Per/Form How to do things with[out] words
CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid
How to do things with[out] words
March 22–September 21, 2014
The project, a laboratory situation including installations, workshops, and performances, will explore questions of how art deals with reality in a performative way.
CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo
Av. Constitución, 23
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11–21h
Intensity days: March 22, May 10, and September 20
Curator: Chantal Pontbriand
With Mathieu Abonnenc, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Brad Butler & Karen Mirza, Geneviève Cadieux, Jean-Pierre Cometti, Adrian Dan, Angela Detanico & Rafael Lain, Carole Douillard, Cevdet Erek, Köken Ergun, Esther Ferrer, Chiara Fumai, Ryan Gander, Simon Fujiwara, Dora García, Camille Henrot, Sandra Johnston, Amelia Jones, Latifa Laâbissi, La Ribot, Ines Lechleitner, Franck Leibovici, Cristina Lucas, Haroon Mirza, Antonio Negri, Roman Ondák, Falke Pisano, Chantal Pontbriand, Chloé Quenum, Pedro Reyes, José Antonio Sánchez, Julião Sarmento, Ulla von Brandenburg, Carey Young and Héctor Zamora
Performance and performativity are centre stage at this time. The fact that we are living more and more in an “immaterial” world, dominated by mediatisation, the impact of globalization, the increasing tendency to think of politics as biopolitics, these different factors enhance performance over materiality, or object making. Performativity explores the space in-between, what happens when bodies or objects are left to perform. To perform is to enable oneself or things to work through form. And to let form speak for itself.
Performing and performance are concepts that activate reality. In this sense, performativity (what performing and performance activate) offers resistance against a homogenization of the world. It leads to renewal, change, and expands the potentiality of things and beings.
This exhibition, conceived as an event, will enhance performativity and the way it works, the way it performs itself. It will include objects, media as well as bodies. It will be “live” at all times, as installations, photography, films, performances, discussions, inhabit the space of the museum.
The subtitle of the exhibition, given by the concept “per / form,” is driven from John Langshaw Austin, the English philosopher who was one of the founders of analytical philosophy and pragmatics. In 1955, he gave a lecture called “How to do Things with Words” in which he explores the relationships between acts and language. The book published in 1962 is often quoted when discussing performance and art. This exhibition further explores that relationship through different situations proposed by the exhibition format itself and by the works presented and activated in its midst.
The project, a laboratory situation including installations, workshops, and performances, will explore these questions of how art deals with reality in a performative way. The project consists of different modes of “display”: the exhibition per se which brings together 16 installation works, some of which include live elements, others which can be activated live in different ways, in situ works, and performative situations which will be concentrated in three days throughout the project. These are the Intensity Days, March 22, May 10 and September 21. During these days, there will be further activation of some of the installations, workshops, talks, discussions, and performances. The Intensity Lab, a space included in the exhibition, will host some of the the later, and archival material corresponding to the whole project and its developments.
Chantal Pontbriand is art critic and curator. Her work is based on the exploration of questions of globalization and artistic heterogeneity. Since 1970, she has curated numerous international contemporary art events: exhibitions, international festivals and international conferences, mainly in photography, video, performance, dance and multimedia installation. She founded PARACHUTE contemporary art magazine in 1975 and acted as publisher/editor until 2007. In 1982 she was president and director of the FIND (Festival International de Nouvelle Danse), in Montreal. She was appointed Head of Exhibition Research and Development at Tate Modern in London in 2010 and since then lives in Paris and has founded PONTBRIAND W.O.R.K.S [We_Others and myself_Research_Knowledge_
Per/Form: the book
A book will be published including texts by Jean-Pierre Cometti, Amelia Jones, Antonio Negri, Chantal Pontbriand, and José Antonio Sanchez. The artists will contribute to the book in the form of visual essays. Editor: Chantal Pontbriand. Designer: Agnès Dahan. Publisher: CA2M / Sternberg Press.