Sunday, 30 May 2010


A latent space for READERS WANTED by Rachel Lois Clapham with Antje Hildebrandt

Dear Readers,

The documents from the bodily, one to one encounters of READERS WANTED at Wandle Park 31 May will be showcased as part of How to DIAGRAM in association with AntePress, The Goldsmiths Art Writing MFA and Form Content project space.

How to DIAGRAM at Goldsmiths College 11 July 2-4pm, in the Art Writing Studio, Laurie Baths at Goldsmiths College,will discuss a range of art writing practices with a small audience. How to DIAGRAM will be the first and only public viewing of the asemic A1 happenings that resulted from READERS WANTED.

I hope you might come along on the 11th and join in the speculation as to what these intriguing collection of documents consists of, and how.

If you were one of the READERS on the 31st May - thanks, I enjoyed each and every one of you, and have been keeping the documents we made together safe. I hope that you might come along on the 11th July to see what we made and take away your diagram for keeps after the discussion.

More details on the event, and who to contact for will be posted here in due course. Meanwhile, you can contact me on


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

NOTES Three Queer Up North

Theatre in the Mill, Bradford May 13, 2010

‘NOTES- the before, after and during; final, continual and provisional; eventual and event-full.' David Berridge, Very Small Kitchen, on NOTES by Rachel Lois Clapham.

NOTES is an ongoing body of work by Rachel Lois Clapham focusing on diacritical marks, provisional or live writing from and as performance. NOTES are made live in the same time and place of performance and often given to the performer/s directly afterwards as a gift.


NOTES Three Queer Up North is made from three performance monologues (w)read, retold and remembered by Chris Goode, Racheal Walton and Chris Thorpe.

Chris Goode Front

Chris Goode Back

Chris Thorpe

rachael walton

Details on the original performances here.

To commission some NOTES, please contact

Monday, 24 May 2010

Call for Proposals for two new Live Art commissions, from the Live Art Development Agency

Restock, Rethink, Reflect Two:
A series of activities on Live Art and Disability 2010

The Live Art Development Agency is delighted to invite proposals for two new Live Art commissions from UK-based artists who identify as disabled. The two new works will each receive an award of £2,000 and be presented in the Restock, Rethink, Reflect Two: Live Art and disability programme of events in Autumn 2010.

If you are interested in this opportunity and have an idea for a new work, please go to the Agency’s website for the background to the project and details of how to apply.

Deadline for applications: June 24, 2010
Dates of events: Autumn 2010 (exact dates to be confirmed)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Friday 21st May, 12pm - 2.15pm at the ICA

A rare screening of 'Interview with Martha Rosler' by Performance Saga.

Followed by a conversation between David Berridge, Rachel Lois Clapham, Sonia Dermience, Martin Hargreaves, Theron Schmidt and chaired by Mary Paterson.

• How can you communicate about past performances?
• What is it about performance that you might want to communicate?

• What roles can an artist/ art practice play in creating knowledge about the past?
• What kind of framework do you need in order to understand the past?
• What role does writing have in the debate?

MARTHA ROSLER is an American artist who works across performance, collage, video and writing. In her Performance Saga interview she talks about her work and the conditions under which it came into being.

PERFORMANCE SAGA tells and updates the histories of performance art, and has created a series of DVD interviews, essays and festivals.

OPEN DIALOGUES produced writing programmes for the Performance Saga festivals (
led by Mary Paterson, with Rachel Lois Clapham and Theron Schmidt,
2008 and 2009) that responded to its themes of history, influence and cultural exchange.

Notes on the participants:

David Berridge lives in London, and makes language works for exhibition, performance, print and on line publication. The Moth Is Moth This Money Night Moth is published by The Knives, Forks and Spoons Press. Recent projects include The Shadow of a Train, a script for an exhibition at the Totalkunst Gallery, Edinburgh, in June 2010, and a residency at The Pigeon Wing, London, in September exploring relations of writing, exhibition and publication. Work online in Soanyway, Jacket, Streetcake, Otoliths, Rubric and fillip. He curates VerySmallKitchen at

Rachel Lois Clapham is a writer and Co-Director of Open Dialogues. Recent work includes Inside Performance, a regular column for Dance Theatre Journal, Writing Live, an experiment in art, writing and performance with the Performa Biennial New York, Re- a live reading at PSL Gallery Leeds and Essaying Touch a writing residency at Islington Mill Salford. Current fascinations are the porosity of text, improvisation and live writing. She her bio page here.

