Flam is a festival for Live Art in Amsterdam.
FLAM, Festival of Live Art Amsterdam was founded in 2011 by artists Rose Akras and Dirk-Jan Jager. The trigger for setting up such manifestation was the success both artists reached with the performance art program 'Between Heaven and Earth', in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, as part of the Museumnacht 2010. The project won the first prize as best Museumnacht program and in that same year, both artists participated in performance art festivals in Brazil: VERBO at Galeria Vermelho in São Paulo, and MIP II in Belo Horizonte.
Based on this experiences and anticipating already then, the potential grow of hybrid performances and art works based on the cross-fertilisation between disciplines, they started with a pilot event at Arti et Amicitiae art spaces. FLAM became the first recurrent festival happening in gallery spaces in the Netherlands, dedicated to live art as a genre which is not tied to a discipline or conventional relations of duration, public and space.
FLAM operates as a group exhibition presenting works with background in various art languages that have in common the urge to be presented live.
This allows a composition of a dynamic program characterised by diversity in form, duration and thematic.
Mission and identity
The need of a platform exclusively devoted to performance art as an independent art form was the direct reason for the creation of FLAM. The exponent growth of hybrid art works aiming to reach an audience in the last decade shows that such a platform continue to be urgent and relevant for the sustainability of this field.
The main mission is offering space for artists to dare experiment and exercise autonomy, showing works which arise from intrinsic research and can independent of current trends or thematics. FLAM offers young artists a platform to present their first works, and mid career artists to explore new ways.
The platform commits to be plural, multiple and diverse at its heart supporting diverse gender, physicality’s and cultural identities to arise, meet and dialogue. The event is thus experienced as a manifestation of the queer, in the broadest sense of the word.
FLAM remains the only performing arts festival in which the core program is organised in art spaces, facilitating versatile presentations and encounters between artist and public. The assemblage of audience, work and artist on the same physical scene is a strong part of FLAM identity.
As a non-institutional event, created by and for artists, it offers freedom for artists to experiment and develop further, while presenting their works for the public.
Functioning as a curatorial team we take risks together with the artists, presenting in each edition the young and unknown, premieres and experiments, but not only.
The platform allows also relations to emerge believing that accompanying artistic development of artists and presenting ready works, which have been only very shortly seen in other venues, are a meaningful contribution to the sustainability of the field in the Netherlands.
Appointed by the specialised press as a relevant manifestation where peers exchange insights actively, FLAM operates also as a spring step: some artists that started in FLAM, just after finishing their first art school, have had their works shown ( and bought by) at Stedelijk Museum, Palais de Tokyo, various dance and performance art festivals across continents and important international manifestations such as Moscow Biennale, VERBO, among others.
FLAM function as a platform to stimulate Dutch based and international performance art to meet and exchange and has had valuable collaborations with VERBO (São Paulo), MIP (Belo Horizonte); PAE Performance Art Events; PAS Performance Art Studies; MPA Berlin, Venice International Performance Art Week, Dansmakers, Frascati Theater, If I can’t Dance I don’t want to be part of your Revolution, among others.
FLAM has recently joined forces with BuzzCut in Glasgow, Les Urbaines in Lausanne and The Rhubarb Festival in Toronto, in a dialogue to exchange experiences, ideas and promote artists and their works.
Attent of the reverberations of the pandemic and aware of the costs of intercontinental travel (which cannot be realised by trein) for CO2 emissions, we still believe that at times, live engagement between artists of different countries and continents enhance reflection and understanding about their artistic, social and politic environments.
Rose Akras, Alice Pons and Olivia Reschofsky compose the FLAM core team since 2017. The 2018 edition had the participation of curator Titus Nouwens and the intention is to have again guests curators in the future.
For the 2022 edition we decided to honour in first place, artists which were in the application of 2020, which could not take place because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The organisation is represented by Stichting Outline and collaborators that are part of FLAM since its creation are Arti et Amicitiae, Bea Correa in the graphic design and all around producer adviser Rob Visser. Arti et Amicitiae is a generous FLAM supporter by opening their spaces for FLAM artists to move freely and occupy the whole building, from the Arts Spaces to the hidden rooms.