TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU at Toynbee Studios 5 - 6 October 2018
Images above: Studio MaBa
ARTISTS in performance programme
TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU: Love Letters to a (Post)Europe is a gathering of love and dissent that seeks to connect, exchange and witness through performance and assembly and asks artists to respond to this provocation with the action, idea or form of a love letter.
Kate Adams (Sat 6 Oct Toynbee and Wed 17 Oct The Arts Centre)
Μα ποια πάπια (or I’m not a pheasant plucker) is a struggle to communicate in a foreign language, an attempt just to say want I want, clearly, and without any mistakes. It is a search for home and a search for voice. The performance is in Greek with English subtitles.
Kate Adams is a performer, dramaturg and university lecturer. She works between performance art, dance, poetry and theatre, and is interested in working across languages and in the interstices of the personal and political. In her recent solo work, she addresses grief and loss in And by the Way the Cat is Dead and misunderstandings across languages and cultures in Μα Ποια Πάπια (or I’m not a Pheasant Plucker). Both works use humour and fragments of autobiographical stories to create a shared experience with the audience defined by trust, intimacy and vulnerability. www.artistheatis.net
Dean Atta (Sat 6 Oct)
The Black Flamingo and A Letter to My Grandfather explores Dean’s relationship with Cyprus and his family there.
Dean Atta's debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. His poems deal with themes of race, gender, identity and growing up, and have appeared on BBC One, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and Channel 4. Dean was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday. He regularly performs across the UK and internationally and is currently a judge of the 2018 BBC Young Writers’ Award. His debut novel, The Black Flamingo, will be published in August 2019 by Hodder Children's Books. Photo: Hussina Raja
Laura Bridgeman (Fri 5 Oct)
Letter To My Future Lover
Laura Bridgeman is a writer, editor and lecturer. She runs hotpencil press with Serge Nicholson. Recent Credits include: The Butch Monologues (In collaboration with Vital Xposure and The Drakes), The (Trans) Mangina Monologues (Hotpencil Press). Caterpillars, Dogfood Diary co-written with Charles Lambert (BBC Radio 4). She teaches Creative Writing at Kingston and Imperial Universities and in 5 UK prisons. Image: StudioMaBa.
Season Butler (Sat 6 Oct Toynbee and Wed 17 Oct The Arts Centre)
After Abendland explores contradictory histories and present identities.
Season Butler is a writer, dramaturg and artist working with performance, installation and text composition. Her writing, research and performance practices centre around intersectionality and narratives of otherness, isolation and the end of the world. Her current work investigates notions of authorship, authority and version control. She lives and works in Europe. Photo: Christa Holka
Brian Catling and David Tolley (Fri 5 Oct)
Coiner is the old street name for a confidence trickster, thief or forger and explores the brutality of finance and the Charon of possession.
Brian Catling was born in London in 1948. He is a poet, sculptor and performance artist and video maker who is currently making egg-tempera paintings and writing novels. He has been commissioned to make solo installations and performances in many countries including; Spain, Japan, Iceland, Israel, Holland, Norway, Germany, Greenland ,USA and Australia and the Serpentine, Icon and Matt’s Galleries in the UK. His book THE VORRH is a best seller and the final part of its trilogy THE CLOVEN was published in the US and UK in 2018. He is a Royal Academician, and Emeritus Professor at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. http://www.briancatling.net | http://www.wolfinthewinter.com
David Tolley’s primary interests lie in the interplay between art, literature, and film: exploring the ephemeral in art and the relationship between past and present, fact and fiction. He works mainly with photography and HD-video. David has been a Visiting Artist & Tutor in Fine Art at Oxford University’s The Ruskin School of Art since 2003. He is also a College Lecturer in English Language & Literature at Hertford College, University of Oxford (2002 –). From Cardiff in Wales, he has had work shown internationally. Image: David Tolley and Brian Catling.
cris cheek (Sat 6 Oct)
x ox on having my tongue torn out by the root and dealing with a replacement, I can still taste and feel the tongue of the dead animal in my mouth. austerity takes many forms. A love letter to Athens and now to London. (video short)
cris cheek worked as a postpunk poet in London throughout the rein of Margaret Thatcher, played music with Philip Jeck and Sianed Jones as Slant and made interdisciplinary pieces with Kirsten Lavers as tnwk (things not worth keeping). He lives as an interdisciplinary artist art in Cincinnati, Ohio and works at an institution named after the Myaamia native americans, Miami University. His most recent book is pickles & jams published by BlazeVOX (2017). Photo: Erin Edwards.
