Ways of Responding: Performance Art
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?
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.
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.
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.