Sonia Dermience founded Komplot in 2002, a curatorial collective concerned with nomadic creative practices, trends of specialisation and the infiltration of spaces. Projects such as 'Vollevox' or 'Architecture of Survival' explored new terrain in relation to objects, spaces, artists and the public. She has conducted extensive research into post '68 collaborative art practices in Belgium; organizing seminars and making two documentary films with Kosten Koper. This research is on-going with 'Marcel', a collective film and 'Y-The Black Issue', an itinerary exhibition, workshop and publication initiated during a residency at 'Far Away So Close', Sweden. Komplot founded The Public School in Brussels, November 2009, in a joint venture with a residency program at Nadine. The current committee members of The Public School Brussels are Heidi Ballet, Constance Barrère Dangleterre, Sonia Dermience, Sébastien Ricou, Ive Stevenheydens, Ronald Van de Sompel.

Martin Hargreaves is the Editor of Dance Theatre Journal and the Programme Leader of the MA Dance Theatre: The Body in Performance at Laban. His research interests lie between boredom and hysteria and he has learnt and performed Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A in a variety of contexts.

Mary Paterson is a writer and producer, and Co-Director of Open Dialogues. She is currently fascinated by metamorphosis and time travel. See her bio page here.

Theron Schmidt is a writer and performer based in London. As a solo artist he has presented work at Artsadmin, Camden People’s Theatre, Chisenhale Dance Space, and Roehampton University, and his performance collaborations have included projects with Julia Barclay, Lucy Cash, Nicola Conibere, and Chris Goode. He is currently completing a PhD thesis on theatricality and the politics of spectatorship at Queen Mary, University of London. His critical writing on live art and performance has been published in Dance Theatre Journal, The Live Art Almanac, Platform, RealTime, and Total Theatre.

/ / / / / / /

Part of FUTURES AND PASTS, a long weekend of live art at the ICA exploring the diverse pasts and possible futures of live art and performance. The weekend is curated by writer, artist and performance maker Tim Etchells with the aid of artist Ant Hampton and Lois Keidan (Live Art Development Agency)

Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH,

+44 (0)20 7930 3647

Saturday, 15 May 2010

A conversation with Sonia Dermience, Friday May 21st, 7 - 9pm

Mary Paterson will participate in a conversation with Sonia Dermience, Friday May 21st 7 - 9pm.

VerySmallKitchen, in collaboration with Short Term Solutions, will hold a public conversation on connections of writing, exhibition and publication, with Sonia Dermience on Friday May 21st 7-9pm.

The conversation will unfold from a consideration of ‘Y-The Black Issue’, a publication and exhibition project curated by Sonia Dermience /In residency at Far Away So Close, which she describes as follows:

The exhibition Y is a decor, a mise-en-scène for action whilst the publication Y is a script for a project motivated by the desire to combat the darkness and cold. For the exhibition, which takes place in the context of a small seaside city, deserted in the winter by tourists, the artists assembled material to create a large scale installation. The publication Y is conceived as a collectively created artists book, a black and white reader in which the contributions overlap to mirror its process of creation. In pocket book form, it highlights the relationship between the curators, artists and designers through the gathering of fragments of conversations, poetry and images about SAD (seasonal affective disorder), melancholy, northern lights, weather, countryside, second residencies…

All welcome. The conversation will be a round table facilitated by David Berridge, Karen Di Franco, Marit Muenzberg and Mary Paterson.

This is a semi-public event at the Short Term Solutions studio space in Bethnal Green. To reserve a place and receive directions please email David at

For more information, please see Very Small Kitchen

Friday, 14 May 2010


'NOTES- the before, after and during; final, continual and provisional; eventual and event-full.' David Berridge, Very Small Kitchen 2010.

NOTES by Rachel Lois Clapham is the second in a series of chapbooks developed by contributors to the ART WRITING FIELD STATION curated by David Berridge as part of Very Small Kitchen.

