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Telling a Story Together with Tex Rubinowitz

Upon entering Tex Rubinowitz’s classroom, I found a large group of people sitting around the long table, engaged in a lively discussion in German. Catching about every tenth word, I struggled to grasp what the conversation is about, but the creative and positive atmosphere was evident from the start.

It’s like a beehive,” Tex said to me later describing the climate in the room, “Everything is buzzing, full of sound and that makes me happy.” Comparing the second to the first, more difficult week, he shared that the entire experience is like a group workshop, a sort of a psycho-buzzing artistic therapy in which each student speaks, connects and works with another. In our conversation, he compared their joint practice to the practices of Fluxus, which marks this course the most interdisciplinary of all.


 

 



You told me that your class is about telling stories. In what sense?


In the sense of what comes first. Is the picture first, or is it the idea. They are both connected. I think what the idea or the story can tell is more important. Many students came here with ideas and now they are developing them. So we are trying to work with that, change it and make something new, in a group and in the space. We work as a group and try to feel the space and the city of Salzburg, we are getting to know each other and the surroundings. We have grown to like each other very much and on Friday, when everything is done, it will surely be melancholic. We’ve become very connected during this time of working together.  The biggest thing what we are doing is not visible, it’s a social matter.


How do you see the dynamics of the class changing from the beginning? When I came on the first day, everybody was at their desk, doing their own thing and now everybody is together, chatting, laughing…


In the beginning, we didn’t even know each other’s names and we’ve had this quick transformation into knowing each other and learning about the attitudes, background, family status and other things. I believe this is important, it’s normal for a group that will spend two intensive weeks together.


How do you approach your role as a teacher and transfer the idea to the class?


I ask them a lot. I see what they are producing and ask them to incorporate personal things and work out problems in the work. It’s not a material thing, we have a student who does a dance performance. Everything could be a picture and nothing has to be a picture, it’s more important to talk.


What are you hoping the students will take from this experience when they leave?


I think friendship and brighter horizons. And to know that this is a beautiful experiment in space, and that was not a bad idea. Last year I had a smaller group and connecting was a challenge. So now, in a larger group the exchange, the fluid flows much easier, so people can make the exchange and inspire each other, and themselves.


 

Ilse is the oldest student in Tex's class, working on her Salzburg stories
 

 

Neda is working on a book about the class, interviewing each of her classmates. This is Ilse's story
 

 

Josef is keen on photography. He connected his passion with the stories from his classmates

 

Antje is building her own paradise garden, or a zoo

 

***

 

 

Tex will give an artist's talk tonight, right after Valerie Jouve. I am hoping to get some warmth from that, because Salzburg summer is not summery at all, at least not at the moment.

 

 

Until tomorrow!

 

Ana

25/07/17 16:20 Summer Academy 2017

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