Sweet and Tender is first and foremost an idea for cultural production and exchange. It operates on the notion that an individual who can create the conditions for his or her own artistic research and visibility can nearly always create the space for an other artist as well.
46 young artists form 23 different countries got together in an artistic project that aims at experimenting collaborative methods that challenge the junctions between research, production and diffusion while respecting the artistic diversity of its participants. In other words, the group identity is not defined by a common ‘what,’ but rather by the shared research for a common ‘how.’
S&T exists insofar as its members continue to initiate projects and collaborative meeting points. The initial idea of getting together came from the meeting of several DanceWEB participants during the ImpulsTanz festival in Vienna in 2006. However the idea started to shape more concretely through the first artistic collaborations that happened the same year in Berlin, Belgrade and Porto. Each member bears the responsibility to maintain the group active, motivated by a common desire to learn through collaboration, beyond particular aesthetic frames.
Thus, S&T could be defined as an individualistic art collective which places self-initiative, individual responsibility and self-learning at the core of a collaborative model in continuous evolution.
The sharing of resources ( know-how, information, working-spaces, opportunities, values, funding, networks, thoughts) aims at generating a group dynamic which provides the conditions for each member’s artistic growth.
Therefore, S&T places physical meetings at the heart of its action. Physical gatherings of the entire group or part of it, are necessary and wish to relate to various local contexts at each time.
Among those gatherings, the annual meeting of all the members for the length of one full month is a fundamental moment to : 1. experiment methods of work and exchange in relation to a local environment and to different partners. 2. allow artistic self-development. 3. question and renew the model on which the group functions.
In the summer 2007. thanks to the active support of Skite association and in partnership with la Comédie, le Manège de Reims and l’Espace des Arts de Chalon sur Saône, the first large-scale gathering happened in Performing Arts Forum (St-Erme, France, www.pa-f.net). During one month and echoing PAF exceptional spirit, S&T members created together their own working conditions in a collaborative residency based on regular and systematic confrontations within the group through feed backing on artistic researches, work in progress and extensive discussions.
In return for their support, S&T/ Skite 2008. offered to its partners the possibility to discover some or part of the projects created in PAF ( work-in-progress or final project) as « Fragments d’experiences » through different public presentations modalities and mediums ( performances, public rehearsals, video installations, concerts, discussions…)
Today, S&T members, each from their own country, are busy with conceiving, organizing and fund raising their next big meeting, scheduled for summer 200. in Porto ( Portugal), in the hope that organisations and/or institutions will take the reasonable risk to participate to the development of this artistic and political project in perpetual motion.
This article is a S&T collaboration
of Perrine Bailleux, Marianne Baillot and Valentina Desideri,