Miloš Šejn and Frank van den Ven: Bohemiae Rosa

Site / Body Exploration II
Interdisciplinary Open-air Workshop
3–17 September, 1997
Střela River valley / Plasy Monastery

Since 1995 Miloš Šejn and Frank van de Ven have co-operated in Bohemiae Rosa - their bi-annual Body-Site-Exploration projects in various national & cultural reserves in the Czech Republic.

In September 1997 the Academy of Fine Arts in cooperation with the Center for Metamedia Plasy held an international interdisciplinary open air workshop "Bohemiae Rosa". The workshop was held for the second time. The first workshop was realized in town of Mšeno, 50 km north of Prague, and the project's aim, originally a wider understanding of architectural education, was substantially enriched by the participation of students and teachers of dance, creative art and music, as well as architecture.

The objective of the workshop is to explore the relationships among the body, landscape and architecture. The three disciplines would intersect in their focus on the human body as a part of the atmosphere of a place.

Infinitely diverse landscapes and their architectonics exist within our body, and nature can be readily described in physical terms, such as blood resembling a river, to be grounded like a tree, thoughts passing as clouds. Likewise in architectural terms of we can speak about a landscape in a human palm, of the interior space of the heart, or the bodies of towers. We will work with a group of up to 20 students of different disciplines, both from Czech Republic and abroad, and hope that their different views on the topic would lead to new insights on the intermingling of Body & Landscape & Architecture.

The monastery in Plasy, with the adjacent valley of the Strela river, was chosen as the location for the event and the residency. The valleys and stone quarries in the Střela spring area and monastery’s structures are an ideal place for spontaneous experiences and a deeper understanding of the ancient relationship between human beings and the landscape. It is also a place which typifies the combination of architecture, landscape and spiritual history. This type of workshop is an ideal opportunity for encounters among people and their active participation in the research of new methods in teaching landscape cultivation as another creative art discipline, with the approach of other disciplines of art and science.

Various tasks should be assigned to the participants, such as exploring the land, engaging in special physical exercises and mental exercises for concentration. These should result in the realization of projects or events sharing characteristics of theater, performance and creative response, but primarily they should stimulate creative interdisciplinary discussion and exchange. Documentation of the works, events and exercises, along with presentations in lectures and a catalogue, will help to publicize the project. The workshop is for participants of any specialization and no age limit applies. We will work for a minimum of 6 hours a day at different times of day and night.

Miloš Šejn, Frank van de Ven, 1997

The body is a landscape in itself moving within the larger frame of the given surrounding environment. The vertical and horizontal layering of the (historical) landscape invites us to reflect upon our own layers and connections of self and imagination.

This edition of the Bohemiae Rosa Project will take place in a monastery Plasy. Participants investigated the numerous relations between Body & Landscape / Landscape & Memory and their significance to contemporary (Performing & Eco) Arts.

The program included:

  • MB - (mind/body, muscles/bones) dance training
  • practice of and reflection on physical and mental training
  • walking and wandering, silent walk, pilgrimage and nocturnal journeys
  • various modes of experiencing body, movement and landscape
  • investigating divergent senses of space and time
  • peripatetic records, drawing, writing, immediate contact with surroundings
  • mental topography of a location, myth, archaic mind and genius loci
  • geology, archaeology and history of the Landscape as a model of self: layers, vertical connections and labyrinths

Organized by:
Bohemiae Rosa Project
in collaboration with Hermit Foundation and the Center for Metamedia in Plasy and Moving Academy for Performing Arts

Workshop leaders:
Miloš Šejn, CZ;
Frank van de Ven, NL
Martin Buchner,(D)


Martin Janíček (CZ) –  Ivana Teršová (CZ) – Olga Kropíková (CZ) – Hana Pýchová (CZ) – Rolf Meesters (NL) – Alena Doležalová (CZ) – Malte Dickmann (D) – Jan Erik Kolář (D) – Petr Uličný (CZ) – Daniel Šimek (CZ) – Michael Peters (D) –Viktorie Šmejkalová (CZ) – Etrona van der Heijden (NL)

Frank van de Ven – Miloš Šejn – all participants: Baroque water mirror
Miloš Šejn – Frank van den Ven: Big Isolation Programme, CZ;
Frank van de Ven – Rolf Meesters – Miloš Šejn: Dancing Plasy Times 8