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Curating Live Arts: Critical Perspectives, Essays, and Conversations on Theory and Practice

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Curating Live Arts

Critical Perspectives, Essays, and Conversations on Theory and Practice

Edited by Dena Davida, Marc Pronovost, Véronique Hudon, and Jane Gabriels

382 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-963-9 $130.00/£92.00 Hb Not Yet Published (December 2018)

ISBN  978-1-78920-134-5 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Not Yet Published (December 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-964-6 eBook Not Yet Published

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The outstanding group of researchers in this innovative book engage in a lucid flow of passion and creative power. Its narratives are drawn from experimental approaches grounded in their authors’ rich lives. This anthology is comprised of unexpected revelations about curation that break the barriers of its canonic definitions, while remaining concerned with Beauty as a fundamental value and the live arts as a celebration of living.” • Alma Salem, independent curator, Syria Sixth Space

“This is a rich, global compilation of pieces that explore issues of power, community, inclusiveness, belonging, aesthetics, history, embodiment, epistemology, and pedagogy, all within the context of performance and the live arts.” • Nicole Stanton, Wesleyan University

“In seeking to reinvigorate one of the art world’s most ubiquitous terms, Curating Live Arts both interrogates and celebrates the historical in tandem with new possibilities for intervention into the complex space between artists, arts workers, art projects, participants and audiences. It asks critical questions about the values, the sensibilities, and the preoccupations of curating the live arts, and includes writing from artists, curators, and activists working in politically urgent contexts far removed from the centres of ‘high’ art. This wide-ranging anthology makes an invaluable contribution to the complex aspirations of this ever-expanding field.” • Sarah Miller, University of Wollongong


Situated at the crossroads of performance practice, museology, and cultural studies, live arts curation has grown in recent years to become a vibrant interdisciplinary project and a genuine global phenomenon. Curating Live Arts brings together bold and innovative essays from an international group of theorist-practitioners to pose vital questions, propose future visions, and survey the landscape of this rapidly evolving discipline. Reflecting the field’s characteristic eclecticism, the writings assembled here offer practical and insightful investigations into the curation of theatre, dance, sound art, music, and other performance forms—not only in museums, but in community, site-specific, and time-based contexts, placing it at the forefront of contemporary dialogue and discourse.

Dena Davida co-founded, directed, and is currently the in-house curator of Tangente, Québec’s first dance presenting organization. She also co-founded the CanDance touring network, and co-founded and co-programmed the Festival international de nouvelle danse de Montréal from 1985 to 2005. She has taught at the Université du Québec à Montréal for over 25 years.

Marc Pronovost is General and Artistic Manager and a co-founder of B21, an organization exploring the social impact of artistic projects in relation to sustainable development. He holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of Geneva. He is the author of Art et développement (2013).

Véronique Hudon is a researcher, author and curator of living arts whose work is situated in the space between gallery and stage. She is a PhD candidate in Arts studies and Practices at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She currently collaborates with several periodicals in the arts field.

Jane Gabriels is the co-curator and Project Director for the Young Roots Performance Series at the Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture, City University of New York. Her publications include interviews with artists in Movement Research Performance Journal, Latino Rebels, and Bronx Dance Magazine.

Subject: Performance Studies Museum Studies General Cultural Studies


Prologue: Bethinking One’s Own Strengths: The Performative Potential of Curating
Florian Malzacher

Introduction: A Collective Introduction: Assembling a Seminal Collection on Live Arts Curation
Dena Davida, Jane Gabriels, Véronique Hudon, and Marc Pronovost


Chapter 1. From Context to Concept: The Emergence of the Performance Curator
Bertie Ferdman

Chapter 2. Exhibiting Performances, Process and Valorisation: ‘When Attitudes Become Forms – Bern 1969/ Venice 2013’
Beatrice von Bismarck

Chapter 3. Can We Curate Dance Without Making a Festival?: On Dance Curatorship and Its Shifting Borders
Elisa Ricci

Chapter 4. What Curating Can Offer Performance in Africa or the Aftermath of an Interview With Jareh Das
‘Funmi Adewole, with Jareh Das

Chapter 5. The Curating Nation: Development of Performance Curation in Singapore and Its Impact on Regional Cultural Politics
Ken Takiguchi

Chapter 6. The Curatorial Chronotope
Peter Dickinson

Chapter 7. The Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance: More Myths, More Weirdness, More Joy
Judy Hussie-Taylor


Chapter 8. Dance in Museums
Thomas F. DeFrantz

Chapter 9. Curatorial Discourse and Equity: Tensions in Contemporary Dance Presenting in the United States
Naomi Jackson

