The Buddhist Bug series, Campus Dining, 2012, Performance & Concept by Anida Yoeu Ali, Photography by Masahiro Sugano, Archival Inkjet Print, Edition of 5, *Image courtesy of Studio Revolt

Pathways of Performativity in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art, First Day


Practical information

Symposium in English
Reservation required
Free Entry

Event overview

The two days international symposium “Pathways of Performativity in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art” casts a spotlight on the fascinating histories of performance practices which speak to the postcolonial, Cold War and politico-economic forces that have shaped Southeast Asia after the Second World War. It brings together renowned scholars and curators from the disciplines of art history, film and theatre studies, whose work explores the central role of performance in bridging the visual arts, theatre, dance, music and political activism in the region from the 1960s to the present.

The symposium is accompanied by the launch of the exhibition “Southeast Asia Performance Collection”, conceived as part of the series ‘Archives in Residence’ in Haus der Kunst’s Archive Gallery. It presents photographs, videos and archival materials from the pioneering ‘Southeast Asia Performance Collection’, an expansive research project and digital archive compiled by an international team of researchers and curators in the UK and Asia between 2015 and 2017. This archive currently contains documentation of performance-based works such as live art, urban and social interventions, by over fifty artists from across Southeast Asia and its diasporas. The exhibition presents a selection of these materials for the first time in Germany, and explores the relationship between performativity and digital exchanges, networks and virtual preservation across Southeast Asia. Bringing the ideas behind the symposium and exhibition to life will be a curated program of live performances by internationally-acclaimed Southeast Asian artists. 

The symposium is collaboratively run and generously supported by the Goethe-Institut. It is organised by Dr. Eva Bentcheva (Goethe-Institut Postdoctoral Fellow at Haus der Kunst), in consultation with Annie Jael Kwan (independent curator and founding director of Something Human). The ‘Southeast Asia Performance Collection’ was conceived by Something Human, and is currently accessible at the Live Art Development Agency in London, UK.

First day: Thursday, 27 June

2–2.30 pm
Greeting and introduction

Dr. Damian Lentini, Curator 
Rainer Hauswirth, Head of Visual Arts, Goethe Institut 
Dr. Eva Bentcheva, Goethe-Institut Postdoctoral Fellow at Haus der Kuns

2.30–4 pm
Panel 1: Aesthetics and Politics of ‘Publicness’ 

Dr Pamela Corey (SOAS, University of London) 
"Performance as Picture: Performativity and Photography in Cambodia"

Nathalie Johnston (Myanm/art) 
"No Intersection: Where Theatre, Protest and Performance Art in Myanmar Meet"

Eileen Legaspi Ramirez (University of the Philippines) 
"Wagering Performativity in the Philippines among Sites and Selves"

Moderation: Dr Damian Lentini

4–5.30 pm
Panel 2: Expanding Intermedial Histories 

Dr meLê Yamomo (University of Amsterdam) 
"Performing Epistemic Disobediences in Manila and Southeast Asia? Decolonial Possibilities in José Maceda’s Udlot-udlot and Ugnayan"

Dr Thomas Berghuis (Curator and art historian, Leiden) 
"Pathways of Performance and Performance Art in Indonesia – ‘When was performance, performance art in Indonesia?’"

Dr Amanda Rath (Goethe University Frankfurt) 
"Unpacking Indonesian ‘Performance Art’ as Transdisciplinary Collaborations in the 1980s and 1990s"

Moderation: Dr May Adadol-Ingawanij

6–7 pm
Opening Archives in Residence: Southeast Asia Performance Collection
with Live-Performance: Anida Yoeu Ali, The Buddhist Bug Project 

7–8.30 pm
Keynote lecture 1

Prof Nora Taylor (School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
"Sedimented Acts: Southeast Asian Artists’ Engagements with History Through Performance"

Respondents: Chương-Đài Võ (Asia Art Archive) and Dr Mechtild Widrich (School of the Art Institute of Chicago)

Second day of the Symposium

Abstracts and biographies