Author Archives: manuel

Performance Documentation workshop – Wake Festival Folkestone

Getting ready to a new workshop experience as part of Wake Festival in Folkestone.

We open call for a group of participants interested to discuss the complex relationship between Photography and Performance Art and exercise new ideas.

To apply please send: A short letter of motivation, artist’s bio/statement & weblink. To: info@performancespace.org

Participants will be provided with a bursary of £300, food, travel and assistance with accommodation if necessary.

Workshop dates: 1st – 5th September
Wake Festival dates: 8th – 10th September

Deadline for applications: 4th August
Applicants notified: 7th August

 
 Performance-documentation

About the workshop:

Title: Looking at Documentation from the lens of Performance Art.

Description:
This workshop is matured as a natural development of my art practice. Since 1999 I have been collaborating with more than 200 performance artists internationally.

Each collaborations was different but in every single one the objective was to transform a symbolic action into a significant image.

During these years I have developed a methodology of working based on dialogue, exchange, intention, attention, exercises and process.

By questioning the reductive activity of photography (framing and choosing) we will reconsider documentation as a creative action of emotional proximity with the subject.

By confronting the authoritative fixity of the photographic evidence we will open up the medium so to welcome new valid and necessary perspectives such as the ‘provisional’ or the ‘precarious’.

Basically, we will try to embody documentation as an exercise to sync with our subject and solution the inevitable distance.

– Manuel Vason

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Becoming an Image workshop – Reboot – Chisenhale Dance Space

Precarious-PhotographIt has been great to work with a group of participants put together by Clod Ensemble as part as their Reboot program.

The group was mainly composed by movers and choreographers and I felt a real interested on questioning the image (mainly the photographic image) and its role in our society.

During the various presentation I noticed a real connection between the action and the sound or better the rhythm.

While I used my practice as a vehicle to create some exercises to be experience in group, we all ended up united in the search for the ‘Precarious Image’.

_V0A5419 _V0A5433 REboot2417

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UNFORESEEN – Open Studio event

Dear Friends I’m delighted to invite you to my first Open Studio event.

 

Press Image web

 

For 3 days ( Friday 30th of June, Saturday 1st of July and Sunday 2nd of July) I welcome you to visit my studio where I will install a selection of artwork spanning 18 years. With the supervision of curator Clara Rocha we have selected more then 35 pieces which are part of my artist proof collection.

A lot of the selected work have been shown abroad but never in London.

We chosen UNFORSEEN as the title for the event. It highlight the mystical interdependency between the live event and its documentation. All the work exhibited is born as an attempt to overcome the failure of documentation and the distance that photography is ontologically creating. UNFORSEEN would like to celebrate that sense of ‘productive failure’.

UNFORSEEN is matured out of a desire to generate further visibility and discussion on my  art practice and the urgency to find alternative ways to sustain more development. The work exhibited will be available for sale and the money collected will be use to fund new projects.

Please help me to prove that there are other ways to survive as an artist in London without the support of a commercial gallery or a second job.

If you don’t think so, please come along anyway and let’s discuss it all.

Manuel

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Becoming an Image – Performance with Cassils.

Looking forward to collaborate once more with the incredible Cassils on the Becoming Image performance in Brighton.

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The day after the performance 17th of June there will be a conversation between Cassils, Dr. Dominic Johnson and Manuel Vason, hosted by Dr. Gavin Butt from the University of Sussex.  Here the link.

Becoming an Image is a performance designed for the camera. Taking place in a blacked out room, the only elements in the space are the audience, a photographer, the performer and a block of clay weighing 2000 pounds. In the darkness, Cassils uses their skills as a boxer and MMA fighter to unleashing an assault where they beat the clay, molding the form.

Originally commissioned by the ONE Archives (the oldest active LGBTQ organization in the United States.) Becoming an Image addressed LGBTQ archives and the Ts and Qs often missing from historical records, which exist outside of the lens. Cassils is originally from Montreal and now lives and works in Los Angeles. An internationally renowned multidisciplinary artist, Cassils is also founding member of the Los Angeles based performance group the Toxic Titties.

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Wake Festival – workshop opportunity

I’m so pleased to have been asked to give a workshop as part of Wake Festival. The program is sooo good!

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Here some info:

Manuel Vason workshop and WAKE festival performance documentation opportunity.

As part of WAKE festival 8th – 10th September ]performance s p a c e [ will be working with renowned photographer Manuel Vason to offer a dynamic performance documentation workshop. The workshop will take place e from 1st – 5th September in Folkestone,  following which participants will document the work taking place across WAKE festival. Each participant will either be assigned an artist to work with for the duration of the festival or an evenings event to document.

About Manuel Vason: Manuel Vason’s artistic practice explores the relationship between photography and performance, presence and representation. He considers the capturing of a moment as an act of creation, a ritual towards the illusion of immortality, and an exchange between who is in front and who is behind the camera. The collaborative nature of his practice shapes a unique, hybrid art form and generates new vocabularies. His collaborations to date have produced some of the most iconic images of performance and his work has been published and presented internationally. Website.

Participants will be provided with a bursary of £100, food and assistance with accommodation if necessary.

Participants must be able to attend 2 out of the 4 WAKE program events taking place ahead of the festival.

These are: Rising 17th June, Vigil: Black 24th June, Vigil: Rite 29th July, Vigil: Earth 26th August.

To apply please send: A short letter of motivation, artist’s bio/statement & weblink. To:

info@performancespace.org

Deadline for applications 5pm, 31st June.

Successful applicants notified by 14th July.

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Documentation of Body Media II Exhibition

I just received a couple of pictures from China and I was well impressed with the installation. I said to the curator I was worried about the reflections on the artwork as the images were mounted on perspex and they constructed a lit ceiling…

The credit of the images: ” Photograph by Jiang Wenyi, Power Station of Art ”

Manuel Vason web

The credit of the images: ” Photograph by Jiang Wenyi, Power Station of Art ”

Manuel Vason-2web

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THE ETHICAL DOCUMENT – Tate Liverpool – Look Festival

Thu 11 May  2:00pm – 3:30pmTate Exchange Space, Level 1, Tate Liverpool, Albert Dockbrazil-Capture-026

I’m really looking forward to share some ideas and example of my work around a topic so complex and poignant as The Ethical Document.

Take part in a discussion exploring photography and performance:

This event is aimed at artists, photographers, curators and those interested in socially engaged practice, the event will be chaired by Sarah Fisher; Executive Director of Open Eye Gallery.

Join Jennifer Verson, Manuel Vason and Tara Fatehi Irani of the DARC collective for talks and presentations on the practices, aesthetics and ethics of co-creating performance documentation, performance photography and photo performances.

Last summer Manuel Vason was in residence with the multi-faith women’s group and choir Migrant Artists Mutual Aid (MaMa) and the transmutable voices team: performer/director Jennifer Verson, artist/psychotherapist Lorena Rivero de Beer and and social psychologist Pamella Mastrilli and co-created a series of photo performances exploring new aesthetics of citizenship.

Manuel Vason returns to Liverpool on May 11th with Tara Fatehi Irani to discuss the theories, processes and challenges of creating the ethical document.

DARC are a collective of artists who believe that the documentation of other artists work is not just preservation but a creative act. This event is programmed by Open Eye Gallery in association with LOOK/17 and is part of the week long event LOOK/17: UK/China Cultural Exchange II.

Here the weblink to the event:

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-liverpool/talk/ethical-document

http://www.lookphotofestival.com/programme/events/

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Body Media II Exhibition Shanghai

I’m very excited to participate on this group exhibition at the Power Station Gallery in Shanghai China.

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Body Media II will first incorporate PSA’s industrial space as a cold body and a segment of modernity. This cold body will use hot language and hot narration to guide visitors around internally like the circulation of blood, to test if space, artworks, and visitors can achieve uniformity in terms of languages and actions. 

Body Media II continues the theme of Body Media, which took place at the Red Town Sculpture Center in 2007 and was mainland’s earliest international interactive media exhibition. 10 years ago, Body Media took place in two totally enclosed black boxes, and the sense of space was intentionally taken away, with bodies of visitors becoming keys to open projects in the sense of time. After a decade, when we re-look at “body” and “media”, they have gone beyond the relations of mirror or cooperation, and are leading to interesting performativity as they are now substitutes to each other.

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Selection 1

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The Art of Pain

I want to introduce the concept of pain as a companion.

Since we are born we feel pain and from day one we need to deal with pains. Our organism is constantly producing energy and alimenting cells that live and die. A lot of our daily energy is use against the forces of nature that push us toward the ground, that change our body temperature, that blow against us, etc.

Since we are born we experience a number of different pains and different level of pain. We also learn to manifest our pains and to search for remedy. We immediately understand pain as something against us, as something external to us with a clear negative connotation. When we grow we associate the idea of pain with medicinal (pain relief), hospitals, treatments. More recently we also connect the idea of pain with inefficiency and unproductivity. While I’m writing these words I’m also aware that pain is growing as a sort of taboo… it is such a bad thing that it is better not to speak about it… unless it is necessary. Well it has become really necessary to share some thoughts on pain and most of all to change mine/our relationship with the idea of pain.

I remember recently watching a documentary on flamenco and listening the experts of the art saying that the dance, the music and the singing can manifest only if in connection with pain… without the real suffering we can not connect emotionally in what we all share and battle every day of our existence. For the first time I linked the relationship between art and pain: art being a manifestation of pain and in a way the celebration of one of our most innate companion. To be in pain it means to live. It mans to be, to sustain, to inhabit life, to inhabit our body, to breath. If we focus for a second to our most functional activity of breathing we realize that breathing means exhaling (empting our body of oxygen) and inhaling (filling our body of oxygen). This repetitive action is a sort of daily therapy, a procedure of self-cure. To cure it also means to empty or to destroy so to build or to rebuild, to strengthen. More we are connected with our pains and more we can activate our systems of self-cure and of protection. If we distance each other from our daily pain we allow the pain to grow and develop forms that are harder to cure. In my society of pain-taboo is very easy to create a separation with the pain. Most of all, I have been educated to see the pain as some already anonymous and alien to my system which remedy is a another alien substance. Basically I have been educated to see my pain as a ‘transaction’ of anonymous viruses exchanged for artificially created ones. I have been educated to be a tourist of my body and to understand the richest tourists owning the healthier bodies. I have been educated to keep my pains as secret as obstacles toward my success. This culture is a culture of pain expansion. While we are constantly reminded of the prosperous result of the application of technology and the innovative progress of our research, we are battling against new forms of pain. We have definitely learned to prolong our life and sedate the pain but we have not learned to live with it and share our life with it. The acceptance of pain in our life it means the creation of a deeper connection with the tissues of our existence. It is not to job of the doctor to encourage a deeper relationship with our body and the pains of our bodies but it is the job of the educator and the artist. In this case I see the educator and the artist sharing the same role and practicing the Art of Caring. The real remedy to the pain is a stronger connection, the dialogue and the coexistence. We need to start understanding the pain as a partner that needs a lot of daily care and the result of this marriage is a more peaceful life. To cure our own body it also means to cure our social body, our family, our community, our country, our world. It means to allocate a larger quantity of our activities and energies toward practices of correspondence and acknowledgment with the pains of our world.

In a society where we learn to hide our pains and to overcome our deep pain decorating the surface, where we learn to reward our anxiety practicing the insignificant Art of Shopping, where we learn to direct all our energy to fuel the market and celebrate the profit as the Art of Happiness… we need to re-establish the ‘respect’ for the forces of nature and reconnect with our essence. We have distanced ourselves from the other living species because we can imagine and create, well, we went a bit too far and it is time to use our creative energy to bridge back with our origin and perpetrate co-existence instead of uncontrolled individualism and artificial dominion.

The Art of Caring must become a new shared ideology that informs our conscience and drives our behavior.

The Art of Caring is not addressing a radical battle against the market and the use of technology. The Art of Caring is calling for an urgent action toward solidarity and respect. Directing a bigger part of our energy and time toward the connection with our pains it means automatically to reduce our time spent to produce and consume, it means to re-establish a moderate use of technology, it means to re-gain our control toward the market and not allow the market to control us.

We, artists and educators of this world need to start first practicing the Art of Caring so to share our discoveries, our actions, our exercises of connections. We need to become the example, the models upon which the rest of our community can confront with. Like children of this world we can only apprehend by imitating and repeating. The new children of this world need to have the possibility to practice the Art of Caring.

Manuel Vason (Mexico City 2016)

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