April 28, 2013 - Artangel - Oreet Ashery: Party for Freedom
April 28, 2013

Oreet Ashery: Party for Freedom

Oreet Ashery, Party for Freedom (still), 2013. Video. © Oreet Ashery.

Oreet Ashery
Party for Freedom
1 May–22 June 2013

Various London venues


Somewhere between a travelling cinema and theatre troupe, a kiss-a-gram and a takeaway delivery service, London-based artist Oreet Ashery’s Party for Freedom is an itinerant work that combines live performance with moving-image and an original album soundtrack. An invitation for self-organised gatherings to host and experience the work—anywhere from a sitting room and work place to public spaces and venues—it will also appear at venues across London including The Swedenborg Society in Bloomsbury, Millbank Media Centre at Millbank Tower and Organiclea, and a workers cooperative on the edge of the Lea Valley.

Party for Freedom is loosely based on Vladimir Mayakovsky’s 1921 play Mystery-Bouffe, telling the story of the Clean and the Unclean. It explores performances of liberation and the exposure of the political ideas around nakedness; and responds to the changing landscape of Dutch politics following the assassinations of controversial politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002 and film director Theo van Gogh in 2004, and the ensuing popularity of Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician and leader of the far-right Partij Voor de Vrijheid (Party for Freedom).

Including newly commissioned punk, experimental and contemporary classical music by Finnish composer Timo-Juhani Kyllönen, all-girl post-punk band Woolf and London-based musician Morgan Quaintance, the Party for Freedom moving-image work features an irreverent array of characters and scenarios, developed through workshops and filmed in the lush setting of a 13th-century church in the English countryside. Questioning the currencies of perceived Western freedom, the work draws on trash aesthetics, leftist sentiments grounded in the 1960s and 1970s avant-garde, the hippy movement and far-right populist claims positing Islam and immigration as a threat.

Party for Freedom will appear at four ticketed public London events exploring themes of the work. To launch the project there will be a live concert of the moving-image work with the original album soundtrack on May 1 at Millbank Media Centre, Millbank Tower. Members of the public wishing to attend a gathering should visit www.artangel.org.uk for dates and locations. 

Party for Freedom performances and events include full nudity, flashing lights and sexual content. It is not suitable for those under the age of 18.

Oreet Ashery is a London-based visual artist, working in performance, still and moving image, objects and writing, mainly in the context of post-identity and minority discourses, and continuously explores the participatory nature of events, situations and public platforms. Ashery exhibits, performs, intervenes and screens her work extensively in an international context. Public spaces have included the Liverpool Biennial, Venice Biennial, ZKM, Tate Modern, Brooklyn Museum, Pompidou Centre, Freud Museum and the National Review of Live Art. Context-responsive locations have included curators’ bedrooms in various cities, a men-only religious celebration, Qualandia checkpoint and a derelict fishermen’s hut. Ashery is represented by the Other Gallery in Shanghai and Beijing. Her work has been written about in numerous publications and she is an honorary research fellow in the drama department at Queen Mary University London, and a lecturer in the art department in Goldsmiths.

Artangel is generously supported by Arts Council England and the private patronage of Artangel International Circle, Special Angels and the Company of Angels.

Artangel and Oreet Ashery would like to thank Millbank Media Centre, Millbank Tower; the London College of Communication; Home Live Art; Kone Foundation; Performance Matters and the Arts and Humanities Research Council for their generous support of Party for Freedom.


Artangel presents Oreet Ashery: Party for Freedom
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