DEEP TRASH Live Art Programme: Queer-feminist Live Art practice, theory & activism

DEEP TRASH Live Art Programme ran from April 2017 to February 2018 and was produced by Arts Feminism Queer/CUNTemporary (AFQ). The programme explored three thematic areas in relation to Live Art through queer and feminist perspectives: class, style and subcultures; occult practices and the monstrous; romance and affects through the performance of pain and intimacy. All three programmes involved an international open call; a selection panel tailored for each theme; a symposium at Queen Mary University of London (full documentation available to view online) and a Live Art night at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club.

Thanks to an Arts Council England grant, AFQ was able, for the first time, to develop a production team, which supported more than 130 artists involved in 3 sellout nights and 3 symposia, attracting over 2,400 people including professionals and public.  The symposia included the keynote speakers Dominic Johnson (Reader in Performance and Visual Culture at Queen Mary University of London), Patricia McCormack (Professor of Continental Philosophy at Anglia Ruskin University), Dr. Shaun Cole (Associate Dean and Course Director at London College of Fashion) and selected artists, including Daniel Lismore, Martin O’Brien and Rachael Young.

To provide a ‘fairer’ mode of artistic participation and selection, we used an open call system to attract artists who would be new to us or at an early stage in their career and we also encouraged more ‘established’ artists to participate in order to create a non-hierarchical, intergenerational, intersectional and transcultural dialogue. The three calls received over 200 applications each, and approximately 40-50 artists were selected from all disciplines for each event by juries which included academics, artists, curators, producers and journalists such as Ama Josephine Budge, Dominic Johnson, Eirini Kartsaki, Issey Osman, Nadine Artois (Pxssy Palace), Patricia McCormack, Season Butler, Salma Haidrani and Xavier de Sousa.

More than half of the presented works were new or tailored specifically for the events, including: Jonny Woo, Nicola Hunter, FoxGlove, the Istanbul Queer Art Collective, Lady Vendredi, Louise Orwin, Malik Nashad Sharpe, Sadiq Sadiq & Vendetta Vain, Sebastian H-W, Mette Sterre. We were delighted to be able to accommodate artists from around the world including Brazilian-born Ivan Monteiro aka Tropikahl Pussy residing in Switzerland, Italian-born Ivan Lupi from New Zealand, La Erreria/House of Bent from Spain, the porn-activist and performer Slavina from Barcelona and Senith the performer and director of Genderotica Festival in Rome.

Our events received a significant amount of press coverage and video documentation has to date received more than 35,000 views. We are now developing a new, ambitious project for 2018-19 which will allow for more time and space to explore specific research areas in a 2-part ‘season’: the first will focus on queering and decolonising the art historical canon, as well as re-performing and re-writing histories of oppression from the margins; the second will provide intersectional feminist responses to environmental issues such as climate change, pollution and sustainability.

The new programme will transform the format of Deep Trash into an even more complex and curatorially challenging series of events which will create new opportunities for artistic research and public engagement. We will maintain our important partnerships with the Live Art Development Agency and Queen Mary University of London, and we are now liaising with further institutions to start new collaborations.

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Categories: Report

Date Posted: 25 April 2018