rethinking why performance matters through the matter of performance

Party For Freedom - Oreet Ashery


Party For Freedom DVD – order here (DVD available January 2014)


Somewhere between a travelling cinema and theatre troupe, a kiss-a-gram and a takeaway delivery service, London-based artist Oreet Ashery’s Party for Freedom is an itinerant work that combines live performance with moving-image and an original album soundtrack. An invitation for self-organised gatherings to host and experience the work – anywhere from a sitting room and work place to public spaces and venues – it will also appear at venues across London including The Swedenborg Society in Bloomsbury, Millbank and OrganicLea, a workers cooperative on the edge of the Lea Valley.

Party For Freedom has developed from a residential workshop led by Ashery held as part of Trashing Performance.

Party for Freedom is loosely based on Vladimir Mayakovsky’s 1921 play Myster-Bouffe, telling the story of the Clean and the Unclean. It explores performances of liberation and political ideas around nakedness; and responds to the series of events changing landscape of Dutch politics following the assassinations of right-wing politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002 and film director Theo van Gogh in 2004, and the ensuing popularity of Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician and leader of the far right Partij voor de Vrijeid [Party for Freedom].

Including newly commissioned punk, experimental and contemporary classical music by Finnish composer Timo-Juhani Kyllönen, hardcore feminist four-piece Woolf, Yakutian-Russian musician Chyskyyrai and London-based musician Morgan Quaintance, the Party for Freedom moving-image work features an irreverent array of characters and scenarios filmed in the lush setting of a 13th-century church in the English countryside. Questioning the currencies of perceived Western freedom, the work draws on trash aesthetics, leftist sentiments grounded in the 1960s and 1970s avant-garde, the hippy movement and far-right populist claims positing Islam and immigration as a threat.

Party for Freedom will appear at five ticketed public London events. There will be an accompanying series of talks and discussions exploring themes of the work, and a live concert of the moving-image work with the original album soundtrack. Members of the public wishing to invite the Party to their venue should click here for instructions. A dedicated Party Line Operator will then call to discuss the request.

Artists taking part in the Party For Freedom film: Kimbal Bumstead, Miles Coote, Edd Hobbs, Lucy Hutson, Tim Owen JonesEirini KartsakiLynn Lu, Ana Godinho de Matos, Runa Norheim, Owen G Parry, Vanda Playford, Irene Revell

Music by: Timo-Juhani Kyllönen, Woolf, Chyskyyrai and Morgan Quaintance

performing live: Andro Andrex, Soren Evinson, Elizabeth B. Harris, Alex Der Matis, Phoebe Osborne, Andrew Kerton, Alice MacKenzie

Supported by: Art Council England, Artangel, Kone Foundation, Funen Art Academy and Performance Matters.


Further Content

See the Party for Freedom: Party for Hire trailer here.

Information about the PFF events produced by Art Angel here.

Solo PFF show in Overgaden, Copenhagen 07.09.2013 - 27.10.2013

Party for Freedom solo show at Photographic Gallery Hippolyte, Helsinki, 5th October-1st November 2013