NOTES began with Rachel Lois’ live-writing performance as part of ART WRITING FIELD STATION Leeds on 27th March 2010.

'This new chapbook NOTES distils a sequence of drawing-writings (NOTES) from that original performance and evokes a sense-making towards calligraphic, asemic, documenting, and (glyphic-) exploratory art writing.

As someone who was at ART WRITING FIELD STATION in Leeds, these markings still bear traces of the presentations during which they were composed, the (spoken) (written) words they were in proximity to and positioned themselves with/against/towards. But confronted with the new spaces of this PDF publication, such tracings fade as these markings begin to stake out the complexities of new tonal and gestural economies. ' David Berridge 2010.

There are some NOTES (typed) from the before of NOTES (live performance) here.

Additonal information surrounding this work here

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Open Dialogues at Away Day

Away Day : contemporary art installations and performances in three South London parks

Mary and Rachel Lois have been commissioned to create individual live writing residencies for Writers House at AWAY DAY.

READERS WANTED by Rachel Lois in collaboration with Antje Hildebrandt is an intimate (w)reading performance for two, a small exercise in trust and a live cursive encounter. More details here

MEMORY EXCHANGE by Mary is an experiment, a model for participation, and a document of memory in public and private. More details HERE

Scores for all the writing performances at Writers House at are listed here.

DATES: 29-31 May bank holiday weekend

TIMES: 12 noon to 6pm daily

VENUE: Wandle Park, London, opposite Colliers Wood tube (Northern line)

Over 20 artists present new works as POST returns to Merton in south London with Away Day. Engaging with suburban spaces of leisure, Away Day is a series of site-specific artworks for three public parks: Mostyn Gardens in Morden, Wandle Park in Colliers Wood and Ravensbury Park in Mitcham. Diverse interventions, performances and temporary artworks accost visitors with imagined alternative realities and new mappings of these spaces during weekends in May and June.

Featuring new work from: Linda Duffy, Katie Gilman, Helen Jacobs, Pippa Koszerek & Anna Pharoah, Fiona Long, Ruth Martindale, John O’Hare, Sonia Paço-Rocchia, Ioanna Pantazopoulou, Faye Peacock, Present Attempt, Catalina Garces de los Rios, Jenny Rolfe-Herbert, Emanuela Santini, The Wayward Plant Registry, Mary Yacoob and Hyun Jin Cho. Live writing residencies: Bram Thomas Arnold, Rachel Lois Clapham, Marianne Holm Hansen, Tamarin Norwood and Mary Paterson

POST is the new peer-led network for artists who respond to place

Memory Exchange

Instructions for the Memory Exchange:

  1. Welcome to the Memory Exchange.
  2. Please write a memory on a memory card.
  3. Submit your memory to the memory archive. This is now the property of MemoryExchange and will be donated to another person.
    Forget it.
  4. The archivist will give you a new memory. This is now your memory. Remember it.

MEMORY EXCHANGE by Mary Paterson is commissioned by David Berridge as part of AWAY DAY, 31st May 2010. 12 - 6pm. Wandle Park (nearest tube - Colliers Wood, northern line)


by Rachel Lois Clapham in collaboration with Antje Hildebrandt.

READERS WANTED to share an intimate (w)reading performance for two. This is a little game, a small exercise in trust and a live cursive encounter. You can decide how long it might take. Two minutes is good though. Bring a + 1 with you if you like. Please come. I'll be waiting.

Michelle and me

James and me

JMW and me


Nb. I am waiting for you
You set off on from your home
Nb. I am waiting for you
You arrive in the park
Nb. I am waiting for you
You find me
Nb. I am waiting for you
You take your shoes off and come inside
Nb. I am no longer waiting
We blindfold one another
I whisper to you
We might touch
We (w)read together
Then we look at what we have made
You leave me
You return home

Nb. I am still waiting for you

Michelle and me.

READERS WANTED was commissioned by Very Small Kitchen as part of AWAY DAY London 2010.

The work also features in How To Diagram, the inaugural Goldsmiths College Art Writing MFA exhibition and in WRITING/EXHIBITION/PUBLICATION at The Pigeon Wing, London (Documents here).


