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Circulating Narratives – Entangling Communities: Case Studies in Global Performance Art (2020-)

The Transfer Project "Circulating Narratives – Entangling Communities: Case Studies in Global Performance Art" will explore how diverse histories inform performative practices and shape communities as embodied knowledge. In collaboration with Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, the project will primarily focus on the intersections between Southeast Asian and ‘Western’ performative practices while addressing the blind spots in traditional historiography in 'the West' as well as the consequences of colonialism and relationships capable of advancing the deconstruction of the ‘Western’ canon. "Circulating Narratives – Entangling Communities: Case Studies in Global Performance Art" will investigate how performance or performative practices relate to embodying histories, the transfer of embodied knowledge, and the establishing of (temporal or lasting) communities in acts of collecting, archiving and presenting performance art practices in exhibitions and outreach programs for future communities.

In seven chapters, #inthemaking, #embodiment, #extendedaudiences (as integral part of RA 2's project Extended Audiences), #circulatingnarratives, #entangledcommunities, #contemporaneity, and #storage, the Transfer Project engages in a detailed analysis of performance art contexts of transcultural exchange and artistic collaboration. Discussing these practices will not only offer insight into the processes of appropriation and transformation that inform ideas, attitudes and objects, but will also show how communities are created in the first place. Conceiving the global cultural institutions of the future involves addressing the questions of how traces of history – embodied both in actual bodies and in artefacts in museum collections and archives – can be made visible, and how forms of memory can be both preserved and treated respectfully.

In 2021, the public presentation of the project’s practice-based approach will take shape in a lab at Hamburger Bahnhof. The Transfer Project will accompany the chapter at Hamburger Bahnhof of the research and exhibition project "Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories" (curated by Gridthiya Gaweewong, Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Grace Samboh, June Yap) in 2021, initiated by the Goethe-Institut.


Student Assistant

Further Information

The following film was created on occasion of the collaborative conference "Embodies Histories - Entangled Communities. Southeast Asian and Western Approaches to Narratives and Performance Art", June 13th and 14th 2019 at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin. The film maps the research agenda of this ongoing EXC 2020 Transfer Project.

Link to Film.