On Happiness and Connecting
Text by Claudia Galhós
The philharmonic band is playing an ABBA Medley. The sound comes shouting in, with happiness, into the White Room (the meeting room, where all organisational meetings have been occurring and artists go during the day to work on computers) coming from one of the studios of Convento da Saudação. Andrea is testing the record version of the philharmonic band from Montemor-o-Novo, Sociedade Antiga Filarmónica Montemorense Carlista, playing songs from ABBA. The idea is to have the band playing live on Saturday, with the inhabitants from Montemor and the participants in TryAngle singing along with it as if in an analog karaoke. Andrea Spreafico is the author of this idea.
An analog karaoke with a 40 musicians band is not exactly the kind of artistically proposal expected from such a contemporary, experimental project – more focused on artistic research and not on production – as is the case of TryAngle. But the fact is that it was also not expected that, at the end of first week of residency, around two hundred people would occupy the arena of the Bullfight building to take a 360 degree photography, materializing the simingly impossible idea Ola Osowicz and Anna Nowicka shared on the very first day of TryAngle. But this is just one aspect of a much more complex, diverse and rich TryAngle Montemor experience, both in life and in art.
TryAngle Montemor entered, by now, the last phase of it’s existence. There already is a feeling of the remainings of the intense activity – working and connecting with people – that still occupies the interior of the Convent walls. Actually, the first hints of this nostalgic atmosphere started monday, with one internal presentation (“Fado – Fade” from Jörg Ritzenhoff) and one failed presentation, because technology was not cooperating… at the end of the day.
Thursday (the 20th September) the programme of internal presentations (with some external visitants accompanying it) was intense. It started at 9 p.m. and it finished close to midnight. And the first moment installed the tone of the night: singing ABBA songs, to the sound of a record of the Medley philharmonic band is going to play live on saturday. It started with a joyful rehearse for future presentation.
Andrea chose the title of the project from the lyrics of one of the songs: “And I have met my destiny in quite a similar way”. And through the continuation of the night there was the movement of people circulating through the convent, entering rooms usually not used, to see the revelations of each artist’s monster, for Thomas Fourneau’s project “Monsters” – which created the absurd opportunity to hear him saying: “Thanks for you monsters”. Then the path directed people down the stairs, into the dark ruins of the cloister to see Linda Blomqvist “The Power of Horror”, and from there to The Barn, to watch a solo performance from Rui Catalão about “La critique de la raison de ânes”, where he tells stories, something he does very naturally, intermediated by some insights into the human behaviour and a possible psychoanalysis for the reasons why people behave the way they do – such as: “We spend the all day trying to imagine who we really are… And then… we meet people. And we have to connect.”
The ways of how to connect with people are very diverse. And that different approaches to the others – other artist, other person, other reality, other artistic language, other time… – is an element very much present in the combination of experiments shared this thursday night, either if they were through photography (in the case of Alma Palacios with Alwynne Pritchard), either if it was through the documentation of first impressions of going into a traditional wood handcraft workshop (such was the case of Leandro Kees’ video “Manuel”), either sharing a first encounter between a dancer and a writer recorded on video for posterior testimony (the case of “Text” by Shang Chi Sun and Jacinto Lucas Pires) or even the sensible, poetic, intimate fragments of Philippe Vincent’s short video-dance “Boy Meets Girl”, danced by Leandro Kees and Emmi Venna. The programme of thursday night is a clear hint for the diversity of how to connect with others having art as a pretext…
THURSDAY’S PRESENTATIONS – 21H
And I have met my destiny in quite a similar way (rehearsal)
by Andrea Spreafico / Studio Montemor / 30 min
Opening of The Monster’s Room
by Thomas Fourneau / Cloister / 10 min
The Power of Horror
by Linda Blomqvist, Emmi Venna, Polina Akhmetzyanova, Andrea Spreafico and Thomas Fourneau / Cloister down floor / 30 min
La critique de la raison de ânes
by Rui Catalão / Barn / 15 min
by Alma Palacios and Alwynne Pritchard / Studio Montemor / 10 min
by Shang Chi Sun and Jacinto Lucas Pires / Studio Montemor / 7 min
by Leandro Kees / Studio Montemor / 4 min
by Ola Osowicz and Anna Nowicka / Studio Monfurado / loop
Boy Meets Girl
by Phillipe Vincent, with Rui Catalão, Emmi Venna and Leandro Kees / Studio Monfurado / 15 min
Sounds of Montemor (try out)
Jorg Ritzenhoff /Cloister Downstairs / 20 min