Provocations 2018 and 2015

Provocation for TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU (2018)

Since then borders inside and outside have grown backwards in time. A clock that’s stopped can fool us for it shows the correct time twice a day. New languages have been created for these borders based on malappropriating old words. (1) Our enemies were once the distant cousins we gave shelter to after a long journey. Is it possible to decolonise memory that halts the ability to dream? Fifty years on from 1968 and Liberty just published A Guide to the Hostile Environment. The world’s seas are privatised by businessmen and kleptocrats. Walls are being built again. Privilege is superficially fixed for the few. Austerity is a lie as debts can never be paid off but what if debt becomes a journey, a search for ways of being with each other? the soul’s dark summits are non-negotiable (2). Love is political, love is a philosophy. With love there’s room for warmth and dissonance and freedom of movement. To see the horizon or be a grain of sand on the shoreline. To be singular and multiple, sing songs of unfixing or reparation, cast spells of decolonization and seduction. This event asks artists to gather and to respond with the action, idea or form of a love letter. Of now. It may also be ending it. An action approaching another, a double listening.

1 Hostile - host – hostel – shelter – welcome - gifting-giving – rituals of multiple exchange – a host of offerings etc.

2 Etel Adnan.

Provocation for Love Letters to a (Post)Europe, Athens (2015)

The first event took place at BIOS exploring urban culture, Athens (2 - 3 Oct 2015) and there is a long-form interview with Lisa Alexander by Diana Damian Martin here: (15 Dec 2015)

“In the provocation [for Athens 2015] I reference the encampments over five years ago; in public squares across Europe (and beyond) protesting against austerity as something that cannot be quantified by a global economic system and its ‘technolinguistic automatisms’. A poetic witnessing performs a similar relationship to the moment, in time, in place, in body. Temporal, sensual, emotional, psychical qualities cannot be accounted for. I was struck by something I had read by Franco “Bifo” Berardi regarding Europe’s state of ‘crisis’ – that underneath the economic rationalizations was a deeper crisis – one that concerned the social imagination.[1] Something that I’ve been considering a lot in this last year in the contrasting context of the UK’s referendum. Artistic practice on the other hand reserves a holding space for the imagination; that is singular, relational, embodied and unquantifiable. In a small way the event sought to step out of the existing structures of expressive control at the time through the agency of poetic witnessing.” - Lisa Alexander (from an interview by Alessandra Cianetti a year later see:


TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU 2018 programme of events

4 | Oct | 2018 | 7pm - 9pm

Book launch screenings, discussion and open letters

at Live Art Development Agency, London, RSVP here to book

5 - 6 | Oct 2018 | 7pm both nights

A critical mass of 20+ artists respond in a programme of Love and Dissent over two days

at ARTSADMIN Toynbee Studios, Theatre, London

Gatherings around the UK

12 | Oct | 2018 | 5pm - 8pm

The Institute for Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, Liverpool, RSVP and details here

Lisa Alexander and Mary Paterson explore open letters, provocations on radical friendship and filoxenia in this informal gathering at the Study Room in Exile. How can we create connection through artistic practice and friendship in a year that saw the publication of A Guide to the Hostile Environment by Liberty and borders growing backwards in time? Snacks provided. All welcome!

17 | Oct | 2018 | 7:30pm

The Arts Centre, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk

Performance gathering with short works by Kate Adams, Season Butler, Robin Deacon, Tim Jeeves, Catherine Hoffmann, Xristina Penna and a remote response by Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir.

10 | Nov | 2018 | afternoon and evening | TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU assemble at the border

]performance space[ Folkestone, November 10

Facebook event page

TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU programme 2018

Here. Now. A place to continue.

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 the action, idea or form of a love letter.

In the midst of rapid change, polarisation and crises of social imagination in the UK and mainland Europe, TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU suggests that small acts of imagination and friendship can become radical interventions. A programme of performance gatherings, discussion and a new publication. The programme is curated by Lisa Alexander.

TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU book launch at the Live Art Development Agency (LADA), London on 4 October 2018 will include screenings of remote messages and readings of open letters with contributions from artists and writers involved.

The programme continues at Artsadmin Toynbee Studios, London on 5 and 6 October in a festival of short works, featuring performances and new commissions by over twenty artists including Kate Adams, Dean Atta, Laura Bridgeman, Season Butler, Brian Catling and David Tolley, cris cheek, Robin Deacon, Lin Hixson and Matthew Goulish, Catherine Hoffmann, Brian Lobel, Claire MacDonald, Graeme Miller, Jenny Moore, Ivana Müller, Daniel Oliver, Florence Peake, Maria Sideri, Marikiscrycrycry, Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir and Nikki Tomlinson alongside video works by Tim Etchells, Mikhail Karikis, and Erica Scourti and an intervention by Kleio Gizeli. 

TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU then travels to other parts of the UK. 

The programme builds on Love Letters to a (Post)Europe that took place at Bios, Athens in 2015, in which twenty six artists created short works in an act of gifting and assembly.

Love Letters to a (Post)Europe brought together a wide range of artists to consider the European crisis…connecting artistic practice and intervention with solidarity as a mode of visibility." Diana Damian Martin, Exeunt (2015)

TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU is published by the Live Art Development Agency. The project is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and has been developed in collaboration with Live Art Development Agency and Artsadmin with support from Counterpoints Arts.