The participatory art project Kukičana priča (A Crocheted Story) uses photographs to explore and ‘open up’ the social world, by positioning the participants as the prime authorities of their images, and their images as the vehicle of engagement and communication.
Performing Pictures (Geska Brečević and Robert Brečević) has developed a workshop model which was conducted as an artistic practice. The workshop model of KUKIČANA PRIČA has been appropriated by therapists and social workers as a possible tool within the context of Psychiatric Hospital Rab in Croatia.
We have examined the mnemonic functions of photographs, and how the physical manifestation and handling of photos, the tactile dimension, could add a more physically embracing experience.
KUKIČANA PRIČA is a community workshop that combines crochet making, vernacular photographs and other expressions of craft, such as glass. The photographs presented by members of the group were found at the centre of their social lives, visually mirroring their experiences and relationships. The collaborative effort grew into a large crocheted net embedding photographic glass plates with images that combine local history and personal memorabilia while creating an associative as well as literal/physical web of short stories.
VERNACULAR PHOTOGRAPHS consist of snapshots and family photos shots (and the feelings, memories, thoughts and information these evoke). These can function as catalysts for the individuals involved in the process.
The vernacular photographs create tangible and virtual threads between individuals, families, villages, and communities. They anchor these relationships at various sites, such as the wall in the family home, in albums, wallets, and on the internet.
Vernacular photographs mirror complex processes, and silently record and embody the social lives of people in a visual way. The mirrored reflection of the vernacular photograph can be both objective and subjective. By using the vernacular photograph as a starting point, the participant can get closer to the lived reality of people’s social lives.
In KUKIČANA PRIČA, the participants are the curators of their own personal archives. Their photographs emphasize the importance of personal history, of ancestors, home, community, and of cultural identity. The photographs mediate agency between persons and places: keeping alive personal relationships in the here and now; reinforcing essential familial knowledge systems; and assisting in creating and maintaining community identity and belonging.
VISUALIZE THE INVISIBLE
This project embodies a consortium of art organisations that facilitates participatory art projects in Sweden, Croatia, Albania and FYROM, while examining the role of the arts in society. The partner organisations have shared experiences as well as methods and nurtured mutual international networks. In Visualize the Invisible artists worked within institutions, communities and working places.
The Kukičana Priča project has been carried out by Performing Pictures and made possible with the support of EU Culture program and The Swedish Arts Council.
Special thanks to Tatiana Loborec.
Partner organisations in Visualize the Invisible: ArtAgent, Refraction Association, Media Artes, Performing Pictures.