archive

2020 to present



PSX

 a decade of performance art in the UK


12th to  19th August 2021

An exhibition of epochal photographs from the ]performance s p a c e[ archive. 

Explicit, unapologetic & poetic; these images act as portals to various collaborations, geographies and moments from ]ps[' past, while projecting that energy into their future(s).

The exhibition marks ]ps[' 10th anniversary, and celebrates an auspicious decade as the UK’s only performance art-specific, residential space, studio and gallery.

The exhibition featured works by Keijaun Thomas, Nicholas Tee, Benjamin Sebastian, Poppy Jackson, Nina Arsenault, Ron Athey, Kris Canavan and Elizabeth Short (performing as Nick Kilby), Bean, hancock & kelly, and Jade Montserrat.

The photographers featured were Manuel Vason, Andrea Abbatangelo, Marco Beradi, Anna Martinou, Alethea Raban and Paul Samuel White.

The exhibition was  activated with live performances  by our studio bursary artists Adriana Disman and Kelvin Atmadibrata.

www.performancespace.org

PSX: a decade of performance art in the UK is supported using public funds by Arts Council England.


Kelvin Atmadibrata, 2021. Photo by Zack  Mennell.



these teeming forms

Joseph Morgan Schofield

29th June - 3rd July

these teeming forms is a  performance film by Joseph Morgan Schofield.

The land, like the body, is an archive. these teeming forms is a process of communing with the land, of (be)longing with and to it. Textural and sensate, these teeming forms explores porosity - of the land and body;  of eroticism and grief. There is no going back. Queer ecology is enacted here as a process of wilding, looking forwards and out, towards new mythic relations with the land.

The  film is made in collaboration with Fenia Kotsopoulou, Mitchell Sowden and Zack McGuinness.

these teeming forms premiered at VSSL  within a performance installation.

Joseph Morgan Schofield (b. 1993, Rochdale, UK) is a performance artist and writer. Articulating their practice as ‘queer ritual action’, their work, which foregrounds the immediacy of the sweating, bleeding, wanting, sensate non-binary body, is broadly concerned with desire, particularly in relation to ecology and queer futurity. They offer performance as a technology of divination; a tool in the creation of contemporary myth; a place of mourning, yearning, processing and communing.

https://josephmorganschofield.com/

these teeming forms was commissioned by ]performance s p a c e[ and supported using public funds by Arts Council England.




Joseph Morgan Schofield, 2021. Images by Fenia Kotsopoulou (above) and Zack Mennell (below).


Gathering in a Time of Plague







We have established VSSL in a time of plague. In response to the conditions of pandemic, we intend that the studio remains a place where performance practices may continue to unfold, unmediated by the screen. Our work continues to foreground the power and immediacy of live performance.

Our first public programme - Gathering in a Time of Plague - involves a number of developmental and performance  opportunities, which were programmed by invitation and open call.

The programme is made possible thanks to public funding from Arts Council England.

FULL PROGRAMME




Forcing Hyacinth, Kelvin Atmadibrata, 2019. Helsinki. Photo by Julius Töyrylä.

Studio Residencies


Our studio community was  joined by artists Kelvin Atmadibrata and Adriana Disman, who undertook seven month studio residencies at VSSL, supported by Arts Council England and ]performance s p a c e[.



As an expansion of my post-graduate investigation of the performing masculine body, I was introduced to the language of queer abstraction and minimalist erotica that I have since been experimenting and developing within my illustration of the mecha and transhumanist fantasy. The past months of lockdown and consequential shift towards the digital have also evoked queries upon my personal pace as I struggled to keep up with both the pandemic and the online, both that have more than ever, evolved with such robust momentums. I plan to utilize the studio space, peer and mentoring support with VSSL to reflect on these observations and refocus my productive engine with the ultimate aim of progressing my current artistic inquiries.
-Kelvin Atmadibrata

VSSL interviewed Kelvin about his practice, the relationship between fantasy, the erotic, drawing and performance, and the importance of studio culture.