Chapter 10. Noticing the Feedback: A Proposal to the Contemporary Dance Field, and/or This Revolution Will Be Crowdsourced
Michèle Steinwald

Chapter 11. Email to a Curator: An Introduction to ‘The Curator’s Piece’
Tea Tupajić & Petra Zanki

Chapter 12. Curation as a Form of Artistic Practice: Context as a New Work Through UK-based Forest Fringe
Deborah Pearson


Chapter 13. The Artist-Curator or the Philosophy of ‘Do-it-yourself’
Julie Bawin

Chapter 14. Being in Vanguard of Sensibility: Artists as Curators in Performing Arts – A Study of Collective Affect
Kasia Tórz

Chapter 15. Familias: Artist-Activist Curation in the South Bronx, New York
Jane Gabriels

Chapter 16. What We Talk About When We Talk About Curating the ‘Unexpected’
Syreeta McFadden

Chapter 17. Because I love Art, I Want Art to be Different. The Project ‘Perverse Curating’ and a Few Things I’ve Learned From It
Jacob Wren

Chapter 18. Making Stage: Contemporary Dance and Performance Curation in the Caribbean
Makeda Thomas

Chapter 19. The Work of the Musician-Curator and the Notion of the ‘Concert Scenario’
Marie-Hélène Breault

Chapter 20. Pseudo-, Anti-, and Total Dance: On Collectively Curating an Experimental Dance Series

Chapter 21. Collective Creation and Improvised Curation: A Discussion with the Body Slam
Body Slam Dance Improv Collective: Gregory Selinger, Helen Simard, Roger White, Xavier Laporte, Victoria Mackenzie, and Claudia Chan Tak


Chapter 22. A New Kind of Critical Elsewhere
Travis Chamberlain

Chapter 23. Re-enact History? Performing the Archive!
Julia Kurz

Chapter 24. Choreographing Archives, Curating Choreographers: The Dance Retrospective
Joseph Henry & Fabien Maltais-Bayda

Chapter 25. Exhibiting Dance, Performing Objects: Cultural Mediation in the Museum
Erin Joelle McCurdy

Chapter 26. The Curator’s Work: Stories and Experiences of Tino Sehgal’s Events
Véronique Hudon


Chapter 27. Framing a Network, Charting Dis/Courses: Performance Curation, Community Work and the Logic/Anxieties of an Emerging Field
Roselle Pineda

Chapter 28. Food=Need: Constraints, Reflexivity and Community Performance
Pam Patterson

Chapter 29. ARC.HIVE of Contemporary Arab Performing Arts: Memory, Catastrophe, Resistance and Oblivion
Adham Hafez

Chapter 30. Collective Walks/ Spaces of Contestation: Site-specificity, Community Involvement and Mobility Employed as Curatorial Strategies in the Creation of Participatory Performances
Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte

Chapter 31. Sound Citizen: Curating Sound Art in the Distributed Public Sphere
Morten Søndergaard


Chapter 32. The Principles, Provocations and Promise of a Transformational Moment
Philip Bither

Chapter 33. Precarious Prestige: Curator as a Producer of Culture in Europe After the Year 1989
Marta Keil

Chapter 34. Festivals as Thinking Entities
Judith Blackenberg, Daniel Blanga-Gubbay, Silvia Bottiroli, Livia Andrea Piazza, and Berno Odo Polzer

Chapter 35. The Curatorial Gesture as a De-Colonialist Gesture
Arnaldo Rodriguez Bagué

Chapter 36. Are You Not Entertained?: Curating Performance Within the Institution
Rie Hovmann Rasmussen

Chapter 37. Bodies in Museums: Institutional Practices and Politics
Boris Charmatz, Interview with Véronique Hudon

Chapter 38. What Can Contemporary Art Perform? And Then Transgress?
Emelie Chhangur

Epilogue: Situation Critical: What Comes Next for the Field of Performance Curation?
Tom Sellar

The Curation Glossary Project: The Curation Glossary Project: Chasing the Intangible
Michèle Steinwald and Michael Trent

1. Practical space

  1. Marie Claire Forté
  2. Isabel Sachs
  3. Harun Morrison
  4. Cécile Tonizzo
  5. Victoria Mohr-Blakeney

2. Embodied space

  1. Yves Sheriff
  2. Shoshana Currier
  3. Nadège Grebmeier Forget
  4. Steve Giasson

3. Ethical space

  1. Natalie Doonan
  2. Nicole Martin
  3. SALTA
  4. Gabrielle Brandstetter
  5. Jaamil Kosoko
  6. Jean-Paul Rathier & Michel Herreria


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