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BMW Tate Live 2014: Talks

Talks is a new series of four public events that complements the BMW Tate Live Performance Room and Performance Events series, examining ideas and concepts around performance and notions of liveness.

Hayley Newman, Volcano Lady, 2007. Courtesy Matt’s Gallery, London.
Hayley Newman, Volcano Lady, 2007. Courtesy Matt’s Gallery, London.
Offering a critical and engaging look at the themes explored by the artists taking part in BMW Tate Live 2014, Talks invites the public to join in discussion with practitioners, theorists and experts to consider the social and cultural context of performance today. Talks looks at how our current understanding of liveness is informed by the power of the physical and virtual spaces where performances take place. These interdisciplinary events pose key questions about the temporality, narratives, politics and process of creating live performance in relation to an audience. Bringing together perspectives from art practice, theory, theatre, social science, digital design and beyond, through a series of discussions, conversations and open workshops, Talks interrogates the space between live and mediated experiences of performance.

On liveness: Pre/during/post
Thursday 10 April, 18.30–20:30h
Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern

This first event in the new Talks series aims to address several key questions about the nature of performance and the notion of liveness, arising from the ongoing BMW Tate Live Performance Room and Performance Events programme at Tate. How can performance challenge how we think about time and space? How do we keep the live event alive? What challenges does performance invite in how we think about time and space? The evening opens with a provocation filmed specially for the event from journalist and broadcaster Jon Snow. Speakers include author of Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture Philip Auslander, experimental director and performer Fiona Templeton and BMW Tate Live artist Cally Spooner. Chaired by contemporary art curator and critic Chantal Pontbriand.

On Publicness
Monday 29 September, 18.30–20:30h
Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern

This second event in the Talks series explores the idea of how the public and institutions work together to create performative events. Drawing on Bojana Cvejić’s Spatial Confessions and the Up Hill Down Hall- An Indoor Carnival events, this discussion looks at some of the political aspects of public performance and how performance can engage diverse voices, often enabling under-represented views to come to light. Join this discussion with a panel including artists, curators, theorists and activists looking at how engagement between the public and institutions often has unexpected, heterogeneous outcomes and effects.

On Mediated experience: Transforming performance
Monday 27 October, 18.30–20:30h
Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern

This event takes the BMW Tate Live Performance Room as illustrative of the ways in which performance is responding to a highly mediated world, where performance often comes into being simultaneously live and online. How does the power of the digital arena within everyday life complicate our understanding of liveness? What resonances do physical spaces for performance have for online audiences or artists, whose shared space is the online community? How does it change our understanding of documentation, which no longer comes after the event but during it? An interdisciplinary panel of practitioners, theorists and experts from the fields of performance, digital media and social theory reflect on how liveness and mediation are changing our lives.

The Future of Live
Monday 1 December, 18.30–20:30h
Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern

This final public event in the Talks series reflects on the year’s BMW Tate Live programme. It addresses some of the central thoughts and observations emerging from the inter-disciplinary debates around the nature of the performative and live in order to identify possible future trajectories for performance in this highly mediated digital age. How can performative actions and events challenge the existing social and cultural histories of performance and begin to write and perform new ones? In what ways can performance act as a vehicle to connect audiences and artists around the world? In the future, what relevance does performance have?

This series is developed by Cecilia Wee, independent curator, in collaboration with Sandra Sykorova and Marko Daniel, Curators of Public Programmes at Tate Modern.

BMW Tate Live is a partnership between BMW and Tate, which focuses on performance, interdisciplinary art and curating digital space.

Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG