Bodily Skills Performance Skills: Performance, Ritual, Process

Spring semester 2022

9. – 14. May, 2022

10h00 – 17h00

Group House “Le Châtelaine”. Les Pontains, Jura

Universität / Haute École
Hochschule der Künste Bern
Elvira Santamaria Torres, Jules Pelta Feldman, Dorothea Schürch, Valerian Maly
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Content description

Performance, Ritual, Process
This module takes its title from the influential book by Elisabeth Jappe, Performance, Ritual, Prozess: Handbuch der Aktionskunst in Europa (1993).

We will investigate the history and nature of ritual, and explore its relationship to performance art practice. Since the emergence of performance as an art medium in the twentieth century, artists have used ritual as an inspiration, structure, and practice. For some, it has even been an alternative to the genre of performance – a way of rebelling against art world categories. At the same time, ritual represents an ancient and universal approach to performance, differently interpreted by different cultures, eras, and individuals. In this module, students will consider the role of ritual in their daily lives as well as in their performance practices. How does the concept of ritual allow us to reimagine performance practices? How have artists used ritual practices to transform their own work? And what does ritual tell us about the very nature of performance, and its relationship to life, culture, society, and spritituality? These questions and more will guide our discussions and exercises as we jointly engage in ritual activity.

Performance art is a time-space-presence-based form of art, which we could compare with a prism of multiple known and unknown faces, which brings together aspects of the bodily and symbolic reality of human beings. It expresses temporal dimensions beyond the physical ones; humanity in its modern and archaic actuality. This form uses aspects of ritual to give expression to essential processes of the bodypsyche: symbolization, time, sexuality, death, change, meaning and others.

In this module we will observe what and how actions, gestures, performance express the body and mind of a singular individual in direct relation to the world: materials, elements, environments, ideas, the Others, and the body itself. The themes related to ritual, processes and performance will emerge from the exercises that the participants
carry out.

Elvira Santamaria Torres

Jules Pelta Feldman

Dorothea Schürch

Valerian Maly