De-Skilling Curation

De-Skilling Curation

de Appel, Prins Hendrikkade 142, Amsterdam

De-skilling Curation is a series of workshops aiming to offer alternative ways for engaging with and appropriating performance practices.

Artist Simon Asencio will lead the first workshop focused on his performance project Alpha Series. Alpha Series: The Invisibility Practice inquires the phenomenon of Human Invisibility - investigating non-scientific bodies of knowledge. The artist shares his training to become invisible, based on kinesiologic and psychic practices.

The workshop will be held at the de Appel arts centre on the 22nd of March at 6pm. Due to the capacity of the venue, the number of participants is limited. Please make a reservation by sending an email to onperformance.anxiety [​at​] Entrance is free with a museum card or a ticket for the current show, also valid for another entrance when bought after 5:30 pm of the same day. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes.

The influences of performance in daily life become apparent during public and collective moments, like speeches or gatherings. Performative skills are embedded in the way we construct our identities, enabling a fluidity of roles.

Within the art world, the role of the curator is characterised by a drift from one discipline to another. A curator can embody various characters for expressing her or his position, appearing as the nerdy art historian, the smart managing director, or the politically engaged social mediator, among others. These speculations suggest that curation can be deconstructed by looking at performance art. Questions such as: “what are the different ways for interpreting a curatorial role?” And, “how does a curator perform in various circumstances and environments?” consequently arise.

Investigating techniques and approaches used by performers, De-skilling Curation is meant to reflect and experiment upon possible points of contacts between performance practice and curation. It is a workshop addressed to curators but open to anyone. During the workshop existing performances are re-imagined into exercise, in order to question social and professional roles, by starting from the role of the curator. The corporeal consciousness within the “creative profiles” is re-evaluated through interpersonal and spatial relationships.

The notion of “de-skilling” is inspired by Claire Bishop’s explanation of the move from one area of disciplinary competence to another. It refers to a lower investment of skills in performance art, which started to happen when Judson choreographers, “were rethinking dance as everyday gestures; when Fluxus artists were poking fun at classical music in irreverent scored ‘events’; and when conceptual artists consciously renounced technical competences in photography. De-skilling entered art discourse in the 1980s, in the context of writing on conceptual art: It denoted the tendency to outsource the production of works of art to workers in ‘other-than-art fields’, thereby placing the artist in a managerial position. “

About Simon Asencio
The practice of Simon Asencio addresses invisible choreographies investigating the agency of parapsychology, cruising areas, rumour or invisible labour to expand the notion of performance. His project Jessica, which widely occurred in the past two years in various places and venues including Het Veem Theater, Amsterdam and Centrale Fies-Italy is extremely inspiring for De-skilling Curation. It is about the role of a background actor fitting any possible visible position in the management of an event, a festival or a theatre night. Since 2014 Asencio runs Galerie together with Adriano Wilfert Jensen, an immaterial gallery dealing with immaterial artworks.

De-skilling Curation is organized by Emma Panza with the support of Mondriaan Fonds.
It is the first public moment of an artistic research on methodologies of performance curation, and a prelude for a forthcoming event focused on the performance archive of de Appel arts centre. The next workshop will take place on the 21st of April featuring artist Luisa Ungar at Artis zoo.

We construct the others by projecting our desires onto them

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