performingborders | LIVE 2019

performingborders and Foreign Actions Productions present

performingborders | LIVE

From February until late June 2019, we present a programme of events that bring outside of the online realm urgent conversations and extraordinary artistic practices happening within the UK experimental live art sector around notions of cultural, juridical, racial, gendered, class, physical, and everyday borders.

Curated by Alessandra Cianetti and Xavier de Sousa, performingborders | LIVE draws from the curatorial research platform ‘performingborders. conversations on live art | crossings | europe’ that since 2016 has been gathering original interviews, writings and experimental responses from live artists, academics and art professionals on physical and conceptual borders within an increasingly shared feeling of uncertainty. As an attempt to make sense of an ever-developing present that hugely impacts on minority and oppressed communities, performingborders | LIVE brings those discussions into venues in Manchester, Brighton, London and Nogales (US/Mexico border wall) to widen the conversation and create a broader inclusive discussion that will also be freely accessible online.

As part of the programme two commissions for original performance to camera will be created by the Istanbul Queer Art Collective and artist Tara Fatehi Irani and shown at the Beyond the Wall / Más Allá del Muro Festival in Nogales at the Mexico/US border wall (May 2019), and previewed in London for the at the performingborders | LIVE final event ‘Curating Borderless Spaces’ at the Live Art Development Agency on 22nd June 2019.

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To widening the discussion around borders and include uncharted perspectives, performingborders | LIVE invites proposals for two digital conversations on Live Art and borders. The international live art community is invited to bring their own perspective into the word ‘border’ and what it means in their practice and lived experience. The two final digital pieces will be published on both the performingborders and the Live Art Development Agency websites as a free to access resources.

Free movement workshops about systemic racial, gender and xenophobic oppression and its impact on the body will be held by Camille Barton/The Collective Liberation Project. Embodied Movement for Social Change workshop uses ‘somatic exercises and dance to explore how oppression is rooted in the body and how we can shift its hold on our lives using mindful attention and movement’ and will be freely accessible in both Brighton (21 March 2019, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts) and London (6 July 2019, Deptford Lounge).

Everyone is welcome! performingborders | LIVE welcomes people whose practice, research and life have been shaped by experiences of migration and borders.

Presented by performingborders and Foreign Actions Productions in collaboration with Live Art Development Agency (London, UK), Contact Theatre (Manchester, UK), Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (Brighton, UK), Artsadmin (London, UK), Deptford Lounge (London, UK) and Beyond the Wall/Más Allá del Mur Festival (Nogales, US/Mexico). Supported by the Arts Council England.



9 February 2019 |1.00pm-2.00pm | performingborders | LIVE | Manchester
Queer Contact Festival at YES
A conversation between Glasgow/Berlin-based live artist Nima Séne and curator and artist Tuna Erdem from the Istanbul Queer Arts Collective.
Book your free ticket here – Invite your friends here

20180921-installationview-amsterdam-framerframed-photo by evabroekema-smaller-1 colour corrected
Sim Chi Yin, One Day We’ll Understand, 2018, (Installation view), UnAuthorised Medium, curated by Annie Jael Kwan, Framer Framed, Amsterdam. Photo by Eva Broekema

19 March 2019 |7.00pm-9.00pm| performingborders | LIVE | Brighton
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts
A performative reading by Nobel Peace Prize photographer and artist Sim Chi Yin, who will be in conversation with curator Annie Jael Kwan from Something Human and Asia-Art-Activism.
Book your free ticket here – Invite your friends here

cami blindfold
Embodied movement for social change. Photo by Chani Bockwinkel

21 March 2019 |6.00pm-9.00pm| performingborders | LIVE | Brighton
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts
In the EmbodiedSocial Change workshop by Camille Barton, dance, somatics and mindfulness are used to explore how oppression is rooted in the body and how we can shift its hold on our lives using mindful attention and movement. The work is intended to generate new approaches to activism that focus on the body, as well as the mind. After all, systems of power and oppression are reproduced by our bodies on a daily basis
Free (ticket link TBC)

on returning_image
Anti-Cool, On Returning, 2017 (still from video)

April 2019 | performingborders | LIVE | London
April, Toynbee Studios
A conversation between interdisciplinary artist Anti-Cool and curators osborn&møller (UK/Denmark). The evening is curated by osborn&møller in collaboration with Artsadmin as part of performingborders | LIVE. More information coming soon. 

beyond the wall 7

3-5 May 2019 | performingborders | LIVE | US/Mexico border wall
Nogales Arizona/Sonora
performingborders | LIVE conversations and performance to camera commissions will be presented as part of the second edition of the Más Allá del Muro / Beyond the Wall Festival.

