Dance and performance art have been increasingly commodified by art institutions functioning as a value-booster for the attention economy.
Simultaneously, this movement towards dance and performance practices reflects a strong desire to experience physicality: “an updated version of ‘togetherness’” (Alexandra Pirici). A live event is also a social event, an “occasion” (Isabel Lewis), a “situation” (Tino Sehgal), an “opera” (Anne Imhof). In what ways do body-based practices challenge existing (infra)structures and what possibilities do they bring for queering* institutions and opening up new working practices?
Movement practices and what we might consider “queer” sit in opposition to the operations of conventional art institutions: unpredictable, influx and improvised. Nora-Swantje Almes considers these modes productive in the sense of Sara Ahmed’s “deviation as pleasure”. Disorientation makes us find new paths and reconsider what was established as the norm. The in-between, the dissonances and physical proximity of different realities is what interests Almes. With choreographer and artist Aaron Ratajczyk and Primary as host organisation, Almes will build on previous research, exploring queer practices from an intersectional perspective – to let go of what we know and radically accommodate, connect and support those.
Being practice-led, the research will entail a series of interviews with choreographers, dancers and queer party collectives to imagine a different set of requirements needed for producers, curators and institutions – outlining the care, infrastructure and curatorial support needed for these practices. How can galleries and arts organisations accommodate bodies? How can we ensure dance/performance art is not a supplement in visual art contexts? And what can we learn from queer club culture to create safe spaces of experimentation?
Header image Bless This Place (2018), performance by Aaron Ratajcyzk, image by Philippe Gerlach.