Ilan Manouach | Workshops
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Conceptual comics Workshop


The Conceptual Comics Workshop emphasises the directness of a subversive, marginal art form whose democratic potential depends on its ability to be criticised within itself. In the absence of passionately critical discourse in comics, the erratic insights of curatorial and publishing initiatives have failed to produce the conditions for a fluid transdisciplinarity. The workshop brings to the fore practices that are unaffiliated with the commonly accepted history of the medium. It holds that if a comics genealogy exists, can only be individual and idiosyncratic and each of the different assignments explores the very substrate of the comics medium not as a culturally neutral site, but as a way to build alternative historiographies, replete with their own material properties and signifying potential. By arguing and reclaiming the unlocatedness of conceptual comics, entrenched between more respected form of expression, such as poetry, artist books or contemporary art, we will explore issues of legitimacy and ask: In which language may one describe artistic practices that swear fealty to no single history, no major canons and established critical methodologies? And how can one describe the unfixed substances of a subcultural production negotiating linguistic and extralinguistic meanings in a globalised world, other than as realms of affects, potentials and strategies?

Shapereader Workshop


Shapereader is an invented system of tactile communication that was initially designed for the purposes of visually impaired users in regards to tactile textual production. It is unbound by the particularities of ethnic and native alphabets or Braille code and addresses all users, regardless of their nationality, language, educational level, or subsistence under any visual handicap. The resulting workshop is a unique occasion for visually impaired and sighted participants to meet and create side by side a tactile narrative based on an ad-hoc language. The group is given a set of tablets carrying different geometric engravings. The participants learn how to collectively identify the different shapes. By activating tactility as a cognitive tool, they then proceed to attribute meanings to the different shapes. The goal of the workshop is not simply to reflect the community’s expression by a collectively-built story, but to provide the very same genetic material for textual production: a repertoire of empty symbols that can be reiteratively attributed different meanings and functions according to each community’s specific needs, preoccupations and issues.