VOICES: PERFORMANCE WEEKEND 8-10 SEPT, BERGEN, Norway
8/28/2017

In connection with this year’s parliamentary election, KODE invites you to the performance weekend "Voices" 8-10 September, at KODE 1.

Download the extended program here, with more information about the artists.
 
As the parliamentary elections approach in Norway, great political changes are taking place in the world around us. Established systems are under pressure, and new struggelse about what is true and what is false is being fought. What responsibilities must we commit ourselves to as individuals living in a democracy? Who is being heard? Do we understand what other people expect of us? What kind of encounters do we seek, and what kind of confrontations do we seek to avoid? 

This weekend we have invited a number of Norwegian and international performance artists to comment on the significance of free elections, allowing complete freedom to express political views and beliefs. 
Performance is a direct encounter between the artist and the public that generates vulnerability, intimacy, curiosity, experiences and insight. Listen. Use your voice. 
Artists
Ali Al-Fatlawi and Wathiq Al-Ameri (IQ)
Alicia Framis (ES / NL)
Ann Liv Young (US)
Eivind Reierstad and A-project (N)
Gitte Sætre & The Green Hijab Movement (N)
Hungry Hearts (N)
James King (UK)
Kate Pendry (UK /N)
Kiyoshi Yamamoto (JP/BR)
Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen (DK)
Marit Tunestveit Dyre (N)
Mary Coble (US)
Pavana Reid (N/UK/TH)
 
Program 
Friday 8 September
18:00: Opening, KODE 1
18:00–: Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, KODE 1
18:15–19:45: The Rafto Foundation: "Democracy cake" board game, KODE 1
20:00–24:00: Program curated by Performance Art Bergen (PAB), KODE 1
- Marit Tunestveit Dyre
- Pavana Reid
- Kiyoshi Yamamoto
- Gitte Sætre & The Green Hijab Movement
- Ali Al-Fatlawi and Wathiq Al-Ameri
Saturday 9 September 
13:00–14:30: Mary Coble, Byparken (Park outside KODE 1)
15:00–16:30: Kate Pendry, KODE 1
17:00–21:00: Ann Liv Young, Byparken (Park outside KODE 1)
21:00–22:00: Hungry Hearts, KODE 1
22:15–: Party Party, You are all invited, let's party! KODE 1
Sunday 10 September
12:00–15:00: Eivind Reierstad and the A-project, KODE 1
12:00–16:00: Alicia Framis, KODE 1
16:00: James King, KODE 1
From 16:30–: Discussion about performance and politics, KODE 1
Tickets
Free admission on Friday (Part of the Cultur night in Bergen 2017).
Saturday and Sunday: Adults: NOK 100, Students*: NOK 50, Children Free admission (tickets valid for 2 days)
*Free admission for all Bergen students from 15 August-15 September at KODE.
The performance weekend “Voices” will take place at KODE 1 Friday, 8 September to Sunday 10 September, and is curated by KODE and Performance Art Bergen (PAB). "Voices" is also organised in collaboration with Raftosenteret. See also the performances arranged during the same weekend by BIT Teatergarasjen.

Red Rover, New Performance September 9, 2017 at 13:00, Bergen Norway; Voices (or Stemmer in Norwegian) KODE – Art Museums of Bergen have organized a weekend of performances.
8/23/2017


The perfomrance Red Rover will be the result of a 5 workshop in Bergen, Norway with local and international artists currently studying in art schools. 

The children’s schoolyard game Red Rover, containing elements of both play and violence, forms the basis for the score of this live work. The game points to issues such as battle, barriers and social control as two opposing teams, standing arms linked, try to break through and consume the ‘enemy’ side.  The performance is a collaboration generated in part from a week-long workshop prior to the live work. The workshop group will develop choreographed and improvised actions, inspired by the game’s foundational but complex elements of assembly, election and strategy.
 
 

Performance as Political Assembly Workshop followed by new collaborative performance "Red Rover", Bergen, Norway September 4-10, 2017
8/23/2017

Workshop Description:

This workshop is initiated by Mary Coble upon the invitation by KODE-Art Museums of Bergan to participate in Voices that will be held at KODE on September 8th, 9th and 10th. Numerous artists have been commissioned to develop and perform live works that respond to the current state of political elections- which is expanded upon in their curatorial statement*. The Norwegian government elections are on the following Monday September 11.
The workshop will be five days in totally and will include a live performance on the final day that will be included in the Voices performance program 

The workshop will include three main elements:
1. Thematic discussions, seminars, presentations
2. Performance preparation
3. Live performance 

