UBS Openings: Saturday Live : Characters, Figures and Signs – Free Daytime Events

‘Signs and Wonders’, lecture by curator Guillaume Désanges, assisted by Alexandra Delage.

Part of UBS Openings: Saturday Live, Free Daytime Events.

Signs and Wonders is co-produced by Halles de Schaerbeek (Bruxelles), Centre Pompidou (Paris) and FRAC Lorraine (Metz). Signs and Wonders is a new work following two recent experimental lectures developed by Guillaume Désanges: A History of Performance in 20 minutes (2005) and Vox Artisti (2007). This new project proposes a subjective study of some major figures of modern art, as well as minimal and conceptual art, in the form of a mystical investigation. The work will question the links between forms and signs, art and Cabala, nature and culture, and coincidences and symbols.

Characters, Figures and Signs – Day Two, Part 1

Pablo Bronstein, Intermezzo (Performed by Adam Linder)

Pablo Bronstein (born in 1977 in Buenos Aires, lives and works in London), works across a variety of media, including drawing, installation, publishing and performance using Baroque dance movement and postmodern architecture to consider stylised languages of forms and gestures and how they express public and intersubjective space. Solo exhibitions have taken place at Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich, Herald St, London and Galleria Franco Noero, Turin. Bronstein has staged performances at Tate Britain, 2006, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau (with the the Bavarian National Ballet) 2007, Munich and Performa 07, 2007, New York. Forthcoming projects include a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Sculpture Court Commission, Tate Britain (2009/2010).

Characters, Figures and Signs – Day Two, Part 2

Round table chaired by Ian White including the following speakers: Pablo Bronstein, Martin Hargreaves, Jennifer Lacey and Martin Spanberg

Mårten Spångberg is a performance related artist living and working in Stockholm. He divides his artistic work between own creations in the field of choreography and in the shared practice International Festival together with the architect Tor Lindstrand. His conceptually oriented work has been presented in numerous international contexts.

International Festival creates collaborative project between performance and architecture, expanding the fields into a variety of formats and expressions from pubic space projects, to museum pieces, films and publications.

He is currently director of the program for choreography (MA) at the Univ. College of Dance in Stockholm.

Martin Hargreaves wrote a PhD on The Performativity of Masculinity in British Contemporary Dance at De Montfort University in Leicester. He is currently working as the Editor of Publications and Programme Leader MA Dance Theatre: The Body in Performance at Laban.

The panel discussion, which includes some of the participating artists, will reflect on the programme of performances and question the recent developments in visual art performance and contemporary dance in regards to historical precedents and ongoing theoretical discourse on concepts of performance and choreography and will address the following questions:

To what extent can gestures convey meaning in a ‘common’ language?

In which ways do choreographic forms enact or invent ‘culture’, and maintain or challenge hierarchies?

How might the use of ‘theatre’ within the context of a lecture inflect the capacity of an audience for thinking and imagining?

What happens when artists borrow gestural language from dance? How are those gestures ‘read’ or even intended to be ‘readable’?

UBS Openings: Saturday Live – Characters, Figures and Signs

Friday 20 Feb – Saturday 21 Feb Tate Modern and River Thames

This unique two-day event takes the alternately spoken and movement-based form of the choreographic ‘lecture-demonstration’ as its’ starting point, and presents contemporary dance in dialogue with visual art and discussion. Taking place on a boat on the River Thames, in the Turbine Hall and in the Starr Auditorium at Tate Modern, the programme explores a number of ways in which verbal and gestural languages intersect, staging tensions between language and meaning in a deliberately unresolved manner. This unique cross-disciplinary event features Jérôme Bel, Julien Bismuth, Pablo Bronstein, Bojana Cvejic, Guillaume Désanges, Jean-Pascal Flavien, Martin Hargreaves, Florian Hecker, Jennifer Lacey, Xavier Le Roy, Robert Morris, Tino Sehgal, Marten Spanberg, Catherine Sullivan, and Ian White. Whilst verbal language is typically seen as a system of communication in which direct meaning is created through discrete relationships between signifier and signified, gesture (and, often, dance) is commonly understood as being ‘outside’ language: functioning at the level of the image and therefore constituting a ‘pure mediality’ (Giorgio Agamben). Through their interventions and experimental presentations, the artists, curators and choreographers in the programme address notions of ‘saying’ and ‘doing’ as distinct forms of signification, challenging the idea that the former is descriptive, the latter, effective. The resulting ‘choreographies’ propose new cultural forms and imagine new modes of communication and participation. A full programme of events across the Friday and Saturday includes:

Friday 20 February Events

19.30 – 21.30 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern, tickets £5, booking recommended – Talk by artist Bojana Cvejic – Film screening: artists Robert Morris

21.30 and Catherine Sullivan, The Chirologic Remedy (extract) – Artist Tino Sehgal in conversation with Tate Curator Catherine Wood

22.00–23.00, Turbine Hall Bridge, Tate Modern Booking recommended Performance by celebrated dance choreographer Xavier le Roy, Product of Circumstances. Over two days Xavier Le Roy, molecular biologist turned choreographer and dancer will conduct Product of Circumstance a carefully devised lecture-performance which will explore the significance of gesture and language at play in the act of creating performance art.

Saturday 21 February Free daytime events

11.00, 12.00, 14.00 and 15.00 East Room, Tate Modern Jennifer Lacey/Florian Hecker, Robin Hood: The Tour Workshop style event, 15.00, 16.00 and 17.00 Bankside Pier, River Thames Julien Bismuth and Jean Pascal Flavien, Plouf! Semaphore flag signalling, reading out loud to each other, and signing between 2 boats on the River Thames!

11.30–12.30 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern Film screening: dance choreographer Jérôme Bel’s Véronique Doisneau and Pablo Bronstein’s Plaza Minuet

14.30–16.00 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern Artist Guillaume Désanges, Signs and Wonders

16.10–17.00 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern Artist Ian White, Black Flags

19.30 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern Artist Pablo Bronstein’s film, Intermezzo

20.00–21.30 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern Round table panel discussion chaired by Ian White including artists Bojana Cvejic, Martin Hargreaves, Jennifer Lacey and Tate Modern Curator Catherine Wood, discussing the relationship between visual art performance and contemporary dance choreography.

22.00–23.00 Turbine Hall Bridge, Tate Modern Booking recommended Performance by celebrated dance choreographer Xavier le Roy, Product of Circumstances. This event is part of UBS Openings: Saturday Live, a series of bi-monthly performance events celebrating contemporary cultural practice at Tate Modern. Opening up Art Tate Modern Collection with UBS UBS Openings: Saturday Live Characters, Figures and Signs is part of Paris Calling, a Franco-British season of performing arts UBS Openings: Saturday Live Characters, Figures and Signs is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator, contemporary art and performance, and Vanessa Desclaux, Assistant Curator.