Last day Performatik19*** by fariba mosleh

Saturday 3pm at Bozar, the Performatik crowd is gathering in the Horta Hall to see The allegory of the painted woman, a performance by artist and choreographer Alexis Blake. Four musicians and the two dancer Nafisah Baba and Marika Meoli enter the stage. One performer starts with instructions “Magdalena, Anastasia, Cecilia, Salomé, Daphne, Venus, …” , all female characters of classical paintings. The other performer starts to take on the related positions. The oral instructions stop, the music starts and both dancers start to move synchronically according to the sound. The performers are very good, every move and all sound seems to be perfect, but I am not sure if the space provides the right setting. Even though the dancer’s outfits are perfectly fitting to Horta Hall’s marble floor, it may have been stronger in a setting which offers more contrasts, an exhibition space which shows some of the kind of women figures and their assigned roles, issues like gender, representation questions to reflect upon. I am not sure, but I liked this half an hour.

Wow* 10 days of The Brussels Biennial of Performance Art are already over again. It was an extremely broad and comprehensive program, as usual not enough time to see everything I wanted to, but happy about each single event I could make it to.
Looking already forward to 2021***

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

Underneath which rivers flow by fariba mosleh

Performatik19 - four days left. It’s a biennial, people interested in the field are focussing and trying to see as much as possible … Jozef Wouters’ work Underneath which rivers flow with people from open house for artists and humans of all background Globe Aroma is definitely the Performatik19 production I’ve heard most so far. Although they scheduled additional performances it was hardly possible to get a ticket. People were stating things like “Jozef Wouters created a wonder” (Mattheu Goeury, artistic directer of Kunstencentrum Vooruit).
I was looking forward anyway to see that production of Damaged Goods and Globe Aroma, co-produced by Netwerk Aalst … but now I went to see it with certain expectations, what in this case didn’t let me down.
Entering the hidden space in Decoratelier in Molenbeek through the meanwhile famous whole in the wall - the starting point of the performative adventure - is indeed a wonder, a miracle, the first minutes have a kind of fairy tale or Alice in the wonderland style … it’s a huge unexpected space or even microcosmos created within the last year in a collaboration between the artist Jozef Wouters and the autonomous artists of Globe Aroma. Even though it’s a highly politicized territory in the midst of urban planning, an in-between stage between factory and park, those people created a fantastic world as far away and as near to political reality at the same time … These artists, poets and dreamers as they call themselves have been creating a garden a fantastic garden or urban landscape giving shape to their thoughts, dreams and wishes and sharing these with the audience. Every artist has worked out his own project ranging form building a wooden bicycle, an outsized two-storey Italian expresso machine up to the replica of ones room within a refugee shelter. Gradually disenchanting this utopian world while letting the audience enter it and starting a face-to-face discourse brings this whole artistic process back into reality. Underneath which rivers flow acts as an inspiring pool of ideas for a common living…

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

*to the monastary to fort beau and back - another day at performatik* by fariba mosleh

Well, all of a sudden I kind of stepped into it and found myself in the middle of a ritual area with soil and candle light all over accompanied by video projections introducing the rituals and sound as well as some people participating in the rituals -THE MONASTARY Bardo Stastes, a live ritual by Ella alias Elke Van Campenhout and Rovert Steijn presented by Zsenne Artlab.
In the center of attention a pile of soil with one person resting and mediating buried beneath it already nearly for 6 hours that day and about half an hour before excavation.
I haven’t been involved in formal rituals for an indefinite time. The whole ritual installation was divided into the DIY stations for individual ritual practices (introduced via descriptive video projections and text sheets) dealing with the process of dying and death, and the into soil buried body of the performance artist Ella soon to be excavated through a common ritual of all the people in the space. Even though it was all about the process around death it was such a wonderful atmosphere calming down people’s busy and multi-focused minds. The practice was inspired by Tibetan buddhism rituals of bardo states within the biennale for performance art. It was such a privilege to be part of that practice today*

An hour later a few meters further at Kaaistudio’s a lecture performance by Pieter van Bogaert on his book in progress Fort Beau. Chapter1: The end started within Performatik19.
Pieter van Bogaert introduced himself as being not a performance artist but an art critic and sometimes curator and well, this introduction became program. Although he touched interesting topics and fantastic artists like Bas Jan Ader and his falling and failing series, it was not more than a lecture and for me personally quite inexpressively after the strong bardo states practicing.

