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ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art 2019

For the first time ever, ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival is proud to present the shortlisted artists of The ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art during the 2019 Festival in Kuopio where each shortlisted artist/collective performs their work. Shortlist LIVE! is a completely new and unique entity of events around the prize in which the shortlisted artists are performed live during ANTI Festival, and the winner of the prize is decided by the jury after the performances.

Four outstanding contemporary artists/collectives are once again set to compete for the prize. The 2019 shortlisted artists are Cuqui Jerez (Spain), Dana Michel (Canada), Keijaun Thomas (USA) and Mammalian Diving Reflex (Canada).

ANTI Festival’s Artistic Directors Johanna Tuukkanen and Gregg Whelan are excited about the shortlist and the new Shortlist LIVE! programme:

“The 2019 ANTI Prize for Live Art shortlist features four artists who collectively, from four quite different ways of working and from four strikingly different contexts, offer a powerful and hugely compelling reminder of the social and political agency of Live Art. Their work also reminds us how engaging, entertaining and enthralling great art can be. It’s a thrilling list and for the first time the Shortlist LIVE! programme will bring these remarkable artists to ANTI to present their work to the prize jury and festival audience alike. It’s going to be an incredibly exciting week; see you there!”

 

ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival takes place between 10th and 15th September 2019. The new Shortlist LIVE! program takes place on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th and the winner of The ANTI Festival International Price for Live Art will be announced at the prize party on Saturday night 14th September.

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Shortlist 2019

Cuqui Jerez (ES)

Cuqui Jerez. Photo: Dani Canto.

Cuqui Jerez. Photo: Dani Canto.

Cuqui Jerez is a Spanish choreographer and performer who lives and works in Madrid and Berlin. After working as a dancer and performer with various choreographers in Europe in the nineties, she began to develop her choreographic work in 2001. Since then, she has created pieces of different natures that have been presented at numerous festivals in Europe, USA and Latin America.

Cuqui Jerez describes her work as a tool to understanding the performative act. While her work entails many techniques from performance to text and even fireworks, she considers all of her practices as choreographies. She is obsessed with creating new realities and new languages through space, time, objects and bodies. According to Jerez she is focused on constructing in space, but she cannot separate space from time.

Her main activity is the creation, but she also participates in various research, curatorial, publishing and teaching projects.

Dana Michel (CA)

Dana Michel. Photo: Richmond Lam.

Dana Michel. Photo: Richmond Lam.

An amalgam of intuitive improvisation, choreography, and performance art, Dana Michel’s artistic practice is rooted in exploring the multiplicity of identity. Michel works with notions of performative alchemy and lucid dreaming – using personal history, current preoccupations, and future desires to create an empathetic centrifuge of live moments between herself and witnesses. Today, her work can be described by some of its influences and inhabitations: sculpture, cinematography, comedy, hip-hop, psychology, dub, and social commentary. 

In research, Michel alternates between the work that takes place in and out of the studio. After pouring over a subject via writing, reading, video, and discussion she relaxes her focus and let the body take over. “I feed myself with sound, silence, and dissonance – at times over-stuffing my body and psyche with stimulation to encounter its response. Then, minute details pop into my kinetic vision. They manifest movements, resonations, colours, textures, and certain experiences of light. These details clarify the trajectory of the work.”

Using difficulty as a navigational methodology comes naturally and coerces my performances into places of emergency and vulnerability. This is where I am able to listen at closest range, and to share with the least hesitation. Thinking about beings as mathematical proofs or portals, made up of billions of possibilities, deepens this listening.“

Keijaun Thomas (US)

Keijaun Thomas’s work in performance, multimedia installation, and poetry explores the labor of black femmes in situations ranging from housework and hairdressing to athletic training and exotic dancing.

Keijaun Thomas. Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk.

Keijaun Thomas. Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk.

