Why Curate a Festival Without an Audience?

How to Mis(behave), or a Case Study of the Gan and Gan International Xingwei Yishu Festival in Jiangxi, China

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  • 1 Performance Artist, Curator, and Research Fellow, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
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Abstract

Why curate live arts without the bodily presence of external live audiences? After all, are the latter not the omphalos of live arts? This article responds to the above questions through a case study of the 2018 GAN&GAN International Performance Art Festival that took place on May 1, 2, and 3—an annual off-the-grid festival in the village of Meibei in the Southern Chinese province of Jiangxi. As a festival without an external live audience, GAN&GAN challenges both the central position of the audience in the conceptual framework of live arts curating and established concepts of audiences. I examine the curatorial practice and philosophy of the festival's two curators, Xiong Yunhao and Xiao Shang and demonstrate how their live arts festival—curated for its artists—not only preserves the endangered genre of Xingwei Yishu (performance/behavioral art from China) but widens the scope of contemporary curatorial practice.

Contributor Notes

Raimund Rosarius is a performance artist, curator, and research fellow in Theatre Studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He lectures in dance studies at the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, from which he completed the Curating in the Performing Arts Program. He also holds an MA in Theory and Practice of Directing from the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing.

TURBA

The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curation

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