Here members of the Research Centre for Visual Poetics and their students blog regularly about research activities, tips for interesting performances, exhibitions and film screenings and other related topics.
On Breath, Negativity and Blissful Fantasies
Within the framework of the new performing arts festival CARTA 22 at the International Art Campus DESINGEL, Antwerp University’s Research Centre for Visual Poetics will be arranging a new iteration of VP Invites. This series of seminars, lectures and artist talks will focus on ‘Breath, Negativity, and Blissful fantasies.’ The festival runs from 21 until 30 April and brings together cutting edge artists such as Wu Tsang, Dora García or Begüm Erciyas - all artists who develop their crafts by adopting dramaturgies on rhythms, breath, voice, and fantasies amidst the times of many endings. They are interdisciplinary works that challenge our understanding of previous realities, and in so doing they inch beyond the conventional understanding of aesthetics in performances. Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Laura Cull, Bojana Cvejić, John O’Maoilearca and Milla Tiainen will teach seminars, give lectures and enter into conversation with the artists of the festival. The lectures and artist talks are open to the public. The seminars are directed at PhD, postdoc and artistic researchers and require registration. Please contact Kristof van Baarle for more information and registration. Full program and more information here.
Opening Lecture by Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi: The Mental Collapse of the West
deSingel, 18h, Blauwe Foyer (Online, Livestreamed Lecture)
Seminar by John Ó Maoilearca: Performance and Time-travel
deSingel 14h – 16h, Blauwe Foyer
Seminar by Laura Cull: Performance Philosophy – Art and Imagination
deSingel 16h – 18h, Blauwe Foyer
Performative Lecture by Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca: Imagination and Extinction, with a screening of the short animated film, Done Dying. Followed by an Artist Talk between Laura Cull and Dora García.
deSingel 20h – 21h30, Blauwe Foyer
Seminar by Milla Tiainen – Listening to More-than-Human Voices
deSingel 11h – 13h, Blauwe Foyer
20 Minute Lecture followed by an Artist Talk between Milla Tiainen and Begüm Erciyas - Ecological voice as aesthetic activism.
deSingel 16h – 17h, Blauwe Foyer
Seminar by Bojana Cvejić – ‘If you don’t see me, I will burn myself’
deSingel 14h – 16h, Blauwe Foyer
Aan de hand van vier programma’s van kortfilms in De Studio wordt het vroege werk van Henri Storck thematisch gekoppeld aan films van andere cineasten zoals Luis Buñuel, Luc de Heusch, Charles Dekeukeleire, Joris Ivens, Walther Ruttmann, Jean Vigo en Basil Wright. Dit filmprogramma kadert in het Onderzoeksseminarie Film gedoceerd door Steven Jacobs en Gertjan Willems in de masteropleiding Theater- en Filmwetenschap van de Universiteit Antwerpen. De films worden door Steven Jacobs en studenten van dit seminarie ingeleid. Aan het onderzoekseminarie 2021-2022 werken volgende studenten mee: Jorien Cools, Laura Coopmans, Lien Hooft, Jorunn Kiebooms en Tineke Van de Sompel.
Henri Storck (1907-1999) is zonder twijfel de belangrijkste Belgische cineast uit de eerste helft van de twintigste eeuw. Geboren te Oostende, zal hij in zijn films vaak refereren aan de badstad en haar kunstenaars als Ensor, Permeke en Spilliaert. Met BEELDEN VAN OOSTENDE (1929) leverde Storck een bijzondere bijdrage aan de “stadssymfonie”, een experimenteel en documentair filmgenre dat bijzonder belangrijk was in het interbellum. In Storcks lyrische ode aan Oostende laten ritmische en associatieve montages, een beweeglijke camera en een voorkeur voor natuurlijke verschijnselen als water, wind en zand de invloed van de Russische maar vooral ook Franse avant-garde cinema zien.
Naast de Franse impressionistische film drukte ook het surrealisme een duidelijke stempel op de vroege films van Storck. Dit vertaalt zich niet alleen in een fascinatie voor verlaten straten en het terrain vague van de haven in BEELDEN VAN OOSTENDE. Films als VOOR JE MOOIE OGEN (1930) en IDYLLE AAN HET STRAND (1931) bespelen volop surrealistische thema’s en motieven. Later zal Storck als specialist in kunstdocumentaires ook een film wijden aan de surrealistische schilder Paul Delvaux.
