rethinking why performance matters through the matter of performance
Trashing Performance

Outsider Actions


28 October 2011

Toynbee Studios, Theatre


With Oreet Ashery, Bavand Behpoor, Bettina Knaup, Rocio Boliver (La Congelada de Uva), Joe E. Jeffreys, and Platform and Liberate Tate

The history of avant-garde and sub-cultural performance has produced a number of controversial outsiders – from Jack Smith and Ethyl Eichelberger, to Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven and Leigh Bowery. Such figures have developed a cult status amongst a select few whilst being accorded, at best, a marginal position within canonical histories of art and performance. This day of presentations and talks explores the political and artistic possibilities of performing outside of, or in troubled relationship to, the institutional and professional circuits of performance staging and reception. What are the problems, or the licence acquired, in performing without ‘official’ backing? And how do outsiders fare at the hands of performance historians, archivists and critics? Do they deserve, or desire, to be recognized and lauded by such formal authorities, or is there value in remaining outside?

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Full video documentation of Trashing Performance is available to view at the Live Art Development Agency Study Room and the British Library