Stofan | An interview with Philippe Clause

We met with Philippe Clause, multidisciplinary artist, to talk about his process and thoughts behind his version of Stofan.
You are welcome to join us at the opening on the second floor of the library Grófin on Tuesday 28th March at 16:00

1. Which spot did you choose for your Stofa? 
I chose the place that I found the oddest in the whole building. Somehow a choice was made at some point to design a reading salon around a very large supporting pilar. Not only have I never seen anyone using it during my visits at the library, but Its position, shape and use make me feel extremely uncomfortable. I have at heart to overcome things I profoundly dislike and that pilar felt like a calling at first glance. 

2. What will you do in it? 
I will gather the attendants around the pilar for an interactive experience where we'll create a story based on the template on the hero's journey (or monomyth, a concept developed by Josepho Campbell). After a short, guided meditation to activate our sensorial and mental awareness we will play a guess game holding a series of items found in the library. Each item will be a key element of the hero's journey but will be wrapped in a way that will make us impossible to identify them. Yet we'll have to guess. Whether our guess is somewhere close or not to the initial information contained in the item doesn't matter, but our guess acquired through the experience will write our story. 

3. What kind of feelings would you like to give users? Ultimately I would like the attendants to feel that maybe their experience (and consequently their philosophical reflection) matters more than a bunch of information. 

4. If you could change one thing about the library and bring a new rule in, what would it be? 
I would bring the living in a way or another. Libraries are temples of cold information so I would find a way to warm up people's heart so maybe they connect to the knowledge in a more organic way. Maybe removing ALL plastic plants from the library and replacing them by actual living plants could be a way. They would be the shared responsibility of the visitors and the library workers and perhaps would bind everyone on a different level and spread some warmth through the alleys. 

5. What does comfort mean to you and how do you plan on translating it beyond language during your happening? 
To me comfort means feeling safe in a place that stimulates enough confidence in me to be fully alive and grow with all my colors and desires. Hopefully the guided meditation at the beginning of the happening will help us overcome the natural discomfort one can feel when sitting around this pillar. And maybe our experience through the narrative of the hero's journey will give us enough confidence to feel the worth of our natural selves against the intimidating information monster that is all around us. Hopefully we'll leave the session and the building with a warmer heart than before we entered it. 

Further information:
Martyna Karolina Daniel, Intercultural Specialist

UpdatedTuesday March 21st 2023, 09:21