Research Leadership Programme Alumni Day 2015

Hosted by: EFMD & EURAM

The event will start on: 16 Apr 15 17:30
And will end on: 17 Apr 15 16:00

Location: Brussels, Belgium

A partnership between EFMD and EURAM (European Academy of Management)



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Imagination, or the life of lost images

A one day photo-narrative workshop

What if imagination was a key to access the world of facts and deeds? What if working life was better captured by fiction stories than by real encounters? ‘Storytelling’ has been widely admitted as a component of organizational life and of research. Producing a coherent story line operates an essential linking between events and persons: it incorporates bits and snatches into a great engaging narrative, “making sense” of their disparateness. Fiction goes further and rather consists in revealing, expressing and sharing the fascination for the disparate itself and the sense of life it conveys through ‘good’ stories. What does imagining and telling a ‘good’ story means? Rather than imposing a ‘thick description’, it is about cutting and editing a succession of acts and speeches so as to let the audience build and follow its own plausible thin red line. It’s about imagining links between causes and reasons for effects. In the end it’s all about letting the unexpected in, caressing the unbelievable as the smooth fur of the animal reality. Then it may – the real – burst out in the full obviousness of its complexity. This is why art-based methods for research may offer a renewed access to a different knowledge, if only we dare to dive into otherness and imagination: imagination and reflect the complexity of our multiple inter-woven realities; they empower a “narrative truth”, one that has the power of ‘making sense’ – to those who tell it and those who hear it.

Dare and dive

The workshop proposes to immerse the participants into a body of hundreds of lost-and-found photographs. Found in the streets, abandoned, sometimes damaged, they all call for reconstruction. The workshop is about choosing some, loving them and re-creating their fictional histories. Imagination will link their valueless surfaces to our deepest concerns. Looking at images as realities that do not exist but could, is hypothesizing what ‘existing’ facts could mean. We all bear the ability to feel within our own self what the others experience as their proper life: this is what we call ‘imagination’. Focusing on disparate lost images, connecting them together in order to shape imaginary stories, sharing these stories and gathering them together could enable us to experience how our respective lives, feeling and expectations connect and diverge.

Philippe Mairesse is an artist, a researcher and a consultant. His research interests are the intersection between organizations and art and more specifically how art interventions can change the organization of work. He is currently serving at University Paris1 La Sorbonne (CNRS Institute ACTE, Art & Flux team) as a leading core member of ABRIR, a French National Research project about Art and critical mutations in organizations (abrir.dauphine.fr). As an artist he is the founder of Grore Images, a photo agency for found photography, and Accès Local, dedicated to artistic advisory for management and change. His work is regularly shown in national and international exhibitions since 2002.