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November 01, 2016

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SACRED:Homelands Collection created by Nikki Milican

To mark the extraordinary SACRED:Homelands festival of international performance taking place at Toynbee Studios from 23 to 27 November 2016, we have invited the festival’s curator Nikki Milican to create a collection for Unbound. SACRED:Homelands features UK premiere performances, durational/installation works and in depth conversations with artists travelling from Tonga, India, Canada, New Zealand, as well as Europe. In times of grave social and environmental injustices caused by war, pestilence and climate change that create so much upheaval of communities across the globe, the artists responded to SACRED:Homelands' invitation to make a “homeland” for a week in the East End of London, to gather, to share their lived experiences and what is sacred to all of us through storytelling and conversation. 

Nikki Milican is the former Artistic Director of New Moves International, producers of New Territories and The National Review of Live Art (NRLA), the UK's most significant and influential festival of performance that ran from 1979-2010.


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My choice of books reflect the concerns that arise in a curated programme such as SACRED:Homelands. I no longer read books on the history of live/performance art, as there have been quite enough of those. Generally speaking I will always choose a book written by an artist rather than an academic, as a strong artist's voice can, for me, be far more affecting as a form of protest and change (yes, some academics are artists, and some artists are academics - it’s interesting how the language becomes more obtuse).



The Art of Being Many - Towards a New Theory and Practice of Gathering
The performative art of gathering was something the NRLA did pretty well, especially in the audience’s queuing for shows. Had NRLA lived beyond its 30 years I would like to think the power of such a creatively and politically engaged assembly would continue to have a subversive impact on its constituency.



Small Acts of Repair: Performance, Ecology and Goat Island
I first brought Goat Island to the UK in 1988 when the group was Lin Hixson and Mathew Goulish and brothers Timothy and Greg McCain. The physicality of that first piece still remains a vivid memory. However, it is not for sentimental reasons I choose this book, I could also have opted for Schoolbook 2, because what remains so durable about their practice is their generosity of spirit in sharing it with so many. They are brilliant teachers and what better place to change the mindset of young people but to bring a radical edge to the classroom in their pursuit of the impossible.



Dangerous Moves: Performance and Politics in Cuba
Overt political voices have been subject to censorship in Cuba but as with countries like Chile, the more daring of the performance/street theatre artists have a habit of popping up in unexpected places and hold great appeal for those who feel they have little power to change things and are fearful of offering dissent.



Not Just a Mirror: Looking for the Political Theatre of Today
I was more fascinated by the publishers of this book. Called House On Fire, it is a network of ten festivals and theatres across Europe whose policy is to programme and co-produce work based on “the conviction that the arts have an essential role to play both in the communication between people and in the development of thought and debate about problems and challenges that our societies and the world are facing”. If I’d thought theatre had lost its political engagement a quick look through HoF’s list of Artist Creations and Thematic Events makes me wish I was still curating New Territories because we are not seeing enough of it here.



Exhausting Dance: Performance and the politics of movement
I ran a dance festival but was never a big fan of dance in the ways it was often depicted in the UK in the 90s. Thankfully I came across (then) radical artists like Truus Bronkhorst, Maria Voortman and later, La Ribot, Jérôme Bel, Raimund Hogue, Didier Theron, Xavier Le Roy etc., whose work helped create a festival that was a little more left field. It was work that encroached on areas of performance and visual art; this book explores these crossovers.



Museum of Water
I loved this interactive installation in Somerset House and this is a lovely documentation of two years of work gathering together a beautiful collection of public donated water samples, all of which had personal stories attached. As a resource we take for granted daily it was also a poignant reminder of how precious water is in many parts the world.



Turn, Turtle! Reenacting The Institute
At a time of European institutional crises can it be a symbolic moment for artists to reclaim the arts space. Always better to attack from within in my view.



Playing for Time: Making Art as if the World Mattered
A handbook for artists and activists, in fact for anyone wishing to harness their creativity to actuate change in the world. Perhaps a theme is developing here in this list - an urge for artists to reimagine our world at a time of upheaval and uncertainty. Lucy Neal gives a voice to over 60 artists and activists who break society’s rules and question our accepted value system.

and finally,

 


Shoot An Iraqi, Art, Life and Resistance Under The Gun
Wafaa Bilal tells of a very personal and harrowing experience of the war in Iraq and his artistic response to it in his unsettling interactive performance piece Domestic Tension and the global public reaction to it, "one of the sharpest works of political art to be seen in a long time," Chicago Tribune. There is a growing grassroots movement addressing issues affecting communities due to climate change, economic hardship, wars and disease. SACRED:Homelands will introduce artists whose similar concerns are ubiquitous in their work.

