In April 2020 the National College of Art and Design in Dublin will mount an international conference on performance and performativity since the 1990s. It will be one of the College’s key contributions to L’Internationale research network, Our Many Europes.
Over three days, historians and critics, artists and activists will reflect on the ways in which performance – understood in broad terms as the activities of artists as well as other creative figures and social organisations – has sought to have social, political and other kinds of effects.
The 1990s was a period of considerable transformation, with the end of communist rule in the Eastern Bloc and the arrival of turbocapitalism as well as new forms of nationalism. AIDS activism as well as forms of civil rights campaigning for matters like same-sex marriage brought new forms of performativity to public space, as well as sharp reaction from the conservative right. The body-mindedness of much performance and political activism was a reflex of these and other changes.
From our Dublin setting, we are open to all geographies but are particularly interested in reflecting on those performance histories which have been poorly recorded or/and occurred in ‘peripheral’ settings.
The conference will combine screenings, talks, conversations and performances with invited speakers, including key artists, activists and curators from the period.
We also invite papers from scholars engaged in new research on the period. Proposals for 30 minute talks should be sent to email@example.com by midnight Monday 6th January 2020 (200 word outline and short CV). Invitations will be issued in mid January 2020.
Themes may include:
- New alliances, exchanges and engagements across the ‘new’ geographies which opened after the end of the Cold War;
- Artistic responses to the commodification of the body, of space and of arts institutions in the aftermath of communist rule, or the Celtic Tiger or the economic boom before the dot.com bubble crash in c. 2000-2002;
- Performance as institutional critique;
- Artistic responses to the AIDs Crisis;
- The street and other public spaces for performance;
- Performance in the landscape;
- Controversy, provocation, and censorship, and other responses;
- Collection, documentation, recreation, remaking;
- Movement, impermanence;
- Performance art and its connections/disconnections with theatre/dance, etc.;
- Audiences and participants, whether knowing or not.
Holding the view that the themes, issues and modes of performance in the 1990s are neither outmoded nor ‘over’, we are particularly interested in tracing lines of connection between past and present, as well as those promises of the 1990s that failed to come to pass.