Two pre-cluster meetings have been scheduled with the exclusive participation of Greek performance artists and theorists living and working both in Greece and abroad. These gatherings aim at bringing together strong and diverse critical voices of the region, who rarely have the opportunity to interact with each other and who will therefore both offer a substantial regional contribution/participation to the event, and ensure a continuity in the development of a strong critical language in performance studies in Greece post-event. It is precisely for this reason that we are curating it as an open platform, a coming together in synchronous time, as far as the Greek participation is concerned, incorporating as many voices as possible from distinct academic and cultural institutions in Greece. Together with the project curators, the participants of those pre-cluster meetings will plan and organize the Greek participation in the cluster on the basis of collaborative models of work and research.
The first pre-cluster meeting took place on 10th January 2011 in the space of elculture.gr (Miltiadou 18, 105 60 Athens), with the participation of the five project curators and the following dance and theatre artists and theorists:
Our meeting focused on the main aims and objectives of Performance Studies and of the PSi organization in particular, as well as on the specific topic of our cluster, the notion and understandings of synchronicity within the area of contemporary experimental dance and theatre practices. During our encounter all participants were encouraged to creatively reflect on our discussions in various ways. This process generated the following materials as questions/issues/thoughts for further discussion:
How can the ‘con-tempo-rary’ be defined?
Does the ‘contemporary’ change with time?
What is the relationship between the contemporary and the diachronic? Are they opposites? Are they different?
Do the current conditions I am working in render me ‘contemporary’ with the current moment anyway?
Does the contemporary inhabit specific venues? Does it alter from place to place?
Why should you work on finding out what your work ‘says’ today?
In which way can one create political theatre without referring to the ‘up-to-date’? How is then the ‘political’ being defined?
The responsibility of a stage action, our position and emancipation towards the ‘contemporary’, don’t they constitute political aspects? Aren’t our choices and positions political?
Can the contemporary be represented? How do I recognize it? From its form/ its patterns / its images?
What is contemporary to a body?
Consciousness – Experience – Dynamic
The cut from the contemporary, in order to experience the contemporary, as Agamben suggested…
Are our experiences in the ‘now’ something total? Maybe our presence in the ‘here and now’ is already our absence from it. The moment we realize it, it is already gone…
Are we only interested in the contemporary? What else are we interested in today as creators and spectators?
Why do we find it hard not to be contemporary? Do we know how to try not to be contemporary?
Is there something as group theory? Is there a theory written by groups? Is there a theory written for groups?
The management and sharing of time is an issue… organized or ‘free’ discussion?
Is the notion of structure different in theory and in practice? Is this the different between theory and practice?
Why is the average age of the people discussing here today ‘what is the contemporary’, 35 years old?