WHAT PERFORMS?

16.02.2015 

Konstfack / University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm 

Forget about modernist subtexts. Take responsibility. Ask what performs not who performs, and what you can do from where you are. A phenomenological view on the practice of performance with open discussion and video screening.

/ with the kind support of Åsa Jungnelius

Excerpt: 

Welcome to the new mediocrity, the dance-your-ass-off 'Fuck you! of performance. It has got no claim to wisdom or culture, pigeonholed as the do do da da shit, the bad breath of innovation. Enough is enough. Take critical responsibility, shower in honest interventionism and stab at scarcity rather than chaos.

What's out there is just not enough, and it is already too much, but it lacks a hefty punch. I demand of you to slow down, and appreciate your standing as much as you appreciate your body and breaaaaaathe eaaaaasy. Accommodate the floor you are standing on, acclimatise to your inadequacy, courtesy of modernist factoria.

Don't just do things! We have already enough of them. Rather step back, think and do the right thing. Remember we are talking about performance — or are we? Is performance outside the milieu (the people, physical, and social conditions and events that provide the environment in which someone acts or lives). I think the  same old safe old of performance has to leave the building. Reflection! A space for reflection. It might offer a way out. As Graham Foust once said, 'leave the room to itself'. It is already something. In the Anglo-Saxon countries this something is  a something marked out (design), in the Soviet Union as aesthetics (industrial aesthetics), in France as ornament and style (decor, style), in Germany as giving and shaping form (Formgebung, Formgestaltung), in Sweden as shape (form), in Norway as applied  art (brukskunst). But this something be it, design, decor style, form is always about something else. And I intend to look into it.

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