Her performances combine rhapsodic layers of live and recorded voice, and her poems slip between various modes of address, exploring the pleasures and pressures of dependency, care, and support. Thomas underscores the endurance and intimacy care work demands of those expected to perform it – predominantly black women, black femmes and people of color. Thomas is currently based in New York, NY.

Keijaun Thomas aims to build bridges of understanding, community and care through her pieces. Her work centers and focuses on self/communal care in real time and building safer spaces for black and people of color to rethink, rework and reflect on the collective ancestral memory, differences as well as make space for our similarities.

Mammalian Diving Reflex (CA)

Mammalian Diving Reflex. Photo:Martin Steffan

Mammalian Diving Reflex. Photo:Martin Steffan

Founded by Artistic Director, Darren O’Donnell in 1993, Mammalian is a research-art atelier dedicated to investigating the social sphere, always on the lookout for contradictions to whip into aesthetically scintillating experiences.

 

They are a culture production workshop that creates site and social-specific performances, theatre-based productions, gallery installations, videos, art objects and theoretical texts. Mammalian’s body of work is interconnected, varied and vibrant, reflecting the company’s unique and growing body of knowledge and expertise on the use and function of culture. In all its forms, the company’s work dismantles barriers between individuals of all ages, cultural, economic and social backgrounds and, using performance as their excuse, finds new ways of being together.

 

Mammalian Diving Reflex does not tour with finished projects, but creates each project anew in each location, in collaboration with local producers, artists, performers and participants.

 

CUQUI JEREZ: THE PHENOMENON OF FICTITIOUS FORCES

Photo: Cuqui Jerez.

Photo: Cuqui Jerez.

He was explaining his obsession with gravity to me and then he opened the book and read something like this: The secret of flying is the following: you have to do it immediately, before your body realizes it is defying the laws. He closed the book, threw it out of the window and carried on talking. It fell so fast that I didn’t have time to see what book it was. At that point a phrase from Rayuela came to mind: I’m not sleepy. I keep on seeing things in the air while you talk.

In this piece more than 10.000 objects fly entering the stage. That’s it!

Schedules and seat reservations: http://antifestival.com/en/tapahtuma/cuqui-jerez-es/


DANA MICHEL: MERCURIAL GEORGE

Photo: Ian Douglas.

Photo: Ian Douglas.

In the wake of the acclaimed Yellow Towel, Mercurial George traces and transforms the banal, provoking a certain malaise. Sifting through the heaps of dusty clues leftover in the wake of initializing a cultural excavation, Dana Michel offers a destabilizing solo. The body vacillates as it struggles for balance and a toehold. Stretching out time with minimalist and deconstructed movement, Michel becomes the archeologist of her own persona.

“I only just got a bit of dirt under the nails with the last thing. Now wading through the hairy rubble of a preliminary anthropological dig. So much debris! I couldn’t have predicted how much debris there would be and how much work I had created for myself in waking this beast. But they needed waking. I have seen the eyes and I’m circling, skipping, daintily lifting limbs and sniffing its scent. What is the smell of a plethora of someones that you have been avoiding your whole life? What do you do with the body? This is another science experiment. This is another ground on which to test skins that belong to me, outfits and ideas that may or may not have been imposed.” –Dana Michel

Schedules and seat reservations: http://antifestival.com/en/tapahtuma/dana-michel-ca-mercurial-george/

KEIJAUN THOMAS: MY LAST AMERICAN DOLLAR

Photo: Andrea Abbatangelo.

Photo: Andrea Abbatangelo.

In Keijaun Thomas’ immersive solo work, My Last American Dollar:

Round 1. Tricking and Flipping Coins: Making Dollars Hit,

Round 2. Black Angels in the Infield: Dripping Faggot Sweat,

Round 3. Whatchu Gonna Do: Marvelous like Marva.