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

Submission submission by fariba mosleh

Premiere at Beursschouwbourg yesterday within Performatik19!
I've already heard a few things about the performance artist Bryna Fritz, originally from Chicago now based in Belgium, and I was really curious about this young women trained at P.A.R.T.S as a dancer. What is her approach to contemporary performance art?
The premiere of the 40 minutes stage piece Submission submission was everything but disappointing. She does a portrayal of the four ancient roman and medieval female saints Christina of Bolsena, Hildegard of Bingen, Christina the Astonishing and Joan of Arc bridging them with 21st century's IT.
This she did in such a cool and accessable way. Using our everyday's working tool - the laptop desktop screen as the whole stage design and the element of performance itself. Besides the good sound, some text reading and a short tongue-body movement, which referred to Christina of Bolsena's torture through tearing out her tongue, the projection of her desktop screen and the graphical movements of the elements like letters or desktop folders with its titles has been choreographed.  
Fritz tremendously emancipated herself from the background as a dancer even though the short element of tongue-performance where one could see that she actually knows how move every element of her body in order to express precice messages.
With this kind of digital poetry and choreography reflecting the life and thoughts of important (western) figures of history Bryana Fritz creates a unique performative form of dialogue with the audience.
Want to see more of her works***

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

It's open NOW - Performatik19 by fariba mosleh

Performance vs. Art vs. Performance, an ongoing discussion and the theme of the Opening Salon of this year’s Performatik. Yeah, I was so much looking forward to it and yesterday it was opened at Kaaitheater, THE BRUSSELS BIENNIAL OF PERFORMANCE ART.
For the Opening Salon, one out of seven conversations with artists, curators and academics within the biennial, Catherine Wood (Tate Modern performance curator), Jimmy Robert (performance artist) and Daniel Blanga Gubbay (artistic direction of kunstenfestivaldesarts) talked about Performance in contemporary art, also the title of the publication Wood has been giving an introduction to. The talk was quite harmonious, touching classics and the evolution of performance out of the museums context, being neither visual art nor dance or theatre - another specific medium. What caught my attention most where the thoughts on the contradiction of performance in the white cube vs in the black box. For me working in visual art and the performing art as well this problematic is so tangible. Then again there are existing so many other kinds of spaces where contemporary performance is staged that it becomes way more diverse. Towards the end of the talk the conversation got a bit stuck in question of performance as a medium or as an attitude. I couldn’t really relate to Wood’s point of view that it is an attitude … yes, partly of course, but isn’t then all kind of art an artist’s attitude?
Let’s go from theory into practice. Within the next 10 days there’s gonna be plenty of contemporary performance art, experiments and discourse on performance in 12 different cultural hubs in Brussels. Many questions on performance art will be answered, new one will be popping up. Check out the program*

I assume my joyful anticipation has been one of the reasons why I felt the opening performance We are waiting for you by French artist based in Belgium Laure Prouvost was so disappointing for me. Coming from film she staged objects, images and texts, worked with a kind of ‘expanded cinema’ … I will try to make it to her current exhibition in Antwerp, which possibly helps me to understand more her artistic practice, this deconstruction of the object-based gallery and museum as well as the drama and theater context via performance art. Still, except several interesting details and dramaturgical ideas, the performance didn’t tell me a story of my interest.
Well, for now I am totally looking forward to tonight’s premiere of Bryana Fritz’s performance Submission submission at Beursschouwburg.

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.