February 13-21, 2009

Theatre. Dance. Art. Video installations. Literature. Music. Technology. It’s hard to label the shows in the biennial Performatik festival. The focus is on work founded on exchange and collaboration between disciplines. The common element is always the live event, the encounter between you and the performer in the here and now. Call it what you like: performance art, live art, body art. It’s a recurring element in 20th-century art and its revival usually signals renewal, or the emergence of an avant-garde. It’s a sign that things are going well in the arts!

The Kaaitheater initiated this festival, but so as not to limit it to the dance and theatre angle, we are collaborating with a lot of Brussels partners who each contribute their own specific expertise. Argos, for example, will be showing video work by Vito Acconci and Karl Holmqvist, though these artists will be giving a talk and a performance in the Kaaistudios. Several performances by artists represented in the Un-Scene exhibition at Wiels are also being given under the Performatik banner.

Centenary of Futurism
During this festival we shall also be celebrating the centenary of the Italian Futurism movement (20th February 1909: publication of Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto on the front page of Le Figaro). Reviled by many for its adherence to the wrong side in politics, this movement was in many ways the starting signal for a whole series of twentieth-century avant-garde movements. On their ‘serata futurista’, or futuristic evenings, they presented all-round spectaculars in which various art forms merged.

On the eve of the centenary, deBuren and Passa Porta will be examining the main elements of this manifesto together with several writers: speed, technological progress, collectivity, rebellion and danger. In the course of Performatik, a number of Italian artists will be reinterpreting futurist ideals: Luca Buvoli, Claudio Sinatti and Demetrio Castellucci.

Other shows and performances will to a greater or lesser degree be coloured by some of the topics the futurists put clearly on the map for the first time: the relationship between man, puppet and machine, the importance and effect of manifestos, the parole in liberta, the art of noise, the fusion of stage set and character, future utopias and dystopias, new technologies, and so on.

Marinetti said that the future is for the ‘multiple and simultaneous consciousness in a single individual’. With some 30 activities to choose from, Performatik offers you the opportunity to put this to the test.

*I’m so into this and wish I could be there!

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