The newly formed Performance Research Network aims to further the discourse around how performance practices are presented and sustainably supported. Richard Parry (festival director of GI) is chairing the first of three roundtable discussions and is joined by Paul Maheke (artist), Ned McConnell (curator at the Roberts Institute of Art), Zinzi Minott (dancer and filmmaker) and Lauren Wright (head of programmes for Metroland Cultures).
This first roundtable provides an introduction to the conversation, a moment to discuss curation in relation to performance. The event offers ways to consider how artistic practices can be sustainably supported, exploring different models of commissioning performance and live events, and partnerships with artists and stakeholders.
Richard Parry (chair) joined Glasgow International as its new director in May 2017. Parry previously worked as director and curator at Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool where he organised exhibitions such as Sensory Systems (2015) and Neon: the Charged Line (2016), which included works by artists such as Mai-Thu Perret, Fiona Banner and Paulina Olowska. He has worked as assistant curator at the Hayward Gallery in London where he co-organised Psycho Buildings (2008) and Tracey Emin: Love is What You Want (2011).
Paul Maheke is an artist who lives and works in London. He completed an MA Art Practice from École nationale supérieure d’arts de Cergy (2011) and was an Associate of Open School East’s Programme of study, London/Margate, UK (2015). With a focus on dance and through a varied and often collaborative body of work comprising performance, installation, sound and video, Maheke considers the potential of the body as an archive in order to examine how memory and identity are formed and constituted. Maheke’s works and performances have been shown at Tate Modern, the Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, Lafayette Anticipations, Baltic Triennial 13, Manifesta 12, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg and Chisenhale Gallery among others.
Ned McConnell lives and works in London. McConnell is curator at the Roberts Institute of Art where he works with the team to instigate and deliver a programme of commissioned performance art, collaborations with national partners on exhibitions and work to research and share the David and Indrė Roberts Collection. Previously he was exhibitions curator at Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park where he spent five years developing a programme of innovative exhibitions, events and commissions utilising the outdoor spaces of the park as well as the unique architecture of the Grade II listed, nineteenth century industrial gallery building. Ned holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art.
Zinzi Minott‘s work focuses on the relationship between dance, bodies and politics. Minott explores how dance is perceived through the prisms of race, queer culture, gender and class. She is specifically interested in the place of Black women’s bodies within the form. As a dancer and filmmaker, she seeks to complicate the boundaries of dance, seeing her live performance, filmic explorations and objects as different, but connected manifestations of dance and body based outcomes and inquiry. Minott is interested in ideas of broken narrative, disturbed lineage, and how the use of the glitch can help us to consider notions of racism one experiences through the span of a Black life. She is specifically interested in telling Caribbean stories and highlighting the histories of those enslaved and the resulting migration of the Windrush Generation.
Lauren A Wright has recently been appointed head of programmes for Metroland Cultures, a new endeavour to develop cultural activity in Brent and the Brent Biennial, following on from the 2020 Borough of Culture programme. She is formerly programme director at Siobhan Davies Dance, where she initiated the CONTINUOUS programme to commission and tour dance in visual arts contexts. She was artistic director of the 2015 Biennial of the Americas in Denver, Colorado and curator at Turner Contemporary. She holds a PhD in Humanities and Cultural Studies from the London Consortium, University of London.
This is the first event in a three-part series. The other two events are:
Performance Research Network roundtable discussion #2 hosted by Block Universe
Speakers: Alex Baczynski-Jenkins (artist), Than Hussein Clark (artist and founder of London Performance Studios) and Delfina Foundation
Chaired by Louise O’Kelly, founder and curator of Block Universe
Friday 2 July, 1pm – 2.15pm on Zoom
Performance Research Network roundtable discussion #3 hosted by the Liverpool Biennial
Speakers: Dr Harold Offeh (artist), Nikita Gill (artist), Julie-Ann Delaney (art collections curator at The University of Edinburgh)
Chaired by Dr Samantha Lackey (director of the Liverpool Biennial)
Friday 9 July, 1pm – 2.15pm on Zoom
Performance Research Network
The aim of the Performance Research Network is to further the discourse around how performance practices are presented and sustainably supported. Initiated by Block Universe in partnership with founding members Liverpool Biennial and Glasgow International, it is a curatorial-led and process-oriented research network.
It aims to advance thought leadership in the field, with a view to exploring models of co-commissioning performance and live events, and sustainably supporting artistic practice in partnership with artists and other stakeholders.
Liverpool Biennial is the largest and longest-running festival of contemporary visual art in the UK. Since its inception in 1998, the Biennial has become renowned in the international contemporary art world, bringing together a wide array of international voices and artistic practices. Taking place every two years, Liverpool Biennial activates public institutions, historical sites and extraordinary locations across Liverpool, ensuring major commissions in the public realm. Pioneering an innovative approach underpinned by a year-round programme of research, education, residencies, projects and commissions, each biennial edition introduces renewed thinking and scale of production. Having commissioned over 340 new artworks and presented work by over 480 celebrated artists from around the world, the Biennial is built on a longstanding commitment to connecting international artists with local practitioners, communities and the general public. Liverpool Biennial is supported by Arts Council England, Liverpool City Council and founding supporter John Moores.
Block Universe is London’s leading international performance art festival and commissioning body. The festival brings together cutting-edge performance art at the cross-section of contemporary visual art, dance and music. Held in major institutions, theatres, artist-run, non-traditional and community spaces across London, the festival has expanded internationally with sister programmes held in Italy, the UAE and Germany. Block Universe is committed to being inclusive and accessible, inspiring and educating audiences by producing and presenting work by a diverse range of internationally renowned and emerging artists with strong representation of POC, LGBTQIA+, female, non-binary communities. The Festival has built a reputation for launching the careers of a new generation of artists and actively contributing to the local and international performance art scene with a mission to create a long-term, sustained engagement with performance art and positioning London at the forefront of the dialogue surrounding performance internationally.