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Curating Performance: Audiences, dramaturgy and the stage in contemporary visual culture

Thursday 12 September 2013 to Friday 13 September 2013, 09:00 to 14:30

Apply now to take part in this two day intensive aimed at curators, arts administrators, and artists keen to engage in contemporary aspects of performing arts curating and programming.

With: Anja Dorn, Barry Sykes, Bridget Crone, Cally Spooner, Eva Wittocx , Florian Malzacher, Frank Bock, Jesse Ash, Vivian Ziherl

Enabling participants to consider topics relevant to curating and programming performing arts in both academic and practical ways 'Curating Performance' is a two day course exploring contexts associated with curating performance as public programme. Featuring an international selection of curators, writers and arts professionals already working in the field, the course consist of four core sessions as follows:

Session 1 "Curating the Audience"                   Led by Anja Dorn (DE)                               Thursday 12 September, AM

This session asks what kinds of relationships are institutions looking for with visitors when presenting performative programmes? What kind of behavior and feelings do artworks and the institutional frameworks trigger in these settings? And how might a curator utilise the set of relationships they determine?

Session 2 "Dramaturgies of Curating"           Led by Florian Malzacher (DE)                     Thursday 12 September, PM

Presenting the theatrical in visual arts settings suggests a curatorial role similar in some respects to that of being a dramaturg.  This session provides evidence of such similarities but also of the complexities facing the performance curator. What for example are the benefits of research and reference when performance as an experience can elude such goals for audiences?

Session 3 "Curating Sensible Stages"             Led by Bridget Crone (AUS)                             Friday 13 September, AM

This session considers what notions of staging and theatricality offer for curating moving image and performance-based works when image and body are combined. Is the body an apparition, a phantom, a ghost? Has it become more like an image than meaty, fleshy material? Or is it that the image has taken on the attributes of a body?

Session 4 "Inhabiting Spaces"                           Led by Frank Bock (UK)                                     Friday 13 September, PM

Exploring questions around staging, and the 'on stage and off stage' relationships being proposed by artists/participants. This practical session looks at how curators and venues hold the frame for such work and might develop greater attunement to the wealth of different sensibilities in relation to space?

Between these sessions curators including Eva Wittocx (Museum M / Playground, BE), Vivian Ziherl (If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want to Be Part Of Your Revolution, NL) and Jamie Eastman (Arnolfini) and artists including Cally Spooner (UK), Grace Schwindt (DE, UK), Jesse Ash (UK), Barry Sykes (UK) will share experience around the course themes followed by short Q&As

Serving as a forum within which to increase and share knowledge around current practises in the relatively new domain of performance programming ‘Curating Performance’ is aimed at students, artists, performers, artist-curators and early-mid career professionals keen to explore current themes, trends and topics. Today new curatorial and artistic practises are emerging in line with the increased inclusion of performance in the programmes of arts centres, galleries, museums, heritage sites, music festivals and other temporary venues around the world. This course acknowledges a changing cultural landscape and the work of curators whose practice is often exclusively performance based in 2013, offering possible toolkits on how best to engage with new enthusiasm for artist work that contains ‘liveness’.

Day one (Thursday 12 September) looks at how audiences are viewed by visual arts spaces presenting live artworks and how the role of performance curators in the public realm bear a close resemblance to that of the dramaturg in theatre making. Day two (Friday 13 September) concentrates on staging, through the applied territory of moving image and contemporary dance.

How to apply, costs & information

The course costs £65 in advance or £50 at a concessionary rate to students. It coincides with the September edition of Arnolfini’s quarterly performance platform ‘4 Days’ which participants are encouraged to experience during breaks. Including breaks the course runs from 11.00am – 4.30pm on Thursday 12 September and 10.00am – 4.00pm on Friday 13 September. Basic refreshments will be provided but participants will be expected to make their own travel, accommodation and meal arrangements. 

Due to the limited capacity and social nature of the course we ask that those interested in taking part apply in writing to courses@arnolfini.org.uk stating in no more than 250 words your reasons. Please include any relevant career information and date of birth. No former experience of curating is required but some evidence of knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject is essential. Proficiency in English is also necessary. Please use this email address if you require any further information.