Read

 
The love of my life is performance art. In the current context in which we are not able to witness the work of others, my own practice has shrivelled. It has no physical or mental space. It needs the nourishment and accountability to more creatures, to discover how it is now and what serves it. Through the support of this residency, I intent to cultivate a nourishing studio culture that mobilises potential exchange between artists to re-energise my commitment to my own practice. I am not looking for a simple physical space from which to transplant an already known practice, I’m looking for sparring partners who will challenge and push me with love and become part of the space that will form the practice. I dream that in this way, I might find some delicious edges from which to push off and kick out into a new ocean. Performance is vast.
-Adriana Disman


Le avions de papier, Kelvin Atmadibrata, 2016. Singapore. Photo: Aziz Amri.


Thresholding, Adriana Disman, 2019. Curated by Caroline Andrieux at Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'Art Contemporain in Luxembourg City. Photo: Mike Zenari.







WARNING! The final boss is coming!!


Kelvin Atmadibrata, with Nick Wong and Chunlin Men


Friday 10 September 2021
17.00 - 21.00



Wanting to see the sea
And somebody to love me
Even monsters
Have a heart
A Monster’s Ballad,
Yuuko Aioi

(top) Deepthroat,  2017. Photo by FJ Kunting; (bottom) image courtesy of the artist.


Clasping his palms, a male figure moves them as if they were a fish lost from its school. Nearby, another similarly clothed body is slowly breaking a loaf ofbread into an empty small fish bowl and resignedly watches they turn soggy and uneaten. In the corner, a third performer with a pair of oven mitts struggles to stand still, making sure the sculpture he is holding stands upright. The threebreathing pedestals are accompanied by drawings, both printed on stickers onthe wall and hidden inside pages of notebooks as they invite the audience intoa larger fish tank, the exhibition space itself.

WARNING! The final boss is coming!! is the first in a trilogy of works by Kelvin Atmadibrata exploring the identity of a transfer student. The work narrates the student’s first day in school and within social context, it investigates the conflict between adaptation and alienation, self-inflicted or otherwise. The project is a result of the artist’s studio residency program with VSSL Studiofrom October 2020 to June 2021.



Performance Programme


Gathering in a Time of Plague featured seven live performance works by Chinasa Vivian Ezugha, Jasper Llewellyn, EM Parry, Niya B, Shaun Caton, Kimvi and Jade Blackstock. unfolding in and around VSSL in the spring and early summer.



Gathering in a Time of Plague compilation video. Videography and editing by Baiba Sprance and Marco Berad




Tongues, Chinasa Vivian Ezugha, VSSL studio, 2021. Photos by Zack McGuinness.





Chinasa Vivian Ezugha: tongues

Saturday 17th April, 2021

Imagine a new space, a space of possibilities- vocality and movement. The mouth is the new theatre. RE-imagining space and the placement of the body in space, this performance will use the tongue as the point of entry into a new performative space. ( I may need to speak with you to expand )

Tongues is a one-to-one performance by Chinasa Vivian Ezugha, with each encounter lasting around 5 minutes.

Chinasa Vivian Ezugha is a Nigerian-born artist living and working in Hampshire. Her work looks at the transition of Black women and their identity within culture from colonised subjects to emancipated figures. Vivian works predominantly in performance, using the medium to decontextualise and reconstruct what it means to be alive in this present time andtoprotest for a worldwhere we are all allowed to dream. She is the founder of Live Art in Wymondham, a one-day site-specific series of events that aimed to bring emerging artists working in live art to rural Norfolk.

Her work has been presented in venues across Europe, America and the UK, including In Between Time Festival (Bristol, 2017),SPILL Festival (Ipswich, 2018) and Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival (Chicago, 2015). She is the winner of the New Art Exchange Open Main Prize (2019), and a recipient of the Santander Universities Post Covid-19 Performance Making Enterprise Award (2020).

vcezugha.wixsite.com/work-in-progress

Alicia Radage: Quake

Saturday 29th May, 2021


‘Quake' is a performance that touches on queer ecology, joy and vibrations that call for a human rewilding within the ecosystems we inhabit.  

Quake is a performance in collaboration with milliner Rosanna Gould.

Radage has shown their work throughout the UK as well as Italy, Germany, Austria, Colombia, Chile and India.  They have been supported by The British Council and Arts Council England and have taught at Universities on Fine Art and Theatre courses. They co-organise Assembly with Jasper Llewellyn, a workshop and residency for Action Artists in Provence, France. They are one half of the collaboration Radage ▽ Hardaker with Ro Hardaker. Radage is currently making work at the intersection of Neurodivergent experience and Shamanic practice.

www.aliciaradage.com


Image: Quake, Alicia Radage, 2021. Image courtesy of the artist.


