Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories

The conference seeks to open up new perspectives on storytelling, narrativisations of history and their embodiment in performative arts and practices in Southeast Asia. Central questions are how, in very different ways, these practices offer new potentials to be presented, understood and collected, and how diverse audiences are mobilised by performative arts in relation to the conditions of community building inside and outside the realm of cultural institutions.

Contemporary performance art is characterised by hybridity, non-linear temporalities, cross-media connections, and the social contexts of various (art) histories. In addition to performance practices and modes of presentation, the entangled mythologies, literary narratives and political histories of Southeast Asia and the West also exert an influence on the embodied knowledge in the social communities concerned.

The conference “Embodied Histories – Entangled Communities” discusses selected examples of performative practices as well as historical and classical narratives with a special focus on blind spots in traditional historiography, which become performatively embodied and thus tangible. These include the consequences of colonialism and modernity, the contingent political and cultural conditions in different regions, but also alternative perspectives capable of promoting the deconstruction and decentralisation of the canon in question.

Acting on this set of assumptions, the conference asks about the curatorial, scholarly and institutional implications of these practices: How can performance art and performative artistic and social practices in cultural institutions be collected, archived, exhibited, reflected on, mediated or transformed? What role do narrative strategies play in mediating knowledge and experience? How can performative and curatorial practices be combined? What can cultural institutions learn from narrative and performative practices related to their diverse audiences? Can stereotypical patterns of hegemonic narratives be unlearned, and which new experiences are generated in the process? How can these artistic practices be used to reach, transform or even constitute diverse communities?

Gridthiya Gaweewong, Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Kirsten Maar, Grace Samboh, Siuli Tan, June Yap

Arahmaiani, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Cosmin Costinas, Stefan Dreyer, Patrick D. Flores, Ho Rui An, Gabriele Knapstein, Doris Kolesch, Andrew James Johnston, Annette Jael Lehmann, Helly Minarti, Julia Sarisetiati, Simon Soon, David Teh, Ferdiansyah Thajib, meLê Yamomo

Dates and time:
Thursday, 13 June, 3 to 8 pm
Friday, 14 June, 9.30 am to 6 pm

Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
Invalidenstraße 50/51
10557 Berlin


About Grace Samboh

Believes in unicorn, conviviality and the struggle towards collective subjectivities—even temporarily.
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