The European Biennial of Contemporary Art

28 June 31 October 2014

St. Petersburg, Russia The State Hermitage Museum

Animation Studio “Da”

Technique: Animation 
Location: Charitable Center for families and children from the Kalininsky district of St. Petersburg. 

A collaborative work between children and adults to create and develop their own cartoon - a special method of art therapy.

By inventing scenarios, drawing characters, animating, recording sound, the children were included into the creative process, playing an important role in the provision of psychological support to children with socio-economic difficulties.

In a series of workshops at the Charitable Center for families and children from the Kalininsky district of St. Petersburg, we proposed to children, to think about where they wanted to travel. In this they were inspired by the work of Francis Alÿs’ "Lada" Kopeika project. Whilst Alÿs’s journey acted to illustrate the symbolic crushing of his childhood illusion, for the children the story was just the beginning for a still unknown ending. We become fellow travellers in their story, which raised questions about realities and dreams. 

In early August, the animation studio "Da" with children from the Centre visited the exhibition in the General Staff Building twice, sat inside Francis Alÿs’ Lada Kopieka in the courtyard of the Winter Palace and recorded music in Paola Pivi’s studio project for MANIFESTA 10 GRRR JAMMING SQUEAK in the Kuryokhin centre of Contemporary Art. As a result, a group of teammates formed, drew and assembled the cartoon, which reinvented the story of Francis’ journey. It turned out that the Belgian artist’s trip has not been without numerous adventures - a lost baby, a deal with beavers and various strange companions en route.  

The premiere of the result of this workshops – the animated film "Adventure №238” was held on August 15 in the education space of the General Staff Building.

Animation studio "Da" is a charitable organization founded in 2008. A team of directors, artists, animators, and psychologists regularly organize animation classes in hospitals, orphanages, boarding schools – places where people have found themselves in difficult situations.