The MAGMA as a Creative Medium
The basic pillar of the vitality and pulsation of the MAGMA is that it continuously offers possibilities of connection for the public. Besides visiting the exhibitions, connection also implies taking part in workshop activities, in the course of which an increasingly intimate relationship can be formed not only with the world of the exhibited artworks, but also with techniques and methods of expression and media use that occasional and primary encounters with the artworks don’t make possible.
The workshop activities equally address children, youth and adults; they are adapted to age groups and are often organized upon request. The majority of workshops consist of activities – from kindergarten to upper secondary school – which, besides the interactive guided tour related to the respective exhibition, bring to the fore creative work based on what has been seen and said. In addition, there are often organized workshop activities conducted by invited artists which are also open for the large public, so anyone who would like to get acquainted with particular procedures of creation can participate without age limit.
Besides their informative and initiatory character, workshop activities bring contemporary art closer to the public at the level of both sensory experience and skills development, and continuously enlarge the circle of those who get in contact with contemporary artworks and start to understand and enjoy them.
The MAGMA’s workshop palette of the year 2016 was characterized by an exceptionally rich offer.
The joy of repetition
The workshop entitled The Joy of Repetition was organized in connection with the exhibition entitled Manianimae. Repetition is an attribute not only of our daily life but also of art. Henrietta Szira and Kamilla Szíj’s joint exhibition was about manias, thus it provided a good opportunity for us to reinterpret our desire for repetition, our commitment, the joy of refrains, our attachment to the familiar as well as the sustaining power of the eternal return. The group activity was based on the use of recurrent motifs and forms, and resulted in individual drawn artworks that brought to the fore the diversity of multiplication.
Introduction into contemporary art
Within the framework of the workshop entitled Introduction into Contemporary Art the participants were familiarized with the basic principles of contemporary art, among others, with conceptualism, formalism and minimalism. The group exhibition entitled Eight Present Artists showed new Eastern European, European ways of contemporary art, and at the same time it used the toolkit of postmodernism, referring back to earlier masterpieces. In the course of joint interpretation and analysis, the exhibited artworks acquired new significations, while we confirmed the legitimacy of the open work (Umberto Eco) during the interactive activity. Within the confines of the workshop that followed after the guided tour, the participants created repainted, recreated reproductions using Christina Hartl- Prager’s covering/ highlighting method.
VIDEO ART – theory and practice
In the course of the workshop entitled VIDEO ART – Theory and Practice the participants got acquainted with video art. The workshop started from the material of the exhibition entitled Simultan Retrospekcio / 2005-2015, which offered insight into the 11-year archives of the Simultan Festival. Those present tried themselves out in the field of artwork analysis (essay, criticism) and created video artworks in the specific medium of the exhibition space with the help of smartphones and video cameras.
Work in contemporary art
Within the framework of the workshop entitled Work in Contemporary Art the participants met contemporary visual artworks whose theme was work. The group exhibition Workers Day displayed provocative installations, artworks created in the spirit of intermediality and multimediality, thanks to which there arose the possibility of sociological, historical and anthropological approaches to work, of reflecting on specific historical images and ideas, with special attention to significant landmarks of history. We touched upon the issue of work ethics, the social and economic role of work, we spoke about ergonomics, ergotherapy and investigated the artistic and literary (verbal and visual) representation of work in the context of various ages and political ideas. Within the confines of the workshop the pupils were familiarized with the technique of Iulia Toma’s artwork entitled My Sleep is My Break (2014), namely sewing and embroidery; as a final result, they created a group artwork.
Light painting workshop
In his Light Painting Workshop Domokos Váncsa media artist based in Ireland and born in Sfântu Gheorghe acquainted those interested with the methods of experimental photography. A camera and a flashlight are enough to start light painting. This time the camera creates the photo not in an instant but during seconds or minutes set by us. On the workshop, after a brief presentation of his photographic procedure, the participants tried out the light painting structures made by the artist. When leaving, everybody got the printed versions of their light painted photos.
Modern and contemporary
Within the confines of the workshop entitled Modern and Contemporary the participants were introduced into Constantin Brâncuși’s artistic activity, into modernism and the prolific and influential art world in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century. In the course of the exhibition entitled The Sons and Daughters of Brâncuși. A Family Saga contemporary artists drew attention to the universal artistic values represented by Brâncuși; the misunderstood or misinterpreted Brâncuși was one of the basic pillars of the exhibition’s discourse. After the interactive guided tour, within the framework of the workshop, the participants got acquainted with the form world of modern art, with the magical power of the Brâncuşian simplicity, creating experimental works that contained modern, Brâncușian motifs. Within the confines of The Art of Icon and Fresco Painting – Brancusian Creativity Workshop conducted by Dan Acostioaei the participants were presented with the technique of icon painting and could witness the birth process of the fresco painter’s artwork.
Editing and bookbinding workshop
Within the framework of the Design Week the Magma held an extraordinary workshop for creative youth and adults, in the course of which the participants were familiarized with the art of bookbinding and editing. The Editing and Bookbinding Workshop – connected to the exhibition entitled The Most Beautiful Books of 2012-2015 – lay emphasis on individual visual practices, in which the participants multiplied their drawings, pictures, texts and objects with the black-and-white photocopier, whether created on the spot or brought from home. With the help of the workshop leaders the participants edited and bound them into individual or joint editions. The workshop was conducted by the artists Márta Adorjáni and Răzvan Anton.
Photography as light painting
Within the framework of the workshop entitled Photography as Light Painting the participants met the artworks of the individual exhibition entitled Lay Out the Sheet! of Erika Szőke, artist and photographer from Slovakia, and could hear about theoretical approaches to photography. After an interactive guided tour, within the confines of the workshop, the participants tried out the processes of writing/drawing with light and heat.
The dual nature of light
Within the series of events Year of the Image in Sfântu Gheorghe, Erika Fám film and media researcher held a year ending workshop with the title The Dual Nature of Light. The participants had the opportunity to get closer to the moving image’s dependence on and utilization of light both theoretically and through illustrative examples. The kindergarteners and primary school pupils took part in shadow plays, while the lower and upper secondary school students took light and shadow photos, and created static or moving images with the theme of light.