Untitled Expertise Project


Conceived and staged by John Kurzynowski

This Project is currently in Development


What does it take to be an expert in any given field? What is the relationship between artistic practice and practical mastery? And does mastery really exist as a tangible, achievable goal? Regardless, it often fuels artistic practice as some sort of means to an end – a status above the rest. Building upon research gathered during the presentation of How do I Know when I kNow that I knOw what I knoW that I KNow when I knOW how I KNOW when I ... and through a collective response to documented interviews from the 1960s and 70s between “master” filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and aspiring filmmaker François Truffaut, as well as “master” filmmaker Orson Welles and aspiring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, this project aims to examine the dynamic relationship between master and apprentice while questioning the role of the expert in contemporary artistic practices. Have these roles now merged into one? Is there still a need for mastery? Who defines expertise within any given discipline? And how does the role of the master artist nurture or impede artistic expression?

Alfred Hitchcock: Balcon said, “How would you like to direct a picture?” and I answered, “I’ve never thought about it.” And in truth, I had not … I hadn’t thought of myself as a director.

François Truffaut: This was The Pleasure Garden, from the novel by Oliver Sandys. As I remember it, there was lots of action.

Alfred Hitchcock: Melodramatic. But there were several interesting scenes in it. I want to tell you something about the shooting, because that was the very first picture I directed, and it was natural for me, I suppose, to have a sense of drama. So, at twenty minutes to eight on Saturday evening …

Peter Bogdanovich: You act as though it’s painful for you to remember any of these things.

Orson Welles: Oh, everything. Just awful.

Peter Bogdanovich: Are you up to trying Kane?

Orson Welles: Oh Christ! Alright – let’s get it over with. I can’t be awfully good on the subject, because I haven’t seen the picture since I ran the last finished print in an empty theatre in downtown Los Angeles, about six months before it was released.



Untitled Expertise Project is currently in development. Conceived and staged by John Kurzynowski. Created and performed with Kit Bower-Morris and Adam Johnson. Sound designed by Alex Hawthorn and John Kurzynowski. Photo by Jemima Yong.