School of Art, Media, and Technology

Faculty Andrea Geyer Will Stage a Performance as Part of the Re-opening of The Stedelijk Museum

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stedelijk | do it! Stage It! (Part 1) September 27, 2012, 7 – 10 pm

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. 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. 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.

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.

Travelling two levels up, the second event within the program will be a performance by American artist MPA. Held in the new auditorium, MPA will use the space as a choreographed scene, developing a performance for this particular site. The auditorium will be taken as a spatial field, configured with geometric delineations produced through the use of sound. The piece will register the positioning of figure within space, and will tug on tensions between presence and absence.

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.”

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