Kuratorin: Vlada Maria Tcharyeva (CH)
After finishing her MA in 'Art & Politics' at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2011, Tcharyeva worked as Assistant Curator at Vitrine, London (UK), where she curated group exhibitions with work by Athena Papadopoulos, Nicholas Brooks, Samara Scott, Phillip Reeves and many more. Her most recent project was a site-specific two-person installation with Adam Hines-Green and JJ Lincoln at the Maygrove Arches for the ArtLicks weekend in October 2018. For the last three years, Tcharyeva has developed a deep interest into human bodies and physical vigour, which intersects with her activity as yoga instructor and art technician across various sites and institutions in London. Tcharyeva also runs a female-dominated technician group called “Space Babes” and is a singing member of ‘f*choir’, which is musically directed by performance artist Jenny Moore. ‘f*choir’ is a collective, intersectional feminist choirthat considers the voice as a way of creating resistance and the body as a living archive of the songs they sing. For 2019, Tcharyeva will be curating a program centred around the human body which she raises as the open question ‘Are we bodies?’ wihtin the premises of Cabaret Voltaire.
Dismantled by gender questions and defeated by commercialism, contemporary art’s urgency to reinvent the human body has come to a vivid point. Retrospectively speaking, a variety of absorptions regarding human physique have influenced, if not driven the critical transitions of art-historical periods. The aim of «Are we bodies?» is to foster these periods with performances that are appropriated to the time we’re living in now.
An essential aspect of the program is to keep the curatorial direction as an open question rather than compartments which attempt to define the various categories of the human body in performance art. In the tradition of experiment and improvisation, the program includes contributions that unfold new realities of performative gestures, perhaps deepening earlier raised ideas into a new gaze or form.
As figure and expression have shooked hands with each other as subject matter in the ancient period, so have artists with the usage of the human body in modern and more recent works. Drugged perhaps, by a slightly more rebellious approach, the Avantgarde pioneers in the 19th century have started to use their bodies as an autonomous way to «combat all historical reconstructions and traditional stage sets» as stated in Pratella’s manifesto of futurism musicians. What’s more is that Ball’s dada manifesto intersects poetry and language with quite a literal anatomy of terms: «Words emerge, shoulders of words, legs, arms, hands of words. Au, oi, uh.». This statement connects «Are we bodies?» to the historical significance of the hosting institution Cabaret Voltaire.
The intersection of language and body will be a first subsequence of the question, presenting performances that elaborate the status of the human body within the peripheries of linguistic play. Take Sophie Jung’s interplay with poetry, objects and costumes. Her associative word chains are running and dancing, ebbing and flowing, entering and leaving her body. It’s as if each object and its according articulation, produces a new layer of physical embodiment, which Sophie weaves into a lingual anatomy of her own.
A second notion within «Are we bodies?» is to raise questions about political agency, gender normativity and race. By critically spinning the so-called «ghost» of the Avante Garde away from the white «bad boy» image of the male-dominated Avante Garde, the aim is to move towards a more transgressive and feminine orientation. A major influence is the American civil rights movement and second wave feminism, considering the body as essentially political. It is in this sense that the practice of political and physical collapse is driving Libita Clayton forward. Sites are responded to physically: walls are wormholes with feelings, bodies map as what Clayton refers to as «historically-bumpy» landscapes, considering performance as a means of resistance to dominant and linear narratives that have to be reconsidered and socially authenticated.
Lastly, and as the third section, the focus in «Are we bodies?» aims to expose ideas entailing anatomical elaborations of the human body and the embodiment of objects in human bodies, in a way that there is a sense of detail or accuracy in their presentation. Although this is not limited to performances that have resemblances with medical studies, it is worth pointing at Adam Hines-Green’s performance «A Digestive Tract», an interactive performance delivered in the former science classroom of a disused school building in the village of Gorna Lipnitsa, Bulgaria in 2017. This charted a journey through the anatomy of the digestive tract from mouth to anus using found props, furniture, and the surrounding architecture. A reenactment or continuation of the same performance will be held at Cabaret Voltaire.
In closing, «Are we bodies?» will present a series of performances examining linguistic elements, gender-criticism, the political, human anatomy and physical embodiment in contemporary performance art.
Kurator: Michelangelo Miccolis (IT)
Michelangelo Miccolis is a visual arts performer and producer. Since 2005 he has worked internationally on projects by renowned artists including: Tino Sehgal, Venice Biennale (2005), Fondazione Trussardi, Milan (2008), Tate Modern, London (2012), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2016), Volksbühne Berlin (2017); Romeo Castellucci / Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, on tour (2007-2009); Dora García, Venice Biennale (2011 and 2015), Museo Reina Sofia (2018); Christodoulos Panayiotou, Venice Biennale and IUAV University (both 2015) and Cally Spooner, CAC Géneve (2018).