Rachel Lois Clapham is a writer and Co-Director of Open Dialogues, a UK based collaboration producing critical writing on and as performance.

Antje Hildebrandt is a performer and choreographer based in London. She often works with other artists and is a member of Trio, a collective of four artists interested in collaborative performance practice. Antje is currently interested in issues concerning language, text and spectatorship within the live event.

All text and images copyright Rachel Lois Clapham 2010

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Words from Sculpture and Performance

by Rachel Lois.

The Henry Moore Institute commissioned me to write a report on their recent Sculpture and Performance conference on 24-26 March. The report will make up part of the online archive of the conference on the HMI website. For more details see the conference programme at the end of this post.


The nature of thingliness, the agency of objects and the ontology of performance were all at stake in this three day conference which brought international artists and academics to debate the significant overflow between two traditionally discrete practices: Sculpture and Performance.

A broad range of artists were touched upon in the presentations including Marcel Duchamp, Fluxus, Pablo Bronstein, Lucy Clout, Tim Etchells, Ian Breakwell, Bruce Mclean, Genesis P-Orridge, Christian Marclay, Franz West, Rebecca Warren, Tania Bruguera and Bruce Nauman. Theoretical and philosophical sources were equally varied; Heidegger was explored on thing-liness, recent work by Rikke Hansen was cited on the nature of objects in relational art, so too Peter Osborne on de-materialisation. The writings of William Forsythe were also put forward as re-thinking the (non human) object of choreography.

Over the course of the conference many of the objects under consideration were articulated as the material things which play a critical part in the before (instrument, score), during (set, tool, prop,) or after (remnant, relic, memento) of performance’s fleeting existence, its live moment, rather than the performance per se. As such, the traditional Twentieth Century ontology of performance – as ephemeral and bound to disappear - remained relatively un(re)marked. However, a distinctly contemporary outlook to this ‘cult of disappearance’ was displayed in all the presentations: material objects were not considered a wounding, anti-capitalistic or oppositional element within the performance/object, animate/inanimate or life/death equation. Instead, the relationship (although still arguably binaristic) was explored as dialectical, historically co-dependant and mutually generative. It was perhaps most neatly summed up by one of the presenters in the statement ‘performance is sculpture in time that at some point turned to sculpture to be performed.’

Perhaps it was the specific references to choreography, literally the writing of performance, that lead me to focus upon the language of Sculpture and Performance- particularly the use of words as object and performance in this context. Perhaps it was the speaker’s florid re-appropriation of existing terms or insistent neologisms. But I was struck by the words used to describe objects in and as performance:

Fluxable thing
Prop (partial)
prop (incidental)
prop( functional)
baffling device
score (action)
set (latent)
video performance action
sculpture-like activity
kinetic sculpture
animatronic object
de-centered object
appendage of an appendage
relic of presence
scapegoat sculpture
crash test dummy
sculptural choreography
resonant object
sacrificial object
inanimate object
bodily remnant
touch relic
sculptural fit
nostalgic material
relational form
theatrical sculpture
the thingly
knowledge object
virtuosic excess
uncertain object
de-humanised performer
de-individualised human part
dance surface
body giver
alter ego
socialist sculpture
pseudo sculpture
antagonistic object
inauthentic object
treacherous object
porous object
performance object
phenomenological object
writing object
promiscuous object
choreographic object
(A) happening
everyday construction
see saw
moo sound
body substitute
bio object
testimony beyond death

Reflecting back on this selection of words (these being only a few of the more legible ones extracted from my notes) it seems the speaker’s collective struggle to articulate a distinct field or terminology for performed sculpture/sculpture performances – even if this ‘field’ as such is a fall-out or excess between two arguably more defined practices - speaks as much about the variable status, role and meaning of objects in and as performance, and vice versa, as it does the lack of specific terminology and critical promiscuity of this area of practice. It is a promiscuity whose agency is for now located in its very movement between or para (the doxa of) Performance and Sculpture.


Rachel Lois Clapham is Co-Director of Open Dialogues; a UK based collaboration producing critical writing on and as performance.


Sculpture and Performance