Now, speed, duration, shifts, periodicity, repetition, ephemeral, etc., compile the glossary of the hybrid artistic field named Performance Art. The investigation of these terms is integrated in a phenomenological strategy to explore our understanding of time as an existential and cultural concept. In the later decades of the twentieth-century, global cultures and art practices were transformed through rapid technological saturation. Performance become a paradigmatic modality of postmodern aesthetics, where interdisciplinarity, mediation, and self-reflexivity were its prevalent and resilient companion tropes. In this context, the increasing weight of art as an experience rather than art as an object has spread around the most important cultural institutions worldwide. The actual reinforcement in the bridges between the fields of performing and visual art, are redefining the genealogies of the contemporary aesthetics. Nowadays art scene is characterized by a complex diversity of live art practices, many of which can no longer be located unequivocally on either side of binarized drives toward exposure or concealment, the embodied or the textual, essence or appearance, reality or illusion, the figural or the literal. In this context the nature of the experience of «being there» for both the performer and the spectator is, to say the least, critically slippery.
In 2015 we have initiated in the core of our research group SOBRE_Lab, in Universidad de Granada (Spain) a new performance laboratory: Bastard Scene, Seminario sobre Performance Expandido, Edición y Lenguaje, directed by Miguel Angel Melgares. Bastard Scene was born with the purpose of establishing a permanent observatory from which to analyze models of cultural production that are being developed in the fuzzy space located between the performing and the visual arts. The ephemeral nature of these art forms involves the need to consider new models of production, communication and edition to suit the specific needs of each performative manifestation. June and October were receptively the months in which we produced the first two labs. In ACTO 1 and ACTO 2, we worked with students and cultural agents, with the purpose to build the conceptual structure, methodologies and research lines of the lab. The result of our research process was shared with an open audience in an encounter in Centro Jose Guerrero of Granada, in a durational performative event of 4 hours.
At this moment we are working on our next step: ACTO 3_NO DISTANCE with Maria Kefirova. We believe that to enrich our research lines it is mandatory a double approach: on the one hand we would like to implement a process of internationalization by inviting artist that work on the professional performing circuits. On the other hand we would like to explore the combination of art and research practice. With this purpose, we invite Canadian choreographer Maria Kefirova to develop her performance research No Distance under the umbrella of SOBRE_Lab in the University of Granada. Our proposition has been to combine the development of her project while sharing this process with the lab participants, with the aim of showing the performance on a public presentation to the general audience at the end of the working period.
The driving force of this artistic research is the desire to measure distances, with the aim of sharing this unfolding process with a public. By distance we understand not only the abstract, numerical and mathematical structure that separates two points in the space, but also the space that resonates in our personal, emotional, social or even political reality.