Politics of performance

Alternative Zones: Uncovering the Official and the Unofficial in Fine Art Practice, Research and Education

Strand B: The Politics of Performance


Christina Della Guistina, Professor of Fine Art, HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, NL

Stephanie James, Professor and Director of the School of Art, Syracuse University


Performance has a unique history in Eastern Europe. It was often born out political situations and social upheaval in the earlier part of the 20C. Tadeusz Kantor, a Polish artist, created an underground experimental theatre in Kraków and eventually practiced as a performance artist provoking ideas on denial and the disappearance of substance.

This strand seeks to explore the artist’s desire to act: to embody the work, and in doing so to experiment with space, time and materials. Poznan is the stage on which this strand brings together performance and experiment.

We propose to define performance through a series of artistic experiments/presentations to mark its value and significance in fine art education and fine art practice through the following tangents:

Questions that may be explored:

Which institutional conditions have to be met to perform, discuss, perceive, and realize performance?

What are the effects, the consequences, and the results of experiments in performance for its participants, the academy they take place in, and society at large? Should ‘delivery’ as a teacher and a learner constantly be revised through experimentation to better engage our audiences? When is performance ‘official’ and when is it ‘unofficial’ and what are the benefits in each?

This strand calls for participants to contribute to understanding the value of performance in Fine Art education encompassing a broad spectrum from performance art works to the methodologies in pedagogy. The strand welcomes proposals for live and recorded performances and reflections, as well as presentations of papers, group workshops and artistic activities in all kinds of formats.

Please email a 300 word abstract in English for academic papers, presentations or workshops with the subject heading ‘Paradox Poznan’ by the 30th April 2015 to: