Temple of Ultimate Bliss was a five day workshop that was co-designed and facilitated by artists Aoibheann Greenan and Anto López Espinosa for the LungA Art Festival in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland. This performative workshop explored collective myth-making as a radical, embodied form of artistic practice, enabling the imagination and temporary inhabitation of alternate realities.
The participants arrived with a personal talisman on the first day, the seeds from which the myth evolved. Aoibheann and Anto facilitated the myth-making process through a structured itinerary of practical activities, each one generating the building blocks for the next. Activities included group mind-mapping, creative writing exercises, sigil making, sound recording and Butoh, as a means of developing movement scores from words and images. Enriched by the ideas and input of each participant, the group activated the emergence of an imaginary community with a unique mythology, visual identity and ritual practice.
The workshop culminated in a site-specific performance that wove itself into the fabric and mythos of LungA. Beginning as an immersive sonic experience in a cinema space, audiences were led to a nearby river where our ritual unfolded.
Images courtesy of Ólöf Helgadóttir
Aoibheann and Anto's workshop was an amazing group experience of art creation and how far you can take connection. They managed to create a space where I, a person who's never done performance art, felt very safe to be vulnerable and take my first steps in that kind of art. Not to mention the very well thought out process of how we together made this art piece. A group of strangers doing something this vulnerable and weird and fun is not default. It simply speaks to the environment that Aoibheann and Anto managed to create. It was mesmerizing to see how well thought out each "lesson" and exercise was. Every single thing we did felt purposeful, everything flowed into the next, it was amazing seeing it all unfold throughout the week long workshop.I'm very happy with how Aoibheann taught the workshop with what seemed like endless energy and kindness. Thank you for an amazing workshop!
- Karen Ýr Vegglist
I attended the workshop “Temple of Ultimate Bliss” co-lead by Aoibheann and left inspired, braver and with useful tools for accessing and expressing my artistic ideas and visions. Aoibheann taught with a great focus on the process with fun and challenging exercises that included all of the participants, creating a safe and playful space that invited and valued our thoughts and inputs. The workshop culminated in one final piece, that we all could feel proud of, created by the group's collective vision. An experience I will always cherish!
- Anna Kjeldahl