Más Allá del Muro / Beyond the Wall 2019 is the second annual binational art festival at the US/Mexico border in Nogales Arizona/Sonora. Local artists showcase a diverse cross-section of borderlands culture and 15-foot-tall puppets of children meet at the existing US/Mexico border wall. Their presence challeges the wall, transforming it from a receptacle for divisive rhetoric into an object of play. The existing border wall runs through Nogales, splitting the town in half. But contrary to political portayals, there is no hard line between Americans and Mexicans – in the experience of borderlanders, a complex blend of traditions unite to form a unique borderlands culture that renders the division moot.

More information coming soon.

Human Chain, 2016. Image by Lucia Palmero

22 June 2019 | Final event: Curating Borderless Spaces| London
Live Art Development Agency
Join performingborders | LIVE final event, Curating Borderless SpacesA day of talks, conversations, actions, sharing at/across/against borders. The event will be the London premiere of the new performingborders | LIVE  performance to camera commissions by Istanbul Queer Art Collective and Tara Fatehi Irani & will present the two selected digital conversations on Live Art and borders. Artist and writer Season Butler will respond live to the event’s contributions, with the outcomes being shared on our website.

cami blindfold
Embodied movement for social change. Photo by Chani Bockwinkel

6 July 2019 |1.00pm-4.00pm| performingborders | LIVE | London
Deptford Lounge
In the EmbodiedSocial Change workshop by Camille Barton, dance, somatics and mindfulness are used to explore how oppression is rooted in the body and how we can shift its hold on our lives using mindful attention and movement. The work is intended to generate new approaches to activism that focus on the body, as well as the mind. After all, systems of power and oppression are reproduced by our bodies on a daily basis
Free but places are limited. Please book your ticket here


Anti-Cool is an interdisciplinary artist based in the UK, originally from Japan, working in the field of performance art, installation and now film. Direct interaction with people in different social/ cultural backgrounds is one of the most important elements of her work. Her artistic mission statement is how to overcome the socially imposed boundaries or rules with which people are surrounded or the limitations they place on themselves. Through various forms of art she aims to interpret these situations and pose questions about contemporary global society.

Camille Barton is a movement artist who brings her passion for social change to life through a variety of art mediums, including dance, film and clowning. Her art practise fuses improvisation, ritual and Afrofuturism to weave new realities inspired by the creativity of the African Diaspora.  Most recently Camille directed and danced in ‘Space is the Place’, a three-minute Afrofuturist sci-fi film produced by Channel 4 Random Acts. The film was selected to play at Sheffield Doc Fest 2018. Camille is currently exploring and developing a workshop series called Embodied Movement for Social Change, fusing somatics and dance to explore how oppression, such as sexism and racism, impacts the body. Camille is the founding director of the Collective Liberation Project (CLP). CLP designs educational experiences to help people understand oppression, and how it relates to their lived experience, so they can stop behaving in ways that reproduce oppression, such as racism and sexism. This work is inspired by Camille’s ongoing research into somatics and social justice: exploring how trauma from oppression is rooted in the body and how it can be healed with movement and mindfulness. CLP has worked with clients including Quakers in Britain, Release, Sisters Uncut, The University of Sussex, SOAS, The Arts Marketing Association and Sunday Assembly London.

Season Butler is a writer, artist, dramaturg and activist. Her writing, research and performance practice centre around intersectionality and narratives of otherness, isolation and the end of the world. Lately she has been thinking about authorship, authority and version control, and how we gesture toward an unruly future in an age of failed predictions. Her recent work has appeared in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary for Contemporary Art, Latvian National Museum of Art, Barbican Centre, and her first novel will be published in the UK by Little, Brown and the US by Harper Collins later this year.

Tuna Erdem is a London based artist, curator and producer. She is the founding member of Istanbul Queer Art Collective, which is predominantly engaged in live art and Queer Art Projects, which produces art events like exhibitions, performances, screenings and parties. She holds an MA in Film and Art Theory from the University of Kent and a PhD in Film, TV and Theater from Reading University.

Tara Fatehi Irani is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and performance maker working with mistranslated memories and unattended archives. Her work is primarily concerned with the ephemeral interactions between memories, words, bodies and sites and their inherent mistranslations. Her practice ranges between yearlong daily projects, site-responsive art, performance, dance, audio-visual, installations and writings. From deserted buildings to well-known art centres, her work has appeared in houses, basements, streets, gyms, theatres, galleries, conferences, journals and publications. Tara is a doctoral researcher at the University of Roehampton in conjunction with the Live Art Development Agency. Her practice-as-research project investigates the interanimation of performance and family archives and methods of disseminating archives through performative ventures. Alongside her solo practice, she regularly collaborates with other artists and companies currently including Station House Opera, Karen Christopher, Pouya Ehsaei (as /gorizazmakaz/), 30 Bird and DARC (Documentation Action Research Collective).

