© Yulie Cohen 2019

Self Documentathon

The workshop Personal Documentation is a five day intense hands-on experience, designed for BA & MA art students.

 

Based on my 10 year journey creating the trilogy My Terrorist (2002), My Land Zion (2004), My Brother (2007) and a film revisiting the trilogy, My Israel (2008), I have designed the workshop Personal Documentation.

 

Personal documentation helps participants find their personal truth and refine their individual self-definition. The objective of the five-day workshop is to enable students to create a distinctly personal statement, a work of art, in a structured and process-oriented manner.

 

The nuclear family, the home, ethnicity, gender, religion and so on, lay the foundation on which the self is built to begin with. The years shape us with memories and upheaval, which put on and remove masks, change our faces and teach us to speak in different voices. All this is built up in us, layer upon layer. The purpose of the five-day workshop is to expose episodes from the personal life story that permeate and influence the subject-matter and language of the creator. Although the self-portrait can be simplified and only hint at its meanings, based on fragments of memory and feelings that have left a mark, it is always an opportunity to see ourselves more clearly and speak our truth in a way that is best for our internal conversation and creates an opportunity to communicate with others.  

 

In practical terms, the workshop will set in motion a process that will begin with looking for the personal/autobiographical motivation, and move on to uncovering the personal story best suited to the specific moment in which we are working together, crystallizing an idea, researching, producing raw materials, editing, and end with a completed creative work.  The workshop will help the student to produce creative work in any chosen medium: photography, graphics, fashion, digital media, video art, exhibition, product design, film, blog, website, publication, lecture performance or performance.

 

As Lucian Freud said: “Everything is autobiographical and everything is a portrait, even if it is a chair”.

Tracey Emin discusses her video How it Feels (1996), the title of which she has used for her solo exhibition at MALBA, Buenos Aires. In conversation with the curator of the exhibition, Philip Larratt-Smith, Emin analyses this very personal film about her experience of abortion, its relevance to a wider female audience and how it has played a cathartic experience within her personal life and artistic career.

 

How It Feels
16 November 2012 – 25 February 2013
MALBA, Buenos Aires

 More recommended examples of Personal Documentation films:

  1. Unrest, Jenifer Brea, 2017.

  2. My Beautiful Broken Brain, Lotje Sodderland, 2014. Netflix

  3. The Edge of Dreaming, Amy Hardie, 2009.

  4. Nobody's Business, Alan Berliner, 1996.

  5. Boxes, Naama Shohet, 2018. '10  https://vimeo.com/279409295

Academic Background:

 

Since 2009, I have been running workshops at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem as well as other film and art schools in Israel.

 

Until 2013, I was the practicum instructor in a multi-disciplinary personal-documentary course at Bezalel, together with anthropologist Yona Weitz, Phd., and photographer Micki Kratsman. During this period, I also led two upper-level courses at The NB Haifa School of Design: A directing workshop and a project development class.

Between 2013–2018 I taught personal documentary filmmaking at the Ma'aleh School of Film and Television.

 

Since 2013, I have also been teaching a course at the Arabic preparatory school of the Bezalel academy.

 

As of 2017, I am the practicum instructor in Yona Weitz, Phd.'s, pro-seminar Me-story at Bezalel.

 

In 2018, I began teaching a-one-semester-course Personal Documentation in the M.Des. degree department of visual communications at Bezalel.

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