Een voorkeur voor surrealistische juxtaposities markeert ook Storcks “montage-films” uit de vroege jaren 1930. In OP DE BOORDEN VAN DE CAMERA (1932) en GESCHIEDENIS VAN DE ONBEKENDE SOLDAAT (1932) zet Storck volop “found-footage” in om een modernistische collage-esthetiek te combineren met een uitgesproken ideologische boodschap. Tot slot komt de surrealistische belangstelling voor het exotische en het etnografische duidelijk aan bod in PAASEILAND (1935), die Storck in samenwerking met de Nederlandse cineast John Fernhout realiseerde.
DEEL 1: STORCK EN DE STADSSYMFONIE
DEEL 2: STORCK EN SURREALISME
DEEL 3: STORCK EN FOUND FOOTAGE
DEEL 4: STORCK, EXPLORATIE EN ETNOGRAFIE
‘The Magic Lantern in Leisure, Entertainment and Popular Culture’
B-magic Final Conference, 5-7 May 2022
Location: Photography museum (FOMU) - Waalsekaai 47, 2000 AntwerpThe main conference will be conducted in English.You can register here.
Preconference Event, 4 May 2022
Location: Royal Film Archive of Belgium - CINEMATEK, Rue Baron Horta 9, 1000 BrusselsPlease note that the preconference will be conducted in both English and French.You can register here.
Check out the full program on the B-Magic website.
16 May 2022, 9u30-18u (CEST), University of Antwerp, City Campus, Grote Kauwenberg 2
Arguably more than ever, contemporary art museums are opening their doors to include live performance, not only in to their exhibitions but also in to their own collections. The inclusion, however, of artforms that exist by virtue of living bodies sharing time and space continues to raise tantalising challenges for both artists and institutions. Existing institutional infrastructures are mainly designed for the presentation and preservation of visual art objects, which heightens the need to reimagine these conditions if live performance is ever to attain an enduring place within contemporary art production as well as within the archiving of artistic practices. This symposium will bring together artists, curators, scholars, archivists, and policy makers to approach the complex question of how to archive live performance from artistic as well as institutional points of view. The aim is to confront several fundamental tensions that permeate the archiving of live performance in museum contexts (such as tangible objects versus embodied memories, material collections versus digital architectures, top-down versus bottom-up policies, exclusive contracts versus open-source management, etc.) with the specific requirements and expectations from the side of artistic production. By discussing these matters from different perspectives and backgrounds, the symposium wants to offer the opportunity to reflect on established methodologies versus new imaginative possibilities for collecting and archiving live performance.
The symposium will feature a keynote lecture by professor Barbara Clausen (Université du Québec à Montréal), followed by three panel discussions. Each panel is devoted to a specific theme and consists of an artist, a curator, and a theorist. They are invited to take the artist’s performance practice as their starting point to engage in a conversation on some of the most challenging aspects of archiving performance art within the predominant institutional frameworks.
More info on the website of the Centre for Art Historical Archives(CKV).
Organised by Master in Dance (Royal Conservatoire Antwerp)
CoDa | Cultures of Dance – Research Network for Dance Studies
When: Saturday 21 of May 2022, 10:00 – 18:00
Where: Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, Gele Zaal
Arguably more than ever, the connection between dance and research has taken center stage in different segments of the dance field, including higher education, the professional performing arts, and academic scholarship. Despite the growing acknowledgment that dance can incite new forms of experimentation or generate alternative modes of knowledge, the actual shape that research in dance can take is still a topic of debate. The specific requirements for doing research in dance (or even for calling oneself “a dance researcher”) are hardly defined, which leads to substantial questions about how (or if) dance should legitimize itself as a valid research practice on its own terms.
During this Research Day, we want to address these issues by gathering various speakers who will provide, each from their own background and expertise, different perspectives on the functions and forms artistic research in dance can take. The aim is to tackle various questions that are fundamental to research in dance as they can be said to steer its future directions, such as: are there general characteristics to research in dance beyond the particularity of distinct projects or practices?; does research in dance necessarily need to bridge discourse and practice?; what role do (academic) institutions play in the ecosystem of artistic dance research?; what are the conditions one must meet in order to conduct research in dance? By raising these questions, we want to move towards an expanded and possibly more diverse understanding of those conditions that undergird research in dance, both within and outside of institutional frameworks.
This Research Day is the second in a series initiated by the Master Dance team at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp (RCA) in collaboration with CORPoREAL, the interdisciplinary research group for dance, music, and drama at the RCA and the Dance department of RCA. This edition is co-organized with CoDa | Cultures of Dance, the Research Network for Dance Studies funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).
Concept and organization: Annelies Van Assche, Iris Terclaevers, Renata Lamenza Epifanio, and Timmy De Laet
Production: CoDa, Master in Dance RCA, Annouk Van Moorsel, Laura Van Rymenant (CoDa intern)
With the support of: University of Antwerp (Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature and Research Centre for Visual Poetics); Ghent University; Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)
More info about the programme and registration soon.