Robin Deacon (Sat 6 Oct Toynbee and Wed 17 Oct The Arts Centre)
Europe Endless explores national anthems and cultural contiguities and develops Robin’s live work created for Athens in a short film. It takes its name from Kraftwerk’s album Trans-Europe Express.
Robin Deacon is a British artist, writer, filmmaker, and educator. Active from the 1990’s, his work explores questions of memory, absence and fiction in performance, through a constant reconfiguration of his role as an artist - as journalist and biographer, operator and technician, academic and amateur, imposter and stooge. His recent research projects have explored histories of video documentation and outmoded media formats, and the practice and ethics of performance reenactment. His live and screen based work has been presented in Europe, the US, and Asia. He is Chair of Performance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Kleio Gizeli (Fri 5 & Sat 6 Oct)
Visual artist Kleio Gizeli in collaboration with Lisa Alexander presents a tiny intervention front stage left for the audience to happen upon as they enter - a different work for each night: Let Me Fix Your Hair (2015) and Indistinct Chatter (2014).
Kleio Gizeli (b.1978, Athens) studied in Athens Fine Arts University (1997-2002) and Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London (Master’s Degree 2005) and is based in Athens. Her work consists of microcosmic installations, meticulously crafted dioramas and tiny sculptures of fragmental narratives. Drawing from the ordinary and the absurd, this assemblage of quotidian details, filmic fragments and sounds, weaves into a microcosm that lingers in between the familiar and the eerie. Her solo shows were held at Flowers Gallery, London, has exhibited in Europe and the States and has worked in theatre/film set design. Her work is in public and private collections.
Lin Hixson & Matthew Goulish (Sat 6 Oct)
Lin Hixson and Matthew Goulish perform Matthew’s Ledger Lines – A Text for Athens as a duet. Clothing enhancements by Sky Cubacub.
Lin Hixson and Matthew Goulish co-founded Every house has a door in 2008. They have collaborated on the creation and production of performance projects in many media. They received honorary doctorates from Dartington College of Arts, University of Plymouth, in 2007. They shared the United States Artists Ziporyn Fellowship in 2009, and a fellowship from the Foundation for Contemporary Art in 2014. Their collaborative writing has recently appeared in the anthologies The Creative Critic – Writing as/about Practice; and Artists in the Archive. They teach at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Image: StudioMaBa.
Catherine Hoffmann (Sat 6 Oct Toynbee and Wed 17 Oct The Arts Centre)
What ever happened to the Glory Days is on being broke, being a woman, on debt, desire, expectations, and the economy.
Catherine mixes performance and music, pushing into absurdity using autobiographical material, song, choreography and objects. ‘Cyst-er Act’ - a kind of messy live art musical in relation to womb mishaps, fertility, ageing and childlessness will be shown at the Southbank centre and premiered in 2019. In 2017 I toured my solo ‘Free Lunch with the StenchWench’ in the UK– A personal account of shame, poverty and class. I have also created ‘Womb-manifesting Kitchen’ and ‘SEX MUSIC’ with Florence Peake and presented ‘These Tender Alms’ with Lesley Ewen for Spill, Queering Rituals and Buzzcut in 2016/7. I make ‘Soup Operas’ with Ernst Fischer and Andre Verissimo and recently performed in Taylor Mac’s ‘24-Decade history of popular music’ at the Barbican.
Tim Jeeves (Wed 17 Oct The Arts Centre)
The Love Letter explores love's place within the alphabet.
I am interested in stories; my own, other people’s and the moments - in performance or in encounters elsewhere - in which they cross over.
Through my performance work and my writing, I look to draw attention to stories that may otherwise be passed over, to give voice to perspectives that might be obscured by more dominant narratives. In recent years, I have been working primarily within health contexts, with a particular focus on organ transplantation.
Brian Lobel (Sat 6 Oct)
Lehman Brothers And Other Underwhelming Lovers (or, No One Would Fuck Them So They Fucked Everyone) considers love, trade, austerity.
Brian Lobel is a performer, teacher and curator who creates work about bodies and how they are watched, policed, prodded and loved by others. Lobel shows work internationally in a range of contexts, from medical schools to museums, marketplaces to forests, blending provocative humour with insightful reflection. He is a Reader in Theatre at University of Chichester, Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fellow, Core Artist for Forest Fringe and Co-Director of The Sick of the Fringe. Photo: Eftychia Vlachou.
Claire MacDonald (Fri 5 Oct)
This Table: My letter reflects on hospitality, and is dedicated to my friend Merita Hoxha, who died in aged 44, in the summer of 2015, and who came to the Cyclades from Albania in 2003. Gifted beyond the life in which she found herself, her presence is part of my own history in Greece, troubling it and enriching it through her sharp, joyful, at times difficult experience as a stranger longing to be seated at the table.
Claire MacDonald Lives in London and Greece and is a writer, critic, academic and performer and co-founder of the legendary 1980s performance theatre company Impact Theatre Co-op. Claire is a founding editor of the journal Performance Research and a contributing editor to PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. Her current work as a writer and performer takes place around conversation - around tables, in rooms where people gather. Claire is also as a Unitarian minister in South London.
Graeme Miller (Sat 6 Oct)
Graeme’s untitled response takes the form of a vocal work, alternating between rant and repetition exploring what it is to belong through speech and utterance.
Graeme Miller is an artist, theatre maker and composer. Emerging from the bold and influential stage work of Impact Theatre Co-operative in the 1980s, a group he co-founded, his own work now embraces a wide range of media. With the idea of being ‘a composer of many things that may include music’, he has made theatre, dance, installations and interventions. Often reflecting a sense of landscape and place, he regularly makes site-specific works to commission.
Jenny Moore (Sat 6 Oct)
Jenny Moore’s response is an untitled ‘love song’.
Jenny Moore is a Canadian artist and musician whose practice centres performance and collaboration. She writes psychosexual choral chants, leads F*Choir, plays in the dance-punk band Charismatic Megafauna and co-founded Bedfellows; a group of people making tools for life-long queer feminist sex-re-education. She has performed most recently with MUSARC choral collective, Tate Britain, Serpentine Gallery with BBC Late Junction, Chapter Arts, Cardiff, Tate and Camden Art Centre among others.
Ivana Müller (Fri 5 Oct)
YYYYYYY takes the form of a conversation in which the artist reflects on the notions of invisible and marginal as potential survival strategies and builds on her first response for the Athens event: XXXXXXX.
Ivana Müller is a choreographer, artist and author of texts. Through her artistic work and practice she re-thinks the politics of spectacle and spectacular, re-visits the place of imaginary and imagination, questions the notion of "participation” and "collective”, investigates the idea of value and its representation, and keeps on getting inspired by the relationship between performer and spectator. Croatian born, Paris based award winning artist, Müller has been creating and performing work, often collaboratively, for the last 15 years in the international dance/theatre frame and occasionally in the visual arts context, amongst others Venice Art Biennale 2015.
Daniel Oliver (Fri 5 Oct)
Daniel Oliver responds with Selected Love Letters from the post-neurodivergent fun times revolution chiperlaterartyparty
I make participatory performances. They mix pre-planned words and actions with last minute event-specific decision making and improvised dialogue with participants. They layer precariously maintained fantasies with clunky, immanent reality, foregrounding the liveness inherent in working with unprepared participants. They are unashamedly dyspraxic, embracing my lightly off-kilter relationship with co-ordination, social interaction and executive planning. The performances are complexly structured, stubbornly irreverent, and indulge a raucous, homemade aesthetic and tone. They emerge as farcical dictatorships, held together with parcel tape, decorated in mud and tinfoil, and always on the brink of collapse.
