The Rise of Performance Architecture: Camp-Conference on Art/Urban Strategies :: September 22 - October 1, 2011 :: Grisar Park, Brussels, Todays Art Festival.
“Accepting architecture as cultural production, its performative dimension must also contribute to a critical role, that is, to architecture’s capacity to produce commentary regarding the ongoing transformations of culture and society. In this sense, the notion of architectural performance implied here feeds directly upon the tradition of performance art.” — Pedro Gadanho, “Architecture as performance”, revista Dédalo N°2, Porto, 2007
“The main achievement of contemporary city planning is to have made people blind to the possibility of what we call unitary urbanism, namely a living critique of this manipulation of cities and their inhabitants, a critique fueled by all the tensions of everyday life. A living critique means setting up bases for an experimental life where people can come together to create their own lives on terrains equipped to their ends.” — Raoul Vaneigem, Attila Kotanyi, “Basic program of the Bureau of Unitary Urbanism”, revue Internationale Situationniste N°6, Paris, 1961
In the last decade, ephemeral architecture practices of numerous architects and artists collectives have been developing as a critical answer to the results of growing mobility in the recent neo-liberal context, using various performative tactics for “activation” of the local potentialities for social change. The most interesting ephemeral architecture projects are fast-statement critical practices, collective actions towards the creation of temporary places for encounters in an ever-changing urban environment.
But, because these actions have to be strongly connected to longer-term local actions, they have to be transitory phases that call for a social transformation, for a next step. And in that sense, this is very performative. And this is where the performative action becomes a radical social gesture that goes far beyond the production of an aesthetic object. These 3 days of conferences and performances will give the opportunity to architects, urban theorists, performance artists, philosophers and activists to root the origins of contemporary performance architecture and to extend its potentialities regarding future art/urban strategies.
But the conference will also be an activation step for MyCityLab Brussels, an ephemeral performance that call for longer-term actions in the Brussels MIDI neighbourhood, this key platform of mobility in Europe. For that reason a one-week workshop will bring architects, artists, urban theorists, performers and volunteers to activate this camp-conference.