by Sukanya GargJun 26, 2020
Performatik19 showcased contemporary performance art or 'live art'. For 11 days from March 13 to 24, 2019, artists entered a twilight zone in which they tinkered with the codes of both the performing arts and the visual arts.
Taking place in Brussels, Performatik19 presented works by over 40 artists: Alexis Blake, a.pass researchers, Bilial, Bryana Fritz, Christian Bakalov, Dan Graham & Glenn Branca, Emi Kodama, Gabino Rodriguez, Gluklya & Anna Bitkina, Ivo Dimchev, Jamila Johnson-Small, Jan Vromman, Jassem Hindi, Taavi Talve, Jimmy Robert, Joycelin Cottencin, Jozef Wouters & Globe Aroma, Laure Prouvost, Léa Drouet, Liz Magic Laser, Lotte van den Berg, Melih Genzoboyaci, Meryem Bayram & Guy Rombouts, Mette Ingvartsen & Will Guthrie, Mieko Suzuki, Mike Schmid, Naomi Kerkhove, Natalie Bikoro, Noé Soulier, Nora Turato, Oracle, Pieter van Bogaert, PRICE, Radouan Mriziga, River Lin, Sophie Whettnall, Stav Yeini, The Monastery, Ula Sickle & HYOID, and Vera Tussing.
In this sixth edition, visual artist Laure Prouvost presented her first performance work for the stage, and choreographer Noé Soulier let 20 artworks from the collection of the Centre Pompidou occupy the theatre space. Alexis Blake and Joycelin Cottelin energized art-historical works and offered a fresh perspective. Jimmy Robert, Jozef Wouters/Globe Aroma, Jamila Johnson-Small and Mathias Ringgenberg shifted the boundaries of visibility and invisibility.
The historical backdrop of Performatik19 is the Bauhaus movement, which emerged 100 years ago. A number of Bauhaus principles have become deeply relevant again: artisanry versus mass production, the status of the author and the collective, the arts academy as a community of artists, and bringing art closer to everyday life. In the Bauhaus movement, the relationship between bodies and space was foundational to the development of new worldviews. Death, loss and performativity were also central themes in this edition of Performatik—in March the festival also commemorated the 2016 attacks on Brussels. During U-Loss and Bardos States, Barbara Raes and The Monastery, respectively, developed new rituals around loss. Lotte van den Berg and Liz Magic Lazer explored the borders between performance, therapy and politics, while IN/FINITY looked at the intersection between care and art.
Visitors were greeted to one-on-one performances, performances of three minutes to an entire day, rituals, performed research, concerts, videos, a parade, dance, sound installations, lecture performances, debates, constellations, exhibitions…and a party. The common element was always the live event, the encounter between you and the performer in the here and now.
The sixth edition of Performatik was organized by Kaaitheater in association with 11 partners across the city who all contributed their own expertise: a.pass, Argos, Beursschouwburg, Bozar, CC Strombeek, Centrale for Contemporary Art, KANAL – Centre Pompidou, Topaz / IN/FINITY, Wiels, workspacebrussels, and ZSenne artlab.