Performing Institutions (Book)

Contested Sites and Structures of Care

Rooted in the social and cultural histories of education, self-organization, activist practices, performance, design, and artistic research. Case studies and critical reflections from Denmark, Ireland, Finland, the UK, Canada, the USA, Chile, Asia and Australasia challenge the concept of the institution, and how we engage with it. 51 b&w illus.

Category: Performing Arts


Performing Institutions: Contested Sites and Structures of Care builds upon scholarly work rooted in the social and cultural histories of education, self-organization, activist practices, performance, design, and artistic research, (at)tending to the ways that institutions are necessarily political and performed.

By evoking the idea of Performing Institutions, it foregrounds all kinds of ‘actors’ that engage with (re)imagining creative practices - social, artistic, and pedagogical - that critically interact with institutional frameworks and the broader local and global society of which these institutions are part.

With case studies and critical reflections from Denmark, Ireland, Finland, the UK, Canada, the USA, Chile, Asia and Australasia contributors show how they envision or pursue performing artistic, cultural, social and educational practices as caring engagements with contested sites, addressing the following questions. How do current institutions perform – academically, spatially, custodially and structurally? How might we stay engaged with the ways that institutions are inherently contested sites, and what role do care, and counter-hegemonic practices play in rearticulating other ways of performing institutions, and how they perform on us?

These are the questions central to this book as it stages a productive tension between two main themes: structures of care (instituting otherwise) and sites of contestations (desiring change).

Some of the texts in this collection stage a productive tension between ideas about caring contestations and contestation as a caring engagement in practice, with a view towards institutional transformation. Other contributors investigate the idea of caring contestations as a critical concept that draws attention to questions of power and to the exclusions produced and reproduced in and through specific institutional practices. As such, this collection of writing puts forward caring contestations as a critical mode for (re)enacting institutional engagements. This also brings forward questions of agency and how, for those of us who perform within institutional structures, we care to engage and/or contest those institutional engagements.

It is primarily aimed at scholars, educators, research-practitioners and postgraduate students in the fields of performance studies, theory, creation and design, those working at art institutions and art schools Also relevant to researchers working across various fields of organizational as well as educational approaches to performance culture.

Anja Mølle Lindelof is an interdisciplinary researcher and educator, affiliated with Roskilde University, Denmark. She has served as head of studies for the Performance Design Programme and investigates performative approaches to institutions and their audiences.

Shauna Janssen is an interdisciplinary artist-researcher and educator based in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, Turtle Island/Canada. She is Assistant Professor of Performance Creation and holds a University Research Chair in Performative Urbanism at Concordia University.

List of Figures
Introduction: Contested Sites and Structures of Care – Shauna Janssen and Anja Mølle Lindelof

1. Silver: Self/Site-Writing A Courthouse Drama – Jane Rendell
2. Act 01: Love. On Political Love vs. Institutional Loyalty – Sepideh Karami
3. The Thinkers: Thought–Action Figures #7 – Jon McKenzie and Aneta Stojnić

4. Performing Indigenization: New Institutional Imperatives Post Truth and Reconciliation – Kathleen Irwin
5. Foolish White Men: Tree-Felling and Wrestling: Performing the Institution of the White Man from an Aotearoa Perspective – Mark Harvey

6. Performing Aural and Temporal Architecture: Re-framing the University through The Verbatim Formula – Maggie Inchley, Paula Siqueira, Sadhvi Dar, Sylvan Baker and Mita Pujara
7. Performance Design as Education of Desire – Franziska Bork Petersen and Michael Haldrup
8. Mode D: Evental Forms of Exchange in Art Education – Glenn Loughran
9. Performative Urbanism: Mapping Embodied Vision – Christina Juhlin and Kristine Samson
10. Performance Design: Performative Gestures within Academic Institutions – Rodrigo Tisi

11. Caring Buildings – Liisa Ikonen
12. Alieni nati: Journey-Performance at S. Maria della Pietà Former Psychiatric Hospital in Rome – Fabrizio Crisafulli

13. From Garage to Campus: Exploring the Limits of the Museum in Contemporary Russia – Anton Belov and Katya Inozemtseva
14. Not Not Research – Henk Slager
15. LGB’s Manifest – LGB Society of Mind

16. Dis-establishment – Sam Trubridge
17. Reclaiming Subjectivity through Urban Space Intervention: The People’s Architecture Helsinki – Maiju Loukola
18. Public-Making as a Strategy for Spatial Justice – Kenneth Bailey and Lori Lobenstine, Design Studio for Social Intervention

Notes on Contributors

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