Trashing Performance

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25 – 30 October 2011/

Toynbee Studios, Tate Modern & Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club

Talks! Shows! Films! and Workshops!

An International Public Programme with irreverent artists, activists and thinkers working at the edges of taste and respectability. Starring movers and shakers from the worlds of live art, performance, cabaret, academia and beyond! You’ll never see these people in the same room again!

Oreet Ashery, Neil Bartlett, Bean, Dickie Beau, Bavand Behpoor, Bruce Benderson, Lauren Berlant, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Lisa Blackman, Bird La Bird, Rocio Boliver (La Congelada de Uva), Mel Brimfield, Tania Bruguera, Gavin Butt, Ingo Cando, Simon Casson of Duckie, Stuart Comer, Common Culture, Augusto Corrieri, Vaginal Davis, The Disabled Avant-Garde (Katherine Araniello and Aaron Williamson), Jennifer Doyle, Marcia Farquhar, Figs in Wigs, Inti Guerrero, Sue Hart, Adrian Heathfield, Adrian Howells, David Hoyle, Dominic Johnson, Joe E. Jeffreys, Lois Keidan, Keith Khan, Bettina Knaup, Amy Lamé, Nando Messias, Miss Annabel Sings, Tavia Nyong’o, Nigel & Louise of Shunt, Harold Offeh, Owen Parry, Platform and Liberate Tate, Scottee, Benjamin Sebastian, Marc Siegel, Susan Stryker, Carmelita Tropicana, Mara Vujic of City of Women, Ben Walters, Lois Weaver, Jonny Woo.

Trashing TATE:

Anne Quirynen, Maximilian’s Darkroom, with Antonia Baehr and Antonija. Livingstone, 2004
Press info TATE re.act.feminism#2_27 10 2011 (download pdf)

Trashing Tate includes a tribute screening to underground film legend George Kuchar, a performance by Hollywood provacateuse Vaginal Davis, trash/camp films from Nigeria and the Philippines presented by transgender theoretician Susan Stryker, and Drag Show Video Vérité & Re.Act Feminism hosted by Bettina Knaup and Joe E. Jeffreys.

The series is part of Trashing Performance, a week-long project exploring performance, film and visual art practices that reject high seriousness by embracing cheap aesthetics, irreverent behaviour, and popular forms. The series provides a space to think again about the value of irreverent and sometimes overlooked performance practices by staging public exchanges between different performance audiences and artists, academics, activists, and curators.

Trashing Performance is the second themed year of Performance Matters, a collaboration between the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, the Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance at Roehampton University, and the Live Art Development Agency. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Please note that all the ‘Trashing Tate’ events will be filmed and photographed.

This programme contains adult content

Trashing Tate: Vaginal Davis: Memory Island , Saturday 29 October 2011
Trashing Tate: Drag Show Video Vérité & Re.Act Feminism: Works from the Archives ,  Sunday 30 October 2011
Trashing Tate: Man Up, Two Examples of Transfiguration, Sunday 30 October 2011
Trashing Tate: George Kuchar ,  Sunday 30 October 2011


Performance Matters /

Performance Matters is a creative research project exploring the contemporary values associated with performance at a time when it has increased resonance as a cultural phenomenon, and as a concept and metaphor in critical discourse.

Profound shifts in the cultural status and presence of performance have recently been manifested through a number of related phenomena including the museological, archival and curatorial assimilation of Live Art; an increased profile of performance aesthetics within visual arts, theatre and contemporary dance practice; a ‘performative turn’ in critical theory and cultural studies; and a re-evaluation of performance phenomena that have hitherto been marginalised by critical consideration.

Against the backdrop of this institutional, theoretical and market embrace of performance and Live Art, Performance Matters asks whether such forms of cultural practice are now being taken seriously in culture more broadly, and how they may possess the potential to refashion understandings of what, and how, things matter in the contemporary world.

Between 2009 and 2012, Performance Matters is moving through three themed years of interlinked research activities. In its first year, working under the title Performing Idea (2009/10) the project investigated the shifting relations between performance practice and discourse, event and writing, by staging critical and creative exchanges between leading international figures in the performance studies field.

Now in its second year, under the title Trashing Performance (2010/11), marginal and degraded performance practices are being explored in order to produce critical and cultural innovations through non-institutional manifestations and informal disseminations. The final year of the project, framed under the theme Potentials of Performance (2011/12), will culminate in publications and talk events that will focus on questions of performance affect, political and cultural possibility.

Opening up the field of creative research to include perspectives and contributions from artists, scholars and other cultural practitioners, the project involves numerous innovative and exploratory events in London and internationally over the course of three years. These include the bringing together of pairings of academics and artists in dialogue projects; an exciting series of practical workshops involving early-career artists and leading writers, thinkers and artistic figures; two public international symposia; two innovative PhD projects; and a series of talks focused around the project’s concerns.

Performance Matters sets out to explore the interface between performance theory and practice, as well as differing approaches to performance within higher education institutions and the public sector. The project is co-directed by Dr Gavin Butt from Goldsmiths, University of London, Prof. Adrian Heathfield from Roehampton University, and Lois Keidan of the Live Art Development Agency. Convened between departments of Visual Culture and Drama, Theatre and Performance, the research moves between different academic traditions, as well as crossing the educational and cultural sectors, with the active partnership of the Live Art Development Agency working as co-curators.

Performance Matters invites the interest of an array of scholars, artists, curators, cultural workers and audiences across the fields of visual art, performance, theatre and dance. By addressing and reaching such a diverse and broad audience in this manner, Performance Matters seeks to generate a new field of possibilities for research on, and as, contemporary performance. We hope that this project will inspire the future practices of new generations of artists, performers and theorists.