Considerations on how VestAndPage facilitate a workshop on Performance art. Text published in: “How We Teach Performance Art: University Courses and Workshop Syllabus”, Edited by Valentin Torrens. Outskirts Press, July 2014. The book offers 42 different approaches to transmit the generative source of creativity in live action by internationally experienced practitioners, teachers and theorists of performance art from 21 countries. 340 pages full of ideas, points of view, methodologies, sensitivities, exercises and proposals to enjoy live practice with deeper involvement immersion, knowledge and study. The book begins with a clarification of the terms used to name this practice and continues with the cultural introductions previously to the appearance of the performance as an artistic differentiated activity. To see the performance’s creative nature and its relation with the game; its communicative qualities and his perception. It’s followed by a report on previous books and publications related to the pedagogies of the performance. Later, a description of education affiliations, inside the pedagogic common tendencies of performance courses. An approach to courses and workshop’s characteristics. It’s begun with the syllabus and the comments of the university courses and continues with the workshops. Some teachers have sent a text on their relation to the performance; in those cases, it’s placed before the description of the syllabus, in order to complement, from the subjective intimacy, our best comprehension of his work and his course. After the entire syllabus, there is a small biographical summary of the authors and bibliography on performance.
Andrea Pagnes and Verena Stenke have been working together since 2006 as VestAndPage and gained internationally recognition in the fields of performance art, film, writing, publishing and with international community cultural projects. They have been creating live performances, performance visuals, performance-based films and poetic writings since over a decade, exploring performance art as phenomena through their collaborative creative practice, as well as through theoretical artistic research and curatorial projects. Their works have been presented in museums, galleries, theatres and a variety of sites worldwide. Their writings have been extensively published and translated for international readers.VestAndPage’s art practice is contextual and situation-responsive, conceived psycho-geographically in response to natural surroundings, social contexts, historical sites and architectures. They inquire performance art not just as a medium to express their concerns and ideals, but as an urgency to explore the physical, mental and spiritual bodies, and to interface with the ephemeral matters of art and existence. In a poetics of relations they examine notions of temporalities, memory strata, communication and fragility of the individual and the collective within social and environmental spheres, applying the themes of trust in change, endurance, union, pain sublimation and risk-taking with a poetic bodily approach to art practice and a focus on universal human experiences. Their artistic collaboration has roots in contemporary visual and conceptual art, classical, oriental and social theatre, philosophy, anthropology, anthropoetics and political science, as well as in the study of rites, myths and religions, particularly Islamic Sufism, Mediaeval alchemy as well as the ancient Greek and Christian iconology to analyse the significance of a subject’s matter within the cultures that produce it. Working with material from a personal and genetic library accessed through insightful thinking and spiritual practices, their works are accessible by a wide audience, allowing viewers to address realistic contents through fresh iconography in an otherworldly surrounding. Their durational performances are distinguished by actions and sensorial details that undermine the conventional and put the elements of logic into question. These performances have durations of 24 hours or 5 days and nights consecutively, or can be month-long, as it was for the performance walk in their latest feature-length film Plantain. Their performance cycles and films are developed consecutively and in situ. The process of making unfolds as if in absence of temporality, as if the concept of time itself had collapsed to create a setting in which the present is repeated or the past is recalled. These works face philosophical, social and political issues from multiple perspectives, for example the belief and unbelief. While encompassing a range of subtly different concepts, they primarily express VestAndPage’s Weltanschauung while adding or revealing poetic elements as a rebellion against the exercise of power and discrimination among human beings.
Funded with support from the European Commission | Education and Culture DG, The RE-TOOLING RESIDENCIES project is addressed to both arts communities and art institutions looking to create arts residency centres in Eastern Europe and to cooperate with existing centres of this kind. The project aims to foster cooperation and mutual support between arts institutions from the East and West of the EU as regards arts residency programs. This will be achieved through exchanges of experience, knowledge sharing, and support of the professional development of cultural cadres. The present article fosters reflection to re-think at the role of Artist-in-Residencies with the urgencies of the present time.
The experiences of the Free University of Liverpool and the CyberMohalla project as examples of alternative education
My work relates to two principal themes or research interests. I work on the history of English law in the central middle ages, and have published and spoken on the cultural and social history of law, as well as one specific legal texts. I also work on the cultural and social history of religion, and have worked on both Benedictine monasticism and the work and impact of the episcopate.