In June a group of students and researchers from Performance Design went to Prague to visit the Prague Quedrennial that presents works by artists, professionals and students from all over the world. Since 1967 PQ has been an event dedicated to scenography and design for performance though exhibitions, festivals, workshops, performances and educational events.
Some of the performances we saw was a mushroom performance, a site specific dance choreography in an old 6 storey building and several performance lectures by researchers in performance design and space. Also we had time to sozialising and enjoy beers and food in the the city of Prague.
On a hot summer day Michael Haldrup, Kristine Samson form Performance Design and Madeleine Kate McGowan from the media activist platform, Other Story went to Sjælsmark deportation camp and to Nørrebro Station to record a video paper on Toxic Climates.
In both form and content we wished to address the toxic climates we are living in. And change this climate by activating a new environmental awareness starting with ourselves by cultivating an art of noticing.
The video paper will be published in the journal Performance Philosophy in 2020. Until then, the abstract and some pics from the recordings.
Abstract: Toxic Climates
Planet Earth is toxic. Its atmosphere unbreathable. Its environments deadly intoxicated by the dehumanizing forces of xenophobia, environmental degradation and violence. As its peoples are increasingly on the move to make a worthy living exclusion, borders and conflict is a norm rather than an exception. And – as toxic substances dissipate and spreads through media and circulating representations they clouds the sight to the human beings in front of us. In the face of the intoxicating and dehumanizing forces at play, we need remedies for sobering up rather than intoxication. Remedies for living with contamination and hybridity rather than altering these states. Partly inspired by Levinas and his ethics of the “nakedness of a face, the absolute defenseless face, without covering, clothing or mask” (1998: 21) and partly by Anna Tsings’ more recent call for “contamination” as a catalyst from which future ”world-making projects, mutual projects and new directions – may emerge.” (2015: 27) we propose a radical humanizing intervention in – and beyond – institutions. A contamination of academic institutions and media with testimony from people living the change. A contamination of thought with action. A contamination of activism with thinking. In a cooperation between academic performance researchers and media activist collective Other Story we explore media activism as ways of expressing and enacting citizenships. Conceiving of thinking as a practice that “interrupts all ordering activities and is interrupted by them” (Ahrendt 1971: 197), we think through and with embodied others and their material lives rather than about them. Hence, the presentation will address interventions and evidence of staging a “radical softness” in the meeting with people who live through current planetary change and explore potentials for emerging shared sensibilities affecting our own embodied citizenships in the encounter with others in these toxic climates. The video paper consist of the following sections:
during Copenhagen Pride in August, Glyptotek was transformed into a laboratory for liberating our conceptions of sexuality, gender and the body, and generating new readings of the art of Antiquity.
Through dance, dialogue and a staged trial we invite guests and statues to take part in imagining alternative futures in the company of the performance collective Disturbing Business, philosopher Denis Maksimov, Professor in visual culture and performance design Michael Haldrup and dancer Linh Le. The event was curated as part of the research group VISPER’s (Visual Culture and Performance Design) event programme, and was part of the national research project Vores Museum.