Performance Matters

Performance Matters was a creative research project exploring the challenges that contemporary performance presents to ideas of cultural value. The project asked whether such forms of cultural practice are now being taken seriously in culture more broadly, and how they may possess the potential to refashion understandings of what, and how, things matter in the contemporary world.

Between 2009 and 2013 Performance Matters moved through four themed years of interlinked research activities, Performing Idea (2009/10), Trashing Performance (2010/11), Potentials of Performance (2011/2012) and Crossovers (2013).

Performing Idea culminated in a public programme co-curated by Adrian Heathfield at the Whitechapel Gallery and Toynbee Studios, London, 2-9 October 2010. The programme comprised a set of workshops led by three internationally acclaimed artists; a five day symposium with leading writers, thinkers and artists; a sound and video archive of seminal performance lectures; and a series of new performance lectures and redos by UK and international artists.

Contributors included: Wafaa Bilal, Hélène Cixous, Rabih Mroué, Janine Antoni, Ong Keng Sen, Peggy Phelan, Jonathan Burrows, Rose English, Tim Etchells, Matthew Goulish, Julie Tolentino, Ron Athey, Anne Bean, Fred Moten, Shannon Jackson, Maaike Bleeker, Silvia Bottiroli, Gavin Butt, Cabula 6, Augusto Corrieri, Lin Hixson, Robin Deacon, Hannah Hurtzig, Janez Janša, Joe Kelleher, Tellervo Kalleinen, Lois Keidan, Bojana Kunst, Boyan Manchev, Graeme Miller, Giulia Palladini, Owen Parry, Heike Roms, and Lara Shalson.

Read Gavin Butt, Lois Keidan and Adrian Heathfield’s conversation on Performance Matters below

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