Becoming Visible Again 12/15/2016
Performance art may have been institutionalized in the past recent years but this does not mean that it is widely taught as a subject in art school let alone not caught up between painting and sculpture fighting for some visibility that media and photography have taken some time to establish.
For the past two years with my class in Berlin at UdK we have been trying to understand what such a class of media and performance could mean by putting not only the body at the heart of things but also considering what a collective practice can be while pursuing individual interests.
By mostly borrowing from the legacy of feminism meaning looking into notions of subjectivity, appropriation, documentation as well as masquerade and gender I introduced the students to the possibility of working together on materials that each workshop would produce; In turn I expected them the following semester to develop their own workshops depending on their center of interest which culminated in a final collective work.
Within this context it felt totally logical to invite this class to my residency at DAI where there is already an art school but very little presence of performance art and to try to ‘export’ our way of working over there by sharing our workshops and thinking of the body not in terms of the site of a trauma but as material just as much as one uses paint or wood to create forms, make statements, assert a position.
Read more in the Sea Is History Publication.
As a class, we have been trying to develop an understanding of what a performance practice may constitute, and how this could influence our ways of making art and allow us a glimpse at the politics that are at play both within the class itself and beyond it.
By tracing a lineage from Feminism to Post-Colonialism via notions of affect, appropriation, documentation and language, and the idea of masquerade, we have worked toward constructing a vocabulary that has helped us not only to create new works but develop new ways of working altogether. Performance is a collective practice. Therefore, we would like to expand the collective nature of our work by “exporting” this approach to practice to the school in Altos de Chavón in the Dominican Republic.