FADO Performance Art Centre’s newest recurring series, Performance Academy, takes on the abstract form of a school, a university, a workshop, a class or a course, in the form of our own homemade academy. Performance: Academy is not a workshop and it’s not a school either. It’s best understood as a public engagement opportunity with an artist who is invested in inverting notions of authority in practice, research, and pedagogy.
Performance Academy 3: Good Bodies with Cindy Baker
What can your body do? What CAN’T your body do? The history of performance prioritizes movement that “pushes the limits” of our bodies and capabilities, creating points of tension between ease and difficulty. As artists with disabilities, our limits often seem like failings and if we can’t push as “far” as able-bodied people, we are seen as or feel like our work is less interesting; less advanced. We are also often inclined to make work that pushes our own limits in a way that is harmful to our well-being, using our work to prove our value and ability beyond our disabilities. Conversely, as able-bodied artists, we are usually blissfully unaware of the privilege of having a mechanically proficient body. We may want to make work that is sensitive to the notion of ability and limitations, or to proactively make work that acknowledges that our bodies will eventually begin to fail and that this does not mark an end to our practices.
How do we make work that respects the limits of our bodies and exploits and highlights our abilities and strengths, without making that work be “about” disability? How do we make work that talks about other ideas that we are interested in while remaining sensitive to our own abilities?
This will be a collaborative session in which we brainstorm ideas for new work and tease out ideas for fresh approaches to our practices. Baker will pose a series of questions and lead a discussion on the ideas generated. Attendees may be asked to participate in movement exercises based on their own ideas. Bring pens and paper or your preferred recording implements and any supportive or assistive props that you personally use and feel comfortable bringing.
This academy is open to all participants of all levels of study and/or experience, including the just plain curious. Admission is free. ASL interpretation and attendant care provided.
In partnership with Tangled Art + Disability, FADO welcomes Cindy Baker to Performance Academy for a one-time engagement, Good Bodies with Cindy Baker. This Performance Academy is presented in conjunction with the Tangled Art + Disability’s exhibition Home: Body, in which Cindy Baker presented a durational performance work entitled Crash Pad.
© Cindy Baker, Crash Pad, 2017. Photo Shannon Cochrane.