Projekt 2009: Lachen, Israel/ Italien

/// Project Laughter – Tel Aviv / Jerusalem 2009 ///

Im Oktober 2009 begann das Lachenprojekt in Tel Aviv und Jerusalem. Hervorgegangen ist es aus einer Auseinandersetzung über Körper und Stimme. Angedacht ist, Weiter-Zu-Lachen im März in Rom und Ende Juni in Mumbai: So wird das Lachen zu einem Reisebericht – abgetrotzt, unterwegs zu einem Lächeln zwischen den Kulturen. [hdplay id=1 ] Studenten der Bezalel laughing_israel

/// Tasks:

  • Supervision / Analization  Arthur Engelbert
  • Camera                                   Detlef Günther // Sebastian Ortmann
  • Photography                          Sebastian Ortmann / Dtlef Günther / Felix Urban
  • Audiodcumentation              Felix Urban
  • Animation / Recruting         All

/// Locations possible:

  • typical TA Street (footpath in the middle)
  • z.B. Ben Gurion Street
  • e.g. an Cafe, Juice Bar
  • e.g. Bank

/// Process: Looking for Laughter  /// 1st day: between Ben Yehuda and Spinoza We’ve been checking out several places. We focused spots between beach, city centre and the streets. We weren’t be able to predict the optimal scene. Therefore, we drew up a shortlist of exponated benches at the beach, places in crowded areas and chairs in a little alley. /// 2nd day: Ben Gurion Street After some helpless attempts getting people in front of the camera we tried a concept to win the people and to make them laugh. We tried to stage a competition. The battle was about the „wer zu erst lacht…“ principle. Two gaze at each other.The one who is about to laugh first is the looser in this battle. We made this Battle between the stranger and our team Member Sebastian. Sometimes it worked very well, but some seemed to be dissappointed in this unfunny game. So we soon realized that this kind of event is not at all necessary. The people mainly wanted to talk about laughter, reasons of laughing and about humor. Each recording usually took more than 10 minutes. The Material in that manner was interresting but mainly without the laughter we actually were looking for. The new plan was to go to an lively area. In front of a shopping center we hoped to get lots of people hopefully in a bulk. We also wanted to check if we might find toys or any local funny things. /// 3rd day: Carmel Market On day three, we chose a lively place in front of the Carmel market in the city centre of Tel Aviv. Standing in the middle of a pedestrian district, it was much easier to catch many people. We worked like volunteers or promoters gathering donations or trying to reach costumers. We introduced ourselves as students from Potsdam doing some research work about many people around the world laughing and smiling. Basically we asked them to smile. This seemed to be the first step to win the people and to convince them of our simple intension. Talking about laughter caused some unease. Why should I laugh? There isn’t anything to laugh at lustily, some told us. Earlier in the morning, it worked very well. The people gathered around our set and wanted to smile or maybe laughed into our camera. During the Day, among some technicals with our Camera, it was more difficult to find some laughter. People wanted to talk about Politics, their Relationship to Germany, what they think about Hitler and many other topics. Sometimes it came off to encourage some laughter but this was not exponated it was part of a conversation. /// 4th day: exhibition at Bezalel. After we’ve arrived at St. Paulus House at Jerusalem we straight drove to Bezalel academy. It took us quite a long time to get through the city. In the Aula of the Department of Architecture, we met Yossi Marchaim and Uriel **** they helped us to arrange the exhibition. There, it was the concept to transfer the exhibition part of the Cultrans Symposium at Potsdam in 2009 to Jerusalem. Most of the works were either created by, or realized with the footage of video or audio materials which have been generated by students of the FHP in 2008. The visitors of the exhibition, therefore Students of the Bezalel were quite interrested in what we were presenting. They wanted to talk with us, showed us some Details contained in the Photographs or sketched their impression. Works exhibited:

  • „Damascus Gate“ by Yossi Marchaim in corporation with the Potsdam Group.
  • Photographs, Various by Students of the University of applied science.
  • A video documentary by*******

Exhibtion Team: Photographs: Sebastian Ortmann, Oliver Wobst; Sound & Video Installation: Yossi Marchaim, Felix Urban; Coordination & Communication: Arthur Engelbert, Detlef Günther 5th day: Laughing Bezalel: In the morning we started all videos and sound works of the exhibition. At the same time we setup the camera in front of the Bezalel’s department of architecture. At 10 a.m. many students arrived for their lecture. So it was a lucky time to get some smiley faces and laughing people in front of the camera. We asked them for their names and said that they only have to smile. They often came in groups and while one was being filmed the others stood beside and were laughing. So this was a familiar sorrounding where there was some easyness, and funny temper. There we got some laughter, some was warmly, some was caused by embarrassment. Close to the Campus there was a small street with a cafe and many people passing by. It was easy to catch a few. Due to our experience we used a simple method speaking to the people. “Slucha (hebr. „sorry“) do you have one minute?“ and if they were interrested or said yeah we just added „…and have a smile for us?“. This worked very well. People laughed, and turned into a happy mood. Somehow this invitation for a smile established a good relationship beetween the person, the cameraa and our intension. Though, it needed to be a conversation to trigger a loud laughter. Until dawn we continued the recordings at at a shopping street close by.

jerusalem HQ EXPORT from cultrans on Vimeo.

2010 Laughter Rome from cultrans on Vimeo.

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