Conference language: English
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?
With its focus on embodied stories and entangled communities, the conference is part of an ongoing research project and a polyphonic curatorial collaboration between Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, the Jim Thompson Art Center in Bangkok, the MAIIAM in Chiang Mai, the Galeri Nasional in Jakarta and the Singapore Art Museum. The project was initiated in 2017 during the development of the exhibition HELLO WORLD. REVISING A COLLECTION (Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, 2018). In 2020 and 2021, a series of exhibitions under the same title will take place in Thailand, Indonesia and Germany. The conference “Embodied Histories – Entangled Communities” and the following exhibitions deal with specific local narratives as well as the entangled political histories of the countries of Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and their intricate historical relationships with Germany.
The conference “Embodied Histories – Entangled Communities” was conceived by Gridthiya Gaweewong (Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok, MAIIAM, Chiang Mai), Anna-Catharina Gebbers (Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin), Grace Samboh (researcher, curator, Yogyakarta), Siuli Tan and June Yap (Singapore Art Museum) in collaboration with Kirsten Maar (Institut für Tanzwissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin) and Annette Jael Lehmann (Institut für Theaterwissenschaft and Cluster of Excellence 2020 “Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective”).
In a further follow-up to the project “Hello World”, the Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin will hold the conference “Global Museum: Where do we go from here?” in cooperation with the German Federal Cultural Foundation and with the kind support of the Freunde der Nationalgalerie. From September 30 to October 01, 2019, the participating institutions and international guests will gather to discuss results and consequences of the funding initiative “Global Museum”.
The conference “Embodied Histories – Entangled Communities” is a cooperation between the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum for Contemporary Art – Berlin and the Cluster of Excellence 2020 “Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective” of the Freie Universität Berlin, with the support of the Goethe-Institut Southeast Asia.
A detailed conference programme will be made available soon.
Participation is free of charge. Please register with Petra.Wodtke@fu-berlin.de
Jun 13, 2019 - Jun 14, 2019
Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin