Laav_ space for research and creation developed from the DEAC MUSAC (Educational and Cultural Action Department of the Castile and León Contemporary Art Museum). The project combines artistic and scientific files in the study and representation of human beings and social groups from an experimental and critical perspective. The functioning of the laboratory is based on working groups, applying both methodologies of collaborative practices and critical pedagogies as well as cultural and visual anthropology and ethnography.
Using the term “experimental” with the word laboratory we want to continue with Catherine Russell’s interpretation when she states that “experimental ethnography refers to rethinking aesthetics and cultural representation” (and italics in the original). This does not imply rejecting the anthropological and filmic tradition, but rather learning from what they pose, but always questioning the ways and ways of doing “dismantling the universalist impulse of realistic aesthetics in a clash of cultures, voices, bodies and languages”.
Priority lines of research and creation
– experimentation and contemporary artistic forms as references both when researching and creating
– the emancipation of the image and sound from its mere illustrative use
– autoethnography, as a form of self-representation of people and / or social groups
– self-reflexivity, in terms of the visibility of both the processes (creative and research) and the interaction between the participating agents
– the search for equality and responsiveness in the ethnographic encounter and the reconsideration of the hierarchical relationship between observer and observed
– the questioning of the classic notion of authorship and the use of collaborative practices in creation
– reflection on the ethical decisions implicit in the representation work of the people
– the questioning of the concept of ethnographic authority and the valorisation of profane knowledge together with expert knowledge
– research on groups or contexts at risk of social exclusion or disappearance
Chus Domínguez. Audiovisual artist. www.chusdominguez.com
Belén Sola. DEAC MUSAC.
Laav_ began as a collaboration between MUSAC and the Anthropology Area of the University of León, and in its first two years had the participation of Óscar Fernández and Conchi Unanue, professors of that area.
Social Networking: Noemí García, Esther González
Web Development: Tony Solserpiente
English translation: Ángela Sáenz, Stephen Mackey