performingborders and Foreign Actions Productions present
performingborders | LIVE
From February until July 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, London, on 22nd June 2019.
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 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.
Participants artists and curators: Anti-Cool, Camille Barton, Burong, Season Butler, Critical Interruptions, Tuna Erdem, Tara Fatehi Irani, Istanbul Queer Arts Collective, Bojana Janković, Dr. Anna Marazuela Kim, Annie Jael Kwan, Marikiscrycrycry, Dana Olărescu, osborn&møller, Raju Rage, Nima Séne, Sim Chi Yin, Kai Syng Tan, Helena Walsh.
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.
PROGRAMME (February – July 2019)
Sat 9 February 2019 |1.00pm-2.00pm | performingborders | LIVE | Manchester
Queer Contact Festival at YES – Book your free ticket here – Invite your friends here
A conversation between Glasgow/Berlin-based live artist Nima Séne and curator and artist Tuna Erdem from the Istanbul Queer Arts Collective.
Tue 19 March 2019 |7.00pm-9.00pm| performingborders | LIVE | Brighton
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts – Book your free ticket here – Invite your friends here
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. The Q&A will be chaired by academic, thinker and activist Dr. Anna Marazuela Kim.
Embodied Movement for Social Change Workshop dates:
SOLD OUT! Thu 21 March 2019 |6.00pm-9.00pm| performingborders | LIVE | Brighton
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts – Free, please book your ticket here
COMING | Sat 6 July 2019 |1.00pm-4.00pm| performingborders | LIVE | London
Deptford Lounge – Free (limited places), please book your ticket here
In the Embodied Social 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.
Wed 24 April 2019 | 7.00pm-9.00pm| performingborders | LIVE | London
Toynbee Studios, Book your free ticket here
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.
Sun 5 May 2019 | performingborders | LIVE | US/Mexico border wall
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, which is run by a coalition of local and international artists, aims to showcase authentic, diverse, local perspectives on life at the US/Mexico border through local artists and youth. We know there is more to life at the border than the wall: our work offers locals a chance to celebrate and reconsider the narratives around local life, and non-locals an invitation to connect to authentic local stories and reconsider their perspective on life at the border. In 2019, we are hosting a binational pen pal program with high school students, and hosting the 2nd annual Beyond the Wall Festival, a binational art and culture festival in Nogales AZ/SON, where the wall bisects the city. The festival centerpiece is a performance of 15-foot tall puppets of children created with local youth; the puppets come together at the wall, reframing it as an object of play.
22 June 2019 | Final event: Curating Borderless Spaces| London
Live Art Development Agency, Free, Book your place here
Join performingborders | LIVE final event, Curating Borderless Spaces. The day will focus on highlighting and platforming urgent voices and discourses within the Live Art sector on how we can work together in creating collaborative borderless, anti-racist, non-binary, feminist, non-ableist, post-colonial spaces.
Kicking off the day with a keynote by interdisciplinary artist, educator, and activist Raju Rage, the event will see the premiere of commissioned performances-to-camera by Istanbul Queer Arts Collective and Tara Fatehi Irani, along with new digital conversations on Live Art and borders by Burong and Critical Interruptions. Everyone is invited to participate in a communal live group conversation dotted by the interventions and provocations of guest artists Bojana Janković, Marikiscrycrycry, Dana Olărescu, Kai Syng Tan and Helena Walsh. Writer in Residence Season Butler will respond to the discussions and exchanges of the day through live writing and she will close the event with a performative response to the day’s proceedings. Curating Borderless Spaces is part of Antiuniveristy 2019. More info here
performingborders | LIVE – PARTICIPANT ARTISTS AND CURATORS:
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. art-gene.co.uk/people/anti-cool/
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. camillebarton.co.uk
Burong (曾不容) is a Beijing/Brighton based live art practitioner-researcher and theatre-maker. Her work deals with the politics of intimacy, gut feelings and posthuman aesthetics. She has exhibited and performed in the Pratt Gallery (Manhattan), PSA (Shanghai), PerformanceHUB (Belgrade), Royal Festival Hall (London), The Yard Theatre (London) and various Chinese theatre venues. Currently, Burong is undertaking doctoral research on feminist resistance in live art practices since the 1990s. In particular, her PhD project investigates how materials we think of as ‘sticky’ and viscous broaden the scope of thinking on embodiment, otherness, gender and body politics and generate new ways of conceptualising interrelationality and spectatorship. Her co-authored book The Happening of the Contemporary Performance Art and a series of interviews with UK based live artists and curators have been published in China. She also writes books for children.
