Educational project
(February 22 – April 7, 2017),
created for the Jan Fabre's exhibition
"Knight of Despair / Warrior of Beauty"
at the State Hermitage Museum
(St.Petersburg, Russia)
Participants of the educational project "Interlude: Circles on Water" together with curator of the Youth Center of the State Hermitage
Museum and invited playwright (Natasha Borenko) and theatre director (Masha Kolosova) from The Theatre Project "Vmeste" (Russian for "Together") will conduct a documentary research of how contemporary museum visitor
reacts to Jan Fabre's exhibition "Knight of Despair / Warrior of Beauty". By means of theatrical methods of documentary theater
(collection of verbatim, the analysis of documents, observations on spot) participants will collect material for future documentary
performance, considering the most variable reactions to an exhibition of the general public. In parallel with a documentary research
participants will attend lectures about Jan Fabre's creativity, where they will be able to comprehend works of the artist from within -
and to connect this knowledge to outer effect of an exhibition. Together with the curator of this project, playwright and theatre
director participants will develop the concept of a performance, will write the scenario and will provide result to the audience.
To create and present to the general public the documentary performance based on a research of interaction of museum visitors
with Jan Fabre's exhibition "Knight of Despair / Warrior of Beauty".
• To acquaint participants of the project with Jan Fabre's exhibition "Knight of Despair / Warrior of Beauty".
• To comprehend Jan Fabre's exhibition, to reveal zones of interests of participants among the ideas of the artist.
• To investigate all forms of interaction of people with an exhibition: to study visitors' books about an exhibition, publications
about an exhibition in social networks, to make observations of visitors, to interview the staff of the museum.
• To systematize collected information.
• To develop and demonstrate a documentary performance, based on collected documentary materials
Open for the general public display of a documentary performance in the space of the General staff building of the Hermitage.
The project demonstrates the example of the educational program, synthesizing several formats of work with audience: traditional formats of lectures and master classes, and contemporary - mediation, the project work, storytelling, theatrical methods. Participants get multidimensional experience - plunge into a research of an exhibition of the contemporary art and comprehend, analyze and creatively express the gained knowledge.
Exhibitions of the contemporary art often become a subject of heated debates. And in connection with this exact exhibition of Jan Fabre at The Hermitage the agressive reaction of the general public started to spread around all possible social networks, press etc. So that is why studying of this reaction to our exhibition and perception of the contemporary art in the traditional museum became the purpose of the project. Inclusion of the documentary theater - for the first time in educational practice of The Hermitage - has defined technique of a research: studying of visitors' books, publications about exhibition, observation of visitors, interviews with the staff of the museum. I like the fact that now together with our participants we came to an idea, that final performance will become the platform for a discussion, where not only participants of the project will have a word, but also the audience will be actively involved in discussion of sensitive issues: art borders, contemporary art as instrument of promotion, social responsibility of art, elitism of art, museum as temple or museum as a progressive institution and others.
photos from the workshops
More about
The Theatre Project "Vmeste"
More about
The Youth Centre of
The Hermitage Museum
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