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Perform a Lecture! is a project in six parts that seeks to explore the genre of ‘lecture performance’ both practically and discursively. Developed in the 1960s as a subgenre of performance, lecture performances have been present in contemporary art for years. Perform a Lecture! brings together performances by internationally renowned and emerging artists, and approaches the genre, its history and recent developments in a series of conversations between art historians, curators, philosophers, artists and the audience. The presentations are organized in collaboration with various institutions in Berlin.
Perform a Lecture! seeks to reflect on the timeliness of the format and the ‘politics’ of the medium. Located between speech and action, between reflection and production, the lecture performance lies in a ‘grey area, essentially thematizing relations between art and knowledge or research, and art and its dissemination. Lecture performances potentially open up a discursive field on which to address issues such as recent shifts in the conception and understanding of the artwork on the one hand and the art context (‘third wave of institutional critique’) on the other.
Performance. While the then purely reflexive format of the lecture was first used as an artistic medium to question established concepts of the artwork and the mechanisms of the art context, current lecture performances use it as an already recognized form of artistic expression that can be put to many purposes. Six invited artists develop new performances or show projects that will be presented in Berlin for the first time.
Conversation. Six parallel conversations will form a base line connecting each performance to the others in the series and establishing a continuous, explorative dialogue. Inviting a different guest each time from the fine arts, theater and/or theory, curator Ellen Blumenstein and philosopher and dramaturge Felix Ensslin will attend all events – thus taking on the role of a ‘repository of memory’ that carries forward questions and output from one conversation to the next.
Artists. Dan Graham, Nicolas Guagnini, Pedro Neves Marques, Ellie Ga, Erik Bünger, Olivia Plender/Romeo Gongora, Will Holder.
Perform a Lecture! is organized in collaboration with the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart, Lehrstuhl für Ästhetik, Kunstvermittlung und psychoanalytische Kulturtheorie; Sonderforschungsbereich 626, Freie Universität Berlin; Tiergarten 1 (Eternithaus); Radialsystem V – New Space for the Arts in Berlin; .HBC Berlin; ICI Berlin; Salon Populaire / Kunstsaele Berlin.