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. seasonbutler.com
Critical Interruptions is a Serbo-Romanian critical cooperative exploring Live Art and performance criticism. With little regards for the review, we search for critical forms and strategies in dialogue with Live Art and performance, wonder how to develop rigorous and relevant critical writing, and lure new writers into thinking about radical and experimental work. Critical Interruptions is a project by Diana Damian Martin and Bojana Janković. Collectively, they have occupied galleries, museums, studios, theatres, universities, digital spaces and streets, to talk, perform, write, and think about (amongst other things) migration and Eastern European identities and diasporic cultures. They have relocated twice, lived in a total of 6 countries, held 4 different passports and 8 different residency documents. criticalinterruptions.com
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. queerartprojects.co.uk
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). tarafatehi.tumblr.com
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. istanbulqueerartcollective.co.uk
Bojana Janković Bojana Janković is an Eastern European artist and writer exploring topics of immigration and displaced identities. Her performances, installations, texts, and non-denominational works have appeared in physical and digital spaces in the UK, Serbia, and internationally, including at and Tate Modern (London), Centre for Art on Migration Politics (Copenhagen) and in collaboration with Bitef (Belgrade) and Steakhouse Live (UK). She explores Live Art and performance criticism with Diana Damian Martin as part of Critical Interruptions, a critical cooperative; between 2010-2019 she collaborated with Dana Olărescu as part of performance company There There. Thinking about and engaging with marginalised audiences is a foundational part of her work.
Dr. Anna Marazuela Kim is a hybrid of Spanish-Korean-U.S origin and migrant to London. A cultural critic, writer and activist, Dr. Kim brings wide-ranging expertise to bear on issues of contemporary concern, including iconoclasm and the image wars; the enchantments of technology; and role of the arts in civic thriving. The winner of many awards and prizes, since 2011 she has been a member of Institutes of Advanced Study and international, cross-disciplinary research groups in the U.S., Europe and the U.K. She writes for audiences as diverse as Frieze and NATO, and is often invited to speak on issues around art and conflict and the role of museums in the wake of crisis, most recently at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art and Blain|Southern. www.amkim.net
Annie Jael Kwan is an independent curator, producer and researcher based in London. Since 2005 she has worked on numerous art projects 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. anniejaelkwan.com
Marikiscrycrycrycry is a long-term choreographic project for Malik Nashad Sharpe’s artistic research. They were born and raised in the suburbs of New York City and their family comes from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. They have also spent formative time in Chicago, Montreal, and Toronto. They are Black, and have African, Black Carib, Asian, and Scottish ancestry. They are nonbinary and use they/them pronoun and their work deals with gender, race, sexuality, and processes of subjectivity, ontology, and meaning production. They work with dance with an expansive outlook, drawing influence from current Black dance forms, contemporary dance, ballet, butoh, and live action. Their choreographic practice treats performance more as a space where possibility meets its materiality, creating ephemeral frameworks for now and the future and with political edge. They graduated with a B.A. in Experimental Dance and Live Art from Williams College, and hold a diploma in Contemporary Dance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance.