The Sunday Skool for Misfits, Experimenters, and Dissenters is a new free art skool devoted to performance, and created for outsiders, subversives, transgressors and nonconformists. It has been established by Skool mistresses Martin O'Brien, Shabnam Shabazi, and Joseph Morgan Schofield. The idea evolved from a desire to create free art education systems based on processes of mentorship and support. The Sunday Skool is dedicated to a politics of dissent and experimentation. We want to reach those that are less privileged and those traditionally denied access to the arts. The Skool is dedicated to creating a space for all, especially those often excluded because of race, class, disability, gender and sexuality.

This open call is for participants for the first iteration of The Sunday Skool. It is a twelve-week long course for artists and creatives working in performance and live art, and other experimental practices on the edge or in between forms. It is designed for those in the early stages of their practice (any age), those with experience in other art forms but who are beginning to work with performance, and those who are struggling to maintain a practice during the lockdown restrictions.

The Sunday Skool will take place online, using zoom, and is open to people anywhere in the world. Sessions will be delivered in English.

The participants will undertake workshops led by Skool mistresses and guest artists, talks, lectures and discussions by creatives and scholars, peer-led crit sessions, individual mentor sessions with the Skool mistresses, and a final showing of work in progress or projects in process. The course will run every Sunday from 18th April to 4th July (12 weeks). Participating artists will be expected to be available 10.00 – 16.00. (GMT) every Sunday for the duration of the course.  

The Sunday Skool is supported by the Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust, and hosted by VSSL studio.



Skool Mistresses



Martin O’Brien

Martin O’Brien is an artist, theorist, teacher, and zombie. His performance, writing and video art explores what it means to be born with a life shortening disease, politically and philosophically. Martin has cystic fibrosis and all of his work and writing is an act of resistance, a celebration of sickness and an attempt to keep breathing. He is best known for his long durational solo performances, and his collaborations with the pioneering body artist, Sheree Rose. His work has been written about in books and articles, including the major book about his work ‘Survival of the Sickest: The Art of Martin O'Brien’. He has shown work throughout the UK, Europe, US, and Canada. Martin is lecturer in performance at Queen Mary University of London.

www.martinobrienart.com




Martin O’Brien, photo courtesy of The Wellcome Collection






Shabnam Shabazi

Shabnam Shabazi is an interdisciplinary ‘artivist’, a maker and enabler of creative projects, working across a range of art forms through  a solo and collaborative arts practice. In her solo practice she works with objects, video, digital media, text, performance and installation. Collaboratively working with artists and non-artists in different communities spotlighting them and enabling their interests. Participation and creating platforms giving voice to uncomfortable issues are central to Shabnam’s practice, animated by the interstices and intersections between art forms and cultures. Exploring notions of site-specific, subverting use of existing spaces and committed to a ’without walls’ approach.  Her signature theme is ‘home’. Ongoing research explores the idea of ‘body as house’; the ‘artistic practice of exorcism’, and ‘art as a guarantee of sanity’.

www.shabnamshabazi.com







Shabnam Shabazi, Photo by Guido Mencari.



Joseph Morgan Schofield

Joseph Morgan Schofield is a performance artist and writer. Articulating their practice as ‘queer ritual action’, their work, which foregrounds the immediacy of the sweating, bleeding, wanting, sensate body, is broadly concerned with  desire, particularly in relation to ecology and futurity. They offer performance as a technology of divination; a place of mourning, yearning, processing and communing. Understanding acts of gathering and communing as central to their practice, Joseph’s work incorporates curating, producing, facilitating, mentoring and teaching. They are the co-founder of VSSL studio (London, UK) and the Assistant Director of ]performance s p a c e[ (Folkestone, UK). Joseph has performed throughout the UK and Europe.

www.josephmorganschofield.com



devotion : seduction, Venice International Performance Art Week 2020. Photo by Fenia Kotsopoulou.



Guest Mistresses


Ansuman Biswas was born in Calcutta and lives in the UK. He has an international practice incorporating, and often hybridizing, music, film, live art, science, installation, writing and theatre. This inter-disciplinarity is founded on a base of contemplative training.

