Colpani & Peer invited 6 participants living in Amsterdam to partake in Colpani's work process: to engage physically with the space of the city starting from their own personal location and perspective. With a combination of readings, screenings, individual walks, group discussions and the production of an exhibition and a publication, we will research as individuals and as a group what the physical experience of distance in the city does to us, and how it can bring us closer to an understanding of our place and identity in our living environment: the city of Amsterdam.
#1: introduction and literature study
All participants introduced themselves, their practice or research: Marta Colpani, Elisa Fiore, Esther Brakenhoff, Dorin Budusan, Leslie Newhall, Liesbeth Wiegers, Annemarie Cilon.
During the first meeting, some themes emerged during group presentations and literature study. These themes connect us and will be our common ground during the coming period working together.
act of walking as conversation
movement as a space on its own
places that connect people
places that are connected with each other
closeness through things and objects
finding your way back home
#2: experiences of distance
Today all participants walked from their home to Peer. We met in the late morning and we spend most of our day telling about our individual walks.
Short movie: "Great piece of turf"by Helene Sommer
Opening the door and letting things happen
Receiving a gift
Seeing the space from outside reflected inside an empty house
Discovering connections between us while we tell about our walks
Following instructions to navigate the streets
Real space is different from its digital map
Where does Amsterdam end, where does it begin, what does it contain
How the ends and begins of Amsterdam look like
Moving towards a destination guided by warmth, trying to walk in the sun
Mental distance instead of real distance
Looking for an oasis in the city
#3: constructing a shared story
Here is where the hardest part begins: making choices together, negotiating, giving up some control, seeing our concepts and plans being transformed by the "whole".
Out of all these fragments, impressions, images, words, found objects, different iteneraries, our story together is slowly emerging.
We are using the working table as a sketch for our work, connecting different elements and making more selections.
Today we also talked about the choice of material and how to use the space where we will install the work.
#4: story in its space
We spent our last Sunday giving every bit of our story a place at Peer. Together, we tried to make every part of the story connected in the space where the work will eventually be installed and displayed. At the same time we also tried to work with the space off the walls, with some surprising results.
Finally, we talked to each other about the process and results. Something beautiful: we all struggled at some point, but we now all feel the work is ours. Not because we literally see our contributions in it in terms of text or images, but rather because we see that we were part of the productive process. Not all of us contributed in the same way, but we all find ourselves in there.