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Arnolfini - est 1961

An evening of outstanding performances by international performance artists. Part of IPA Bristol Performance Platform 2015.


Programme of Evening Performances:

7pm – 9pm VestAndPage: DYAD VII (Full and Empty)
7pm – 10pm Ria Hartley: Descansos

Artists involved;

Alba Murcia (Spain), Robert Hardaker (UK), Sam Ford (UK), Öykü Aras (Turkey), Jolanda Jansen (Netherlands), Debbie Guinnane (Ireland), Amruta Mapuskar (India)

VestAndPage: DYAD VII (Full and Empty)

“Two and two, of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. Two and two… went into the ark.” Genesis 7:15

“Dyad VII (Full and Empty)” is the seventh part of the current “Dyad” performance cycle by VestAndPage on the danger of dichotomy, attachments to dualism, and the paradox of Ego. Interested in what divides and separates us, and how divisions are applied socially and politically as mechanisms, VestAndPage look into the ability to integrate again foreground with background, and content with context. Through a series of poetic bodily images, Stenke and Pagnes question how dichotomies, polarity and dualism are being employed as effective tools of ideology, propaganda or collective manipulation. When “Individual” or “Atom” is that which cannot be cut or divided any further into separate parts, why are we still torn by schizophrenia? What if finally the Ego is not only useless, but a paradox that we continue to uphold only to confine ourselves? What if we really are just one part completing something else? Each episode starts with the above quote and a conflictive moment between a mouse and a rabbit, both burrowers and symbols of mediation, procreation and vulnerability. The performance cycle has been developed and presented on the 2014/2015-tour with past stations in Toronto (Black and White), Amsterdam (One and Two), Zagreb (You and Me), Leipzig (Past and Present), Sokołowsko (Liquid and Solid), and will be continued in Bristol (Full and Empty) and Aberdeen.

German artist Verena Stenke and Venetian artist and writer Andrea Pagnes have been working together since 2006 as VestAndPage, generating art in the mediums of live performance, filmmaking and writing, and as independent curators. Their practice is contextual, process-led, situation-responsive and conceived psycho-geographically in response to natural surroundings, social contexts, historical sites or architecture, hence unrepeatable and subdue to the given conditions. In a poetics of relations it examines notions of perception, reality, communication, fragility and failure of the individual and the collective within social or environmental spheres. Animated by a nomadic, confrontational spirit, they apply the themes of acceptance, resistance, endurance and union with a poetic bodily approach to art practice. Their works have been produced and presented internationally in a variety of sites, museums and galleries, and have been described as transfixing, confronting, spellbinding, humble, uncomfortable, carrying fresh iconography, cathartic, visceral, liminal, otherworldly, shamanic, tensional, silent, delicate or mysterious.

 Between 2010-2012, VestAndPage produced the experimental art film trilogy sin∞fin The Movie, a complex visual research realised during three years in Antarctica, South America and Asia. The project examines the relationship between the ephemeral art form of performance with filmmaking. Their recent performance-based art film Plantain | Spitzwegerich (2015/2016) has been produced during their one-month performance including a walk of 1000 km through Northern Germany, Poland and Russia tracing the route of war escape of their ancestors.

 Stenke and Pagnes are the initiators and independent curatorial force behind projects such as the live art exhibition project Venice International Performance Art Week (2012/2014) and the ongoing global art initiative FRAGILE global performance chain journey (since 2010). They further collaborate with international theatre companies, cultural institutions and humanitarian organisations in production and education, presenting lectures and methodological workshop series. Their writings have been published in various books and magazines of contemporary art among which Performance Research, Flash Art, Studio Research, Art&Education, How we teach performance art, Re-Tooling Residencies, World of Art, Hesa Inprint,Research Catalogue, Nexus. Their book The Fall of Faust – Considerations on Contemporary Art and Art Action

Ria Hartley: Descansos

‘A body who has lived a long time collects debris. It cannot be avoided. But if a woman will return to the instinctual nature instead of sinking into bitterness, she will be revived, reborn’.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

‘To make descansos means taking a look at your life and marking where the small deaths, las muertes chicitas, and the big deaths, las muertes grandotas, have taken place. Descansos mark the death sites, the dark times, but they are also love notes to your suffering. They are transformative. There is a lot to be said for pinning things to the earth so they don’t follow us around. There is a lot to be said for laying them to rest.’

There is a time line to mark the years lived from birth to today. Along the line mark the points where roads were not taken, paths were cut off, ambushes, betrayals and deaths. We mark these times, at the places that should have been mourned, or still need to be mourned.

Ria Hartley invites you to make descansos with her, to walk the time line of  her years lived, and mark the places that must be remembered and blessed.

Inspired by Women who run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Ria Hartley is an interdisciplinary solo performance artist, researcher and educator based in Bristol, UK. Her work has taken forms as devised theatre, site-specific and durational performance, live art, installation, video, photography, one-to-one performance and socio-political art.

‘My work stems from my body, my lived experience and transforms through process, applied research and the desire to extend my body and experience to connect with an audience. I am concerned with recycling, returning, reclaiming and repair as my body has a history of trauma, and of being ‘othered’.’

Hartley’s practice pays close attention to memory, identity, human relationships, and shared narratives and often invites participation and exchange between herself and her audiences, seeking to blur the relationship between performer and audience, space and situation in order to open new spaces of thought and exchange.


The International Performance Association

The International Performance Association (IPA) is an international performance art event, which travels across Europe each year and takes place in chosen cities.

This year, the IPA Bristol at Arnolfini presents a daytime symposium and two evening events of simultaneous performance by outstanding international performance artists.

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