2-3 June 2022
Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal. Co-organized by Gertjan Willems (VP)
Erica Carter (Professor of German and Film, King’s College London)
Alexandra D’Onofrio (Visual anthropologist, festival programmer and documentary maker, University of Manchester)
Full program and more information on the conference website.
Visual Poetics Invites: Peter Boenisch (Aarhus Universitet, Denmark – Department of Dramaturgy) - When Attitudes Become Performed: Institutional Poetics in Contemporary Theatre
The Research Centre for Visual Poetics is honored to invite professor Peter Boenisch to give a lecture about his current research.
29 October, 15h - 16h30, City Campus, University of Antwerp, S.R.001
When Attitudes Become Performed: Institutional Poetics in Contemporary Theatre
Whereas art studies and museology have developed, over several decades, elaborate methodologies to analyse and reflect on the institutional conditions that impact on the making of, and exhibition of, artworks in the visual art context, the field of theatre and performance studies has not yet developed a comparable approach towards ‘reading the material theatre’ (Knowles 2004). In this presentation, I outline for debate the perspective of ‘Institutional Dramaturgy’, which we are developing in our research project Reconfiguring Dramaturgy for a Global Culture: Changing Practices in 21st century European Theatre at Aarhus University. Discussing exemplarily the work of Zinnema in Brussels, and at Schauspiel Dortmund under its new artistic director Julia Wissert, I will reflect on methodological paths towards analysing institutional poetics as they catalyse the meaning of contemporary theatre and performance works in crucial ways.
Peter M. Boenisch is Professor of Dramaturgy at Aarhus University. His research areas are theatre direction, dramaturgy, and the intersections of theatre and politics, as they become manifest in aspects such as spectatorship, the institutional conditions of theatre production, and transcultural performance in a globalised Europe. At AU, he leads the research group “Paradigms of Dramaturgy: Arts, Institutions and the Social”. His books include Directing Scenes and Senses: The Thinking of Regie (2015), The Theatre of Thomas Ostermeier (co-authored with the German director, 2016), and, as editor, the volume Littlewood – Strehler – Planchon in the series The Great European Stage Directors (with Clare Finburgh Delijani, 2018), the 30th anniversary edition of David Bradby and David Williams’s Directors’ Theatre (2019), and The Schaubühne Berlin under Thomas Ostermeier: Reinventing Realism (2020).
World Ends Day - Online Symposium 9/7/2021 - 14h-19h
World Ends DayAn Online One-Day Conference on Ends9 July 2021World Ends Day is a one-day online conference on constellations of durational ends—biological as much as political, embodied and yet intangible, capitalist and also planetary. We have to conceptualize the state of living in a continuous or consecutive aftermath. Ending, however, is also our hope as it seems to guide us to a radical potentiality of the not-yet: a telos that liberates us from being in a state of perpetual parenthesis; an ever flowing means without ends and endless ends.
On 9 July, Ends (Felipe Cervera, Kyoko Iwaki, Eero Laine, and Kristof van Baarle) will host a double bill of roundtables on the topic of ends by bringing together thinkers, artists, and practitioners from multiple cultural provenances reflecting on various threads of ends. Each session will invite three key speakers, who will first provide a short 15 to 20 minutes provocation on ends based on their recent works and research. The various topics will cover the global pandemic, environmental catastrophe, disaster and racial capitalism, vegetal and animal cosmopolitics, ghostly necropolitics, disaster patriarchy, climate of fear, posthuman cybernetics, and speculative futurities. After each provocation by the speakers from their own scholarships and perspectives, we will open the roundtable to a larger conversation with online participants.
Registration is required and happens via facebook or the PSi Constellate Webpage. To register, you have to become a PSi member, which this year only costs 5 euro - a kind support for the organization in dire times.
The detailed schedule is as follows:
World Ends Day Part Ⅰ
Time: 5am (California) / 8am (New York ) / 1pm (UK) / 2pm (EU) / 5:30pm (India) / 8pm (Singapore)
Steve Dixon (LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore)
Amanda Piña (Artist and Cultural Worker, Mexico-Chile-Austria, Amsterdam University of the Arts)
Eva Horn (University of Vienna, Austria)
World Ends Day Part Ⅱ
Time: 8 am (California) / 11am (New York) / 4pm (UK) / 5pm (EU) / 8:30pm (India) / 11pm(Singapore)
Rustom Bharucha (Writer and Dramaturg, India)
Zarina Muhammad (LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore)
Shankar Venkateswaran (Theatre director, India)
The event is supported by the University of Antwerp's Research Centre for Visual Poetics and LASALLE College for the Arts, in collaboration with Performance Studies international as part of PSi Constellate.
Steve Dixon is President of LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, one of Asia's leading arts institutions. His latest book, Cybernetic Existentialism Freedom, Systems and Being-for-Others in Contemporary Arts and Performance (Routledge 2020), reanimates and fuses the ideas of existentialist philosophy with the systems sciences of cybernetics to present an illuminating methodology to critique contemporary arts. He is also the author of Digital Performance (MIT Press 2007), co-founder and Advisory Editor of the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media (Routledge).
Eva Horn, professor of Modern German Literature and Cultural Theory, Dept. of German, University of Vienna. She is the author of The Future as Catastrophe. Imagining Disaster in the Modern Age (Columbia UP 2018), and, with H. Bergthaller, The Anthropocene. Key Issues for the Humanities (Routledge 2019). She is the founder and director of the Vienna Anthropocene Network
Amanda Piña is a Mexican-Chilean-Austrian artist and cultural worker living between Vienna and Mexico City. Her work is concerned with the decolonisation of art, focusing on the political and social power of movement. Her works are contemporary rituals for temporary dismantling the ideological separations between modern and traditional, the human, the animal and the vegetal, nature and culture. She currently works on the realisation of the long-term project Endangered Human Movements dedicated to movements and cultural practices that have already vanished or are threatened with extinction. Amanda is a research fellow at Amsterdam University of the Arts.
Rustom Bharucha is the author of several books, including Theatre and the World, The Politics of Cultural Practice, Terror and Performance, and the recently published Performing the Ramayana Tradition: Enactments, Interpretations, and Arguments, co-edited with Paula Richman. Last year, during the first phase of the pandemic, he produced a 9-episode video-lecture on Theatre and the Coronavirus, which is available on https://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-http://berlin.de/.../interweav.../online-projects/index.html
Sankar Venkateswaran, is a theatre director from India. He lives and works from Sahyande Theatre, a theatre-dwelling he built in the mountain valley of Attappadi, Kerala. His works include Criminal Tribes Act, Ibsen’s When We Dead Awaken, Shogo Ohta’s Water Station, and INDIKA for Munich Volkstheater. He served as the artistic director for International Theatre Festival of Kerala in 2016 and 2017. He is a recipient of Ibsen Scholarship, Norway in 2013.
Zarina Muhammad is an artist, educator and researcher whose practice is deeply entwined with a critical re-examination of oral histories, ethnographic literature and other historiographic accounts about Southeast Asia. Working at the intersections of performance, installation, text, ritual, sound and moving image, she is interested in the broader contexts of myth-making, haunted historiographies and role of the artist as “cultural ventriloquist” who lends polyphonic voices to data-driven systems and shapeshifting worlds. Her work has been presented at Singapore Art Museum (Singapore), ArtScience Museum (Singapore), NTU Centreof Contemporary Art (Singapore), Indonesia Contemporary Art Network (Indonesia), and at the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (Taiwan,) among other notable venues in Asia Pacific and Europe.
New Book: European Film Remakes (ed. Gertjan Willems, Eduard Cuelenaere and Stijn Joye)
Visual Poetics member Gertjan Willems published a new book ‘European Film Remakes’ with Edinburgh University Press. Co-edited with Eduard Cuelenaere and Stijn Joye (Ghent University), this book is the first to discuss film remakes in a European context. Offering a variety of historical, contemporary, theoretical and empirical approaches to remakes, the book is illustrated by a wide range of case studies from across Europe, including films like A Bigger Splash, Open Your Eyes and Perfect Strangers. Although commonly understood as a typical Hollywood practice, this book demonstrates how film remakes are, and always have been, a significant part of the European film culture and industry. You can read the introduction to the book here.
UPDATE Lecture Cycle: Visual Poetics Invites... Nonhuman Performativity: Theories, Practices, Methodologies
In recent decades a non-human turn has emerged within the humanities (Grusin, ed. 2015). Attention for the nonhuman world and nonhuman (f)actors is growing in various disciplines and research domains. This growing intellectual attention for the non-human is on the one hand a reaction to current ecological and technological developments, and on the other hand it stems from a dissatisfaction with humanist thinking and the representative or linguistic turn that dominated the human sciences at the end of the 20th century (Grusin, 2015: x). The various currents and theories that are part of the non-human turn (e.g. New Materialism [Barad 2007, Bennett 2010, Coole and Frost, eds. 2010, Dolphijn en van der Tuin 2012], speculative realism [Graham 2002 and 2010, Bogost 2012, Morton 2013]), animal studies [Haraway 2003, Despret 2012], or post-humanism [Haraway 1991, Hayles 1999, Wolfe 2010]) oppose the dominance of humanist or anthropocentric ideas in the humanities and science, and instead focus on the theorization of non-human entities, processes and capacity for action and performativity.
