Artwork (2020-)

Artwork in contemporary art

Artwork is a method that borrows from somatic, spiritual, therapeutic techniques and aesthetics but it is centered on transforming artworks into practices. It extracts and abstractly formulates conceptual and performative operations behind artworks. The operations are then embodied and applied to other spheres of life. Central to Artwork is the idea that artworks should be practiced, that art shouldn't just be seen, it should be lived. Why all the effort to create artworks just to be finished in products to be consumed? An artwork is the crystallization of a practice, it's also the documentation of a practice. If it's actualized in our bodies, it can also be a portal back to that practice. In Artwork, works that are done mostly to be looked at are activated in the bodies of visitors /clients /students, they're transformed into Artwork – an artwork and a new method at the same time. Artwork is ambiguous, it can appear as performance, therapy, exhibition, workshop, promotional event, text, artwork or a combination of these, depending on the context – art, philosophy, spirituality, therapy, education, literature. Ideally, people from many of these fields are brought together at the same event. Artwork is the meeting of these publics, conventions and perspectives around artworks as practices.

Artwork in performance and dance 

In Artwork, works in any medium are transformed into practices and performances. Artwork embraces an ontology of art as performance – artworks are processes, rather than the products of those processes – they're generative performances through which works come into existence. Artwork takes the works from the products, objects, images, spectacle back to the performances and practices behind them.

Among the many forms Artwork can take are sessions in ambiguously set spaces, having an atmosphere between an art venue, a promotional booth for the Artwork method, and a studio for somatic therapy sessions. The performers can be seen also as gallery guards and Artwork method representatives, creating a complex and possibly puzzling situation – exhibition, somatic method launch, performance, workshop, therapy. Artwork crew can work with interested people, individually or in groups. People, ideally invited from different contexts (art, therapy, spirituality, philosophy, contemporary dance…), have to negotiate their presence there, choosing their degree of participation on the range Artwork client - spectator. For people choosing to be spectators, the sessions, with their mixture of performers and people attending them, might appear as performances.  

Artwork in healing

The therapeutic and transformative functions of art are often minimized and avoided because of the impression that they diminish an artwork, or expel it from the art field. Yet, some artists transformed their lives or parts of their lives into art. Artwork explores the opposite, the transformation of art into life – the embodiment of artworks based forms of thinking, feeling and acting. Artwork transfers to life art instruments, processes, practices, aesthetics, exploratory attitudes, and introduces an art sensibility and attention in everyday perceptions, in the senses, in what we already see, hear, touch, feel, do. Being centered on artworks, the Artwork method might appear as paradoxical and counterintuitive at times, deviating from the well meaning, enforced positive feel of most therapeutic approaches: Most somatic/spiritual practices aim at improving strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, appearance, Artwork, through works like Collapse Yoga, listen to the deep desires of the body for asymmetry, incoordination, weakness, relaxation, unbalance, abandon, collapse, freedom. Most somatic/therapeutic/spiritual practices aim at self-awareness and self-knowledge. Artwork, through works like Unimages, makes us increasingly unknown, stranger and puzzling to ourselves and others. Most practices seek normalization and control of emotions. Artwork, through works like Unexperiences, deviates affectivity, creating artificiality and playfulness in our states, opening us to meta-experiencing. Most practices aim for more clarity, light, safety. Artwork, through works like Fear Darkness makes the body sensible to darkness, amplifying its fear – the royal bridge to the unknown. Most therapies want to enhance the stability of our reality. Artwork through works like Undreaming approaches reality as a virtual reality, as dreaming that can be eventually Undreamed. Most somatic/spiritual practices idolize life. Artwork, through works like Unexist, connects us with death. Most practices speak about love as a nice abstract attitude towards nature and others that it's good to have. Artwork, through works like Love, is interested in embodying love – it actualizes love in the body, sometimes as an ecstatic, overwhelming feeling. Most practices push for sociality. Artwork, through works as Pillar Artist, agrees with Simondon that we have to pass through the ordeal of solitude, to get to the "collective" – to form the necessary affects and capacities, the body that is truly capable of community. Most somatic/spiritual practices pursue "presence". Artwork, through works like Unhere, introduces disconnections from the time, place and situation in which we find ourselves, alienations that open the possibility of new connections.

