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Performatik 19



Every other year, Performatik showcases contemporary performance art or ‘live art’, together with a great many Brussels partners. For eleven days, artists enter a twilight zone in which they tinker with the codes of both the performing arts and the visual arts. Performance has flourished in the arts world in the past, but over the past few years has increasingly come to occupy its own distinct space. 

Vito Acconci, who presented work at Performatik09, once claimed that performance art can only ever be a temporary art form in an artist’s oeuvre; one moment that shakes everything up as an announcement of a new period. But since three performance artists won golden lions at the previous Venice Biennale and performance art has become a fixture at art biennials and art fairs, ‘immaterial’ art forms appear to have acquired a permanent place in the world of visual art. 

Is it a sign of the times that living bodies increasingly occupy museums? Are museums skillfully responding to consumers’ desire for experiences? And do artists avidly adapt, for example by creating a theatre version and a museum version of their work? Or are they searching for new forms and methods of presentation that tamper with the established codes of artworks, audiences, and institutions? Over the past decade, Performatik has decisively opted for the latter. Performance art is an art form that is essentially fragile – and must be. 

In this sixth edition, visual artist Laure Prouvost – in collaboration with Sam Belinfante and Pierre Droulers – is presenting her first performance work for the stage, and choreographer Noé Soulier is letting twenty artworks from the collection of the Centre Pompidou occupy the theatre space. Alexis Blake and Jocelyn Cottencin are energizing art-historical works and offering a fresh perspective. Jimmy Robert, Jozef Wouters/Globe Aroma, Last Yearz Interesting Negro, and PRICE are shifting the boundaries of visibility and invisibility. 

Historical backdrop of Performatik19 is the Bauhaus movement, which emerged 100 years ago. A number of Bauhaus principles have become deeply relevant again: the cross-fertilization between disciplines, the status of the author and the collective, the arts academy as an artist community, artisanry versus mass production, bringing art closer to everyday life, and the relationship between bodies and space as fundament for the development of new worldviews. The principles of Bauhaus form an inspirational source for the works of Radouan Mriziga, Ula Sickle and the a.pass researchers. Moreover, in this edition artists will create together with students, more than ever. They don’t just show end results, but invite you to their rehearsals or open studios. 

Another thread in the festival is death, loss and performativity. In March we will commemorate the 2016 attacks on Brussels. During U-Loss and Bardos States, Barbara Raes and The Monastery, respectively, will develop new rituals around loss. Lotte van den Berg and Liz Magic Laser will explore the borders between performance, therapy and politics, while IN/FINITY looks at the inter-section between care and art. 

Performance cannot be pigeon-holed. Expect one-on-one performances, performances of 4 minutes to an entire day, rituals, performed research, concerts, a demonstration in the city, dance, sound installations, lecture performances, debates, activated exhibitions… and a party. The common element is always the live event, the encounter between you and the performer in the here and now. Welcome!

Kaaitheater in association with 
a.pass | Argos | Beursschouwburg | Bozar | CC Strombeek | Centrale For Contemporary Art | Kanal – Centre Pompidou | TOPAZ / IN/FINITY | WIELS | workspacebrussels | ZSenne artlab


Choose 4 or more separate performances from the Performatik19 programme and get a 25% discount on the standard price. If you book for more performances later, you get the same discount. Please note that no concessions are given on a standard price of € 10 or less. → BUY NOW


Performatik for professionals

check the previous Performatik editions

→ read Pieter T'Jonck's article on Performatik 2013

→ read Elize Mazadiego's article on Performatik 2017

Image: Laure Prouvost installation view Lisson Gallery, New York, 2018 © Laure Prouvost. Courtesy Lisson Gallery 

Presented by
Kaaitheater Kaaitheater Kanal - Centre Pompidou WIELS Bozar Argos Beursschouwburg workspacebrussels CC Strombeek De centrale Zsenne Artlab a.pass Topaz

Programmed in Performatik 19: