Performance Art is often defined as a non-objectual art practice that celebrates proudly its ephemeral character by creating situations that are experienced live. Despite this almost every performance art work can be characterized by the interaction of the artist’s body with objects in concrete time and space. This performance art workshop aims to focus on the different uses, potential interactions and properties regarding this very important performance element: the object.
Some objects seem to gaze back at us and attract our attention and curiosity. The workshop will explore these “special” objects and our relation to them through the concepts of aura, fetish, relic, symbol, poetic, memories, body, narration, fiction, transformation, function, meaning, (im)materiality, (in)visibility, presence/absence etc. in order to create a performance based on a composition of actions involving objects.
The workshop will provide each participant with cross-disciplinary artistic instruments (such as text, speech, sound, video, photography, painting, sculpture, installation) and with historical and contemporary examples of different strategies for dealing with objects (including Dadaism, Happenings, Fluxus, Body Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Arte Povera, Visual Poetry, Concrete Music) in order to obtain the necessary theoretical and practical background for developing their own performances.
Every participant is asked to bring three personal objects to work with during the workshop. These objects will be the starting point for the various tasks and discussions in the workshop. The objects could be personally very resonant, reminding of a specific time or place, or they can be mundane objects that are encountered on a daily basis. In either case they will be treated as propositions for potential actions and conceptual exploration.
Day 1: Introduction of the participants and of the workshop topics through the presentation of the personal objects. Physical exercises to warm up the body and get confidence in the group and in the space. Exploration of the body as an object: Exercises to be present and neutral.
Day 2: Some group tasks and improvisations interacting with objects: exploring the meaning, function, use and properties of specific objects. Research around the immateriality and invisibility of objects and our personal memories and stories related to them. Some historical and contemporary examples of art works that approach objects from an interesting point of view. Screening of videos and photos to illustrate each position and open discussion.
Day 3: Some individual tasks and improvisations based on interacting with objects. Preparation of a proposal for an own performance based on the three personal objects. Individual discussion of the proposal with the facilitator and group.
Day 4: After a period of individual preparation. Workshop culminate in an informal public presentation of the performances.
The workshop is open to students and professional artists who have a background in contemporary art practice. Although this is a performance art workshop, applicants are welcome from any artistic background, as long as they have a desire to engage with a performative process and tasks. The workshop may be of particular relevance to visual artists or text and sound based artists who have an interest in more conceptual based processes.
Performance Art Workshop: Interaction with Objects
Workshop: February 20–23, 2013
Performances: February 23, 2019 @ 3:00pm
This workshop is presented in association with The 34th Rhubarb Festival and coincides with the presentation of Step by Step, a performance by Andrés Galeano and Ieke Trinks, taking place at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre from February 23–March 3, 2013.
Interaction with Objects, 2013. Photo Shannon Cochrane.