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Invisible Drawings: when the product loses its function

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

Last Thursday, November 17, 2021, I held a body and drawing workshop, based on some movement techniques inspired by Butoh and Aikido, among other practices that involve the body-mind, for members of the Butantan Group of Major Age (formed by mostly women and also some men older than 60 years old). What most impressed me in this experience was how the final drawing, the result that is shown for others to see, completely loses its importance when the path taken to reach it is traced with awareness and presence.

I made a mistake in this seventh online workshop of the Women and Metamorphoses project, as well as in all the previous ones. I asked the participants to draw in pencil. The tracing, in most cases, was invisible on the computer screen. We had to work from the participants' narratives about their own drawings. Fabulations of their own creations. That is, fabulations of fabulations. It was wonderful!

I heard stories of whales breaking free from the aquarium, traveling through outer space, diving into the solitude of life, red surfaces turning to blue (that's when we're working with everything gray), the dance of ocean waves, bottles full of water with the open lid, flying computer keys...

In the body and drawing workshops, we go through three stages: the first is the blind drawing, that is, drawing a landscape without looking at the paper on which it is drawn; the second is the transformation of pencil tracing into movement in space; and the third, the association of this movement or gesture to a word, in a return to the paper. The passage through movement in space, in all the workshops held so far, according to the participants' reports, was an element of creative freedom to return to the technique of drawing. Drawing in the air, imagining a multidimensional platform, or rather experiencing this platform, brought surprising elements to the initial design.

In general, I ask participants to send me a photo of the drawings they made in the workshop so I can interpret them. This past thursday, I didn't ask. The drawings on paper completely lost their function due to the richness of the experiences that were told to me. I kept these invisible drawings .

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