emily roysdon – "by any other name"
13 Feb 2014

Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum
Entrance price to the museum + €2,50 Public Program fee
Sold out
Untitled, Babi Badalov, 2013
Untitled, Babi Badalov, 2013

First performance:
Thursday feb 13, 5pm – 6pm

Second performance:
Thursday feb 13, 8pm – 9pm

*When registering, please indicate which performance you would like to attend. Seating is very limited.

If I Can’t Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution and the Stedelijk Museum proudly present the second chapter of By Any Other Name, a new performance project by Emily Roysdon. The piece is an international two-year commission in which Roysdon undertakes the development of a vocabulary around the term “to discompose.”

The opening chapter, held in November 2013 at the Playground Festival (STUK/Museum M, Leuven) began the performance series by restructuring the theater space and position of the audience. Reclined between a floor-composition and a suspended screen, the audience received the piece’s movement, text, and tableau in an experience of horizontal performativity. Within this scenography of repose, Roysdon read the opening pages to Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, focusing on thinking as trespassing. The artist invited Eleanor Bauer to perform a choreography, Jesper Stromback Eklund quoted descriptions of Jack Smith’s queer theater, and Babi Badalov’s visual poems built a palimpsest of inherited and learned languages. Unfolding in sequence, these elements created a space in which Roysdon asked (literally), “What is time if not activism?”

About “to discompose,” Emily Roysdon says, “I’ve been thinking through this idea for about two years now but can’t yet use it in a sentence, which I find promising.” The idea is thus far a tool for Roysdon, one she is working through in this series of performances. She uses it in relation to site and performance, social spaces, institutions, and collaboration. Roysdon is also working through what she calls minor theatre, which denotes her desire to invest in staging the relationship of audience and text, while trying to “build a structure for people to be alive inside.”

For the Stedelijk Museum, this “discomposed” theatricality will be extended. A new chapter, developed in collaboration with students of the If I Can’t Dance arm of the Dutch Art Institute/MFA ArtEZ (DAI) program will be added as a prologue to preempt the stage.

Public conversation

Following the performance, Emily Roysdon will engage in a public conversation on the ongoing work of “By Any Other Name” and its central ideas. The conversation, part of the Emma series, will take place at the offices of If I Can’t Dance (Westerdok 606-608, Amsterdam) on February 16, 5 pm.

Background information

The new work of Emily Roysdon is commissioned by If I Can’t Dance within the frame of “Edition V: Appropriation & Dedication,” with commissioning partners the Playground Festival Leuven (STUK/Museum M), the TBA festival of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The work is also supported by Corpus, European Network For Performance Art, funded through the European Union.