Ways of Responding: Performance Art

How to look at a photograph? One possible answer can be found in the performances by theatre collective LostProject—a multidisciplinary storytelling collective from Amsterdam Zuid-Oost. Four creative makers each respond in their own unique performative way to the works of Liz Johnson Artur.
Opening Liz Johnson Artur & Foam 3H © Foam. Photo: Suzanne Waijers
Liz Johnson Artur - of life of love of sex of movement of hope © Foam. Photo: Christian van der Kooy.⁠ © Foam. Photo: Christian van der Kooy.⁠

One performer dancing to the rhythm of his own words. Two others looking at a photograph, but actually looking at you. The last, playing a game of I spy with my little eye. All of them reacting and interacting with the exhibition of life of love of sex of movement of hope by Liz Johnson Artur.

But what should you make of a performance artwork responding to a museum exhibition showing a large number of photographs capturing a wide variety of people?

Screenshot of Dance Performance by LostProjects

All these elements are moments of interpretation.

The photograph interpreting the captured moment, the exhibition interpreting the curation of photographs, the performances interpreting the story of the exhibition. In this layering of interpretation, we can find many different perspectives. The perspective of the photographer, taking this photo. The perspective of the curator, selecting that photo. The perspective of the performer, speaking about those photos.

And then, your perspective as the viewer, seeing photographs, exhibition, performances, all together.

Screenshot of spoken word performance LostWords by Lavinia Aronson

How do you look at the photographs of Liz Johnson Artur? The artist deliberately chose not to include titles, text or any information, opening up space for your own interpretation. Who are you looking at? And, equally important, who is looking? The performances of LostProject teach us that where you stand influences what you see. Literally, in the exhibition space when you move between the free-floating photographs, but also figuratively, as understanding your own perspective opens you up to those of others.

Dialogue performance LostWords by Ryan Pinas and Georgiefa Boomdijk

about the project

These videos were created as part of LostWords—a ‘theatrical discussion night’—which took place in the exhibition of life of love of sex of movement of hope by Liz Johnson Artur at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam in February 2022. This event was organized by Your Foam—a group of MBO student that organises events for young people at Foam—in collaboration with the theatre collective LostProject.

Ways of Responding: Performance Art [...]
2 min
The mounted lifeUntitledOn Earth tour - Hinde HaestStill from the On Earth Tour: Mishka Henner

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Ways of Responding: Performance Art