High Performance


a.pass, Brussels, 2014
with Georgios Papadopoulos

Some workshopping in economics for artists is always due! 

An accumulation of economic crises has shown that the capitalist system is wacky, unjust and not sustainable. Yet, business is running as usual – and while going on, it led the earth’s ecosystem down into a destructive abyss, undermining crucial social pillars to increase the gap between the classes. 

Contrary to the general belief, it must be admitted that the arts are not only part of this system, but also actively contributes to keeping it going.
Therefore, the workshop
High Performance aimed at rethinking the artist’s relation to the economy, and questions their triple standard as critics, prototypes and profiteers of the system. While engaging in controversial discussions, the participants tried to understand what kind of economy they would want instead. 

For that they had to ask: what is the difference between an artistic and an economic understanding of “performance?” What do we expect from each other and our futures? What are artists actually “dealing“ and ”trading” with? What is the “currency” of art? What kind of an economy could be established based on artistic practice that would “perform” a real difference?

To compare and relate a differing understanding of “performance” in a practical discursive way, this workshop was set up as a lab for the conflicting coexistence between artistic and economic performances. The lab is a simple square marked with terms and objects of artistic and economic relevance. The participants were asked to apply their skills for improvisation playfully to re-order, map and mess with these aspects in a contradicting, corrupt and critical manner.

The improvisations were filmed from the ceiling, which enabled an understanding of the procedures on the square as choreographies of relinking and rethinking art with economy.