stage it! (part 1)
27 Sep 2012
The Stedelijk proudly presents the inaugural event of the Public Program: Stage It! (Part 1). This evening of performance will showcase newly commissioned and re-performed works by VALIE EXPORT, Andrea Geyer, and MPA. Taking place in different locations throughout the museum, the performances will explore different configurations of the body and of bodies gathered together amidst the newly reopened Stedelijk building.
braiding of history with the current moment
On September 23, 2012, the Stedelijk will open its doors on the Museumplein, transforming the visitor experience of the museum. With the entrance relocated from the street to the Museumplein, the former rear façade is now drawn within the new glass reception hall and reframed as a monumental theatrical setting for the rituals of entrance and exit. This connection between the new and old architectures and their braiding of history with the current moment is the setting of Stage It! (Part 1).
performance art and its feminist histories
Amidst this context of change and continuity, this evening addresses questions invoked in the memory of space and considers how the Stedelijk can stage the new building to welcome its publics. The role of performance art and its feminist histories is considered pivotal in foregrounding the relations between body, space, and audience. The intergenerational discourse that is the backbone of this program engages the rich history of feminist performance art with contemporary practices, envisioning a legacy as the commencement of possible futures.
parcour of three performative presentations
The itinerant program of Stage It! (Part 1) will unfold as a 'parcour' of three performative presentations. Each staging will occur in a sequence that weaves the bodies of the performers and audiences through the new and old museum spaces. The tour will begin at the agora of the new entrance and will end at the iconic great stairwell, an important historical site of performance within the Stedelijk.
Comrades of Time
The program will open with "Comrades of Time" by German artist Andrea Geyer, a seven-part piece that folds the staging of bodies in public space through time, alluding to the conflation of old and new that occurs within the entrance hall itself. The performance draws upon speeches, letters, and essays written during the vibrant years of the Weimar Republic. Geyer crafts these texts into dense monologues, enacting a direct address to the viewer and a powerful encounter with political imaginary. Initially produced as a multi-channel video, "Comrades of Time" casts young women giving voice to the texts’ direct appeals to shared responsibility, layering the work with the formations of age and gender in political presence.
space as a choreographed scene
Travelling two levels up, the second event of the program will be a performance by American artist MPA. Held in the new auditorium, the commissioned piece “Direct Line To” proposes a looping feedback between the multiple interiors within a collected body. Sound loops will punctuate the distance between shifting points of focus in an environment that surrounds the viewers. A microphone, mirrors, and the mingling presence of the audience itself will be employed to activate unseen potentials within the space. The performance, as a choreographed decision, has been developed specifically for this site to call upon its folds and concentrations in presence.
Crossing the threshold from the new to old building, Stage It! (Part 1) will feature a finale of two pieces by landmark feminist artist VALIE EXPORT. Set against the balcony of the grand stairwell, the work "Up+Down*On+Off/ STEDELIJK"will present a newly commissioned performance that revisits a work originally presented in Amsterdam in 1971 at the “Electric Cinema.” Wrapping architecture and movement together, the piece combines 16mm footage shot in and around the Stedelijk just prior to the grand reopening with a performance that indexes built-environment to body. Echoing from the bottom of the stairwell, and throughout the parcour, will be the video work "Die Macht der Sprache", which displays the human glottis endlessly producing one singular sentence: “Die Macht der Sprache zeigt ihre Spur noch lange nach dem Schweigen.”
Stage It! (Part 1) is the first in a series of events that explores and animates the new Stedelijk Museum. The second part will be presented in January 2013. The Stage It! series is curated by Hendrik Folkerts (curator Public Program, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam) with Vivian Ziherl (independent curator and critic). Stage It! (Part 1) has been made possible by the kind and generous contributions of the Goethe Institute Amsterdam and the Austrian Embassy in the Netherlands.
More information about the artists
VALIE EXPORT is a key figure in performance art and video art, living in Vienna, Austria. Her practice includes film, video, photography, text, and performance. Initially expanding the Viennese Actionist project to confront a complex feminist critique of the social and political body, her works achieve a compelling fusion of the visceral and the conceptual. She has been exhibited internationally since 1968 and her works are in international collections, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; Reine Sofia, Madrid; MOMA, New York; and MOCA, Los Angeles. For more information: www.valieexport.at/en.
Andrea Geyer is an artist living in New York. Geyer graduated from the Braunschweig Academy of Fine Arts in 1996 and is a 2000 Alumni of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. She uses both fiction and documentary strategies in her image and text based works. Geyer investigates historically evolved concepts such as national identity, gender, and class in the context of the ongoing readjustment of cultural meanings and social memories in current politics. Her work has been shown at RedCat/Los Angeles, Hessel Museum Bard College, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Apex Art, TATE Modern, Serpentine Gallery London, Generali Foundation, Secession Vienna, Smart Space Project Amsterdam, IASPIS Stockholm, The Turin Biennale Italy, and documenta12 Kassel. For more information: andreageyer.info.
MPA is an exhibitionist following a living art practice. Her solo and collaborative works focus on performance in combination with photography, film, text, and sculpture. These acts, enriched with ritual, service a political exercise of the body stimulating questions for participation, resistance, and the intimacy between both. Her live work has been presented at The Swiss Institute, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Leo Konig Inc, The Kitchen, Larissa Goldston Gallery, Higher Pictures, Pilot TV, Movement Research Festival, Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects, Zendai MoMA, and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca in Mexico. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.