Interview Gavin Kroeber and Ant Hampton

english,interviews — simber op 31 oktober 2013 om 10:13 uur
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[Voor de krant van DasArts]

In architecture it is an honorable tradition: the design of imaginary or even unrealizable buildings. How would this translate to the performing arts? Block mentors Ant Hampton and Edit Kaldor invited New York based artist an cultural entrepeneur Gavin Kroeber for a workshop on ‘imaginary interventions’. “Can you write a description of a site specific show that is so fantastic that you don’t have to do it?”

The day after watching eight Dasarts students give a public showing of their work Ant Hampton and Gavin Kroeber look back on their work and express their ideas on interventions and alternatives for the ‘show’. “The presentation was the result of two days work with Gavin, starting from a one page prompt he wrote for us”, explains Hampton. “We wanted to create a sort of ‘charrette’, a term from the design field meaning an intense, responsive working environment designed to open things up to a lot of new ideas. Beside small, quick projects, on the market or other sites in the city we wanted the students to work with slightly less restrictions of time and resources.” The results were eight proposals for speculative performances and interventions.

Imaginary performances of course have a strong utopian dimension. “I like this Steve Lambert quote: ‘Utopia is not a destination but a direction’”, says Kroeber. “We try and stimulate the students to use the utopian aspects of this exercise as a critique, not as a model. During the working sessions it turned out we had to calm the utopian impulse. Students would think up worlds in which the performance would take place that would render the proposal moot. Yet the starting point should be that the proposed performance reveals something about thís world.”

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