January 19, 2016 - Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art - Michael Portnoy: Relational Stalinism – The Musical
January 19, 2016

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art

Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn. Image courtesy Michael Portnoy.

Michael Portnoy
Relational Stalinism – The Musical
6 weeks of world bending
January 29–March 6, 2016

Opening: January 28, 5–8pm, with performances throughout the evening

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +31 10 411 0144
F +31 10 411 7924
office@wdw.nl

www.wdw.nl
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Michael Portnoy
Relational Stalinism – The Musical
6 weeks of world bending
January 29–March 6, 2016

Opening: January 28, 5–8pm, with performances throughout the evening

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +31 10 411 0144
F +31 10 411 7924
office@wdw.nl

www.wdw.nl
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

In opposition to the strangling of museum spaces worldwide by rampant immaterial kudzu, (i.e. Post-French Post-Conceptual Dance, Dance-We-Can’t-Call-Dance, Po-Faced Minimalism, Feel-Good Participatory Glibbery, (a.k.a. Too Many Seagulls), and Performance with no qualities whatsoever aside from its leeching of court-approved historical referents, (a.k.a. Fancy Shoulder Piggybacking)), the breed of Relational Stalinism arose in a Theater Internment Facility in Preoccupied Benelux in the late Twenty-Teens. The primary tenets of Relational Stalinism are: Emboldening Confusion, Logocratic Exuberance, and Antic Behaviorism. Relational Stalinist works use a slippery iron fist to unbutton the viewer’s buggy of self and catapult her into a realm of truths only palpable through higher forms of irrationality.

This advanced breed of world-bending adopts the degree-zero performance palette as a constraint (performers, in a room, that's it) but pushes it out of monochrome and into a pubotany of deviously vibrant offshoots which stretch participants' language and behavior in the service of invention.

 

Running across six spaces at Witte de With, Relational Stalinism – The Musical is an ambitious assemblage of new performances created by artist Michael Portnoy, enacted and developed with a troupe of dancers, actors, singers and improvisers. Many different registers of performance simultaneously cohabit the institution, mixing inscrutable role-play scenarios, experimental sketch comedy, hyperactive spectatorship, melodramatic operatic interlude, prog-rock micro-dance and teary-eyed theoretical soliloquy. Combining futurology with satire, this exhibition transmutes the seeds of prevalent approaches to visual arts performance as a form of generative critique. 

The project is accompanied by several events including "Performance Taxonomies," a symposium on March 3, 2016, featuring a series of present and future taxonomies by key thinkers in the field of performance analysing current breeds from which speculative improvements can be structured; The Particiturbation Room, a conceptual nightclub at various locations in Rotterdam; and a night of short films selected by Portnoy to draw out the absurdist streak in artist’s moving image.  

Relational Stalinism – The Musical is curated by Defne Ayas (Director, Witte de With) and Natasha Hoare (Associate Curator, Witte de With), and is a co-production of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and A.P.E (art projects era), with thanks to dramaturgy advisor Maaike Gouwenberg.

Performances: every Thursday/Saturday/Sunday, continuous from 2–6pm
Week 1: January 30, 31
Week 2: February 4, 6, 7
Week 3: February 11, 13, 14
Week 4: February 18, 20, 21 
Week 5: February 25, 27, 28
Week 6: March 3, 5, 6 

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