11th Evening of Performances

DRAF‘s Annual Evening of Performances took place at O2 Forum Kentish Town, 02.10.2018 7 pm – Late. With Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press, Martin Creed, Charismatic Megafauna, Das Hund, Bob Kil, Stacy Makishi, Grace Schwindt, Alma Söderberg and Tate n Lyle.

DRAF presents its 11th annual Evening of Performances, at 1930s Art Deco music venue the O2 Forum Kentish Town, with an exciting programme of live works that range across performance art, spoken word, dance, comedy and music.

The evening presents eight new commissions and a UK premiere by international artists responding to the theme of intimacy. Each artistic contribution brings forward a new reading and experience, charging the venue with different physical, sensual and intellectual approaches. A wide array of artistic positions take stage throughout the evening, expanding from the personal to the collective, exploring the ways in which people connect to one another. Bob Kil, Stacy Makishi, Charismatic Megafauna and Grace Schwindt explore individual and personal narratives.   Alma Söderberg and, Martin Creed expand on the sensual dimension of intimacy. Artist duos Tate n Lyle and Das Hund incorporate additional performers to examine and express the role of the social and political in personal interactions. Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press stages a typographic catwalk that oscillates between a runway show and a military march of linguistic components. She publishes the event under a unique ISBN number, permanently registering it in the public domain.

Intimacy is the quality of close relationships between subjects, which may be physical and bodily, however not necessarily sexual. It requires reciprocation. Each deeper connection creates more room to grow, more to lose and more to become. The human condition, in that regard, relies on the willingness to transcend individual boundaries, and the urge to multiply ways of being in order to have meaningful encounters. Individuals engaged with acts of care, trust and love are invested in the transactions of desire. The programme at O2 Forum Kentish Town, responds to the various forms and powers of intimacy and its role in understanding and relating to the world around us.

The eleventh edition of the annual event is curated by new DRAF Director & Chief Curator Fatoş Üstek. The event is free to the public, and coincides with Frieze London.

 

PROGRAMME

Artist Bob Kil makes her first UK public appearance at DRAF’s 11th Evening of Performances. Her new commission, But Bob, emerges from a dream landscape, where she recounts a recent experience in R.E.M state. Her reading takes the form of a sleep journey, with pitfalls and peaks, her voice rising and falling at an unexpected pace. She exposes what might be the most intimate realm, and unfolds her fears and confusion into words. Her voice guides the audiences to a sensuous space where personal projections and associations run amok.

Here’s to… punctuates the evening with popping champagne corks. A series of toasts take place throughout the evening and across the venue. The artist duo Tate n Lyle, composed of Rohanne Udall and Paul Hughes, take the commission towards an expansion of ideas and positions. Through inviting six individuals with strong opinions –Angela Andrews, Wendy Houston, Bruno Roubicek, Tamara Tomic-Vajagec, Esmond Sage and Monsur Mansoor – and allocating each a space for expression through a celebratory toast, they isolate the individual and publish reflections from their respective lives.

Choreographer and dancer Alma Söderberg performs Deep Etude, 2018 for the first time in the UK. Alma Söderberg works with the body as her medium and responds to sound  through choreography and movement. Deep Etude is informed by a composition of polyrhythmic sounds by Hendrik Willekens. Söderberg introduces endurance into the piece. She marks each movement with repetition and sound. Through improvisation and immediate choreographic response, each performance emerges as a unique composition.

Artist Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press publishes the eleventh DRAF Evening of Performances with an original ISBN number, registering it as both a fiction and a reality. Her distinctive visual and numeric identity runs throughout the venue and stretches across London. On stage, she presents a new performance Spring Summer 19 / The Walk in the form of a fashion runway show which foregrounds not clothes, but language. The performance melds fetishisms of display prevalent both on the catwalk and in military displays.

Turner Prize winning British artist Martin Creed reveals a new commission for An Evening of Performances.

