Master-Symposium – Remapping the terms of performance: body, relation, and liveness

Spring semester 2023

28. – 29.03.2023
10h00 – 17h00

HKB MA Contemporary Arts Practice
Multifunktionsraum 110, Schwabstrasse 10, 3018 Bern

Language: English

> please register until March 19, 2023

Universität / Haute École
Hochschule der Künste Bern
Marianne Flotron with guests Frédérique Bergholtz, Anik Fournier
Contact email
for student applications
Content description

Remapping the terms of performance:
body, relation, and liveness
with Frederique Bergholtz and Anik Fournier

According to performance theorist Jonah Westerman, performance art is not a medium, but rather, a set of questions concerning the way art relates to its audiences and wider social context. In this seminar we will take this proposition as a starting point to open up and remap three keywords that have been central to understandings of performance art, positing them as interrelated questions: What is a body? What is a relation? What is liveness? Opening up these questions will bring us on an adventure that departs from conventional parameters of performance in modern and contemporary art historical narratives, allowing us to enter an expanded field.

The students’ work will center the discussion, adding new articulations of what a body, relation and liveness can mean, and new perspectives onto their practice at one and the same time. The seminar aims to highlight how terms, questions and methods of performance manifests in embodied acts of transmission and encounter, in and outside the field of art; in cultural practices past, present and in process of becoming; and between living, and material and technological forms of being.

This seminar invites students with a particular interest in tackling performance as a set of interrelated question, regardless of the form of their own artistic practice. Highlighted in this seminar is how questioning the body, the relation and liveness have aesthetic, and also, ethical and political consequences that are important to think through in artistic practice, each time anew.

The workshop will consist of a series of moments of collective and individual exercises: collective reading and discussion, close reading of students works, and creative writing. The result will be a re-mapping of the terms of performance in and through the students’
individual practices in a form that will emerge from the process.

Frédérique Bergholtz is founder and director of If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (since 2005). She was previously director of Marres in Maastricht (1999–2005). Bergholtz is recognized for her long-term engagement, development, and presentation of international performance practices. She has guest curated programmes for other institutions, including Artissima, LIMA, Sheffield Biennale and the Van Abbemuseum, and is a mentor with the Mondriaan Fonds talent development program for young artists.

Anik Fournier is the Curator of Archive and Research at If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (Amsterdam, NL) and teaches contemporary art theory at Base for Experiment Art and Research at ArtEZ (Arnhem, NL). Her current research and writing centers sounding and listening methodologies in the fields of performance art and pedagogy as crucial sites for the preservation and transmission of forms of embodied knowledge.