Guests

Julie Andrée T.

(*1973 Montreal, Canada) lives and works in Québec. Body and space are at the center of her installations and performances. In the interplay of everyday objects, ritual, poetry, and a defiant corporality, she creates a place in which personal identity begins to dissolve. While this may seem like a utopia, the artist is committed to arriving at a shared understanding beyond personal and cultural boundaries. Her works were part of the Biennals in Havana, Liverpool such as the Festival d’Avignon, among others. She has taught at the School of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (USA) and until today at the University of Chicoutimi (CAN).

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Morgan O’Hara

(*1941 Los Angeles, USA) lives and works in New York / Venice. In her performative practice of LIVE TRANSMISSIONS, the artist responds with drawings, created in real time, to people’s gestures – during work in factories, dance performances up to speeches of US presidents. Since 2016, she invites people worldwide to handwrite fundamental documents of human rights in her project HANDWRITING THE CONSTITUTION, an act of shared awareness. Her works are represented in numerous collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the British Museum, London or Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. In Germany, the artist is represented by Galerie Brigitte March International Contemporary Art, Stuttgart.

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Rocío Boliver

also known as La Congelada de Uva, (*1956 Mexico City, Mexico) draws from themes such as sexuality or violence and is committed against the oppression of women. Boliver studied performance art in New York (USA) and Quebec (CAN). In 2002, Boliver published her controversial book “Saber Escoger” and worked several times with performance pioneer Juan José Gurrola until 2007. Since 1991 she has performed in Europe, Asia, North and South America, including Grace Exhibition Space, New York or the City of Women Festival, Ljubljana. An icon of Mexican underground culture, Boliver has presented her work not only in museums, galleries or on television, but also at alternative forums such as the National Festival of Sadomasochism.

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Tokio Maruyama

(*1956 Tokyo, Japan) lives and works in Tokyo. Drawing on global material excesses, he explores the relationship between artificiality, man and nature in metropolitan spaces. His performances (‘install-actions’) are characterized by a fragile state between maintenance and collapse. In this balance, he locates the human body and a civilisation threatened by disappearance. His performance activities began in Tokyo (JAP) in 1978 and brought him among others to Teheran (IL), Perth (GB-SCT), Prag (CZ), Paris (F), Beijing (CHN), Rome (IT), Cologne (DE). In 2017/18 Maruyama was involved in “Sprit of North” in Finland and Japan. Maruyama also appears as a curator and has published several books.

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Sinéad O’Donnell

(*1975 Dublin, Ireland) lives and works in Belfast. Her practice is contextual and she has made works across the globe, integrating her learning of new cultures with personal experience. O’Donnell uses her body to create works that reference the challenging experiences that women face across the world: she gives a voice to those that have been silenced. Previous works have addressed: violence; grief; being neuro-diverse in a neuro-typical world; inclusion; and exclusion. Sinéad O’Donnell studied sculpture, textiles and performance and time-based practices. Her work has been seen around the world, including in Northern Ireland and the UK, the USA, Uruguay, Canada, Thailand, Beijing and Croatia. She curates festivals and established artistic collaborations worldwide. In 2019, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown (N-IRE), invited O’Donnell for a solo exhibition.

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Kurt Johannessen

(*1960 Bergen, Norway) lives and works in Norway. For the artist, whose work takes on a minimalist approach, the presence of a situation is the basis of his practice. In quiet, concentrated up to minimalistic works he explores the relationship between body and landscape, repetition and variance, permanence and ephemerality. He often exposes his body to the elements and condenses the relation of humans and nature into microscopic images.  A lampshade, colourful threads, stones, a blade of grass and Johannessen’s body – it takes remarkably little to unfold so much poetry. Kurt Johannessen creates artist’s books in addition to performances and installations. His countless public performances since 1982 were already numbered at over 300 in 2009. He also gives lectures and founded Performance Art Bergen.

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Skip Arnold

(*1957 Binghamton NY, USA) has maintained a transgressive practice of performance, film and installation art. He lives and works in Paris, France. Arnold’s work finds its foundation in the historical canons performance that address and dissect the body politic – confronting the body as politicized, enculturated, but also addressing the body through the lens of humanitarian and ontological inquiries pertaining to strength, endurance, existence, and presence. He has exhibited in numerous international solo and group shows, incl. Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Christine König Galerie, Vienna; Greene Exhibitions, Los Angeles; Aeroplastics, Brussels; Kunsthalle Wien; Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York; Galerie Frederic Giroux, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Art Unlimited, Art Basel/33.

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Nigel Rolfe

(*1950 Isle of Wight, UK) is recognized as a seminal figure in performance art. Since 1974 he lives and works in Dublin. Rolfe’s work – spanning from live performance to video, photography and sound – deals with socio-political questions of having and not having, as well as fault lines within society. In the 1970s, before the now commonly used term ‘performance’ entered the discourse, Rolfe coined the term ‘Sculptures in Motion’ to describe his use of time and material. Mayor retrospectives of his work have been held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. He has exhibited in the São Paulo, Busan, Venice and Gwangju Biennales and made numerous solo and group shows. Rolfe was professor at the Royal Academy of Arts, London and visiting professor at Yale University.

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Brian Catling

(*1948 London, †2022 Oxford), who was seriously ill, fought until the very end to be able to be part of the performance series open the door a window. In September we arranged that he could come to Cologne at any time and printed a new invitation: BRIAN CATLING. carte blanche. On 26.09.2022 he finally succumbed to his cancer. We are deeply saddened and full of condolence. We do not want to close our performance series without this wonderful artist. Catling was a professor of fine arts at the University of Oxford, a sculptor, painter, performance artist, video artist and poet. From 1975 he exhibited his work internationally and gave influential performances. He is the author of 16 books of poetry and has also written novels, most notably the “Vorrh” trilogy, which brought him international recognition. In 2021, the film “Earwig”, based on Catling’s novel of the same name, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

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James King

(*1942 Larne, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland) is one of the most consistent street performance artists in Europe. He has been consciously working in urban space for decades, practicing performance for over 45 years and teaching community drama for 30 years. In his performances, KING questions being in the world, often not alone: his knowledge of intuitive spontaneity is an open invitation to fellow artists and passers-by alike to get involved, to use and challenge public space. The practice of the North Irish performance art cofounder ranges from linguistic poetry and playful street theater to artistic protest. Most recently, he has developed vocal explorations with musician Peter O’Doherty, and continues to climb Derry’s rubbish bins unflinchingly in an attempt to get a better perspective on the world.

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Zhou Bin

(*1970 Xi’An, China) had started out as a painter before discovering performance art in 1997. “After that, I thought it was silly to spend my days applying paint to a canvas”, he said. He is one of China’s most active artists and has also attracted attention with political actions – but deliberately avoids being pinned down purely politically. “Making art about an important issue is not the same as making important art”. And important it can be to create a new performance every day for a year (“A 365 Day Project”, 2016/17), to keep publicly asking “Who is the Terrorist?” or to follow an ant in central Tiananmen Square  silently (“Following”, 2009). Zhou Bin has taught performing arts at Sichuan University since 2012. In 2008, he curated the first UP-ON International Live Art Festival in Chengdu (China), which received worldwide attention. His visit to the Cologne Performance Art Archive inspired him to set up his own archive for the festival.

Wang Chuyu

(*1974 Shaanxi, China) is a performance artist, writer, filmmaker and curator. His work is shaped by changing social and political contexts: he uses emotional reactions to counter tensions in Chinese society, which is undergoing a special process of globalization. Thus, his performative scenarios may consist of encounters in tea rooms, Rice Oil shops or in the confrontation with China clichés. Wang Chuyu expanded his practice into theater or film. In 2019, for example, he brought his film “Ants Dynamics” to the campaigns to protect the rights of workers in the telecommunications industry. Wang Chuyu is co-curator of the DaDao Live Art Festival in Beijing and co-organiser of the GuYu Action Performance Art Festival in Xi’An since 2007.