Matthew Stadler reviews PICA's tba:05 festival in this month's issue of artforum, focusing on the dislocation that (for better or worse) is an inevitable part of such international performance festivals. Some artists take advantage of this by directly confronting the notion of dislocation through their art (Ivana Muller), by incorporating artifacts from the location of the performance or by finding dynamic ways to engage in an immediate ways with the audience and environs (Lone Twin, Lori Goldston and other performers at the Works). Other artists simply ignore the fact of their dislocation, reveling in their cosmopolitan existence that rises high above what Paul D Miller (aka DJ Spooky) dismissively deemed "cultural tourism."
In the past two years, I felt that many performances fell short by conscientiously positioning themselves in an "avant-garde" that caters to the circuit of international performance festivals. There were too many gratuitous uses of video/multi-media, of "edgy" content that didn't ever find immediacy with audiences. While I saw this evidenced in fewer performances this year, it will perhaps always be latent in these kinds of international festivals. As Stadler suggests, the trick is for the performer to find a way to engage with their performance, to recapture the "live" aspect of performance, or at least bring awareness to the "intersection between 'live' and 'remote.'"
Here's another interesting view of TBA and pdx: http://www.nyartsmagazine.com/pages/nyam_document.php?nid=1279&did=2976
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