Discovery phase activities
EXPLORING THE UNFAMILIAR
exhibition visit and digital photo collection
1. Discovering artworks issued from a third culture.
2. Getting familiar with public spaces, resolving practical questions such as moving around the city, getting in touch with local people, institutions, etc.
Between 120 and 240 minutes depending on the exhibition's size
Museum and travel tickets
Personal mobile phones
The collective exploration of artworks from distant and unknown civilisations can help us to build a common ground about what is unusual but also fascinating in spite of the fact that we ourselves come from different cultural backgrounds and have different cultural references. This activity, by externalising the task of discovering and understanding what a cultural difference mean, place all of us: facilitators, trainers and participants with diverse origins in an equal position facing the unfamiliar.
1. Find an exhibition showing artwork from divers cultures.
As the exercise is based on the idea of creating a common ground between local visual culture and the participants' culture of origin through discovering art objects from a third culture, take this into considerations when you choose the exhibition or the museum that you'll visit.
In our example, it was an exhibition about Migration objects, but we also visited all the rooms of the permanent exhibitions dedicated to Egyptian, African, Oceanic and Mexican art.
2. Instructions to give before the exhibition visit:
"Take pictures of intriguing, exciting, strange or unfamiliar details of the works exhibited."
Photos may be taken of the whole art object or of details only, with textures, shapes or colors.
You may also ask the participants to take photos of each other while taking pictures of the exhibited works to discover and document each others' reactions and feelings towards the artworks.
Following the exhibition visit, create a Whatsapp group and ask the participants to share their photos. Help them with technical issues if they encounter difficulties.
In addition to make participants practicing digital tools, this exercise helps you to find out what kind of art objects the participants are the most surprised or fascinated by.
Optionally, as a blended part of the workshop, you can ask them to repeat the exercise with familiar objects at home and ask them to share them too on WhatsApp.
Organize a session to share experiences and impressions about the exhibition
This conversation session might be linked to the creative workshop. Optionally, if you have the appropriate framework, such as a video projector, you can create a virtual exhibition room of the photos taken during the exhibition and at home.
This allows participants to see their photos side by side and facilitate to compare colors, patterns and shapes and to share their impressions about each other pictures as well.
Otherwise, you can also talk about the pictures by showing them on the participants' mobile phones.
Find a common ground, something in the exhibition that they all have appreciated. It can be a specific association of colors, geometric shapes, something unusual still intriguing.
For example, the participants could be intrigued by the surprising use of extremely vivid colors in some popular art (i.e.Mexican statues) or by the unfamiliar way in which familiar topics are represented.
Incite them to find common features between the unfamiliar object seen during the exhibition and the photos taken at home.