September 14, 2016, from 8pm (20h) till late
Kosmetiksalon Babette | Karl-Marx-Allee 36, 10178 Berlin
Curated by Natascha Stellmach (as part of Babette’s yearly “This is …” invitation to artists)
Artists: Birte Bosse • Boris Eldagsen • Matthew Gingold • GODsDOGs • Susa Pankrath • Thomas Rentmeister • Natascha Stellmach • Lyndal Walker with Melanie Jame Wolf/Savage Amusement
“Fuck Art Let’s Dance” is an evening of performance, video and music, exploring diverse conversations with and on the body and invoking the spirit in this phrase – of pleasure and rebellion – which was coined in the 80s by literary subversive, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
In a time of excessive art consumption and during one of the busiest art market weeks on Berlin’s calendar – is the sentiment still relevant? Is it a call for action, protest, income, academia – or unbridled joy? Kosmetiksalon Babette, a former beauty parlour and now a home for art and ‘good spirits’ invites you to ‘dance’ with these 10 Australian and German artists to find out.
Visual artists Thomas Rentmeister, Birte Bosse and Matthew Gingold are our illustrious DJs and bring a bunch of beats and eclectic tunes to the evening.
Natascha Stellmach’s newest incarnation of her ongoing body of work Agent Provocateur – which critiques the role of the artist and contemporary art in society – is a performance in which she pens more ‘word plays’ onto bodies, this time working in an anagrammatic manner with the Ferlinghetti phrase ‘Fuck Art Let’s Dance’. In keeping with many of her ephemeral works, these naively scribed, yet bold words are ‘exhibited’ on the skin of participants for a night, to end up in the sheets, the shower or a selfie.
In an act of celebrating the body’s magnificence, Susa Pankrath’s durational performance is informed by the patterns she often creates in her new media practice. Dancin’ with myself takes place in an upstairs room, in which Pankrath meticulously paints her body, only to destroy it afterwards through heavy and sweaty dancing.
Great Exposure (after Salome) is the first collaboration between artists Lyndal Walker and Melanie Jame Wolf who has developed a performance – for the length of one music track – using Walker’s sensual and covertly bold series Silk Cut, which are photographs of erect penises on silk scarves that are designed to be worn.
Boris Eldagsen’s evocative, looping videopremiere, Poem #130, we see a forlorn medieval chapel and an old man who dances joyfully with the light; his only companion a pigeon. This silent work can be accompanied by any music, so that the DJ or viewer can ‘play God’.
Across ritual and rebellion, GODsDOGs create an anti-performance, which references war paint, drag and the mask. Created specially for this evening, a metamorphosis begins on a balcony and then descends to mix amongst the crowd for the entire evening.
Matthew Gingold’s collaborative new media work, Longing and Forgetting (LAF) explores the way that algorithms are increasingly used to influence, predict and ultimately control our actions. The work reveals both the precision and flaws in these systems as the video ‘agents’ flicker between accuracy and inaccuracy of movement. For its Berlin incarnation, and for the first time, the ‘agents’ will slowly spell out the Ferlinghetti phrase across the course of the evening. LAF was created in collaboration with AI and dance technology experts, Dr Philippe Pasquier and Dr Thecla Schiphorst from the School of Interactive Art and Technology at Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada.