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LESS Festival of Collage


LESS Festival of Contemporary Collage,
Melbourne, Australia + Viborg, Denmark, 2021-22
Curated by Karen ann Donnachie, Andy Simionato & Sergei Sviatchenko.

Part of UNESCO Creative Cities

LESS is the first festival of contemporary collage in the world. For the second edition of LESS, two UNESCO cities are connected through collage.

Throughout 2021 new-media artists Karen ann Donnachie, Andy Simionato and Sergei Sviatchenko, held parallel workshops in Viborg and Melbourne, working with participants from their local communities and schools.

With LESS Akademie in Viborg and LESS & More: Post-Digital Collage studio c/o RMIT School of Design, students learned to re-imagine an art and design practice through the lens of collage.

Sviatchenko, Donnachie & Simionato have generated original works of computational and analogue collage, a series of immersive exhibitions, and collaborative publications, which explore Viborg, Denmark, Melbourne, Australia, and the metaverses between.

Connecting UNESCO Creative Cities of Viborg and Melbourne
"When Sergei invited us to collaborate on the LESS Festival for Contemporary Collage we saw an opportunity to reimagine this changing understanding of the places in which we lived, Viborg and Melbourne. How can we understand these realities, constructing our understanding of place, nature, time, each other, through such pervasive technology?" —Andy Simionato & Karen ann Donnachie
The Collage Garden

What resulted was a new landscape populated by the interwoven realities of the two cities, their architecture and nature, recombined through the machine.

Sviatchenko, Donnachie & Simionato shared photographs of their cities and created collages of these photographs. Through a series of parallel workshops in the two cities, during a year of strict lockdowns, the artists collaborated with local students and participants to remix each others’ works.

In each city the artists brought together participants, students and the public, in a series of workshops and activities with the common goal of re-imagining a new space which reconciles both the splintered realities of our time, and the need to recombine and interweave and grow.

The Collage-garden

These collage works were then placed into both an open-air collage-garden, in the city of Viborg, as well as a virtual 3d landscape which can be freely explored with an Internet browser or through a VR headset. With the dynamic generation of the garden re-occuring at each reload, new juxtapositions and collaged sculptures are made, the algorithm becomes another collage artist in the process.

ENTER The Collage Garden
LESS Education International

Collage...is a true reflection of the world we live in today...[it] is all about the recycling, reinterpretation and reprocessing of our collective past, present and future.
—Gallagher, 2011

From the early 20th Century, through the work of Picasso, Braque, Hannah Hoch, Eileen Agar with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements, collage has been a new medium for critical, irreverent and rhetorical image making. In the one hundred years of the medium, collage has developed into a salient visual language reflecting our fragmented image-saturated environment, and a potent voice for social, political, personal and global concerns.

Through LESS Education Workshops and studios around the world, students learn collage history and contemporary techniques in analogue and post-digital collage.

The Collage Garden Viborg [Process]
“Collage carries within it two opposing notions: the first is that of division or separation caused by the action of cutting; the second is that of joining or combining what is cut into a new cohesive whole. What could be a more contemporary way of seeing our world today than collage, with its potential to reconcile the contemporaneous separation and constant connection of our lives?” –Andy Simionato and Karen ann Donnachie
The Less Principle of Collage

The severe reductiveness of Sviatchenko’s interventions sets them apart...The swift cuts that Sviatchenko makes into his source pictures give them angular new outlines that can verge on abstraction. His strangely dislocated and sometimes otherworldly inventions offer moments of unexpected balance and repose in the turbulent image-stream.

— Rick Poynor, from the book ‘Sergei Sviatchenko: Collages’, 2014

Contemporary artist Sergei Sviatchenko has developed a method of collage by which just three elements are juxtaposed. By restricting the elements, a discipline emerges in the work.

Sergei asks his students to repeatedly hold their hand in front of their face as they work, to see 'less' before looking back at the work.

LESS Festival Activities
The Collage Garden in VR
The VR Collage Garden is a virtual reality generated collagescape. To be visited with Virtual Reality Headset, computer or Mobile device.
Open Air Collage Garden, Viborg
From 4-9 December Jul i Viborg is hosting the Open Air Collage Garden.
VR Collage Garden Installation @ Amtmandens Bolig Gallery
[Denmark ]
The Amtmandens Gallery is showing an immersive installation of LESS Collage Garden in VR every Saturday of December form 11am to 4pm
Enter The Collage Garden in VR for mobile
[The Metaverse]
Scan this QR code with your mobile device to enter The Collage Garden in WebGL or VR [requires google cardboard or similar for true 3d effect].
LESS Education, Viborg
With the guidance of master collage artist Sergei Sviatchenko, students are introduced to Contemporary collage practice through the 'LESS' methodology pioneered by Sergei.
Visit the Collage Garden in Viborg.
Gallery & VR Installation Viborg, Denmark open Saturdays 11am-4pm Open Air Collage Garden open 24/7 Viborg, Denmark 4 - 19 December, 2021
The Collage Garden in Viborg.
The Collage Garden
Open Air Collage Garden & VR Collage Garden Installation
@ Amtmandens Bolig Gallery,
Creative Director
Sergei Sviatchenko
Curators 2021-22
Karen ann Donnachie & Andy Simionato
Festival Manager
Lars Hamann
Immersive VR
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Creative Team
Christian Kortegaard Madsen, Jeannie Holland, Maiken Dyrvig, Tanja Rix Nielsen
Rauli Rajande
in association with
LESS Festival of Contemporary Collage is the first collaboration of the two UNESCO Creative Cities of Melbourne and Viborg.

LESS Festival is proudly part of Viborg cultural commitment as a member of UNESCO Creative Cities. LESS is founded by influential collage artist Sergei Sviatchenko together with a group of business leaders in Viborg municipality, and is funded with the generous support of Viborg Kommune, Østjysk Vækstbånd, the Danish Ministry of Culture through Den Jyske Kunst Fond and local and national businesses.

In Melbourne, LESS Festival is curated by artists Karen ann Donnachie & Andy Simionato, with the generous support of RMIT University.
Atomic Activity Books
Boligselskab Sct. Jørgens
Europæisk Kulturregion
Jul i Viborg
Loop Viborg
Østjysk Vækstbånd
RMIT University School of Design
Viborg Animation Festival
Viborg Kommune
Viborg Ungdomsskole
Vision Viborg kultur og
This is a Magazine
UNESCO Creative Cities