Breaking The Frame
The fourth edition of Performatik, the Brussels biennial of performance art, contains two impressive conversions. Choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker rethinks dance in an exhibition in WIELS. And visual artist Joëlle Tuerlinckx makes a reverse move. Using her immense archive as a starting point, she creates a theatre performance, which will be shown in its entirety at the Kaaitheater.
Performatik has resolutely opted for the scintillating interface between performance arts and visual art. The binding element each time is the live event, the meeting between you and the performer, in the here and now. For that purpose we work together with a number of partners in the city – Argos, Beursschouwburg, Bozar, CENTRALE, Don Verboven Exquisite Objects, Passa Porta, Q-O2, Zsenne art lab, WIELS and workspacebrussels – who all contribute their own expertise. The public space is also used: the streets by Esther Ferrer, the ‘grande dame’ of Spanish performance, and the town squares by the Bouillon Group, a young Georgian company. Following the Venice Biennial, they treat Brussels to a performance that depicts our relationship with the three monotheistic religions.
The event opens with a performance of the first major creation for theatre by German artist Ulla von Brandenburg. She takes us back to the philosophy of the utopian socialist Saint-Simon, together with the Brussels Brecht-Eisler choir.
Performance cannot be pigeon-holed. Marthe Ramm Fortun takes us with her in a ‘conversation performance’ in Bozar, Christian Bakalov deprives us of sight in a journey through the Kaaistudios. Quite a few artists respond to our hyperfast age with rituals that invite us to take our time: the ceremony of Béatrice Balcou, the ‘square dance’ of Germaine Kruip, the twelve-day long piano performance of Marino Formenti which merges art and life, private and public.
The disruption of viewing positions (theatrical spectator, museum viewer) is inherent to the cross-boundary genre that performance is. That is the subject of the new production by Xavier Le Roy and the exhibition by artist Benoît Félix, who also made contributions to the festival artwork.
Performatik seeks out the boundaries, unravels codes and stimulates meetings between different art worlds. Feel free to join any one of the many salons where we discuss our experiences together with curators, artists and critics. Welcome!
© image: Benoît Félix, videostill Dessine ce par quoi tu passes/ passe par ce que tu dessines, 2010