Touch the Art
A series of workshops for children led by contemporary artists
This project started with the phrase “Don't touch that!”, which children hear all the time in numerous circumstances. Adults repeat it so often that children eventually stop hearing it. Apparently, the human brain can't remember the word "don't" (as if by automatic deletion) and so only "touch" remains. Interestingly, such words are addressed to children in moments of heightened activity or when they are trying to investigate something that makes them curious. But they receive something completely opposite – the prohibition of sensual experience, the basis of all cognition. They must take our word for it, to instead guess and imagine. But what would happen if the ban was replaced with an incentive?
The project Touch the Art addresses the need for close contact with works of art. Through a series of workshops led by contemporary artists, preschool- and school-age children participated in the creative process, from the formation of an idea to the execution of the work. They could practically test solutions proposed by the artists and become partners in the process of creating atypical objects and projects. A very important aspect was the meeting and exchange of observations between experienced artists and children. Kids became direct recipients of artistic ideas as well as co-creators, as they helped to verify the meaning of these idea and introduce possible changes.
These activities were the point of departure for the creation of the objects that will be shown at the sensory exhibition. The exhibition is the direct result of the workshops and is based on storytelling; it's meant to change the perception of works of art and to give children and intellectually disabled adults direct access to art. The presented works are intended for interaction and sensory stimulation of the audience. The exhibition will present as a unified space full of sounds, colors, textures, and even smells. The resultant installation will allow the audience to literally and figuratively "touch art". We will see whether this is even possible and we will ponder the essence of the creative process. We want to explore the sensory perception of contemporary art works and the influence of having educators present at the exhibition to tell about individual pieces of art.