Contemporary art’s desire to be ‘contemporary’, for many practitioners, interestingly comes with the impulse, or some may say necessity, to bring back the past to the ‘now’. Major trends in contemporary dance, Yvonne Hardt observed, have seen not only reconstruction of or reference to historical dance pieces, but also conversion of the stage into a site for archiving dance performatively. But the nexus between the new and the old in performing arts is rarely considered in the context of globalization and postcolonial debates. This text wants to be part of a growing body of work aiming to fill this gap.
In Cosmic Latte, Sonya Lindfors projects the audience into a Black future, while underscoring just how in and of the present Black bodies are, and have always been since the invention of racial structures and frameworks.
The sixth edition of Performatik, the Brussels biennale for ‘live art’, this year continues with its legacy to explore the interface between performing arts and visual art in today’s artistic practices. While the fourth edition focused on the disruption of viewing positions inherent in cross-boundary practices, and the fifth on the shrinkage of social space and how live art could make use of the body to intervene with ‘social sculpting’, Performatik19 is more ambitious than ever. The 2019 curatorial, while keeping the preoccupations of the previous editions intact, foregrounds two related elements integral to the field. On the one hand, the performativity of performance and the possibility to intervene into that condition where authority governs articulations usually taken as ‘natural’. On the other, the unravelling of the disciplinary boundaries which separate different fields in the arts as well as the institutional spaces in which they are embedded, hence its emphasis on trans-disciplinarity. This includes the undoing of the dividing lines between stage, museum, gallery, the outdoor public space and the everyday life.
With the reopening of the Africa Museum in Brussels and the Same Same But Different festival in Ghent, Belgium’s colonial history and decolonisation have become much debated topics. Two recent productions (Luk Perceval’s Black: The Sorrows of Belgium and Roland Gunst’s Flandria) have been notable for what they reveal and add to the discussion.
Fabián Barba studied dance in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, as well as at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels. Traveling back and forth as an artistic nomad, the performer became more and more aware of a hierarchical order that comes with the geocultural organisation of reality. Contemporary dance outside a western context often seems to outdated. Or is there mere to it?
Im deutschen Theater ist niemand mehr zu finden, der nocht nichts von diesem Enfant terrible gesehen oder jedenfalls von ihm gehört hat. Das Werk des Regisseurs und Gestalters Ersan Mondtag hält die Mitte zwischen Theater, Bildende Künste und Performance. Aus einer tiefgegründeten Faszination für Horror, bespielt er mit seinem extrem visuellen Stil meisterhaft die Ängste des Zuschauers. Montag präsentiert sich in dieser Spielzeit zum ersten Mal mit zwei Produktionen dem belgischen Publikum.
From February 3 till March 18, the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva held a survey exhibition of the work of the British writer, performance-maker and visual artist Cally Spooner (b.1983). She presented her work in Belgium as well, as a part of the Playground festival at STUK and, more recently, during a talk she gave at KASK. Spooner’s work provides an interesting case study on performance and choreography in a museum setting – a much-debated subject – merging as it does creation processes and viewing regimes associated with the black box as well as the white cube. In her oeuvre, text, video, audio, sculpture and choreography are related thematically, dramaturgically and in time.