Saturday 01 October 2016 – Sunday 01 October 2017
Image credit: Alex Martinis Roe, Our Future Network
In early December VASW supported me to undertake a research trip to Amsterdam to watch/listen/think/observe/gather and talk about If I Can’t I Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution’s Edition VI: Event and Duration finale programme (24 Nov -11 Dec 2016). If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (IICD) is in itinerant organisation that produces artworks and thematic programmes on 2 - 3 yearly cycles, working with artists, collectives, researchers, writers and philosophers to interrogate the evolution and typology of performance and performativity in contemporary art.
Occurring over three weeks in the east of Amsterdam Centrum in a range of locations, the finale programme brought together performances, talks, screenings and events that responded to and reflected the project’s title, Event and Duration, “with its concerns for lived relations, the experience of temporalities and modes of inhabitation within time and space"  with contributors including Leonor Antunes, Erin Alexa Freedman and Lili Huston-Herterich, Alex Martinis Roe, Fred Moten and Wu Tsang, Peter Pál Pelbart and Ueinzz Theatre Company, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Joke Robaard, and guests Jon Mikel Euba, Alejandra Riera, Michele Rizzo.
The framing of the programme was expansive enough to allow for a variety of rhythms, textures and contexts in the works created, yet central to many of the projects is an exploration of potential futures and ways of being. The duration and format (3 weeks punctuated with a plethora of projects) lends it audiences living in the Netherlands and although I was only able to attend the final weekend of activities, I have enjoyed observing vicariously the development of the programme over the last year and will continue to follow it in the coming months, as IICD present commissioned responses from audience members on their website. This form of engagement with the programme feels doubly interesting given the performative nature of the works presented — how do I as an audience member engage remotely with this sense of liveness?
The programme is dense and multifarious, with too much to explore in a short report, so I have chosen instead to write a few words about two of the projects that resonated most with me.
Proposing a performing territory “for all those who feel the world is crumbling around them"  the performance followed a creation myth in which Eves, Adams, solar systems, aliens and capitalism collide. Exploring the structure of a play in which there are more actors than roles, Ueinzz interrogate the interplay between madness, subjectivity, art and life. Witnessing a space between improvisation, danger, hilarity, clarity and confusion, what felt pertinent was a sense of togetherness, a kind of resistance to sameness and an acceptance for different states of being (lucid or otherwise) — perpetual negotiations or revisions in space and time between performers, realities and fictions.
Established in 1997 in São Paulo in a psychiatric ward by philosopher Peter Pál Pelbart, Ueinzz Theatre Company explores schizoscenic constitution and practice, and notions of radical care in the form of an ongoing theatrical rehearsal.
Alex Martinis Roe contributed a solo exhibition, presented in Utrecht at CASCO and a seminar, both the result of a body of work and research tracing the genealogy of ‘feminist new materialist’ and ‘sexual difference philosophies’.
The work is cumulative, generative and unfixed, proposing guidelines for future feminist networks and celebrating vibrant moments of feminist collectivity. During the seminar and while watching the artists' films, I felt flickers of electricity, of urgency, a need and desire for the formation of feminist spaces. In her eloquent and energetic presentation at the seminar, Deborah Withers, used the term ‘feminist circuitry’ to describe the networks for collectivity and resistance used by the Women’s Movement. This notion of the need for vital connectivity, circuits, rhythms, power and agency has stayed with me, and I take from these events a resolve to nurture, celebrate, remember and build new spaces for collective activity.
Alex Martinis Roe’s (b. 1982 Melbourne, Australia) current projects focus on feminist genealogies and seek to foster specific and productive relations between different generations as a way of participating in the construction of feminist histories and futures.
Bryony Gillard, January 2017
Bryony Gillard is an artist and curator based in Bristol. Her work is situated between writing, performance, sound and exhibition making. Often exploring margin and periphery, amateur or outsider, her research based practice draws on the notion of ‘constant revision’ — states of being in which structures or ideas can be subverted, dissolved or questioned.
Bryony is the 2017 Winner of the Peninsula Arts Film Prize and recent projects include: C~C - Tate St Ives, Surface Contact - Exeter Phoenix, The Stones Talk to me - Turf Projects (Fungus Press) Croydon, Molecular Revolutions - Casa de Pova, São Paulo, To Make a Work - Upominki, Rotterdam. She has an MFA from the Dutch Art Institute, School for Art Praxis and was Associate Curator at Arnolfini from 2015-16.
Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.
Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network