In Transit 2008 – Singularities follows this curatorial premise: that we can no longer conceive nor perceive contemporary performing arts, and even contemporary painting, sculpture, even film, without acknowledging the shadow cast over them by the political and poetical propositions made (since the 1950s) by that new mode of thinking and presenting the live body in performance whose name is: “performance art.”
The deep influence that performance art has had over the performing arts in general has been a truly trans-national, global, effect—from Japan to Brazil; from the US to the Balkans; from China to South Africa…
With the emphasis on the here and now, on the material and political and affective conditions of producing and presenting the body in a art situation, what emerges are strong positions cast by small perceptions, micro-narratives that allow us to momentarily access a social or cultural totality via the force of a simple act, the concrete materiality of an object, of a gesture, an image, a sensation, or a sound.
All we are left with then are these concrete, discrete, yet powerful “singularities” and their social and aesthetic effects. Singularities are not to be confused with “oddities,” or even “idiocies” – even though there is always something odd in them, a profound strangeness; even though there is something always humorous in them, a profound clarity. Rather, singularities are critical points: points of inflection, as when water turns into ice or as when a piece of wood suddenly bursts into combustion.
This means that In Transit will not consider each invited artist or each invited theorist a “representative” of an otherwise abstract collective formation such as culture, nation, ethnicity, continent, critical school or artistic genre. In Transit 2008 will focus on artists who approach their work as provocative moments of unexpected transformation of certain conditions and perceptions.
That is to say, let us consider in this festival the role of artists as critical agents, as a force for transmutations and transformations (political, poetic, performative ones), as a “cultural complicator” whose practices, actions, and discourses are capable of generating unsuspected fusions and connections, as well as performing odd breaks and ruptures, by pushing established notions of identity (national, ethnic, sexual), of representation (of self, of Other), and of art itself to unsuspected points of inflection and mutation—boiling points, transitional points, tearing points.
These points are full of humor, color, movement, dance and thought. We do hope you will enjoy them!
André Lepecki, curator In Transit 08