August 12, 2005

If I Canít Dance Ė I Donít Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution


Performative Thinking and Practice as Understood Today

If I Canít Dance, I Donít Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution--curated by Frederique Bergholtz, Annie Fletcher and Tanja Elstgeestis--is a visual art project which travels throughout 2005 in different forms from Utrecht (Festival a/d Werf), to Ďs-Hertogenbosch (Theaterfestival Boulevard) and Leiden (de VeenFabriek).

"If I Canít Dance Ė I Donít Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution" takes as its point of departure this famous quote of Emma Goldman (b. Lithuania 1869). By using Goldmanís exclamation as a title for our programme, we contend that art has the power to position it self politically, determinedly and critically in the world, but also to be celebratory. Performativity contests the notion that the self is stable or separable from the context within which we operate. Identifying this heightened awareness is perhaps a way of analysing or even contesting the conditions in which we live. If I Canít DanceÖ asks artists to engage with both the legacy and continuing importance of performative thinking and practice as understood today.

The Structure: We intend to use the vitality and event-based context of these festival platforms to explore the legacy and on-going developments of performativity as a rich philosophical trajectory through which to produce contemporary art practice. This is perhaps particularly appropriate within a theatre festival, where the whole dynamic of performance as a conscious act can be directly contrasted to the more subtle and critical sense of the performative, which also occurs in non- prescriptive and unconscious ways.

The Programme: At Theatrefestival Bouelvard we launch the second phase of If I Canít Dance... This August we will present the latest developments in the performances and on-going projects of these five international artists namely; Johanna Billing - You Donít Love Me Yet, Matti Braun - The Alien, Gerard Byrne, 1984 and Beyond, Yael Davids - End On Mouth, Ligna -Invasion of the Radio Listeners. By working with people and places in ís-Hertogenbosch, we directly relate ourselves via the arts with the existing (artistic) structures of the city. With the piece of Johanna Billing the local music scene is presented. The group Ligna examine the functioning of the social and public space in the city through the medium of radio. Both Yael Davids and Gerard Byrne generate live performances, which explore the apparatus of theatre and notions of acting in very specific locations in and around the city. The project of Matti Braun exists of a series of staged present ations that together form part of his new project. The context of the festival gives us the opportunity to programme in a concentrated way for five intensive days, each day is defined by the work of one artist. Further, a documentation centre will be installed at the artistsí initiative space Artis dealing with the developments, ideas and the research during the development of these project from when we began in Utrecht last May until now.

If I Canít Dance, I Donít Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution - the publication documenting the ideas and work developed during this three-stage project is forthcoming in March 2006.

For further information see:
http://www.ificantdance.org / http://www.festivalboulevard.nl
Or call 00 31 73 613 7671 for reservations and information
Phone lines open daily from 15.00

The project is generously supported by Mondriaan Foundation and the Netherlands Foundation for Visual arts Design and Architecture. Theatrefestival Boulevard is structurally subsided by the Ministry the Province of Noord Brabant and the municipality of S-Hertogenbosch

Posted by jo at August 12, 2005 04:03 PM