performingborders | LIVE film: Anti-Cool + osborn&møller 

performingborders | LIVE is thrilled to release the first film of its series of three public conversations in Manchester, Brighton, and London. We start from our last one at Toynbee Studios, London!

A conversation between interdisciplinary artist Anti-Cool and curators osborn&møller (UK/Denmark), presenting the UK premiere of Anti-Cool’s three-screen video installation On Returning, which explores the history of several British families and couples, separated and disrupted by current immigration policies.

Since the financial requirement was introduced in 2012 for those with family members from outside of the EU countries, 20,000 families who cannot meet the threshold have been facing separation from their family members. Many of them can only speak to their children on Skype. Using raw and often blunt interview footage of participants who are in the middle of such disruptions, On Returning investigates their true feelings about borders, human rights and families. Although highly prevalent in today’s political climate, such stories are still unknown by the majority of the people in the UK. While investigating the difficult issues of immigration the work also uses experimental visual elements of the British landscape and physical/performative actions to explore the highly emotive side of the subject matter.

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.

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.


On Returning installation, Toynbee Studios, 2019. Curated by osborn&møller as part of performingborders | LIVE. Image by Studio MaBa


Anti-Cool. Image by Studio MaBa


osborn&møller (Mary Osborn – speaking – and Emma Møller). Image by Studio MaBa


osborn&møller (Mary Osborn and Emma Møller – speaking). Image by Studio MaBa

performingborders | LIVE is a programme of events and new commissions focusing on the exploration of artistic practices happening within the UK live art sector around notions of cultural, juridical, racial, gendered, class, physical and everyday borders. Curated by Alessandra Cianetti and Xavier de Sousa.

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), Beyond the Wall/Más Allá del Mur Festival(Nogales, US/Mexico), and the Centre for The Study of Sexual Dissidence(University of Sussex, UK). Supported by the Arts Council England.

For more information on the programme and the artists involved visit

Featured image credits: On Returning, 2017 by Anti-Cool

video Information

video Length: 53m 7s