Istanbul Queer Art Collective (Tuna Erdem & Seda Ergul) is a performance art collective founded in 2012 in Istanbul. The collective’s work has been shown at various venues around the world such as Framer Framed Amsterdam, Blok Art Space Istanbul, Mamut Art Fair, If Istanbul Independent Film Festival, Istanbul LGBT Pride Exhibition, Zurich Les Belles De Nuit Festival, Queer Future Exhibition, Athens Sound Acts Festival, Zürcher Theatre Spektakel, SGFA 2016, Deep Trash 2017, Bonington Gallery Nottingham and the public program of the 15th Istanbul Biennial. The collective is currently based in London and is comprised of its two founding members Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergul. Erdem and Ergul are firm believers in what Jack Halberstam calls the “queer art of failure”: they stir away from the competitive drive towards perfection and embrace failure in their performances. They also believe both gender and sexuality are performative and engage in what Renate Lorenz calls “radical drag”, which is a kind of drag that is not necessarily based on gender but the transgression of all boundaries. They express this belief by presenting themselves as cis gender female drag queens.

Annie Jael Kwan is an independent curator, producer and researcher based in London. Since 2005 she has worked on numerous with major arts and cultural institutions in the UK and internationally. She founded the curatorial initiative, Something Human, in 2012, to focus on her interests in the critical ideas surrounding movement across borders. While situating live art in multidisciplinary exhibitions and public events, she also researched the performance art scenes in Southeast Asia. In 2016, her self-initiated residency in Cambodia generated the collection of digital materials that would form a significant part of the pioneering Southeast Asian Performance Collection (SAPC). The SAPC was launched at the Live Art Development Agency in London as part of the 2017 M.A.P. project that showed in Venice and the UK. Most recently, she was also selected for the International Curators Forum’s “Beyond the Frame” programme, and for Outset and Arts Council England’s research trip for emerging curators, which resulted in her curated colloquium, Curating Radical Futures, at Tate Modern. She initiated and co-leads the Asia-Art-Activism research network that is currently in residence at Raven Row for 12 months, with a desire interrogate the paradigm of “Asia” while experimenting with the formalities/informalities of working collectively.

osborn&møller is Emma Møller (Denmark) and Mary Osborn (UK), an independent curatorial duo unattached to any one organisation, city or even country, who have come together to create temporary spaces for performance encounters. We are interested in performance as a practice that can disrupt structures of oppression, re-think hierarchies, illuminate the slippery boundaries between bodies and offer a space for critical empathy. To date, we have worked with Wellcome Collection (London), City of Women (Ljubljana) and Warehouse9 (Copenhagen). Our first project, Bodies Beyond Borders (2017) was born in response to the very particular moment in summer 2016 when our collaboration formed and the border between the UK and mainland Europe began to be redrawn. The project looked at the way performance might rattle and unsettle physical, geographical and conceptual borders: borders between bodies, identities, art forms, places, and experiences, and our attempt to define these as human.

Sim Chi Yin (1978) is a photographer and artist from Singapore, currently based in London. Her artistic practice integrates multiple mediums including photography, film, sound, text and archival material and performative readings. Combining rigorous research with intimate storytelling, Chi Yin’s works often explore issues relating to history, memory, conflict and the consequences of migration. While her practice is rooted in documentary, the artist experiments with different forms of production and presentation, allowing her intimate photographic stories on social issues to reach and impact a variety of audiences. Chi Yin was the Nobel Peace Prize photographer for 2017, and has shown her work in numerous exhibitions internationally, including the Istanbul Biennale in 2017, the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art in South Korea and the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore. Her work has also been screened at film festivals, including Les rencontres d’Arles and Visa pour l’Image festivals in France and the Singapore International Film Festival. Her ongoing research project, One Day We’ll Understand (2018), is based on her family story – the story of her paternal grandfather had always been unspoken. One of tens of thousands of leftists deported to China by the British during the anti-colonial insurgency in Malaya – known as the Malayan Emergency (1948-60) – her grandfather was eventually executed by the anti-Communist Kuomintang soldiers in 1949, shortly before their surrender to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War. In One Day We’ll Understand, the artist takes her family history as a point of departure, and explores a largely hidden chapter of the Cold War in Southeast Asia, in the areas known today as Malaysia and Singapore. Through research and collecting oral histories, Sim Chi Yin has for the last six years been working on her grandfather’s story, as well as that of his generation of anti-colonial activists. The artist has created archives for a number of them, now spread out over multiple territories – China, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore. These stories, not yet recorded in any official archive, are counter-narratives to the available histories of this period so far constructed from British archives. While these narratives complicate and provide more nuance to this turbulent period, the artist also confronts further philosophical questions with regards to the fragility and fallibility of archives and collective histories.

Featured Image: Tanja Ostojić: Misplaced Women? and The Tourist Suitcase (2018), 60 min performance by Tanja Ostojić, at the Goldenes Dahl, Altstadt, Innsbruck. Art in Public Space Tyrol. Photo: Daniel Jarosch, Copyright/ courtesy: T. Ostojić


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