1.Thematic discussions
Coble’s artistic research project for a number of years has resulted in multiple performances that explore the relationship between queer performance and activism including gestures of defiance such as the raised fist or protests where groups of people link arms and assemble together or times where single bodies defy structures of power. Humorous acts of glitter bombing and pieing as more non-traditional forms of resistance are also included in this research.
This workshop will incorporate Coble’s current artistic research as well as that of other invited performance artists, researchers and thinker such as Frans Jacobi, Professor Timebased Art / Performance, Institute of Art Faculty of art, music & design, University of Bergen and a member of the Voices organizing group.
Discussions of the importance of bodies gathering in protests would be informed by selected readings of for example Judith Butler’s Notes Towards a Performative Theory of Assembly. The workshop will also include a look at the recent Presidential elections in the United States and the Trump administration’s rhetoric in relationship to the Scandinavian and European political climate.
The workshop will work around the political concepts that could be distilled specifically through the children’s schoolyard game Red Rover** –which the live performance will be based on-such as contemporary urgencies of boundaries, barriers, fences and border control as well as the lines between play and violence and social control.

2. Performance preparation
Based on the discussions described above the workshop will serve to prepare the participants for a live performance based loosely on the game Red Rover.
The participants will work to learn a set of choreographed moves-that Coble will have created in advance of the workshop- but that then will be combined, modified or further developed together as a group. The workshop participants will work collaboratively to create a set of strategies that will give allow for control during the performance of the Red Rover game but would also allow for chance and spontaneity.

3. The live performance
The live performance is scheduled for Saturday 9th from 13:00-14:30 at KODE – Art Museums of Bergen.
The proposition of the performance has its foundation in the common schoolyard game Red Rover. The workshop group will be performing according to a set of prepared, choreographed moves, which point to the game’s basic but complex elements of assembly, battle, election and strategy. The workshop will prepare the group conceptually, mentally and physically for this performance.
This workshop and performance will be physically demanding. However people of all abilities and fitness levels are encouraged to attend. The workshop will be formulated to accommodate any need. If there are any questions or concerns about this in advance, please feel free to email Mary Coble at mary.coble@akademinvaland.gu.se
This workshop will be in English.
This workshop will be lead by Mary Coble, artist and Senior Lecturer at Valand Academy with additional supporting guests. Embracing unpredictability, messiness and failure Coble has worked with performance art for over 17 years, through this time aiming to manifest problems of bodily, societal and symbolic navigation particularly focusing on issues of injustice and normative boundaries. Recurrent themes in Coble’s work revolve around queer politics and poetics often working site-specifically, research-based and – from time to time collectively/participatory. Engagement in artistic practices and interventions within and outside of established institutions and the use of activist strategies are integral to Coble’s work.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

*The following is the curatorial statement from the KODE-Art Museums of Bergan Voices organizing group:
“In connection with the Norwegian government elections on September 11 this year, KODE – Art Museums of Bergen, has invited a group of performance artists. They have been asked to comment on the impact of free elections and election results for the individual and society as a whole. The artists are free to express political standpoints and opinions on ethical issues.
During the last couple of years, elections and election results in the western world have received increased attention. There is an increase in political polarization in the public discourse and a combat on who is projecting truthful, objective information. Fundamental political alliances are changing. What values are at stake? What does the individuals opinion, engagement, and democratic involvement, mean in 2017?”

**Red Rover played in the United States and elsewhere under various names such as Forcing the City Gates Octopus Tag and Send, O King, A Soldier.
There are two teams (team A and team B). The members of team A line up side by side-holding hands or linking arms. They stand opposite of and facing team B who is in the same configuration and is 15-20 meters away.
Team A elects a player from team B and together they yell ‘red rover, red rover send Mary (or someone’s name from the other team) right over’. This person then has to leave team B, running or moving towards team A trying to break through their linked arms and clasped hands. If this person successfully bursts through then they get to take one of the members of team A back with them to team B. If this person is stopped from breaking through then this person must join team A-adding to their team size.
This routine continues until one team completely consumes the opposing team leaving a single mass of ‘the winning team’ verses two opposing sides. To note- Red Rover has been banned in many US schools today because of the violence and bullying that some think it promotes; others support the game citing the teamwork and strategic thinking that’s needed.


9/19/2016


MASSIVE ART AND MUSIC FEST IN/FUTURE BRINGS ONTARIO PLACE BACK TO LIFE
9/15/2016

An article on in/future which I am apart of.
I'll be doing a new performance 'Pulse', presented by FADO Performance Art Centre.


