Once nerves has gone, session is over, everything is tidy, I’m sending Xènia Bagué a questionnaire* to share with you her impression on her experience with the format and the session she performed along with Paco Navamuel past February 6th. This session served as a farewell to the shop at L’Abaceria market stall, in Barcelona, which was the physical part of La Parada, and an homage to the artist that passed by it until that moment.
It was an emotional session, I think (at least, most of the attendees said so!), mainly because it represented the beginning of a new age for La Parada. We combined photography book, illustrated book, photoghraphies and illustrations, with an audio base marking different content blocks, with nods to our physical space as the live performance of Xavi, street guitarist who always played besides La Parada, or Pepe’s voiceover, the gypsy who sells socks on the market, or the typical knife-grinder…
The idea of this session was created with the intention of making a tribute to the authors of La Parada, finding not always apparent links between them, and somehow, through them, to explain what the sensitivity of La Parada proposals was.
Preparation takes time. On one hand you need the material, which in this case was the easiest part because they are our authors, but you must know what you have from each in order to establish connections between authors, in my case there were personal connections that I established on my own personal criteria, conceptual or formal. My greatest difficulty was to define, establish a base structure to start sorting the content, but there Paco’s expertise was a great help, he put all the audio together, with which it was easier to establish blocks.
From the first day I heard of BookJockey, I jumped at it, I tried someone to held one at La Parada, but it didn’t come up. With Paco Navamuel we got along talking about organizing one, and as soon as he knew that we were about to close the physical space of La Parada, he gave me no choice, and encouraged me to do so. And has really been a luxury do that with Paco, the four.hand experience is perfect to begin with, and get familiar with this format, and even more with a veteran like him, this was his fourth session!
Possibilities of the format are almost endless, and nerves before beginning were tremendous, what scaried me most was that we acecelerated with books, not allowing a good visibility to the audience, or that we were slower and did not give us time show all material. Both things happened fair in size, but it looked good, and yes, some books were left without its moment of glory… hehehe. For me it was great! A first approach to this format, with which I want to continue experimenting. I had a great time preparing and conducting the session!
Format is very open, and it really lets you do whatever you want, there are no marked guidelines, only a base. The idea, for me, was to create a narrative or a visual speech based on material (books) which don’t have to be closely related, and use various resources to support this new narrative either live music as we did, video fragments, recital… it’s a format that could approach performance.
* This time I’ve removed questions to achieve a more fluent reading. For similar editing reasons I’ve changed the order of any of the paragraphs. Questions this time were:
.- How long did you prepare it and how it was, was it of any use for you.
.- Why you decided to participate
.- Would you like to make any comment or suggestion about the format?