Photo: Manuel Vason/DARC
Florence Peake (Fri 5 Oct)
An empathic preparation for channelling You Me Us, the initiatory phase of her work for Athens Voicings.
Florence Peake’s practice encompasses visual art, dance and performance. By encouraging chaotic relationships between the body and material, Peake creates radical and outlandish performances, which create temporary alliances and micro-communities within the audience. Recent work includes; RITE: touring to Palais de Tokyo, De la Warr Pavilion 2018 and Studio Leigh 2017. Solo performance piece Voicings has toured to Sara Zanin Gallery Rome, 2017 the Serpentine Gallery, Mysterical day 2016, Somerset House for Block Universe performance festival. The Keeners Solo show at SPACE 2015, The BALTIC, Newcastle ensemble piece MAKE; Hayward Gallery. Peake is the recipient of the Jerwood Choreographic Research project 2016. Image: Eftychia Vlachou
Xristina Penna (Wed 17 Oct The Arts Centre)
TO YOU <-> TO ME - Xristina will create a response using cord, fabric, and trust.
Xristina Penna is a performance maker and researcher with a background in scenography. She works with mixed-media, handmade bizarre objects, inefficient aesthetics and material stemming from the audience to create hybrid collaborative performance installations and actions, which she calls contraptions. Her research tests how participatory performance processes can be informed by neuroscience theories of human consciousness and cognition to facilitate collaborative thinking through materials. Her work has appeared at Currents 2013, USA | The Bluecoat, Liverpool | The Benaki Museum, Athens | Shunt Vaults, London |The Roundhouse, London | Live Art Bistro, Leeds
Erica Scourti (Sat 6 Oct)
Symbolic Values (Zero Sums) (video short) records a pattern recognition game, hunting a standard mark, the Greek flag on Greek products. Being half-English, I have my own problems; the flag also indicates the house and the pull of belonging - except the house is polarised, and as the media would put it, unstable.
Erica Scourti was born in Athens, Greece and is now based in London and Athens. Her work draws on personal experience to explore the mediation and capture of bodymind valences and has been shown internationally at spaces like the Wellcome Collection, Kunsthalle Wien, Microscope Gallery, New York, Hayward Gallery, Munich Kunstverein, EMST Athens, Autoitalia and South London Gallery. She has published essays in Documents of Contemporary Art: Information (2016, MIT Press) and Fiction as Method (Sternberg, November 2017). She is currently a resident of Somerset House Studios, London.
Maria Sideri (Fri 5 Oct)
The Union addresses Europe as a lover exploring polarisation and the desire to come together. Maria Sideri will sing her specially composed and recorded song live for the first time since it was played as a recorded message to the audience in Athens in 2015.
Μaria Sideri is an artist whose practice is focused on movement, sound and voice and is deeply influenced by her studies in dance and cultural anthropology. Using methods that derive from both disciplines and in relation to the cultural context in which the work occurs, her investigations turn to women’s experiences: to the female body in possession or in objectification as an “Other”, as a landscape or an object and desires to voice women that have not been recognised for their works in the course of time. Image: StudioMaBa
Nikki Tomlinson (Sat 6 Oct)
FOLLY is an act of accompaniment, seeking a thread between audiences in live and recorded time, a moment of company across space and time. An attempt at transmitting solidarity, however small - now amidst a fragmenting ‘folly’ of another order.
Nikki Tomlinson is a freelance performer, maker and producer and also works part-time with Artsadmin as Lead Artists' Advisor. She last performed as part of Love Letters to a (Post-) Europe at Bios in Athens (2015) for which she created a short work, FOLLY, revisited for this new edition at Toynbee Studios. Earlier pieces include Plainsong (2010) with cellist Hannah Marshall, Folk Dance (2008); Bird (2006) and Staithe (2005), both made with Lucy Cash. Nikki currently works freelance with Florence Peake, producing RITE at Palais de Tokyo Paris and De La Warr Pavilion in 2018. Earlier work with Florence includes performing in Swell the thickening surface of at Hayward Gallery and David Roberts Art Foundation, MAKE at V22, Baltic and Yorkshire Sculpture Park and REMAKE at the Moving Museum for Frieze. Image: Eftychia Vlachou.