BY 

What do you do when you have less than 12 months to plan an enormous music and art festival?
That's the question Rui Pimenta and Layne Hinton of Art Spin bike tours faced when they got the green light to host In/Future on Ontario Place's largely abandoned West Island . 
 
"Immediately realizing the scale of it, we started reaching out to creative partners," says Hinton.
Not that it was their first rodeo. Curators Pimenta and Hinton had taken 300 or so people to the site last summer for one of their art tours, so they were on familiar territory. And since 2009, Art Spin has commissioned artists and musicians to create site-specific works in some of the city's unlikeliest pockets, from rickshaw residencies to a pit behind the Tower Automotive Building on Sterling Road. Participants pedal in a mass ride to each installation or performance. 
But now they had 14 acres to program with a small team and an even tinier budget, so they knew they needed help. Pimenta contacted the Small World Music Festival, a world music fest now in its 15th year. 

Follow the link to read more...



 

New Performance "Pulse" in Toronto
9/2/2016


FADO Performance Art Centre presents MONOMYTHS: Stage 7: Ordeals
Pulse by Mary Coble (USA/Sweden)

September 15–25, 2016
Ontario Place Island, Toronto
Nightly performances after sunset (times variable)
Presented in the context of in/future at Ontario Place (*times and ticket info below)

In Mary Coble's Pulse, the artist climbs the Cinesphere each day in order to repurpose it as a beacon of protest. A series of Morse Code messages are transmitted from the structure to receivers and relayers positioned throughout Ontario Place island. The transmitted messages are composed of statements and chants used in recent and current protests and fights for civil rights which will be selected from the artist’s archive as well as in collaboration with local community. This collaborative gesture of solidarity merges activist and nautical language to amplify a collective call for action.

Coble’s Pulse fits into the MONOMYTHS journey at Stage 7: Ordeals. During this stage of the journey the heroine has come face to face with their personal challenge, and in this moment they they either confront death or face their greatest fear. The hope of the journey is that by confronting their greatest fear and concurring it, they can embark on a new life. 

Coble’s response to illuminating this stage of the journey suggests the necessity of challenging seemingly inaccessible structures and systems (social, political personal), while insisting on the interdependency of a collective effort by employing the communication of multiple bodies, versus attempting to cross this personal bridge alone. Refraining from a heroic narrative of conquering an iconic structure, the piece lends itself to chance and even possibly, failure.

ABOUT MONOMYTHS
MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.  
Joseph Campbell’s influential book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) prescribes a common pattern to all of the world’s mythic narratives. According to this fundamental structure, the archetypal hero is challenged to embark on a monumental quest. Over the course of the hero’s journey, trials and obstacles must be overcome until a victory is won and the hero returns home with new knowledge about himself and the world. Campbell’s concept of the monomyth (‘one myth’) is a recognizable motif in both ancient mythology and contemporary culture, including film, music, literature, sports, and advertising. A current trend in popular visual culture replaces the male character with a female one, in spite of the fact that our heroine–from the get-go–would make different choices if the conditions, and conditioning, allowed. While each MONOMYTHS stage stands alone, the work of each presenting artist is interdependent and connected. These independent visions, when stitched together through the audience’s collective presence, form an exquisite corpse of a larger experimental narrative. 

The year-long MONOMYTHS project is presented in three sections starting in February 2016 and concluding in February 2017. The series is conceived and curated Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane.
www.performanceart.ca

ABOUT IN/FUTURE
Mary Coble's performance project is presented in the context of in/future, a festival of art and music, presented by Art Spin in partnership with Small World Music. 100+ transformative experiences re-animating the West Island of Ontario Place during this once-in-a-lifetime festival. 60+ artists including large scale installations, films, and performances. 40+ musical performances on the Small World Music stage.
Tickets and passes available in advance at www.infuture.ca

Will be doing a new performance piece as part of 'Monomyths" that will take place here.
6/30/2016

Toronto art exhibition to bring new life to Ontario Place

By: Gilbert Ngabo Metro Published on Thu Mar 10 2016
Fun is returning to Ontario Place this fall.
For 11 days in September, more than 40 contemporary artists will take over the 14-acre waterfront park, transforming it into a multidisciplinary art installation — and opening up parts of the former amusement park that have been sitting idle.
A big goal of the exhibition, called In/Future, is revitalizing the site through cultural programming, said co-artistic director Rui Pimenta.
“It’s transformative,” he said. “People basically will experience the west island of Ontario Place in a way they never experienced it before.”
The project is a collaborative effort between Art Spin and Small World Music Festival, two local arts and culture organizations. The local flavour of the effort runs deep with a lot of emphasis placed on making sure the art included is a reflection of Toronto and Ontario, Pimenta said.
The side benefit of that, he said, is promoting artists who otherwise “wouldn’t have access to this type of exposure.”
People can expect to see everything from sculptures, paintings, photography and new media installations.
Plus, Cinesphere — the IMAX theatre on the property that dates back to 1971 — will screen original films along with those from the Ontario Place archives, some of which haven’t been seen by the public in 20 years.

