The month of May has once again been declared as the Month of Performance Art here in Berlin, with hundreds of artists coming together for a 31-day, non-funded, non-profit collaborative effort for its 5th and last year. MPA-B sets no boundaries for what can or cannot be defined as performance art, with works ranging from “indoor and outdoor performances, site-specific interventions, talks, workshops, screenings, exhibitions, public encounters and interactions, durational and days-long actions, food gatherings, public tryouts” and many more.
The program seeks to open up, rather than summarize, the many practices of performance art by encouraging artists to collaborate and interact with one another, as well as increasing the accessibility of art forms that viewers may not otherwise be familiar with. Past performances have included a 10-hour long reading of Jacques Derrida‘s “L’animal que donc je suis” by 22 readers in English, German, and French, and ‘Working the Room’, in which artist Beth Dillon invited visitors to participate in a series of handshakes for a video montage commenting on social exchange and the “rituals of artistic professionalism”.
This year’s programme will kick off with ‘Speak up! Showdown’ at 1pm at Alexanderplatz, with a second performance at 8pm on the Berlin U-Bahn network. Each day of the month will bring a new and exciting performance, from things like ‘PCT (Performance Collaboration Tales or Post-Coital Tristesse)’, which explores a series of collaborations between artist couples using the metaphor of the depression/emptiness one may feel after sexual intercourse, to Aleks Slota‘s ‘Waiting for a Miracle’, in which the artist visits various politically “powerful” locations and quite literally wait for a miracle, for a tangible improvement, of some sort. The Month of Performance Art will finish off with a durational farewell brunch, titled ‘The Long Goodbye’, where the public and all those involved in the programme will come together for one last hoorah.
The Month of Performance Art will take place in venues and spaces throughout the city and a map of these locations will be provided to those interested in taking part. For more information about the festival, venues, schedule, etc.: www.mpa-b.org/mpandashb-2015.html
Blog entry by Nora Kovacs in Berlin; Wednesday, Apr. 01, 2015.