Tim Etchells (Sat 6 Oct Toynbee and Wed 17 Oct The Arts Centre)
touch and go (video short)
Tim Etchells is an artist and a writer based in the UK whose work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader of the world-renowned Sheffield-based performance group Forced Entertainment and is currently Professor of Performance at Lancaster University. In recent years he has exhibited widely in the context of visual arts, participating in Biennales; Manifesta 7 (2008) in Rovereto, Italy, Art Sheffield 2008, Goteborg Bienale (2009), October Salon Belgrade (2010), Aichi Trienale, Japan 2010, with Vlatka Horvat, Manifesta 9 (Parallel Projects) 2012 and Folkestone Triennial 2014. Recent publications include Vacuum Days (Storythings, 2012) and While You Are With Us Here Tonight (LADA, 2013).
Mikhail Karikis (Sat 6 Oct Toynbee and Wed 17 Oct The Arts Centre)
Invitation (video short) draws inspiration from political modes of speech and observes the disturbing contradictions in prevailing models of neoliberal masculinity, questioning the performance of ‘maleness’ and exposing the fault-line between machismo, aspiration and masochism.
Mikhail Karikis is a Greek/British artist born in Thessaloniki and based in London. His work embraces moving image, sound and other media to create immersive audio-visual installations and performances which emerge from his long-standing investigation of the voice as a sculptural material and a socio-political agent. Karikis’s works are exhibited widely in museums and international biennials including British Art Show 8, UK (2015-2017); 5th Thessaloniki Biennale, GR (2015); 19th Biennale of Sydney, AU (2014); Mediacity Seoul/SeMA Biennale, Seoul, KR (2014); 2nd Aichi Triennale, Nagoya, JP (2013), Listening: Hayward Touring (Baltic & The Bluecoat), UK (2014-2015); Inside, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR (2014-2015); Assembly, TATE Britain, London, UK (2014). His sound works have been published world-wide by Bjork, DJ Spooky and on Sub Rosa Records.
Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir (Sat 6 Oct)
Love No Border is a specially composed song by the Stop Shopping Choir and was recorded in New York City the week before the TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU events in 2018 and accompanies an invitation to assemble and sing together.
Recording and titles: Killian Sundermann. Lyrics: Savitri D. Song: Traditional “Berta Berta.” Singers: Francisca Benitez, Gregory Corbino, David Yap, Killian Sundermann.
Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir is a New York City based radical performance community, with 50 performing members and a congregation in the thousands. We are wild anti-consumerist gospel shouters and Earth loving urban activists who have worked with communities on four continents defending community, life and imagination and resisting Consumerism and Militarism. Our activist performance and concert stage performance have always worked in parallel. The activism is content for the play. Our Director for both kinds of performances is Savitri D. Image: Love No Border song sheet 2018.
Marikiscrycrycry (Fri 5 Oct)
He's Dead seeks to create an aesthetics of melancholia for the Black body to move through and beyond. Their entryway into this proposition is asking the question - was Tupac depressed? In an attempt to uncover what cannot be uncovered and looking there for dances and other performance textures.
Marikiscrycrycry is the choreographic alias of London-based choreographer and dancer Malik Nashad Sharpe (b. 1992, New York). Operating with an expansive and emotional choreographic proposition, their work is about the socially radical practice of imagining new worlds; dances that motorise the conditions necessary for possibility and futurity; performances that double as survival rituals; and texturising the affective and infective material left behind from maintained racial and gender violence. Image: Takayuki Uemura.
TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU assemble at the border ]performance space[ (Saturday 10 November) with performed responses by Ernst Fischer, Carol Grimes, Catherine Hoffmann and Local Foreigner. Open responses by Xristina Penna, Audrey Green Oakes and Anka Zawiślak. Open dialogues with a meal created by CUSTOM Folkestone. Season Butler’s performed work was installed in the space.
Biographies coming soon.