With this new series of events we will see a number of performance artists who do not take for granted the way things are. All real relations are a construct, acts of claiming interpretative authority paired with power dynamics. The artists will focus on current debates in different ways – in the form of playful, precise choreographies, dramatic compositions and narratives – and will prove themselves to be experts in deconstruction, as the writing of the here and now in the arts and the joy of finding artistic-aesthetic forms, fictionalisations and narrations are all part of this process.
Jaha Koo is a gifted storyteller. His stories unearth the catastrophic consequences of colonial oppression and violence – such as the crushing of Korean theatre traditions in his most recent performance The History of Korean Western Theatre. But what story(ies) are being told (about this), and can alternative, authentic narratives help create a different future. For her first duet Zeppelin Bend, Katerina Andreou, whose intense dance solo repeatedly tells of the possibilities of freedom and of hybridity as a constant form, takes a close look at different types of choreographed coexistence and the paradoxical relationship of a strict discipline of the body and its embedded emancipatory potential. Cherish Menzo dissects in JEZEBEL pop-cultural constructions of Black womanhood – the ‘vixen’ from the hip hop videos of the 1990s – in her award-winning solo, without neglecting the complex issues and questions surrounding sexist versus feminist representation: ‘This JEZEBEL refuses to be defined by others!’ Joana Tischkau’s piece BEING PINK AIN’T EASY engages with the insatiable white appetite for Black forms of expression, analysing the ambivalence of defence mechanisms like ‘white fragility’ (Robin DiAngelo) and forms of cultural appropriation.
This special performance programme will be complemented by a lecture and an open lab, both curated by TQW theory curator Janine Jembere. In María Do Mar Castro Varela’s lecture Double Bind, the postcolonial theorist and educationalist advocates an aesthetic educational practice of unlearning in order to create a platform for capturing and talking about the complexity of postcolonial situations. And academic, curator and cultural producer Tonica Hunter and a group of artists, researchers and activists will experiment with the aesthetics of resistance and the possibilities of creating and fostering communities through art practices in the special open lab workshop Imagining otherwise – Aesthetics of Resistance.