 

Invited to participate in: MONOMYTHS, Stage 8: Ordeals, Toronto, Canada
6/30/2016


I've been invited to participate in "Monomyths" with a live performance in September 2016 in Toronto Canada. More details on the specifics to come soon!

This is supported by FADO Performance Inc. (Performance Art Centre), a non-profit artist-run centre for performance art based in Toronto, Canada.

Conceived and curated Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.  
Joseph Campbell’s influential book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) prescribes a common pattern to all of the world’s mythic narratives. According to this fundamental structure, the archetypal hero is challenged to embark on a monumental quest. Over the course of the hero’s journey, trials and obstacles must be overcome until a victory is won and the hero returns home with new knowledge about himself and the world. Campbell’s concept of the monomyth (‘one myth’) is a recognizable motif in both ancient mythology and contemporary culture, including film, music, literature, sports, and advertising. A current trend in popular visual culture replaces the male character with a female one, in spite of the fact that our heroine–from the get-go–would make different choices if the conditions, and conditioning, allowed. 
The year-long MONOMYTHS project is presented in three sections starting in February 2016 and concluding in February 2017.
While each MONOMYTHS stage stands alone, the work of each presenting artist is interdependent and connected. These independent visions, when stitched together through the audience’s collective presence, form an exquisite corpse of a larger experimental narrative. 

MONOMYTHS: Part 1
February 3–7, 2016
Stage 1: The Ordinary World
Maria Hupfield (Anishinaabe/Canada/USA)
Ursula Johnson (Mi'kmaw) and Cheryl L'Hirondelle (Cree/Métis/German)
Stage 2: Refusal of the Call
Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan (Winnipeg)
Stage 3: Meeting of the Mentor
Feminist Art Gallery (Toronto)
Tamyka Bullen (Toronto)
Eliza Chandler (Toronto)
Johnson Ngo (Toronto)
Ariel Smith (Ottawa)
Dainty Smith (Toronto)
Zanette Singh (Toronto)
Stage 4: Crossing The Threshold
Armando Minjarez (Mexico/USA)
Stage 5: Belly of the Whale
Jefferson Pinder (USA)
Jasmyn Fyffe (Toronto)
Danièle Dennis (Toronto)
Chy Ryan Spain (Toronto)
Ravyn/Jelani Ade-Lam Wngz (Toronto)

MONOMYTHS: Part 2
May 2016–January 2017
Stage 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies
Michelle M. Wright (USA)
Stage 7: Journey to the Inmost Cave
Stage 8: Ordeals
Stage 9: Reward (Seizing the Sword)
Stage 10: The Road Back
 
MONOMYTHS: Part 3
February 2017
Stage 11: Refusal of the Return
Stage 12: The Magic Flight
Stage 13: The Crossing of the Return Threshold
Stage 14: Mistress of Two Worlds
Stage 15: Freedom to Live
 

Text 'Raised Fists and Glitterbombs' in Kultur i Väst Newsletter
5/30/2016


I was commissioned by Kultur i Väst to write an article as part of an artist writing series entitled 'Honestly' which ask artists connected to the Gothenburg, Sweden area to write about urgencies related to their practices.  

'Raised Fists and Glitterbombs' poses the potential of queer performance art as a
strategy for social change.  Talking through activations at PRIDE Festivals and recent works such as 'Performing Defiance and 'This is not a party' queer performance and activist strategies of agency, community and awareness that can be used to combat individual and structural discrimination are discussed.  

The Kultur i Väst online newsletter can be found here with a Swedish version of the text:
http://kulturivast.se/konst/mary-coble-hojda-knytnavar-och-glitterbomber


An English version of the text can be found at on my website at:  http://www.marycoble.com/text-curation/-raised-fists-and-glitterbombs-may-2016-

 

"Performing Defiance" Performance at Kunsthal Charlottenborg
1/8/2016


Live performance of "Performing Defiance" on Sunday January 24th from 13:00-14:00!

Image:
Documentation from Performing Defiance, 2015
At the Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival, Chicago, Illinois
Photo Credit: Tongyu Zhao
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