUT LOUD UNTIL THE CAMERA SHUTS DOWN
Performance/video [one screen, 12’41”, 2014] by | Inca Garnica