Postconsensual collaboration. A shared lecture on plurality and the choreographic

When? – 18th May, 2013

Where? – London, Middlesex University, Hendon, London

What? – SYMPOSIUM On Collaboration II 

The Theatre Arts Department, School of Media & Performing Arts at Middlesex University, with support from the Dance Department at University Campus Suffolk, will be hosting the second symposium on collaboration in performance practice, with a specific focus on the politics of collaboration. The event will take place on Saturday, 18 May 2013 at Middlesex University, Hendon Campus, North London.



Simon Murray. “Lightness of touch: politics and embodiment in collaboration”

Rosemary Butcher and Susan Melrose. A dialogue. “Just in time: collaborativememory work and judgement in dance-making practices”

The symposium features a range of research papers and practice interventions, and includes performance installations by Angela Woodhouse and Henrietta Hale, as well as Jane Bacon and Vida Midgelow. Gerard Bell and Karen Christopher will be performing their work So Below (Haranczak/Navarre Performance Projects) to conclude the event.

Martina and I will present a collaborative lecture,departing from Florian Schneider’s statement, that we have to establish a new understanding of the term ‘together’ when we talk about contemporary dynamics of working together. We will probe the meaning of togetherness in the form of a collaborative lecture and discuss Jean-Luc Nancy ́s proposal of a community without common mission and its potential for artistic modes of working together. Which kind of “We” emerges if people collaborate without subordinating themselves to a common identity? What is happening if they do not merely become representatives of what they have in common?

Collaboration undecides regimes of identity, production and representation. It does not only inevitably call the authorship of a work into question but moreover challenges the methods of work. This is why uncommon ways of collaboration are so attractive for a broad field of production, that is interested in innovation and experimentation. Our lecture  aims at giving insights into specific collaborative methods that were developed in the frame of choreographic projects – such as the method of reformulation (of the Artistwin deufert + plischke) or the experiment of working together alone of the Cooperativa performativa in Rumania. We will touch upon Gesa Ziemer ́s concept of complicity and the issue of self-organisation and put our thoughts in relation to our own artistic practices and collaborative experiences as members of two distinct collaborative platforms: “Sweet and tender collaborations” and “Kollaborateure”. Mariella Greil and Martina Ruhsam work together in difference. Our contribution intends to stretch beyond a dialogue, and yet we are not a group though. Our temporary “we” is constructed exclusively around the shared effort (attempting the realistically impossible) to respond to the 10 questions on collaboration that we had articulated in our previous contribution to the symposium On Collaboration I.

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