The most recent developments within the non-human turn also focus, among other things, on the end of human life on earth as a result of the ecological catastrophe that is unfolding. In the geological era of the anthropocene, the earth system and the ecological reality, but also on the entanglement of that system and that reality with technological and political issues. Extinction (Grusin 2018, Ten Bos 2019), spectrality and absence (Tsing 2017), the end of worlds (Danowski and Viveiros de Castro 2016) and death (Despret 2015) are key concepts of a performativity that no longer produces anything or may lead to a relationship with a void and finitude.
The shifts referred to as the non-human turn, however, do not only take place within the academic world, but also in (interaction with) the current artistic world. Within the performing arts, cinema, the visual arts and literature, there is just as much increased attention for the presence and the agency of non-human (f)actors - both during the creation process and in the subjects that are dealt with in these art works.
This lecture cycle, examines the theoretical, artistic and methodological questions, approaches and consequences of the nonhuman turn. It will do so from various angles, as the nonhuman turn requires an interdisciplinary approach in the fields of visual arts, performance, theatre, choreography, literature, media and philosophy. Specialists are invited to offer a seminar and give a lecture about their perspective on the nonhuman turn. Ecology, dramaturgy, atmosphere, animism, contemporary dance, performance of technology... will all come the fore during this year-long cycle.
For inquiries, contact Kristof van Baarle: email@example.com.
This lecture cycle is connected to a monthly Ph D Seminar by the guest speakers. More information here.
COIL Project between UAntwerp and LASALLE College of the Arts
Film still from a video tour through São Paolo by Juliana Moraes (State University of Campinas)
With classes going online again, lecturers and researchers Felipe Cervera (LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore), Kyoko Iwaki and Kristof van Baarle (both Antwerp University) seek to make to most of it and think not only in terms of limitations, but of opportunities. Working online affords easier international collaboration and exchange and that is why they chose to create a COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) module within a Performance Analysis course taught in both Antwerp University's Theatre- Film and Literature studies programme and LASALLE College of the Arts' Acting and Musical Theatre programmes.
Space and time constitute the basis of any given theatre performance: being ‘here-and-now’ together in the same place with others for a limited duration of time has long been considered as the prerequisite of performances. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, theatre-goers were introduced to novel forms of performances in which spaces were dismantled, time was disintegrated, and various modes of consciousness were flattened to a single unit of quarantine space-and-time. Taking this first-hand experience as the base of reflection, students of LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore) and Antwerp University (Belgium) will take part in a five-week COIL (Collaborate Online International Learning) exercise, which will focus on understanding the emerging dramaturgies of space in performances that are appearing in relation to digital arenas and outdoor spaces.
During the COIL period, an introductory session and three lectures that deal with various theoretical and artistic aspects of these conditions will be taught by lecturers from Antwerp and Singapore. These sessions provide context and a step-up for the group assignment connected to this COIL exercise, in which acting students from LASALLE College of the Arts and theatre-and film studies students from Antwerp University will be working closely together. They will do so in the development of a site-specific performance around spatial objects (whether hospitals, parking lots, cemeteries, derelict factories, or historic buildings) in a city they don't know: São Paolo, Brazil. São Paolo, one of the worst-hit places by the virus, is chosen precisely because students from Antwerp and Singapore are equally distanced from the city. The very act of distancing enables the students to be critical to their own COVID-19 experience: be vigilant of cultural appropriations, be wary of universal narratives, and be attentive to political issues tied to the local histories. A video tour through São Paolo especially made for this occasion by Juliana Moraes, professor at the State University of Campinas (BR), offered a first insight and impression of the city.
Conceptually inspired by Australian theatre director Samara Harsh’s Body of Knowledge, through which around a dozen teenagers from Australia make multiple international phone calls to audiences sitting at their homes across the world to ask philosophical, political, and ecological questions, seeking to build an intercultural body of knowledge, students from these two different cities will collaborate to build a shared knowledge on how to reconfigure various on- and offline performative spaces in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. In short, students - and for that matter, lectureres alike - will be acknowledged to approach public, digital, and atmospheric spaces as “performative objects” and interrogate how the understanding of these objects has transformed in the past few months.
We consider this collaboration a first step in what promises to be an exciting long term exchange!