NGinPA - Anaïs Héraud and I sent out a call in november 2013 and initiated this collective
NGinPA OPEN DISCUSSION
@Hub of Month of Performance Art Berlin, Holzmarkt Theater der Zukunft
13th May 2014
Facilitated by Melanie Jame Wolf
Within this frame, we discussed the following questions:
1. What is the normative gaze? What would be an example of how it affects me personally, as a person in everyday life and as a performer/maker?
2. What is my responsibility as a maker, performer or audience member in relation to the normative gaze and its reproduction?
3. Which tools and strategies can we develop to identify, deal with and respond to the normative gaze?
4. What are the alternatives to the normative gaze?
5. What is my own normative gaze upon myself and upon others?
6. How does my body internalizes or incorporates the normative gaze?
7. How can we work inclusively taking into consideration cultural differences and different perceptions of concepts?
Month of Performance Berlin, @Westgermany.
16th May 2014
Photos: Alex Slota and Reinhard Fetzer
performers : Shelley Etkin, Monica Gentille, Karina Villavicencio, Sophie Stephan, Anaïs Héraud, Katie Dunbar, Lady Gaby, Brigid Pasco
NGinPA, a Berlin-based collective dealing with the "Normative Gaze" in Performance Art. Was initiated by Anaïs Héraud and Katie Dunbar and has presented its first performance at the venue WestGermany in the frame of the Month of Performance Art Berlin. Specifically exploring gendered notions of both performance and perception in art, the group's diverse experiences and opinions come together to put forth new and challenging ideas. The piece is the product of a weeklong process of creative collaboration of NGinPA's performance artists, dancers musicians, writers, and visual artists hailing from Germany, Italy, Argentina, UK, USA, France, Poland, Romania, Australia and Israel. Though the collective was formed through a call put out specifically for the Month of Performance Art Berlin, the group plans to continue its work indefinitely.
For more information
Dealing with Normative Gaze in Performance Art
NGinPA Collective‚ Collective dealing with Normative Gaze in Performance Art, how some of us defined our collective:
We understand the collective as a common ground, where we share questions, concept, experience and practice relating to the topic of Normative Gaze from the perspective of female identifies people.
We deal with questions such as: What does it mean (either by ourselves or by others) to be identified as a woman, on stage and as an artist? What are our questions related to our own practices?
The collective is a place for inquiry. We strive to build together a safe space where we can share our questions with each other and be aware of the diversity of discourses and strategies to relate to the normative.
The collective can become a site of collaboration, skill sharing, tool swapping, experimentation and re-thinking of our own reflection and practice.
Our collective work is an artistic research. In order to work together practically, we are interested in the building of a common space where We use body, movement, and performance practice to develop states of being. "To deal with" is a search for presence. "Show me your material and I'll show you what you are not doing with it": we enter a mutual exchange of approaches and strategies.
Our collective, ideally, is a place of learning.
From working with this self-organized group of female identified performance artists. I developed this statement:
I see Normative gaze. I feel normative gaze. I do not react to it as this gives it power. I stick to my objective I feel the gaze I allow its presence and I give the opportunity for the audience to view myself and my performance in a way that might help them to understand that I wish to exist out side the Normative gaze. In the position of performing I have an opportunity to do this. Why would I give up this opportunity up of being able to create the space and be viewed in the way i wish to be viewed? I give this opportunity to my self to be viewed in the way I want to be.
In life I answer. I question. I react. I fight. As this is the method I have there to challenge the control of normative when I am in it.
In my performance I have the unique opportunity to create a space where normative and its gaze has no power over me. Through my presence. And in doing so I provide an experience of something other than a normative gaze. In this position I fight what I do every day with one movement of defiance. In the performance space I make the rules.
I have no intention of getting to the top. I want to overthrow the top.
(disclaimer: how I respond to the normative gaze alters and changes all the time, in life and in the different performances I do)