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 2012 Whitstable Biennale
Get Set For The 2012 Whitstable Biennale - ArtLyst Article image

Get Set For The 2012 Whitstable Biennale

16-08-2012
 
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The Whitstable Biennale is a festival of contemporary visual art. Set in the small fishing town of Whitstable, the festival features a wide range of ambitious and experimental new work in film and performance.

This year's Whitstable Biennale takes place over three weekends between 1 - 16 September, and is packed with live performances, screenings, exhibitions, talks and events.

Whitstable Biennale 2012 presents three curated programmes which unfold across the three weekends of the festival, exploring the overlap between film and performance, and presenting some of the most energised, inventive and important younger artists working in visual arts today

Stages in the Revolution, curated by The Island (Victoria Brooks and Andrew Bonacina)a series of projects that seek to create spaces for, and reflect on, the provisional communities that coalesce and dissolve across the three weeks of the Biennale. Their programme iIncludes Patrick Staff's series of stages constructed around the working harbour area which, as well as functioning as new public spaces and an open invitation for impromptu performance, will also be used as performance spaces for participants in workshops and discussion groups; Gareth Moore's Children's Films, an itinerant film project involving a set of short 16mm films made by international artists especially for children; and Jesse Jones' dramatisation of an an iconic encounter group therapy session.

Artist and writer Jeremy Millar has curated a programme of exhibition and talks, including a new film by BJNilsen and Jon Wozencroft, and Speak Nearby, a programme of new and classic artists’ film and video that explore the intertwining themes of rituals, dream, dance, and possession. A group exhibition including the American film-maker Maya Deren, Joachim Koester and Shezad Dawood, these are works of transformation, and within them it is often the human body that is transformed, performing these acts or, in turn, being performed upon.

Artist Emma Leach has put together a programme of live performances taking place on each of the three weekends in unusual spaces in Whitstable, as well as immersive and performative installations that span each day. Many of the artists' works exist at the intersection of performance with other media: video, sculpture, writing and music will all feature strongly. One strong concern shared by many of the works is the relationship between material things and the magic that makes them function. Charisma, the internet and sea shanties will all be under scrutiny. There will also be a series of three Saturday performance evenings, each including a trio of new works corresponding to three themes that run through the Biennale's programme as a whole: Delivering Text, Moving Sculpture and Faith & Trickery

Each of the three festival weekends is packed with live performances, screenings, talks and events. There are three main programmes for this year’s festival:

Stages in the Revolution


Curated by Andrew Bonacina and Victoria Brooks (The Island)

Stages in the Revolution is a series of projects for the Whitstable Biennale that seek to create spaces for and reflect on the provisional communities that coalesce and dissolve across the three weeks of the Biennale. Emerging out of research into the changing sociability of cinematic and performative viewing and set against the changing nature of public space in Whitstable which has seen the closure of venues such as the town's only cinema, this programme of film and performance events examines the critical and social potential of collectivity and alternative spaces for engaging with culture and its audiences. Taking its name from Catherine Itzin’s seminal book about the history of political theatre in the UK since 1968, Stages in the Revolution brings together a number of projects that act as platforms for collaboration and the presentation of new works by a larger group of invited artists. With references including countercultural 'encounter groups', the labour movements occupation of public space as a catalyst for social change, and present day issues of enclosure and contemporary 'commoning', the artists' experiment with the viability of performative communality and interrogate the ways in which cultural discourse can be generated outside the 'museum' walls. 
 
Artists include Jesse Jones, Patrick Staff, Cara Tolmie, Gareth Moore and Iain Boal with contributions by Margareta Kern, Cinenova, Little Joe Film Club and others.

Speak Near By

A programme of exhibitions and talks, selected by artist and writer Jeremy Millar

Speak Near By is a group exhibition of artists’ film and video works by Shezad Dawood, Maya Deren, Derek Jarman, and Joachim Koester which explores rituals, dreams, dance, and possession. The Whitstable Symphony is a specially commissioned audio-visual symphony by BJNilsen and Jon Wozencroft. Produced in association with Touch.

A series of talks includes choreographer Siobhan Davies in conversation with artist Marcus Coates; producer John Wyver, and artist Shezad Dawood.

Performance Events


Artist Emma Leach has put together a programme of live performances taking place on each of the three weekends in unusual spaces in Whitstable, as well as immersive and performative installations that span each day. Many of the artists' works exist at the intersection of performance with other media: video, sculpture, writing and music will all feature strongly. One strong concern shared by many of the works is the relationship between material things and the magic that makes them function. Charisma, the internet and sea shanties will all be under scrutiny. There will also be a series of three Saturday performance evenings, each including a trio of new works corresponding to three themes that run through the Biennale's programme as a whole: Delivering Text, Moving Sculpture and Faith & Trickery.

Artists include: Emma Hart, Tanya Axford, Benedict Drew, Tessa Lynch, Ben Judd, Tim Bromage, Angus Braithwaite, and Internet (Siân Robinson Davies & Diego Chamy).

The programme continues during the weekdays, with ongoing works including The Whitstable Symphony, and new works including John Smith's Soft Work. Please see the programme for more details.

A lively festival fringe accompanies the main programme. See www.whitstablesatellite.com for more details.


The sixth edition of the Whitstable Biennale takes place over 16 days from Sunday 1 - Sunday 16 September 2012.

" Whitstable is my favourite Biennale, i've been to every one since '06 and 2012 looks like it delivers. Really good to see Jeremy Millar is curating part of this, in fact tehre is SO much that's GREAT. It's def becoming the 'London Biennale'. Can't wait!!!! " - 16-08-2012  

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