His recent work has included directing Shakespeare in America, designing underwater sculptures in the Red Sea, living with wandering minstrels in India, being employed as an ornamental hermit in the English countryside, touring with Björk, spending two days blindfolded in an unknown place, travelling with shamans in the Gobi Desert, collaborating with neuroscientists in Arizona, living for a week with absolutely nothing but what spectators chose to give him, co-ordinating grassroots activists in Soweto, being sealed in a box for ten days with no food or light, making a musical in a maximum security prison, being a soloist with a symphony orchestra, bathing strangers, running seminars on democracy for monks in a Burmese monastery, making a radio telescope sing and dance, being locked in a Gothic Tower alone for forty days and nights, flying on a real magic carpet, and stopping time.

www.ansuman.com
Franko B (born in Milan in 1960) is an Italian visual artist based in London, where he has lived since 1979. Franko’s practice includes performance, video, photography, painting, installation, and sculpture.

He has performed and exhibited  at the ICA, London in 1996 and 2008, the South London Gallery in 1999 and 2004, the Centre of Attention in 2000, Tate Modern in 2002, the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham in 2005, Arnolfini, Bristol in 2007, The Bluecoat Centre, Liverpool in 2008, CENDEAC, Murcia, Spain in 2007 and The Crawford Municipal Gallery in Cork, Ireland in 2005. He has exhibited work internationally in Zagreb, Mexico City, Milan, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Copenhagen, Madrid, Vienna, Brussels, Warsaw, Dublin and Siena.

Franko has also lectured extensively as a visiting lecturer at a number of art schools, and in 2016 he was appointed Professor of Sculpture at Accademia Albertina in Turin.

His work is the subject of diverse monographs, most recently I Still Love (Motta/Il Sole 24 Ore, Milan, 2010), Because of Love (LADA, London, 2018), and I’M HERE  (published by my fucking self, London 2020).

An archive of materials related to his work is held as part of the University of Bristol's Theatre Collection.

www.franko-b.com


Kira O’Reilly is an Irish Helsinki based artist, her practice both willfully interdisciplinary and entirely undisciplined stems from a visual art background. It employs performance, biotechnical practices, writing and experimental media with which to consider speculative reconfigurations of The Body in its most expanded sense. She makes, writes, teaches, mentors and collaborates with humans of various types, technologies and non-humans of numerous divergences.

Since 1998 she has exhibited widely in contexts from visual art, performance art and live art, to interfaces of art, science and technology, and dance. She presents at conferences and symposia on performance and live art, science, art and technology. She lectures in visual art, drama and dance departments, and in renegade skools. Fellowships include SymbioticA, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, the Department of Drama, Queen Mary University of London, and as the Randall International Chair in sculpture/dimensional studies in the School of Art and Design, Alfred University, New York

The monograph Kira O’Reilly: Untitled (Bodies) edited by Harriet Curtis and Martin Hargreaves was published in autumn 2017. She co-edited Art As We Don’t Know It , published in 2020.

www.kiraoreilly.com




Open Call




Key Dates

Participants Notified: Thursday 18 March
Skool begins: Sunday 18 April
Skool’s out for summer: Sunday 4 July






Application Process

To apply for a place in The Sunday Skool for Misfits, Experimenters, and Dissenters, please write (up to 2000 characters) or record an audio/video statement (max 5 minutes) which answers these questions:

·  What are you pre-occupied with creatively?

·  Why do you want to take part in The Sunday Skool?

In answering these questions we invite creative, poetic or matter of fact answers, and encourage you to think about your way of approaching art, creativity and collaboration.

There is also the option to include up to two links to your work online - these could be links to websites, social media, or to google drive folders.

Open call goes live: Thursday 4 February

Open call closes: Thursday 11 March, 23.59








Access & ‘Braver space’

The Sunday Skool will take place on Zoom and we will use automatic live captioning as provided by Rev.

We have a limited amount of money available to contribute towards expenses incurred while accessing The Sunday Skool. This pot of money will be offered on an opt-in basis, aimed at those participants who self-identify as in need.  We will discuss the allocation of this money with those who opt-in.

We will discuss the holding of ‘braver space’ and any access needs with participants in advance of the programme starting, remaining committed and open to evolving conversations around access throughout.


Contact

If you have any questions about The Sunday Skool or the application process, please email Joseph: josephmorganschofield@gmail.com.



















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