Performatik – the Brussels biennale of performance art – turns the spotlight on contemporary performance art or live art in cooperation with a great many Brussels partners. In this way we view this art form not only from the angle of theatre and dance, but also that of visual art, where performance art once flourished and is now coming to the fore once again.
Is it a sign of the times that living bodies increasingly occupy museums? Are museums skilfully responding to consumers’ desire for experiences? And do artists avidly adapt, for example by creating a theatre version and a museum version of their work? Or are they searching for new forms and methods of presentation that tamper with the established codes of artworks, audiences, and institutions? Over the past decade, Performatik has decisively opted for the latter. Performance art is an art form that is essentially fragile – and must be.
In this sixth edition, visual artist Laure Prouvost is presenting her first performance work for the stage, and choreographer Noé Soulier confronts the theatre with twenty artworks from the collection of the Centre Pompidou. 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. This relationship is also the premise of Radouan Mriziga’s work at Kanal – Centre Pompidou, Jozef Wouters’ work at Decoratelier, and Lotte van den Berg’s Dying Together.