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recent comments

On Feb 13 2018, co-director(s) commented on RFAOH x DHC, the first "non-art" workshops : Functional Origami, Three Guitar Chords: That's actually a good analysis -- we never thought about that[...]

On Feb 13 2018, milena commented on RFAOH x DHC, the first "non-art" workshops : Functional Origami, Three Guitar Chords: I like origami idea wery much. A think about: "How we could transfer it on other fields?#[...]

On Feb 21 2017, commented on Happy New Year from RFAOH office: Hello.[...]

On Nov 23 2016, milena kosec commented on RFAOH in LIKOVNE BESEDE /ARTWORDS: On the front page is an aquarelle by Metka Krašovec, famous Slovene painter.[...]

On Oct 25 2016, milena kosec commented on Happy one year birthday to Grey Tiger, our ex-resident's on-hiatus project: Congratulatios! I hope you stil enoy in job.[...]


RFAOH x DHC, the first “non-art” workshops : Functional Origami, Three Guitar Chords

Some may wonder about the random subjects of our “non-art” workshops we are offering as part of our satellite office operation at DHC/ART.  As we touched in the previous post, the art foundation initially invited us because of the conceptual thread between the theme of their current exhibition and RFAOH, and asked us to “activate the basement space unfamiliar to some gallery visitors” (a fitting analogy for RFAOH, isn’t it?).  The space is designated as a ‘reading room’ where you can reference material on the showcased artists, underneath their multi-level gallery.  We knew we wanted to set up an “office” there and conduct some activities we had proposed in the past to other institutions. (hiatus proposal reviews, presentations by ex-RFAOH residents, and lectures by (rather famous) artists on what they do when not making art etc.)  Some of these are logistically more feasible than others and this time, we decided to add free workshops to run ourselves on topics chosen from our limited skill-sets, knowledge, or long-term interests except art.  We wanted the workshops to convey the idea of hacks, alternative notions of creative assets and achievement, and a bit of nonsense.  And curiously, they happened to have some kind of association to the works in the exhibition.  

The first workshop was “FUNCTIONAL Origami“.  It turned out to be quite popular among gallery visitors of all ages who may have had little idea about RFAOH (and rightly so; there is no need for workshop participants to know that it’s part of our project). We showed how to make “functional” items using flyers and scrap papers, such as a “cellphone stand for smooth chatting and non-shaky selfies”; a “cat treat dog box”; a “wallet for alternative currencies”, and so on.  Many people are familiar with and inspired by origami in its art of transformation — nothing (a piece of paper) turning into something (or something that looks like something). We of course wanted to add more to it, making nothing into something that you can actually use (although some of which were precarious^^).  What really fascinates us about origami is that you do not transform the paper through cutting or gluing, so when “untransformed”, it goes back to the original form of a square piece of paper (with memories of the other state, perhaps).  This is once again, quite metaphorical and anecdotal to reflect upon in this time of heated debates around types of institutionalization and approaches to conflict etc.  Plus, the community of origami makers coming up with new ideas is ingenious!  This “kids’ craft” is deep.

 

Emergency slippers, photo: Jenny Lin
Cell phone stand

The second workshop was titled: “Learn three guitar chords (because you only need three)“.  If this old school DIY sentiment didn’t betray our ages, our song list likely did.  Participants were invited, two at a time, to sit with us and learn the chords, A, D, and E — the foundation of literally thousands of songs — as either “first position/country” chords, or  Johnny Ramone style “barre/power” chords.   There are clear advantages and disadvantages to each strategy.  Power chords bring the advantage of all sharing the same basic hand shape so there is really only one chord to memorize which may then be moved around the neck to play the three chords (or any chord for that matter).  In that sense they are a great hack for anyone wanting to learn enough guitar to start a band in under a week — as long as one can get past the hand stretch, which is a bit tricky for complete beginners.  We gave our participants only 30 minutes to learn these chords in the method of their choice before quickly rehearsing and recording a song; a challenging task but one that sets up the possibility of simultaneous success and failure.  The learners were generally split on which method they felt was easiest but all of them deserve a standing ovation for stepping outside their comfort zones and giving it a go. (Johnny would have been proud!) The notion of achievement is such arbitrary rhetoric without context.  Messing with this relationship between rhetoric and context permits nonsense at times and a point of great potential where we can leverage one against the other in ways that sometimes even surprise ourselves (and others, too, or piss them off).

At the end of the workshop participants were each given a RFAOH “devil horns” fake tattoo certification and their recording debut as an mp3 file.

We have four more workshops/lectures coming up — let’s see if we could earn a philosophy degree out of these fun times (;

 

Leave a Comment (2)

co-director(s) wrote on Feb 13:

That's actually a good analysis -- we never thought about that

milena wrote on Feb 13:

I like origami idea wery much. A think about: "How we could transfer it on other fields?#

 


Official Retirement from Art : The case of RFAOH ex-resident Milena Kosec

Over the holidays, we received some heart-warming greetings from RFAOH VIPs. Among them, our ex-resident Milena Kosec, wrote to confirm her “official retirement from art”. (This is a follow-up of our October 9th news ) This time, it really does appear “official”; she has attached a press release with a seal (as a word document though), dated January 10, 2018 — you can click and enlarge to see all the beautiful details.  What do we think about this??  Feel free to leave a comment for her; we will make sure she sees them all.

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Happy 2018 and the latest news from RFAOH office — the “satellite” office, to be specific

Well, that WAS a pretty good “hiatus” — we have not posted any news since early October.  Now the year has even changed and things have happened.  If you are on our mailing list or following our page on Face Book, you might know that our local art foundation DHC/ART in our home base of Montreal has invited RFAOH to set up a satellite office in their basement in conjunction with their current exhibition L’OFFRE. (on view until March 11, 2018 — an invigorating group show with many of our favourite artists)  While working on our upcoming publication in this temporary office, we will conduct a series of free events that offer visitors opportunities to embrace the notion of  “hiatus as a gift”.  This collaboration launched on December 14th when we presented our past three years of operation to our local audience, followed by an “Office Party“.

Image courtesy: DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art. Photo: Marc-Olivier Bécotte.

“Office Party” guests received a small gift from RFAOH

Today is our second (the first in 2018) “Open Office” day, and as we write this, we wait for visitors who may want to “discuss” about hiatus, or bring their on-hiatus proposal to be reviewed for a potential future RFAOH residency. Besides these “Open Office Wednesdays“, we will organize Saturday workshops and lectures on a wide range of subjects (except art) with some surprize guests…!  All the programs will be updated on our dedicated page, and DHC/ART’s FaceBook event pages.

We have always wanted to run a “satellite office” within an art institution, as they would ultimately endorse “artists not making art”.   “…These “in-person” interactions will allow us to manifest a virtual project within the real framework of the artworld, and provide space for discussion within the very context where a central paradox of RFAOH pivots.”  We are excited about this first opportunity, and would love to see you who happen to be in Montreal this winter.  We will also report what entails during our own residency at DHC/ART. Happy 2018 everyone, stay tuned!

PS: This Saturday, we’re demonstrating “functional” origami, that may totally change your idea of this “kids’ craft” (:

 

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