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. osbornmoller.org/
Dana Olărescu. Driven by social (in)justice, environmental psychology, and ecofeminism, Dana works collaboratively between the boundaries of art and design. Her current project, Micro Life – an artist-led, Tottenham Hale-based community programme – uses knowledge empowerment and skills exchange to restore locals’ relationship to food, through sustainable microgreens cultivation. Seeing community resilience as vital for green counter-culture, she created the hashtag #MicroChangesCreateWaves, an online platform encouraging artists to rethink their material choices. Dana was previously half of performance company There There whose work on immigration and community exclusion was presented at Tate Modern, the National Maritime Museum, SPILL, Experimentica, CAMP (Denmark), and Tranzit (Romania).
Raju Rage is an interdisciplinary artist who is proactive about using
art, education and activism to forge creative survival. Based in London, they primarily use their non-conforming body as a vehicle of embodied knowledge; to bridge the gap between dis/connected bodies, theory and practice, text and the body and aesthetics and the political substance. They work in performance, sculpture, print,
soundscapes and moving image, focusing on techniques of resistance and utilising everyday objects and everyday life experiences in communicating narratives around gender, race and culture. They investigate history, memory and trauma, with an emphasis on colonial legacy, its continuation and impact on the body and contemporary
diasporan identity. They are an organiser and member of Collective Creativity arts
collective and a creative educator with an interest in radical pedagogy. rajurage.com
Nima Séne grew up mainly between Berlin (Germany) and Wellington (New Zealand) they are Afro (Senegalese Fula)- German. Nima’s artistic practice is rooted in uncovering complexity and parody within stereotypes and mainstream media portrayals of cultural identity. Their practice is rooted in embracing a sense of belonging with the unknown and the unseen. A sense of serenity for them is within academic research into European African Diasporic Black identity in connection with Black US American identity and Afrofuturism. Nima identifies as a queer black womxn. Their experience lies in performing, in a devising making process as well as having worked as a facilitator. Currently they are one of six artists commissioned to work on the National Theatre of Scotland’s “Dear Europe” (29th of March 2019) project and they are in the second development of their solo collaborative show “Beige B*tch” with main collaborator Daniel Hughes (filmmaker) and Laura Fisher (creative producer) originally commissioned by Contact Theatre Manchester, Live Art UK & Diverse Actions. Previously they completed a foundation degree in Theatre Studies at Goldsmiths University of London in 2012, a BA(Hons) in Contemporary Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2016, proceeding to receive the BANNER Award scheme from Arts Admin & Live Art Development Agency London 2016-17 and leading into the Starter Artist residency with NTS’s Engine Room 2017-18.
Dr Kai Syng Tan’s practice is marked by an ‘eclectic style and cheeky attitude’ (Sydney Morning Herald), ‘radical interdisciplinarity’ (Dr Alan Latham, UCL) and ‘positive atmosphere’ (Guardian). Shows include Biennale of Sydney and 8th ASEAN Para Games, at Southbank Centre, MOMA (New York), Royal Geographical Society and BBC Radio 3. Recognition includes San Francisco International Film Festival Golden Gate Award and National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement Images Award. Collections include the Museum of London and Fukuoka Art Museum. Her PhD is from the Slade. She’s also King’s College London Visiting Research Fellow, RUN! RUN! RUN! Director and UKRI and AHRC peer reviewer, and is associated with Music In Detention, UK Adult ADHD Network and PsychART on advisory capacity. kaisyngtan.com
Helena Walsh is an Irish Live Artist based in London. Her practice explores the relations between gender, national identity and cultural histories. Helena has performed widely in galleries, museums, theatres and non-traditional art spaces, including public sites. She undertook her practice-based PhD focussed on Live Art and femininity in an Irish context at the Department of Drama, Queen Mary University of London. She is a co-founder of the pro-choice direct-action feminist performance group Speaking of IMELDA. Alongside her creative and activist work, Helena writes on contemporary performance practice and regularly presents on her Live Art practice. www.helenawalsh.com
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. chiyinsim.com