Thomas investigates and embodies resistance, asking: “How do we resist temptation, how do we slow down, how do we play, how do we survive?” Thomas traverses a multimedia installation, combining structural fragments of environments associated with labor, ritual, and hospitality such as locker rooms, strip clubs, waiting rooms, church pews, and field days. Investigating forms through which black and brown people hold space for each other, Thomas ask, how to carry the multiplicities of being young, gifted, and black. Powerfully engaging with the entangled histories of labor, subjugation, and resistance.

Schedules and seat reservations: http://antifestival.com/en/tapahtuma/keijaun-thomas-us-my-last-american-dollar/

MAMMALIAN DIVING REFLEX: SEX, DRUGS AND CRIMINALITY

Photo: Martin Steffen.

Photo: Martin Steffen.

Sex, Drugs and Criminality collides teenagers with the most famous and courageous artists in the world. The teens are invited to ask the artists any questions they want; the artists are invited to refuse any questions they want. The two groups reach across the yawning and gaping intergenerational chasm, to see if they can connect even just the tips of their fingers and, together, have a very very very frank discussion about three of the most confusing topics in the universe: sex, drugs and criminality.

Schedules and seat reservations:http://antifestival.com/en/tapahtuma/mammalian-diving-reflex-ca-sex-drugs-and-criminality/

 

Saara Turunen (FI)

Saara Turunen. Photo: Carl Bergman.

Saara Turunen. Photo: Carl Bergman.

The chair of the 2019 jury, Saara Turunen is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning author, playwright and director. Much of her work examines the themes of art, identity and social norms.

Turunen is known for her two highly acclaimed novels, Love/Monster (2015) and The Bystander (2018), but also for her work in theatre. Her plays have garnered brilliant reviews, and have been translated into numerous languages and performed all around the world. Turunen was awarded the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2015, and the Finland Prize in 2016, both high-profile awards given in Finland.

Daniel Brine (UK)

Daniel Brine. Photo: Hugo Glendinning.

Daniel Brine. Photo: Hugo Glendinning.

Daniel Brine is Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Norfolk & Norwich Festival Trust. The multi-artform, contemporary, international and audience-centred Festival takes place in Norwich and around Norfolk for 17 days each May. Year-round NNF delivers initiatives and projects including Festival Bridge building partnerships between schools and arts organisations across East England and Norfolk Open Studios celebrating the creative talents of the visual arts and crafts community in Norfolk.

Between 2012 and 2017 Daniel was Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Cambridge Junction, the contemporary arts centre where art meets life.  Previously Daniel has been Artistic Director and CEO of Performance Space (2009-2011), Australia’s leading organisation for the development and presentation of interdisciplinary arts and Associate Director of the Live Art Development Agency (2001-2008) supporting the development of live art practices and critical discourses in the UK and internationally.

nnfestival.org.uk

Thomas F. DeFrantz (US)

Thomas F. DeFrantz

Thomas F. DeFrantz

Thomas F. DeFrantz is Professor of Dance at Duke University and specializes in African diaspora aesthetics, dance historiography, and the intersections of dance and technology. DeFrantz runs the research group SLIPPAGE at Duke University, a group that works to create innovative interfaces for the telling of alternative histories. DeFrantz believes in our shared capacity to do better, and to engage our creative spirit for a collective good that is anti-racist, anti-homophobic, proto-feminist, and queer affirming.

DeFrantz is edited many publications, of which Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance  received the CHOICE award for Outstanding Academic Publication and the 2003 Errol Hill Award presenting by the American Society for Theater Research.  He has published extensively, with his monograph Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey’s Embodiment of African American Culture receiving the 2004 de la Torre Bueno Prize for outstanding publication in Dance. DeFrantz received the 2017 Outstanding Research in Dance award from the Dance Studies Association. DeFrantz has acted as a consultant for the Smithsonian Museum of African American Life and Culture. His ceative Projects include Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty, fastDANCEpast and reVERSE-gesture-reVIEW.

Recent teaching: University of the Arts Mobile MFA in Dance; ImPulsTanz; New Waves Institute; faculty at Hampshire College, Stanford, Yale, MIT, NYU, University of Nice.