Venice International Performance Art Week is the independent on-going live art exhibition project. It’s purpose is to strengthen the importance of the concepts of mobility, art nomadism and temporary community, to offer moments of fruitful encounters and exchange to lay the foundations for future professional opportunities for artists and cultural operators and, finally, paying attention to the creation of a broader audience for performance art.
By Efi Michalarou
Photo: Venice International Performance Art Week Archive
The Venice International Performance Art Week has been conceived in form of a trilogy. “Hybrid Body-Poetic Body” (2012), “Ritual Body-Political Body” (2014) and “Fragile Body-Material Body“ (2016). Each of the three editions consisted of a comprehensive exhibition showing historical performance art pioneers’ works and documentation, alongside the presentation of live art performances. The program was structured: daily morning talks by and encounters with the participating artists, associated curators and cultural operators open to public, series of long durational performances during the afternoons and shorter performance slots in the evenings. The “Art Week-Fringe” section was dedicated to upcoming and emerging artists. The second part “Ritual Body-Political Body” (13-20/12/14) aimed to investigate a wide range of concepts such as: art as a space for civil negotiation where human ethical values are the core, interconnectivity; political confrontation; utopia; ecological issues; social and individual conflicts and responsibilities, and how the self relates to them, at the same time concentrating on the fact that the presence of human beings in this world is always more than a temporary condition. Marilyn Arsem presented the long durational performance “Marking Time”, meditations on time, on what is needed to move forward through time, on moving through one’s life. An exhibition of Tania Bruguera’s Manifestos: “International Migrants Day”, “Expert Meeting on Artistic Freedom and Cultural Rights” and “Citizen Manifesto for European Democracy, Solidarity and Equality”, also “The Migrant Manifesto” was presented in a live intervention by the participants Performance Art Studies. Chris Burden’s video Documentation of “Selected Works 1971-74”. Guided by the artist’s candid, explanatory comments on both the works and the documental process, these segments reveal the major themes of Burden’s work – the psychological experience of danger, pain, and physical risk, the aggressive abuse of the body as an art object, and the psychology of the artist/spectator relationship. Also was on presentation text and audio of the Shaw Festival Reading of the 1955 poem “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg that served as a manifesto for the Beat Generation and many more to come, as Ginsberg denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States. Through the obscenity trial that the poem’s publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti faced in 1957, Howl became a representation of freedom of the press and speech and hence uncensored literary expression.
Info: Curators: VestAndPage (Verena Stenke and Andrea Pagnes), Venice International Performance Art Week, Duration: 14-20/12/14, www.veniceperformanceart.org