Since 2017 he is the performance programmer of «Immaterial» at Material Art Fair in Mexico City, as well as guest-curator at Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich.
Current and upcoming projects include: The Army of Love, in collaboration with Ingo Niermann and Dora García (ongoing); OFFSHORE in collaboration with Cally Spooner (ongoing), «Immaterial Vol. 3», Material Art Fair, Mexico City, 7 - 10 February, 2019.
«Maintenance is a drag; it takes all the fucking time (lit.)» writes Mierle Laderman Ukeles in her 1969 Manifesto for Maintenance Art.
Looking at this timeless statement by Ukeles as a reminder for a modus operandi in a troubled present, «It Takes All the Fucking Time» brings together a selection of proposals by writers, visual artists, dance and theatre-makers alike, who work either individually or collaboratively in generating new platforms for knowledge exchange, as well as alternative models for the circulation and distribution of different practices.
This new series invites projects led by figures who perform under a stage name,a business model, a trademark, a temporary formation, or simply by working in the company of others per sé.
Kurator: Philipp Cron
Philipp Cron (*1989, CH)
curates and organizes «Theatre Of Sound» in Cabaret Voltaire since 2017. His program at Cabaret Voltaire emphasizes the different forms of electronic music, the approach of composition and its performative settings. He works as a project manager at Casino Berne and is Co-Curator of the Apples and Olives Festival with Nik Baertsch, Etienne Aebelin and Judd Greenstein. He composes music in the electronica duo «us & sparkles». Cron holds a Bachelors degree in Media Arts from the Zurich University of the Arts.
Philipp Cron (*1989, CH)
ist in Zürich geboren. Er hat an der Berner Kunsthochschule «Musik und Medienkunst» studiert und schloss sein Studium an der Zürcher Hochschule der Künste ab. Er kuratiert die Serie «Theatre Of Sound» für das Performance Programm «Fun & Fury» im Cabaret Voltaire. Das breit angelegte Programm stellt die unterschiedlichen Formen der elektronischen Musik sowie die unkonventionelle Herangehensweisen und den performativen Umgang mit Klang in den Vordergrund. Er arbeitet zudem als Projektleiter und Kurator im Casino Bern und als Co-Kurator des Neo-Klassischen Apples and Olives Festival zusammen mit Nik Bärtsch, Etienne Aebelin und Judd Greenstein. Im Electronica Duo «us & sparkles» ist er als Komponist und Performer tätig.
«Theatre Of Sound» is a sound-performance series curated by Philipp Cron for Cabaret Voltaire. «Theatre Of Sound» explores the area between composition and performance art. How should music be composed, performed and consumed today? How does the correlation between body, instrument, room and audience sound?
«Theatre Of Sound» ist eine Musik-Peformance Serie im Cabaret Voltaire, kuratiert von Philipp Cron. «Theatre Of Sound» untersucht das künstlerische Feld zwischen Komposition und Performance Kunst. Wie wird Musik heute komponiert, aufgeführt und konsumiert? Wie klingt die Wechselbeziehung zwischen Körper, Instrument, Raum und Publikum?
Kurator & Co-Künstler: Søren Berner
Søren Berner (DK) works on the interface of performance, visual art and artistic intervention. His participatory approach allows for a crossing of boundaries between institutions, exhibition spaces and public spaces where the visitors becomes his complicities. The conditions under which his performances and co-operations are brought to life together with the possible knowledge production generated as a result, seems to be constantly and critically evaluated and questioned - this in return often results in new works. Søren's works has been shown a. o. at the Istanbul Biennale; MAK - Museum of Contemporary Art, Vienna; Kunsthaus Zürich; Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen; Helmhaus Zürich; Gerschwin, New York; Burningman, Nevada.
In Autumn 2017 I invited four artists to develop a performance on four separate evenings at Cabaret Voltaire - hence the name; Performance 4 Evenings. For this series I proposed a dogma to the invited artists: The Curator must be integrated. I hereby attempted to highlight my own role in producing and developing the projects. Though labeled as a curator, I do not consider it my role to develop exhibition-concepts that artists may or should try to relate to. I rather see my role as conflicting one that constantly has to be re- thought and renegotiated.
The performances are shown on one specific evening and there is a lot of effort and preparation put in to these four evenings prior to the performance.
I came to realize that the relationship and new ideas evolving from the continuous correspondence with the invited artists prior to the performances was far more important to me than the actual execution of the performances.
For this reason the co-creation evolving from the correspondences with the invited artists during the preparation period, will have a more central part in the new series. To make this work, I will try to create a conversation environment that facilitates and makes space for new ideas to develop during the preparations. The format is open, the rules are few.
Itʼs all about creating something new.