Today was a day filled with many forms of art.
A few of us went on a morning excursion to see the works of David Cerny around Prague. When we would find a sculpture of his we would stop to take a photo. Sometimes we would even take a picture with the statue, pointing to it, asking the question is that new photo art itself? Where does the art live, on our phones? Or in Prague, as a pleasent surprise to be enjoyed in the moment?
Cell phones. All over the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Jewish Quarter and Memorials here in Prage. 50 years ago sure, some photos would be taken on vacation, but not nearly as many as our selfie-stick, image crazed generation take today. When I first saw the strangely placed embryo my first instinct wasn’t to snap a picture, but look. It’s not everyday you see something so out of the ordinary, it’s not every day you’re in Prague.
However yes, I then snapped a photo.
I kinda knew what I was doing, taking a photo so I could remember it. However the question is, did I take it to remember the moment for me, to show my friends, my family? Or to check it off the list to say that I’ve been there, and I’ve seen it, to brag? Photographs can be all that’s left of memories once a trip has ended, and maybe even become a work of art themselves…
We all then had another experience with photographs in the evening. After a very informative workshop at Alfred ve Dvore where we learned about the history of the company and what kind of performance art that can happen there. We did an excercise where we made a ‘band’ using our bodies and making sounds. We also did an exercise where we wrote down all of the things we love. Some wrote paragraphs, some wrote lists. Some wrote poems, some wrote disco lyrics. We learned that being ourselves is the best thing you can do, telling your truth and your story is a powerful form of art.
Finally, we had a special screening of a work of art, a film. Made of a random Czech man’s home movies, following him from boyhood to old age. We all had a different experience watching footage from this person’s life. At the end of it as we were reflecting upon what we had just watched someone made a comment that this was once someone’s home movies, and now was taken and turned into a performance piece. A film where people who did not know this man or his family made opinions, guesses on what their life was like.
This comment made me realize that the photos and videos I took today maybe will become art again later on. We eventually all become figures of the past. However from watching the film, I saw that this man in a dark time in history had a beautiful life. Art was all around us today, the sculptures, the buildings of Prague, and at the theater space too. We took photos, we put our phones down too, and enjoyed the moment. We lived. Who knows maybe our tourist snapshots will be turned into art one day.