David Adamo, Einat Amir, Keren Cytter, Brendan Fernandes, Carole Douillard, Dora García.
Curated by Elisabeth Byre in collaboration with Christian Alandete
No Sense of Place is an attempt to look at the interplay between performance art, physical spaces and media. The project title is inspired by Joshua Meyrowitz’ book of the same name from 1986 on how electronic media, primarily television, were dissolving the historical relationship between social behaviour and physical place. Of course, the digital social media of today have far exceeded Meyrowitz’ original observations. Still, the ideas of place and placelessness in relation to social interaction trigger relevant questions when applied to the relationship between performance-based art, originally based on live performance, and its various documentation and reproduction possibilities.
As an art form historically existing outside, and at times also in opposition to the material universe of art objects, performance art has nonetheless always relied on documentation (written, recorded, photographed) as evidence of its existence in the aftermath. In the gap between past and present, between performance and reproduction, the significance of place becomes crucial. How does the context of the place influence our understanding and perception of the performance ? And how, for example, can the artist manipulate the relationship between performer and audience when the performance is transferred from one space and time to another ?
No Sense of Place presents some performance practices in contemporary art production that address the issue of place. Consisting of various media and representation techniques such as video, sound recording, dance, or text, the works of these artists operate somewhere between ‘classic’ performances, taking place in a here-and-now with performer and audience present, and reproduction. No Sense of Place is therefore a double construct : it is an independent exhibition, presenting installations, video, photography, texts and objects ; but it is also a performance programme that will take place on 26 November, and for which the exhibition will function as a backdrop and raw material.
No Sense of Place : performance program. Curated by Elisabeth Byre in collaboration with Christian Alandete Free entrance !
10:00 - Route 50 E from Bergen bus station, platform 3 to Sandsli-Birkelandskrysset terminal
12:00 - Lille Lungegårdsvann
14:00 - Hurtigruten quay / kai
15:00 - Police station / Politistasjonen (Allehelgens gate 6)
17:00 - Motehuset Sundt (Torgallmenningen 14)
19:00 - Garage bar (Christies gate14)
Garcia presents the work Prayers (2007-2011), an ongoing performance project started in 2007 and hitherto performed in Madrid, Jerusalem, Bristol, Cartagena de Indias, and Cracow. Six performers will be placed in six different public locations. Their instructions will be to describe their surroundings non-stop for a given period of time on a given day and to record the process. The recordings will later be uploaded to a website that will make it possible to combine the different recordings in complex patterns of sound. A give-away map in the exhibition space describes the location, date and times of ‘recorded sites’. The exhibition space functions both as an information platform for the performances that will take place, and as a mapping of the city.
Performers : Kari Bjørgo Johnsen, Nicholas Møllerhaug, Hilde Pedersen, Hilde Skevik, Agnete Strøm, Daniel Thornhill
Ideal Viewer, 2011 Bergen Kunsthall NO5 12:00-17:00 and 20.00-21.30
Performer : Suzanne H. Smart
Courtesy : The artist and Scaramouche Gallery, New York
In Einat Amir‘s works, the viewer is often invited to participate, or even to take the role of the protagonist. She presents the work Ideal Viewer (2009), a video installation based on three video performances. Two male actors, playing an art critic and the artist’s ex boyfriend respectively, speak directly to the viewer in consecutive monologues. Against the backdrop of abstract paintings, their faces appear on a pair of flat screens on the wall. On the floor are two screens : one is similar to the wall screens, but broken, while a small screen shows a woman crying bitterly. Through the three actors, Amir plays with our understanding of an exhibition as a place for reflection upon art in general, but also of this specific art work in itself. The relationship between what is explained for us by the performers and what is actually happening becomes unclear.
For the live performance, the female actor is present in the exhibition space, adding another level of disorientation for the ’ideal viewer’.
Untitled, 2011 Bergen Kunsthall Time to be announced
David Adamo often alters familiar objects to create new, distorted readings of our everyday surroundings. In No Sense of Place, Adamo introduces four works that together link this exhibition with the past, present and future of other spaces and performances. A video projection the size of a post card, titled Untitled (My Skull Is Too Small) (2010), documents the performance My Own Private Marathon from the Whitney Biennial in New York, where Adamo tried to walk the same distance as a marathon within the space of the Whitney Museum. Alone in the museum at night, he slept in front of another artist’s work and ended up dancing a waltz with himself in an empty video room.
As a continuation of this project, Adamo will conduct and document a live performance within the space of the exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall by the artist Tauba Auerbach, and, hopefully, present the performance elsewhere in the future.
— Carole Douillard
This sign I make, 2011 Landmark, 20:30
Carole Douillard is occupied with themes such as the presence of the audience, the space of the performance and the significance of signs. Douillard often uses her own body as the main material of her work, as she does in the large colour print This Sign I Make (2011) exhibited in NO5, which depicts a single gesture : a hand making a circle. The title of the work can be seen as a leitmotif in Douillard’s performance practice, where the act of performing itself is discussed. The photograph precedes and points towards the performance she will carry out in Landmark, This Sign I Make. The performance with the same title as the photograph, is dealing with the influence of the artist’s presence in the room.
Show Real Drama, 2011 Landmark, 21:30, 45 min.
Performers : Fabian Stumm, Susie Meyer Director : Keren Cytter Video : Mia Meyer / Keren Cytter
Show Real Drama is staged as a theatre performance where the two actors’ lives are woven into a script they are writing about characters and scenes they would like to perform. With the help of a back-projected video, the audience is guided through several stages in the performer’s life.
Synposis : Susie and Fabian are actors that needed a showreel. Because they didn’t have any acting jobs they decided to write a script for scenes they would like to act one day. They made two scenes. In the play these two showreel scenes function as the brakes between the acts Show, act Real, and act Drama.
While they are in the back of the stage - Their text is referring to their relationships and memories. When they are standing in the front of the stage, their text is referring to the stage and their acting career. When they are reaching the center of the stage they are reenacting their showreel or dialogs from the past.
Gallery No.5 is Bergen Kunsthalls Rasmus Meyers allé 5, 5015 Bergen, Norway