Academic Session 27: RCA 2014

40th Anniversary Conference & Bookfair
Royal College of Art, London
10 - 12 April 2014

Performance as Critical Resistance: Curating Performance in Museums and Art
Institutions Today

Session Convenors:

Hendrik Folkerts Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Arnisa Zeqo Rongwrong Art Space, Amsterdam

Over the past decade there has been a remarkable increase of performance programs in museums and art institutions, as well as in festivals and biennials. The scope of these programs varies – institutions consider performance as side programming or public programming, performance is framed within an exhibition model or in some cases, given central stage in specifically designed spaces. The disciplinary vocabulary with which performance is presented also shows the contemporary diversity of this art form – inspired by theater, dance and music as well as exclusively based on a history of performance in the visual arts. Within those developments, performance is still considered an art form that needs to be experienced ‘first hand’, in a concentrated timeframe and in a particular setting. Yet, the danger facing the proliferation of performance art in contemporary art institutions is the rendering of it to a mere event.

This panel questions how the contemporary programming of performances relates to performance history in the visual arts, the still precarious position of the document/documentation in performance and alternative curatorial models of performance. What kind of implications does contemporary institutionalized performance have in relation to notions of (often immaterial) labour, artistic production and spectacularization? Moreover this panel proposes to investigate and explore how new strategies of performativity can be envisioned as critical resistance to the event-based framework of hypermodernity.

Sophie Berrebi (University of Amsterdam) Entrance – Exit: Between the Stage and the White Cube

Mathieu Copeland (Independent curator, London/Paris) Notes on the Choreography of Exhibitions

Aleksandra Jach (Museum Sztuki, Poland) Intimacy of Performance as Affective Labour

Patricia Koening (Oxford University) Rethinking Liveness in Beijing East Village: Performance and its photographic documentation

Snejanka Mihaylova (Independent artist and writer) Solar Boat

Cally Spooner (Independent artist) You Were Wonderful on Stage: Reflections on labour in performance

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