Residency Period: 09/Nov – 29/Nov 2017
After studying theatre studies, political science and gender studies Bettina Knaup has been working since more than 18 years as an independent curator, researcher and producer at the interface of performing and visual arts, politics and knowledge production. Among the international and interdisciplinary projects she has curated and developed are the artistic and scientific Open Space programme of the International Women’s University, Hannover, which explored key issues of social, ecological and technological transformation from a gender perspective (with B. Stammer, 1998-2000), and the International Festival of Contemporary Arts City of Women, Ljubljana, which turned the City into a stage for thematic programs with experimental artistic productions (with S. Potocki, 2001-2004). She produced the intercultural, postcolonial performing arts laboratory InTransit at the House of World Cultures, Berlin (curated by Ong Keng Sen, 2002-2003) and directed the Laboratory for Cultural Cooperation at the European Cultural Foundation in Amsterdam during its launch phase (2004-2006). Among recent programs were the festivals Performing Proximities (Beursschouwburg, Brussels, 2008), which explored intimate encounters with difference and Performance Platform. Body Affects (with S. Bake, Sophiensaele and Inter University Centre for Dance, Berlin, 2012), focussing on relations between humans and animals, humans and nature. The multi-annual travelling exhibition and performance program re.act.feminism – a performing archive (with B Stammer; Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Antoni Tapies Foundation, Barcelona; Wyspa, Gdansk; Museum of Contemporary Art Roskilde, Tallinn Art Hall a.o., 2008-2013) with more than 180 artists was focussing on the ‘return’ of performance art and more generally, on the ‘living archive’ as a site for creating future. She is teaching and lecturing regularly for instance at institutions such the Department of Theatre Studies at the Free University of Berlin, the Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin. Since 2015, she is a Phd research fellow at the Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance at Roehampton University, London.
Bettina Knaup will be developing the work performing (as) waste – performance art and materialist knowledge production during her residency at extantation, what follows is a project description by Bettina.
This practice as research project develops a thorough engagement with a number of (feminist, queer) performance artists, whose work explores discarded matter and bodies. Engaging with waste, with (human and non-human) dead bodies, guiding us into landfills, morgues, laboratories, urban sewages or wastelands, these artists create connection to that which is not meant to be seen, heard, felt, touched, smelled or be attended to. Their work can be understood as a response to the global depletion of resources and the growing mountains of waste which we (unsuccessfully) try to ‘put away’ in landfills, rivers and oceans, or trade globally to ‘far away’ countries of the global South. Their work also questions the dualism between seemingly dead, inert matter and organic, vital life.
They can be contextualised within and make contributions to the fields of performance and ecology and new materialist philosophy, especially its feminist strand. Questioning stubborn dualisms of dead matter and vital life, body and mind, nature and culture these thinkers give special attention to matter’s vitality, and call for different, post-human sensibilities, knowledges and practices.
My research explores the performance practices of a diverse group of artists as contributions to materialist knowledges on a micropolitical level and asks how these modes of knowing and being can resonate and create further impact through curatorial work. Considering that materialist work poses deep challenges to curatorial practice, especially its representational and anthropocentric modes, the research is designed as a case study, which will be based on intensive conversations and engagements with the artists and in which I will experiment with non-human centred, non-representational, entangled modes of curating.
I will use my residency period to conduct a number of interviews a.o. with Chiang Mai based artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook and to write.
Selected books and articles:
-Recombinations, in: Guilia Palladini, Marco Pustianaz (eds.): Lexicon of Affective Archives, Narodny Instytut Audiovizualny, Gdansk, Warszawa, 2015
-re.act.feminism – a performing archive, catalogue with contributions by M. Danbolt, E. Fabiao, B. Knaup, R. Schneider, edited with B. Stammer, Live Art Development Agency (LADA) London / Verlag für Moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2014
-Telling Stories Differently, in: Knaup/Stammer, re.act.feminism, Nürnberg/London 2014
-Absent Presences, in: Antonia Baehr & Friends: Abecedarium Bestiarium, Portraits of Affinities in Animal Metaphors, Berlin 2013
-performance platform. body affects, magazin with contributions by Vinciane Despret, Wietske Maas & Matteo Pasquinelli, André Lepecki, Boyan Manchev, Patricia Ticineto Clough, edited with S. Bake, 2012
-Recycling and Sampling remains. Die Masken der Lilibeth Cuenca, in: Lilibeth Cuenca, exhibition catalogue, Heidelberger Kunstverein, 2010
-und jetzt. Künstlerinnen aus der DDR (and now. women artist of the GDR), edited with A. Richter & B. Stammer, Verlag für Moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2009
-Performing the Border: Coco Fusco & Guillermo Gomez Pena, in: The Third Body. The House of World Cultures and the Performing Arts, 2004
Bettina Knaup’s residency at e x t a n t a t i o n is kindly supported by the Goethe-Institut Bangkok and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa).