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“A Little Less Conversation”/how contemporary performance art is exhibited. Stedelijk Musuem 01/10/11

De Appel arts centre and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam proudly present the conference "A Little Less Conversation".

1 Oct 2011 1:30 – 4:30 pm Auditorium, Temporary Stedelijk 2 Musuem, Amsterdam

“A Little Less Conversation” will question, in an unusual and dynamic fashion, how contemporary performance art is exhibited. The conference follows the previous inquiries into contemporary performance organized by de Appel arts centre, including the symposia “The manifold (after) lives of performance” (that took place in 2009 and 2010), which scrutinized the different ways performance is documented and collected.

Ephemeral and immaterial in its nature, performance becomes tangible the moment it is exhibited, whether experienced live or through documents. Although it is first and foremost an art of the here and now, the widest access we have to a performance, paradoxically enough, is still based on objects and residual elements such as text, photography, audio, or video. But how can contemporary performance be exhibited without these kinds of relics ? What role can performativity play in the presentation of performances ? What kind of relationship is there between the audience and the performers ?

“A Little Less Conversation”, the same title as one of Elvis Presley’s most famous songs, offers ‘a little more action’. Guest curator Marie Frampier tries to change the relationship between theory and practice in making a conference. Often, this relationship is successive, with a concept preceding the exhibition or an analysis emerging from it. In “A Little Less Conversation”, performance – as exhibition – and theory will be more intertwined, occurring in the same place and at the same time. The conference’s topics and issues will be questioned, performed, and made performative rather than just discursive and theoretical. The speakers will share their professional experiences as curator (Mathieu Copeland and Bojana Mladenovic) or theoretician/artist (Lilo Nein). Contemporaneously, the invited artists and performers will explore theoretical and narrative frameworks (Dominique Gilliot), question conference codes (Marie Reinert), and respond to some expectations of the audience (Richard Dedomenici). You could say that the performances are part of the conference and the conference is part of the performances.

Improvisation, infiltration and collaboration with the audience, as well as questioning curatorial conventions, constitute the body of “A Little Less Conversation”. It is based on an instantaneous dialogue between art practice and theory. There are no stages, tables, or scores, but rather a large amount of trouble and curiosity.

Speakers : Mathieu Copeland (FR), curator Bojana Mladenovic (SRB), curator and performer Lilo Nein (AT), theoretician and performer

Moderator : Dominique Gilliot (FR), performer

Performers : Richard Dedomenici (UK), performer Marie Reinert (FR), performer

Curator : Marie Frampier (FR)

"A Little Less Conversation" was set up with the support of Maison Descartes, Amsterdam.