Bogdan Szyber & Carina Reich
Interviewed by Christina Molander
Q: Could you describe your artistic practice?
CR: I started my artistic practice as a performer. Within my BA to be a performer I also trained to be the one that wrote the scripts, staged the scripts and performed them myself, because there were no already there scripts to find. Since we (Bogdan and me) were too poor to hire people designing costumes, set design, etcetera, we started doing all the things needed to create performances ourselves, a way of learning by doing I guess. When I then started doing independent work I worked with people from the “independent” field with all sorts of skills and practices, like opera singers, dancers, actors and circus artists. We worked site specific, devised, conceptual, and in a relational aesthetics approach. All this in a visual nonlinear “drama way”, (that later within theatre became to be known as post-dramatic theatre) were the emphasis relied on form. The form carried the content. These early years of working have heavily influenced my artistic practice, both how the works are created in a dialogic way, how the works come across to the audience and how I as a director plan and conduct rehearsals.
BS: Nowadays I mostly work as an auteur-director within different art institutions doing commissioned works where I always try to find ways of working cross disciplinary both in searching for people from different disciplines to work with, for example puppeteers, dancers or visual artists as well as to consciously aim to include the artists different ways of approaching the rehearsal process.
I stage operas, theatre plays, dance works; performance art pieces and exhibitions at museums and other fine arts institutions; site specific audio-walks and short films. Also my present PhD project in artistic research is a staging of sorts within the Academe.
Q: What defines your practice as being cross arts?
CR:I googled cross art and couldn't find any immediate description, but I think I know what you mean.
BS: In all these projects I, mostly but not exclusively in collaboration with my long-time colleague Carina Reich, direct and choreograph, write the scripts, design the scenography and the costumes as well as all facets of for example large installation works in the museum realm.
Q: How are you approaching cross arts collaboration(s)?
CR: It’s the way I’ve worked since my BA from University College of Dance in 1983; the-making-together with Carina Reich. That’s just the way I create – in tandem, in a conversation with an Other.
Q: What have been your key learning moments related to cross arts making or collaboration?
BS: As my whole artistic practice is based on a dialogue with another artist (or multiple artistic teams), I simply don’t really discern other ways of making; hence one could state that my whole artistic endeavour has been absorbing a cross arts practice.
CR: When working in different artistic fields I've noticed that all fields have their different way of approaching the rehearsal process. How much you as a performer are willing to, or used to contribute to the creative process. There is also a difference within the hierarchical working structures. To juggle all these different approaches to rehearsal especially when you are hired as a director within larger institutions can be a challenge.
Then you sometimes benefit from having a broad understanding and experience from the cross arts practice.