Justus-Liebig-Universität GießenInstitut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft


Bypass Situations will investigate how the performance and art in general can today be understood as the alternative producer of knowledge, imagination and emotion. As Susan Buck-Morrs said: in the world where 'artistic freedom exists in proportion with artistic irrelevance', artistic and creative powers are more and more kept isolated from the social effect. Art, understood as the last space for freedom namely goes well together with the contemporary neo-liberal market, where also self-reflexive and critical relation is welcome and rapidly commodified. This can be also seen very clearly from the exhausted status of the institutional critique, which was for decades one of the main ways, how to develop the critical territories of contemporary art and performance.

In Bypass Situations we will search for a strategies and ways how to develop the resistant knowledge, imagination and emotion with the help of the one of most utopian periods in the recent history of contemporary art and performance, 'the sixties'. Situations will not only open the insight into the sixties movement, but also perform the peculiar relation, by which the desires and hopes, investments and utopias, criticisms and also later disappointment can be revealed. An entry into the sixties will be continuously marked with the very particular need of the present moment, which is in its search for references appropriating many features of the sixties, but only together with the strong division and critical attitude. What can also be very important is the awareness that the sixties are not entirely 'western' cultural phenomena. There was namely something at work in the global sensibility of that period, marked with the critical attitude towards productive organization of society.

Situations will consist from a combination of theoretical and practical work, dealing with hopes, happiness, freedom, resistance, utopia, free love, authenticity, jouissance; all those problematic notions at work in sixties and nowadays mostly appropriated by contemporary economy and commodification. We will try not only to restage some of the works from the sixties but read their references as an actual script / text for alliances with the contemporary modes of performing and politics of form. Interpretation of the performance art scripts, of the happenings instructions, Fluxus events, will also break up with their objectified status in the museum. The main focus will be on the liberating potential of such movements and the ways, how to read and restage the liberating potential today. Which are the strategies to relevantly perform different ways of knowledge, emotion and imagination, open up their liberating, non-adjusting and creative perspective? Where is today the site for the believing, community, pleasure, hope, especially when we have in mind the continuous privatisation of the liberating potential? Can there be a space for different modes of exposure, which are bypassing the all-encompassing globalised and economic future totality of our contemporary world?
1st. part:
18. April 2005 - 14. May 2005 (4 weeks)
2nd. part:
1. June 2005 - 16. June 2005 (10 days to 14 days)