 

Top Picks by Hellen Burrough, Associate Producer at Tempting Failure 2016

Tempting Failure have created a collection for Unbound. The collection contains publications written by/featuring artists who are in their 2016 programme. Additionally they chose 4 of their favourite publications. Hellen Burrough, Associate Producer at Tempting Failure describes her choice.

Blinded by Love
By Franko B

 

Blinded by Love is such a grand beautiful book, with its embossed cover and gold-edged pages, it's almost surprising that whats inside feels so intimate and tender. Franko B has always been an important artist to me. I got my introduction to performance art and body art when, at sixth form, I was handed his first book by a friend who told me I’d love the work it contained. Everything from the way Franko turned his flesh and blood into art to the vulnerable messages formed in neon has moved me and inspired me, and motivated me to further explore the world of performance art. This book came out years later, it looks back at 15 years of Franko’s work and contains the same images that grabbed me when I was a teenager. They still affect me now. Blinded by Love is such a comprehensive look at the last 15 years of his career, accompanied by texts from Ron Athey, Jennifer Doyle, Amelia Jones and more, it’s where I always look when I need a reminder of how powerful live art can be.

Buy Blinded by Love

See the Tempting Failure Unbound Collection

Top Pick by Helena Sands, Legacy Producer at Tempting Failure 2016

Tempting Failure have created a collection for Unbound. The collection contains publications written by/featuring artists who are in their 2016 programme. Additionally they chose 4 of their favourite publications. Helena Sands, Legacy Producer of Tempting Failure describes her choice.

Ana Mendieta: Traces
By Julia Bryan-Wilson, Adrian Heathfield et al

Before I knew who this artist was I’d seen her images and they bothered me, niggled at me; provoking both discomfort and a desire to keep looking. Coming from a background of performance and fine art I’m fascinated in the ways in which she grapples with both worlds simultaneously.  There is always absence in her work, something lost or missing. Yet she is present. Her passion marking a vehement refusal to thoroughly disappear.

Her “ between-ness”, through materials and states, always stays with me - silent indentations, traces, blood and bodies, elemental substances stripped and laid bare in the natural world. Matter and myth in a constant dialogue. We never quite see the act but always the aftermath. 

Buy Ana Mendieta: Traces

See the Tempting Failure Unbound Collection

Top Pick by Hannah Moore, Technical Producer at Tempting Failure 2016

Tempting Failure have created a collection for Unbound. The collection contains publications written by/featuring artists who are in their 2016 programme. Additionally they chose 4 of their favourite publications. Hannah Moore, Technical Producer at Tempting Failure describes her choice.

Performance Art from Futurism to Present
By RoseLee Goldberg

 

This was given to me when I came back to London to do my Masters in Performance Making in 2011 and it has been a wonderful tool in the understanding of performance art through it’s manifestos and history. It journeys through the establishment of Futurism and Constructivism in Russia at the turn of the 20th century through to the exploration of Identity in the early 1990’s. To me it is an in depth vocabulary of performance art history, mapping its evolution and continued development in parallel to social and political landscapes. A must for scholars and budding performance art historians.

Buy Performance Art from Futurism to Present

See the Tempting Failure Unbound Collection

Top Pick by Thomas John Bacon, Artistic Director Tempting Failure 2016

Tempting Failure have created a collection for Unbound. The collection contains publications written by/featuring artists who are in their 2016 programme. Additionally they chose 4 of their favourite publications. Thomas John Bacon, Artistic Director of Tempting Failure describes his choice.

The Art of Living: An Oral History of Performance Art 
Dominic Johnson


Performance Art is somewhat ethereal when we attempt to ascribe it to anything other than the live moment.  What may often be lost in academic studies is what makes it in/tangible, tenuous, testing and often thought provoking in a way that defies attempts to describe or document it. The Art of Living: An Oral History of Performance Art, was released only recently and towards the end of my own doctoral studies in the phenomenology of performance art.  It therefore was perhaps a little too late to be fully incorporated in my own research but what it does is something unique in capturing the phenomena of ‘life art’, as Anne Bean would call it, through twelve oral accounts.  

Here Johnson interviews a range of wonderful artists, giving us access to their personal perspectives, philosophies and preoccupations with a tenderness that allows each to express quite rare insights into the nature of their practices and the lives behind.  Of particular wonder is the interview with BREYER PORRIDGE entitled Positive Surrender, that I first read in Johnson’s Contemporary Histories of Performance in the UK and is reproduced here.  It offers a raw and honest account of love and identity like no other and I defy anyone not be moved when reading it. This is one of my favourite books published by Johnson and I hope we are lucky enough to have further volumes in this same series in the future.

Buy The Art of Living: An Oral History of Performance Art

See the Tempting Failure Unbound Collection

April 13, 2016

Events ›



Patrons News: Tim Etchells & the 2016 Spalding Gray Award

Uncertain Fragments: Tim Etchells and Hugo Glendinning, 2016

Tim Etchells is the recipient of the 2016 Spalding Gray Award.

The Spalding Gray Award was announced in Chicago at an opening reception for Forced Entertainment’s current retrospective.

The retrospective includes presentations of The Notebook, and Speak Bitterness, excerpts from Complete Works: Tabletop Shakespeare and an event as part of Etchells’ ongoing collaboration with Matthew Goulish, The Institute of Failure.

With the Spalding Gray Award, Etchells will collaborate with Forced Entertainment to create a new performance piece titled Real Magic, which premieres in Germany this May, and will tour to venues in the US during 2016 and 2017.

Unbound offers seven of Tim Etchells’ collection of publications including Certain Fragments, an extraordinary exploration of what lies at the heart of contemporary theatre.

The Live Art Development Agency (LADA) established its Patrons list in 2010.
This is an invited group of inspirational artists who maintain an active relationship with LADA and Unbound, lend their expertise and advice, and champion LADA’s work.

 

April 06, 2016

Events ›



Patrons News: Anne Bean & ‘Moments of Consciousness and…’

Anne Bean’s current project Moments of Consciousness and... in association with Matts Gallery is available to view by appointment.

Open by appointment.
15 Meadow Works, Court St., Trowbridge BA14 8BR
Please email: moca.trowbridge@gmail.com
More info

A selection of publications by Anne Bean is available on Unbound, including Autobituary, images, essays and films of her original performances from 1969 - 1973 and the TAPS: Improvisations with Paul Burwell DVD featuring contributions from over 80 artists and created as part of Anne Beans Legacy: Thinker in Residence Project with the Live Art Development Agency and Tate Research.

The Live Art Development Agency (LADA) established its Patrons list in 2010.
This is an invited group of inspirational artists who maintain an active relationship with LADA and Unbound, lend their expertise and advice, and champion LADA’s work.

April 01, 2016

Events ›



PLAYING UP, the Live Art Game for Kids and Adults Launches in Glasgow

Make clothes out of food, lie on top of cars, dance with animals, remote control your parents! 

PLAYING UP is an artwork by Sibylle Peters, exploring the potential of Live Art to bridge generations. Drawing on key Live Art themes and seminal works, PLAYING UP takes the form of a game played by adults and kids together.

View the PLAYING UP dedicated website.

Live Art Development Agency Coordinator Katy Baird will be hosting a PLAYING UP public play-in on Thursday 7 April from 1-6pm at the BUZZCUT Festival in Glasgow as part of Close Shave, a programme of events and performances specifically for young audiences. More info 

Buy the Playing Up Game on Unbound

March 30, 2016

Events ›



Patrons News: Raimund Hoghe & ‘Quartet’ International Tour

This spring the internationally acclaimed artist and choreographer Raimund Hoghe will be touring his new production Quartet in the Netherlands and Lebanon.

The Quartet is a journey through different times and cultures, present people’s differences and commonalities, speak about death and celebrate life. More info.

Find on Unbound the book, Throwing the Body into the Fight: a Portrait of Raimund Hoghe the first English language publication that draws together a variety of international voices to create a fragmented portrait of the artist.

The Live Art Development Agency (LADA) established its Patrons list in 2010.
This is an invited group of inspirational artists who maintain an active relationship with LADA and Unbound, lend their expertise and advice, and champion LADA’s work.

March 23, 2016

Events ›



Patrons News: La Ribot & the ‘Mas Distinguidas’ Asian Tour

Exhibition view. La Ribot. Panoramix (1993 - 2003), 2003

La Ribot is a radically trans-disciplinary artist, her projects starting out from movement, the body and her origins in dance, and then adopting whatever practices, systems or materials her concept prompts.

Her piece with Mas Distinguidas, first performed by La Ribot in 1997, was the second in the series of her Distinguished Pieces. In her current revival, she has invited dancer Ruth Childs to inherit her role, surprising new audiences with this seminal and pertinent work.

In March the piece will tour Asia, for dates and more info.

Find La Ribot’s publications and DVDs on Unbound, including La Ribot, a double volume of work by and about La Ribot and the DVD Treintaycuatropiecesdistinguées&onestriptease a documentary version of a long production process that began in 1991 with the "striptease show" Socorro! Gloria! and concluded with Panoramix (2003).

The Live Art Development Agency (LADA) established its Patrons list in 2010.
This is an invited group of inspirational artists who maintain an active relationship with LADA and Unbound, lend their expertise and advice, and champion LADA’s work.

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