By way of introducing some themes raised in Thomas Bellinck’s performance “Simple as ABS #2”, political anthropologist Gregory Feldman will give a 1 hour-lecture based on his publication “We Are All Migrants: Political Action and the Ubiquitous Condition of Migrant-hood” (2015).
Can light be a compositional building block? The Liquid Room Series radically questions the classical concert model. The audience is free to move around among the various stages set up in the dismantled hall of the Kaaitheater. Immerse yourself in a pure experience of sound and light!
Philosopher Armen Avanessian and architect Markus Miessen discuss the possibilities of ‘xeno-architecture’. Can spatial practice – by embracing alienation – open up a larger space for the unknown? By turning toward ‘what could be’, could an architecture be built that deals with today’s overwhelming complexity and global unrest?
In their performances, author and artist Romy Rüegger and electronic music performer Deena Abdelwahed reflect on ways of personal entanglement with the world and its politics, including the interpretation of history as part of the present.
Maarten Seghers looks for a confrontation with the artists, musicians and dancers Fritz Welch, Simon Lenski, Nicolas Field and Mohamed Toukabri, for whom he wrote an invocatory song about the noisiness of comforting.
American dancer and choreographer Loïe Fuller was a pioneer of modern dance and theatre technique. This Salon XL brings together researchers and artists to unravel her multi-layered personality and to sketch her influence and legacy on contemporary performance artists, such as Ola Maciejewska and Trajal Harrell.
Filmmaker Hito Steyerl and theatre director Rabih Mroué will engage in a conversation about their artistic cooperation. The common ground of their practices is the idea of storytelling as a way of exposing (political) fictions in society and bringing them back to the domain of art.
Charlemagne Palestine is unleashing his strumming technique on the Bösendorfer Imperial: a piano that covers eight complete octaves. His instrument looks like a sculpted altar made of cuddly toys. He elevates these to divine creatures or shamanistic totems that are always close by.
Theatre director Philippe Quesne, visual artist Müge Yilmaz and art historian Maarten Doorman discuss possible meanings of the image of nature in art. Notions such as the romantic, the sublime and the search for authenticity will be questioned along the way.
Why do artists make work outside of the black box or the exhibition space? Which place can art take within the flux of daily life in the city? Choreographer Meg Stuart, scenographer Jozef Wouters, dramaturg Jeroen Peeters, performance artist Ant Hampton, theatre maker Lotte van den Berg, and choreographer Benjamin Vandewalle attempt to give some answers.
Visual artists Hedwig Houben, Grace Schwindt and Laure Prouvost talk about the relationships between sculpture, performance and theatricality. An interesting parallel in their work is the search for activating objects that appear to be fixed, by turning them into theatrical players.
In addition to Dorothea von Hantelmann’s opening talk and Grace Schwindts opening performance Opera and Steel – made especially for Performatik – the festival kick-off showcases performances by Hedwig Houben, Kristof Van Gestel and Heike Langsdorf, and Miet Warlop. Laure Prouvost completes the evening with an installation.
Dorothea von Hantelmann is an art historian and a curator. She is the author of How to Do Things with Art (2010), one of the seminal works on performativity within contemporary art. Her current book project explores exhibitions as ritual spaces in which fundamental values and categories of modern, liberal and market-based societies historically have been, and continue to be, practiced and reflected.
What would hell look like today? The 500th anniversary of the death of Hieronymus Bosch, made Vasco Mendonça, Kris Verdonck and Dimitri Verhulst think. They quickly arrived at the beaches of Lampedusa: a place where while tourists were sunbathing refugees were washed up on the beach. The false paradise of the resorts and the Boschian hell on earth seamlessly flow into each other.
Marc Vanrunxt creates a dance performance based on the work of the solitary Lucien Goethals, pioneer of Flemish electronic music. The result acts as a journey through time, towards what in the 1970s was still the music of the future, and which quite possibly still sounds like that now.
Tim Jackson explores subjects such as employment, social investment, and inequality. In addition, he explores strategies to attain ecological and financial sustainability: an essential vision for social progress.
This brand new production directed by Ivo Van Hove is based on Leoš Janácek’s song cycle that goes by the same name. The result of Janácek’s inspired efforts is a mysterious, deeply emotional and psychological piece on identity, alienation, and an impossible love. Annelies Van Parys – one of the most acclaimed Belgian composers of our time – adds a fi tting contemporary reply.
Drawing on recent neuroscientific theories of consciousness, the young British philosopher Inigo Wilkins outlines the contemporary significance of the myth of Golem and the automation of inert matter via a control script.
The young Croatian philosopher, author and political activist Srećko Horvat is undoubtedly one of the leading voices of his generation. His talk starts from Fernando Pessoa’s novel The Anarchist Banker and then provides a unique theoretical insight into possible subversions in a time which is getting darker day by day.
In various configurations, the artists talk about their position in Beirut, their relationships with European cities, and their artistic practice. The latter is primarily influenced by current political events, the complexity of Lebanese society, and the country's tumultuous recent history.
With an annually recurring city cycle, Moussem’s Nomadic Arts Centre offers an insight into contemporary Arab societies and the dynamic of their cities. Every year, an Arab city is a guest in the capital of Europe. Over the course of this ten-day festival, guest artists, relevant thinkers and cultural players tell the story of their city through their work.
Dancer and choreographer Fumiyo Ikeda takes you on a journey to the heart of Morton Feldman’s Piano and String Quartet. This 80-minute composition for piano and strings exudes an aura of tranquillity, in which ‘each is just as much an echo of the other’. Ikeda shares the stage with the soloists of Ictus, as though she herself were the sixth musician.
Inspired by the hymn Say No!, more than 30 choirs and ensembles from across the world have created their own song about conscientious objection and desertion. All the contributed images and sounds form the material for a video creation, intertwined with a live performance by a huge international choir.
Stef Kamil Carlens was inspired by folk art, rituals, beautiful creatures from European folklore traditions, and early twentiethcentury modern art. Enter into this wonderful world of dance, music, word, costumes, and masks!