Curated by Stephen Vitiello, this anthology brings together performances promoted by the New York media center and electronic theatre during the effervescent period stretching from the mid-1960s to the early 80s. Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones, Keith Haring, Richard Serra, Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Frank Stella, The Fluxus Group, Robert Wilson, and John Cage are some of the artists and groups featured. The programme includes dance solos by Bill T. Jones set against backgrounds produced on-the-spot by the visual artist Keith Haring; the music video “O Superman,” which launched the performer and composer Laurie Anderson; and “Flux Concert,” which reconstructs historic performances by The Fluxus Group, of which Yoko Ono was a member.
- Apple EatersAnne Tardos, 2004
- Variations VArne Arnbom , 1966
- Robert WhitmanArtpix, 1965
- Trisha Brown: Early Works 1966-1979Artpix, 1979
- Bill T. Jones: Four Duets (Excerpt Long Distance)Bill T. Jones, 1982
- Speaker SwingingBruce Mau , Gordon Monahan , 1987
- The Kitchen: 1974-75Carlota Schoolman , The Kitchen, 1975
- Robert Wilson & The Civil WarsHoward Brookner , 1985
- Soup & TartJean Dupuy , 1975
- Flux ConcertLarry Miller , 1979
- O SupermanLaurie Anderson, 1986
- Open ScoreRobert Rauschenberg , 1966
This set of screenings derived from a desire to construct a historical panorama of performance, both in Brazil and at the international poles, as they radiated the ideas that were to transform art between the 60s and the 90s. Indirectly, it is also a tribute to the relationship between performance – ephemeral by nature – and the electronic image, which guards the only vestiges attesting to the force of the acts that founded and constructed the genre. While they offer only an idea of what the original events were like, the video recordings gathered together in this programme are veritable treasures insofar as they afford us at least some audiovisual access to events that were truly special.
In addition to the recording – which keeps the performance alive, albeit devoid of its fundamental edge of presence and risk –, the video also provides artists with a gamut of extra possibilities. Some of these artists, like Coco Fusco, benefit from the medium’s possibilities in performances that explore the languages of soap opera, documentary and closed circuit TV in the form of false fictions and false reports. Three of these pieces can be seen in the Coco Fusco screening, alongside equally illustrative selections from the work of the other artists that attend the Festival.
Featuring work from the 70s onwards, Marina Abramovic: Performance Anthology [1975-1980] is a retrospective of the oeuvre of the artist who has made the biggest contribution to the institution of performance as a genre associated with risk, the overcoming of limits and political will. “I am only interested in an art form that can change the ideology of a society”, she affirmed in 1997, upon receiving the Golden Lion, the most prestigious prize at the Venice Biennale, for a work in which she used water and bones to translate the internal landscape of her homeland. Born in Belgrade in 1946, Abramovic switched from painting to performance after realizing that the three-dimensional (and real) traces left behind in the sky by an airplane were infinitely more interesting than her canvases. Among other work, the retrospective shows some of the projects she realized in conjunction with Ulay (Uwe Laysiepen), her artistic partner in the period from 1975 and 1988, such as “Relation in Space” (1977), in which one slams against the other until they reach the point of aggression.
Three anthologies put together from the collections of electronic art centres offer an ample retrospective on performance in America, Europe and Brazil. In Antologia Videobrasil de Performances – now available on DVD –, 18 works either commissioned or exhibited by the Festival between 1992 and 2003 outline a course that begins with Fausto Fawcett’s transposition of Copacabana onto a small stage at SESC Pompéia and continues through to Luiz Duva’s live manipulation of images in a re-reading of “Marca Registrada” by the video art pioneer Letícia Parente. The programme also includes historic performances by Waly Salomão and Carlos Nader, Chelpa Ferro, Eder Santos, the Argentine Marcello Mercado and the French duo Denis and Jérôme Lefdup, among others.
The Kitchen Performance Anthology offers an historical introduction to the performing practices in the United States during the effervescent period stretching from the mid-60s to the early 80s, featuring the production of such organizations as the media center of the same name, created in 1973. The Anthology includes choreography by Trisha Brown and Bill T. Jones, opera rehearsals by Robert Wilson and experiments by the Fluxus Group, as well as dinners whose menus included bread, soup, wine and performances by Richard Serra and Charles Atlas. Curated by Tom van Vliet, who created and directed the World Wide Video Festival for 22 years, the compilation WWVF Performance Anthology presents performances from various editions of the event and works arising from a “performatic” gesture or procedure – such as “video graffiti” by the Dutch artist Jeroen Kooijmans and “Dog Baseball” staged by the American photographer William Wegman. The program attests to the innovative spirit of the Dutch festival, considered one of the most important electronic art events in the world prior to its discontinuation in 2004.
The “performatic” – and/or political – gesture also marks the works selected for the FF>>Dossier programme by the curator Eduardo de Jesus and produced by the Brazilian artists Lia Chaia, Gisela Motta and Leandro Lima, the Peruvian Diego Lama and the Nicaraguans Ernesto Salmerón and Mauricio Prieto, among others. The artists were all featured by the homonimous monthly Web publication by Associação Cultural Videobrasil, dedicated to profiling young artists from the southern circuit and to reflection on the boundary situations of art in contemporary society. Extremidades do Vídeo, a curatorship derived from an homonymous doctoral thesis by Christine Mello, furthers the discussion by bringing together Brazilian works that express boundary procedures for the enunciation of video and its semiotic infiltrations into different fields of the con- temporary aesthetic, thereby revealing, in its hybrid aspect, the capacity to transform and influence the most varied artistic manifestations. The programme is divided into three segments, each handling one of the extremities of this process: Desconstrução presents works born of the conscious intention to disassemble videographic language, a kind of mediatic context or image, in order to expand its creative limits; Contaminação approaches the moment in which video potentizes through dialogue with other languages, such as performance, theatre, music, dance and installation; and, finally, Compartilhamento, which deals with the medium’s presence in the circuit of telematic networks and in interactive contexts, a point at which video ceases to present itself as a particular element of artistic apprehension and melts into the discursive strategies of the new mediums in a collaborative manner.
ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL VIDEOBRASIL. "15º Festival Internacional de Arte Eletrônica Videobrasil - 'Performance.'": de 6 a 25 de setembro de 2005, p. 158-159, São Paulo-SP, 2005.