Artwork in philosophy and religion

Our lives are formed by the culture in which we are, by mental environments and embodied certainties, that is increasingly clear that we have to radically change. For that we need practices that act at the level of their structures – technologies of the self, forms of life experiments. They were the domain of religion, and they can feel disciplinary, rigid and inadequate now, many not updated in hundreds or thousands of years. And if our practices are rigid, disciplinary, conventional… that's what we become. Forms of experience and practice that appear in dialog with contemporary situations and phenomena are proposed in art. It's the domain where new answers and the awareness of new problems appear. Many artworks explore new thoughts, new sensibilities and forms of experience, not just for the sake of novelty but out of an involvement with personal and collective contemporary issues. Nietzsche saw the potential and the need to approach life through art but he noticed that, sadly, the artists are not applying their craft to it. Artwork aims to remediate this and to contribute to the urgent project of affecting the forms of life that enable the current realities. 

Contemporary art has at its core the drive to surpass itself, to deviate from the consensus and mess with its axioms, through works that expand what can be considered art. In art, and especially performance you can sometimes feel that body practices can give access to the meta-conceptual, to the levels where the implicit perspectives, realities are shaped. Artwork is interested in these meta-experiences, meta-practices that shape the quality of other practices, and what and how it is possible to experience things in general. We become what we do, our practices. We can be artworks.

Artwork in education 

Artwork can also take the form of workshops, courses or retreats. Via experience people are introduced to artworks, to contemporary approaches of art. Artworks are activated in the participants' bodies to create experiences that provoke new thoughts, perceptions and feelings. Most of the selected artworks activate body affects, capacities, experiences that introduce perturbations, anomalies and twists in self-presentations, perceptions and conventions. The participants will be also invited and assisted in creating their practices based on artworks. They can be as performative /somatic /spiritual /therapeutic as each of the participants desires and they can be ritualized to become everyday practices. This sets the conditions for one of the aims of Artwork, the participants to create their artworks as well.

Artwork at fairs 

Artwork can appear in art fairs, alternative healing fairs, educational fairs, conferences… At the booth, information and short Artwork sessions can be provided. Posters, flyers, booklets advertise Artwork events, Artwork philosophy, Artwork texts, Artwork sessions, Artwork retreats, Artwork embodied art education, Artwork healing, Artwork spirituality, and the Artwork artworks that can be activated in people's bodies and lives.

Artwork in writing 

 Artwork is documented through notes written from inside the practiced artworks. The notes are collected in a soon to be published book which combines the style of explorers' live diaries with theoretical inputs associated with those explorations. In the past, the unknown was spatially distributed, the extraordinary was geographically accessible. There were fantastic stories and speculations about places like Antarctica, Amazonia… which were firing the imagination of explorers. There were alien cultures and subjectivities that had the power to activate possible exits from the implicit certainties of one's time and space. Now it feels like there is nothing left to explore, that we already know all there is, and there is nowhere to go. In this situation, embodying art might be one of the few explorations still possible. Contemporary art has at its core the drive to surpass itself, to deviate from the consensus and mess with its axioms, through works that expand what can be considered art. It's where new territories can be explored.

Draft of a soon to be published Artwork book 


Artwork at /SAC Bucharest (co-organized by Solitude Projects Bucharest & CNDB Bucharest) 📷 Petre Fall & Florin Flueras

Artwork at WOK Warsaw (invited by Inszper) (2023):

Artwork at Swimming Pool Sofia (co-organized by Radar Sofia, Aether Sofia) (2020) 📷 Ivan Donchev:

Artwork workshop at ETI Sovata (2020):

Artwork workshop at Beyond School, Minitremu Târgu Mureș (2020):

Activated by Eliza Trefas, Martina Piazzi, Florin Flueras.
Co-produced by Solitude Projects Bucharest, AFCN Bucharest, Artworlds Bucharest, apap – Feminist Futures, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Supported by Swimming Pool Sofia, Radar Sofia, Aether Sofia, /SAC Bucharest, Minitremu Timișoara, Schloss Solitude Stuttgart, Tanzfabrik Berlin, WOK Warsaw, CNDB Bucharest, Inszper Warsaw.

List of incorporated artworks 

Artwork, notes from inside