Grace Schwindt’s new commission The Boxer centralises on the singularity of a subject from the perspective of multitude, looking at what makes an individual. Her response is told from the perspective of a lack, a wound, a loss. Schwindt composes an image of a person in his/her absence, through performances by a bodybuilder, a singer, a dancer, a drummer, alongside a boxing ring and a series of sculptures made of ceramics and bronze. The broken boxing ring she inserts on the stage stands for the central character whose narrative is told through moving image, accompanied by singing and choreography. Performers include Sophie Brown, Jia-Yu Corti, Rosie Middleton, Ellen van Schuylenburch and Ted Pollard.

The complexity of human narrative is the core of Stacy Makishi‘s new piece, Stacy Makishi and the Proud Marys. Her stand-up comedy is informed by her memories of her childhood. She juxtaposes vital facts (place of birth, conditions of upbringing) with semantic constellations (feelings of self, realisation of subjectivity, aspirations…) in the most hilarious and surreal ways. In this piece, Makishi directs her lens onto shame, an intimate feeling kept hidden from others. Through inviting the audience to respond and participate in her directional narrative, she builds a deep collective intimacy.

Environmentalist and gender activist punk trio Charismatic Megafauna are a female-only band composed of artists Jenny Moore, Georgia Twigg and Susannah Worth. They perform a drum-hop-punk-powered missives of “party music for politically minded people” in original costumes and projections. Their live set of songs from their latest album Semi Regular performs the intimacy of the political self, through ever-active engagement with the world.

Artist duo Das Hund (Sam Levack and Jennifer Levandowski) launch their evocative debut album For Freedom,performed live for the first time at An Evening of Performances. The artists compose visual and sonic narratives around the alienated individual that resists the streams of regeneration and separation from nature. The duo, accompanied by a guitar and bass player, will perform tracks from the album, which is available as digital download and vinyl LP. This launch will be followed by a UK tour.

ABOUT

AN EVENING OF PERFORMANCES is an annual highlight in DRAF’s programme, bringing together artists, musicians and choreographers for an evening of live artworks. The event is both a key moment in the Frieze VIP diary, and open free to all. In 2017, DRAF presented the first off-site edition of the annual event at London music hall KOKO. In 2018, the event will take place at the 1930s Art Deco former-cinema O2 Forum Kentish Town.

Previous Evening of Performances have featured artists including Alexandra Bachzetsis, Nina Beier, John Bock, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Michael Dean, Rodney Graham & Kim Gordon, Pierre Huyghe, Sarah Lucas, Goshka Macuga, planningtorock, Eddie Peake, Laure Prouvost, Steve Reich, Cally Spooner, Sue Tompkins, Amalia Ulman and Mark Wallinger.

An Evening of Performances is supported by DRAF Galleries Circle: Blain Southern, Goodman Gallery, Marian Goodman, Grimm Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Lisson Gallery, The Modern Institute, Peres Projects, White Cube.

Bob Kil, But Bob, 2018 is supported by The Korean Cultural Centre UK.

VENUE

O2 Forum Kentish Town is an iconic 1,800-capacity live music venue in London, and one of the UK’s best preserved, original cinematic theatres. It was originally built as an Art Deco cinema in 1934 by Herbert Yapp, a cinema magnate who also owned the Forum cinemas in Ealing and Fulham and the architect was J. Stanley Beard with interior design managed by his partner W.R. Bennett. The cinema closed in 1970 to become a bingo hall and then a dance hall and in the 1980s the venue’s name and usage was changed to the Town & Country Club. It became one of the must-play venues on the indie circuit for up-and-coming bands as well as established acts. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, bands that played included The Velvet Underground and Pixies to Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine and The Wedding Present.

In recent years, O2 Forum Kentish Town has seen some legendary performers take to the stage including, Dave Grohl and Sound City players, Jack White, Rihanna, Bobby Womack, Justin Timberlake and KISS.

O2 Forum Kentish Town, 9-17 Highgate Rd, London NW5 1JY

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