Follow on Facebook Facebook 
Follow on Twitter   Twitter

Questivals

The name given to the constellation of works in afterschools, museums, organizations for adults etc.

About exploration, discovery, learning… and the constant quest…

{Excerpt from earlier formulation}

The programs in the galleries and the schools and the afterschool joints around the city all give them different names. Even I myself did that: gave the various programs different names, that is. Meet the Met, Closer Look, Gallery Chat. Those were the existing ones. Stuff I came up with: Wider Angles, Double Exposures, MoMA Outdoors. Whatever. Point is: design, create, implement, lead and perform: you do it under the existing aegis – or else there would be no way to actually do anything – unless you actually invented and installed the whole thing. In truth, to me, each is a questival, and together, they form the Questivals: a grand compendium of involvement in various forms of art, engagement at various levels, to various degrees, with changing levels of interest and intensity: where a transdisciplinary approach, through discussion and creations, across the world geographically and temporally, allows the acquisition of knowledge and skills, both general, and in focused arenas (literacy, say, or drawing).

Components:

Kids are a necessity. Adults can be there too. Their presence is, or can be, plenty fruitful – even though sometimes it’s hard to reign them in. (As in: during a program, a question is posed; parent subsequently leans over to three year-old and whispers: cubism, tell him cubism.) But the kids – age-range: 1-18 – are a necessity.

Questivals aren’t about having the answers. It’s about exploration and the discovery of the process of creation, the process of perception, the meaning and relevance of activities, and ultimately, yep, life.

So, component: you got the kids, you got the parents, and you got stuff you explore: in the galleries of the museums, it’s works, labeled generously, art. In the afterschool settings of my earlier days in the hood, it might be walking out and checking out the folks and interviewing them and then getting back in and watching a film and then something else.

Questivals are about a tone:

Good morning everyone! How’s everyone doing? Glad to hear it! – that’s for the kids.

Yo yo everybody, watta watta – teens then. (No cliché, true)

It’s about setting up the program and bringing in connections between works, mediums, endeavors, fields.

It’s about conceptual illustration, thinking, illumination, insight, through various memorable and personable modalities.

 

An example: the sculptural collage: I would, before a program, assemble a bunch of different things, anything, straws, cups, images, newspapers, mags, whatever, put them up on a table, and then organize several groups looking at this non-sensical object from multiple vantage points – wherever they were sitting. Exercise would have them describe the actual objects – a great practice for their literacy skills – and then we have fun talking about how everyone actually saw different things based on a number of different factors: the scale of the objects, how something was hiding something else etc… Point was: literacy skills, fun, and some forays into perspective and even Cubism.

Then… then, on one of these occasions, a five year old got up and said: what you see depends on where you sit.

What you see, he said, depends on where you sit!

O truest of maxims O O. O enlightened child of five O. Bravo, O O! Amazing. His parents were agog. Everyone was, like, oooo. And then, of course, we talked about perspective, angles, tradition and innovation in painting, but also: the media, news, life and knowledge. We then got up and for fun, we did the freeze frame: a person freezes, and people examine that person from multiple angles, distances, and try to think about the decisions they would have to undertake if they were to make a portrait of that person. Concept illustration to the maxz…

Yo yo, someone said, that was whack. And he meant it well!

The questivals, are without end…