Animation workshop "Agittextile 21: Delicate fabrics of images and where we are here"
Agittextile is a design style that originated and evolved in Ivanovo and Ivanovo Region. Artists developed patterns based on anything that was of concern at the moment. For instance, electric power became accessible, and artists would draw lightbulbs on repeats (as source drawings are called). They also drew zeppelins, steamboats, trains, tractors and airplanes: everything that was being invented, engineered, produced and implemented. This is how flower patterns on dresses were traded for power lines and compasses while wheat spikes and Soviet stars appeared on linens. Artists were hurrying to capture everything that was happening there and then: from construction of factories, plants and railways to pastimes and festivals – lawn tennis, skittles, skiing, motorcycling, fishing. This was a time when new country was being born, and with it a new way of life and a new art.
In utilitarian terms, animation is moving drawings. Rhythms of agittextile repeats and dynamism of its subjects imply motion. Characters and objects fly, fall, walk, roll, chaotically or systematically. These patterns seem to be made to move! And we know how to do just that.
Students of the animation campus are 21st century's youth, teenagers.
What do we know about the minds and feelings of today's teenagers and their relationship with the world surrounding them? Animation campus is an occasion to understand what concerns today's young artists about themselves and the world, and to discuss that in the language of animation.
Artists of the 1920-1930s were people who found new forms and ways to represent the inimitable reality around them.
Remaining examples of patterns contain, in addition to artistic value and sociopolitical tendencies, some information about the artist's attitude towards their subjects and their state of mind at the moment of drawing. In an unending search for a new language to express ourselves and today's reality, we turn to their experience. We also know that youth is a time when it's easier than ever to speak a new language, sometimes without realizing it. Just like in agittextile's times, we want to think how to work with novelty, what to do with modernity to make art out of it.
In script development we will draw on personal worldview of the young artists, the campus students. In artistic realization, we will take inspiration from unique Ivanovo patterns of the 1920-1930s. this method is intended to create an impulse for rethinking and continuation of the artistic avant-garde tradition of Ivanovo Region.
What is it?
Animation campus run by Saint Petersburg's Da Studio is five days of intensive work on an animated film. In close collaboration with directors, artists and animators, the students will learn the whole process of creating an animated movie. We will think up a script, draw storyboards, develop characters and backgrounds, learn how to animate, to become a real creative team. Animation is a combination of creative professions: you can be a writer, a director, or an actor, an artist, an animator, even a composer; but any production requires teamwork, the skill of listening to and hearing each other, an ability to hold a discussion and achieve compromise.
We will use analog techniques: paper cutout, stop-motion, collage animation. These are techniques that imply frame-by-frame motion in front of a camera. It may seem that they don't forgive mistakes, since every composition depends on the previous one. But manual techniques are the most effective in acquiring basic animation skills that work the same way in any other technique as well. Physical laws of the animated world, which are many times stronger than in real world. Placing action in space and time. Motion, shape, color, rhythm and other expressive means of an animation artist.
Within the five days of the program the students will create an animated film that will screen at the closing ceremony of Zerkalo.
Da Animation Studio is a team of directors, artists, teachers, psychologists who make films together with children in challenging living situations. It was established in 2008. Across years of work the studio has produced over 250 films, many of which have been awarded at international and Russian festivals.
Maria Dubrovina, born 1986, graduated from the program in photography and print media design at Saint Petersburg University's department of Journalism. She is a writer and director of several animated series: Flying Animals, Kids, Cars, Celestial Bureaucracy. Maria teaches animation at Junior Art School and curates animation workshops for children at On the Edge – East Film Festival. She is a teacher-director at Da Studio.
Polina Zaslavskaya, born 1984, is an artist, curator, painting instructor. Member of the Artists Union. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Russia and beyond and teaches at Da Studio.
Anna Altukhova, born 1991, studied photo reporting at Saint Petersburg University's department of Journalism. As a student in 2011 she started working at Da Studio. Since then, she has been making films with very different children and adults and in different environments, but above all she values her experience in a correctional school and in the Kolpino penitentiary for minors. She graduated from a masters program at the European University in Saint Petersburg and is currently working on her PhD.