Deadline for applications is midday on Monday August 12 2013. Please be ready to pay the course fee on notification of acceptance via Arnolfini’s box office by no later than Friday 16 August.  

Session leader biogs

Anja Dorn (born 1971 in Cologne) is a curator and  guest-professor for curatorial theory and dramaturgy at the University of Design Karlsruhe  (HfG Karlsruhe). In 2012 she was curator of the Festival der jungen Talente in Karlsruhe, which she developed together with students of visual art, dance, theatre, design and architecture from the Academies and Universities in and around Frankfurt upon Main. Between 2007- 2011 Dorn was director of Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, together with Kathrin Jentjens. During this period they realized a program that comprised performances, lectures and film presentations as well as solo exhibitions with artists such as Mark Leckey, Michael Krebber, Seth Price, Stephen Prina, Nora Schultz and Omer Fast. These were supplemented by group exhibitions such as "Concepts of Love", "Lecture Performance" and "Forbidden Love: Art in the Wake of Television Camp".

Florian Malzacher is artistic director of Impulse Theater Biennale in Germany and a freelance curator, dramaturge and writer. 2006-12 he was co-programmer of the interdisciplinary arts festival steirischer herbst in Graz (A) where he also co-curated the 170 hours marathon camp “Truth is concrete” (2012). He is a founding member of the independent curators’ collective Unfriendly Takeover in Frankfurt (D) and has collaborated as a freelance dramaturge with artists like Rimini Protokoll (D), Lola Arias (ARG), Mariano Pensotti (ARG), Nature Theater of Oklahoma (USA) and institutions like Burgtheater Vienna. He has worked as an independent curator (e.g. Dictionary of War (2006/07) and has taught at the Universities of Vienna, Frankfurt and Berlin. He is member of the advisory board of DasArts - Master of Theatre, Amsterdam (NL) and of Theaterkommission Zurich (CH). His latest publications include books on the theatre companies Forced Entertainment and Rimini Protokoll as well as on Curating Performing Arts. Florian Malzacher lives in Berlin.

Bridget Crone has worked as a curator in a range of independent and institutional settings for more than 15 years. She was the director of Media Art Bath where she developed commissions and projects that foregrounded the idea of staging and theatricality in recent contemporary art practice producing works by artists such as Gail Pickering (ICA and Arnolfini, 2008) – as well as the curated programmes The Sensible Stage (Melanie Gilligan, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Jimmy Robert, Cara Tolmie and others, 2007-8, 2012) and A Theatre to Address (Maryam Jafri, Beatrice Gibson, Clare Gasson and others, 2010). The Sensible Stage culminated in an edited book with contributions by Alain Badiou, Elie During, Ian White, Lucy Reynolds and others (Cornerhouse Books). Other projects include: EYE MUSIC FOR DANCING (2012: Flat Time House, London), The Body. The Ruin (2005: Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne with catalogue). Bridget teaches curating in the Visual Cultures Department at Goldsmiths, The University of London.

Frank Bock co-founded The Featherstonehaughs Company (1987-1998) working with such artists as Bobby Baker, Rosemary Lee, and Graeme Miller. As co-director of Bock and Vincenzi, from 1995 to 2007 together with Simon Vincenzi he created a series of uncompromising theatre/dance projects. Three Forest Dances in a Room of Wood (1995-1997), Being Barely There I Saw You Too (1998), Breathtaking (2000), and Invisible Dances (1999-2006) - a research project that culminated in Here, As If They Hadn't Been, As If They Are Not (2006). In 2003 he returned to The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs as Education Manager/Creative Associate until 2011 focusing on projects and practices that researched models for development and self-leadership. In 2012 he began working as a curator for Independent Dance on Crossing Borders, a series of talks from a broad spectrum of disciplines and what_now festival (2013) exploring the contexts that underpin the practices of dance artists. He teaches on the Creative Practice M.A (ID/SDD/TrinityLaban) and is visiting lecturer at Doch in Stockholm 2013-2014.

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This event is part of 4 Days : Curtain Call
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