In the past five years FLAM became a cult underground festival of performance art created by artists of different disciplines. Artistic directors Akras Rose and Dirk-Jan Jager worked hard in these five years to bring a contemporary and exciting programming, offering a platform for local talent and international artists. Their mission is to give performance art it's own festival and present it to a broad public.
Between 22 and March 26, 2016 FLAM presented its new edition. Based at the exhibition spaces of Art et Amicitiae in Amsterdam Center FLAM VI made a link to a second location: Dansmakers Amsterdam, in the former Stork site in Amsterdam North. The opening lecture was given by Annemarie Kok, PhD researcher in Participatory Art at Groningen University and performances happened in surprising locations, such as a boat that took the public from Amsterdam Center to Amsterdam North. Although performance art has become mainstream in the last two decades, it keeps reformulating and questioning its own medium. Theorists Richard Schechner and Peggy Phelan formulated performance as an transcending genre, not tied to a discipline but to an expression that explicitly involves the exchange between artist-performer and the audience.
Performance Art moves between all the established disciplines resulting mostly in trans-disciplinary works. FLAM would therefore aim to present the diversity of live art: from physical extrem to conceptual works, from politically charged to still and subtle, from works that happen in a flash moment to long durational works.
FLAM VI artists come from visual arts, dance, theater, literature and music. They research, interpret an present their perception and experience of the world, aiming direct or indirectely to bring new insights in how we relate to the world.
The choice of the programming is of artists and makers that question their own medium and explore the boundaries of their disciplines in relation to the public. Examples are artists Mariana Lanari and the MOHA group, initiated by Olivia Reschofsky and Alice Pons.
FLAM presented many young but also more experienced artists. Mariana Lanari, created between October 2015 and March 2016 her Moving Thinking project for the library of the Stedelijk Museum, showed her new work based on Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. Lanari also drew and displayed the Astrological map of the year 2016 at the opening evening of FLAM VI, in her work Solar Revolution 2016. Young duo MOHA, formed by Olivia Reschofsky and Alice Pons, organized in 2016 four thematic city walks through Amsterdam. In the four corners of the city, they organized walks with local residents around the themes Carnaval, Protest, Mars and Burial. The Protest walk was part of FLAM and took place within Amsterdam Noord. Further participating artists include Goeun Bae, participant of the Prospects& Concepts, an exhibition of young talents organized by the Mondriaan Foundation at the Rotterdam Art fair; Jija Sohn (Moving Forward Dansmakers traject); Lia Chaia ( artist of Galeria Vermelho, Brazil) and Buren , a colletive from Belgium. FLAM artists Florentina Holzinger and Vincent Riebeek this year presented the work JUNGLE, a reality performance online program, together with artists from Switzerland.
FLAM is aware of the risk in programming a week long performance art. Performance art remains at the borders of other disciplines as it has has no conventions of fixed duration, space or skills. Yet performance is today more and more part of the art world. What are then the qualities that underlies live art works? With this question in mind FLAM organized in addition to the performance program also two reflection moments: a lecture at the opening by Annemarie Kok, Phd researcher Participatory Art at the Groningen University and a round table discussion, open to the public with artists and teachers BBB Johannes Deimling (Associated Professor of Performance Art in NTA Norwegian Theatre Academy at Østfald University College, Norway) and Marco Paulo Rolla (founder of the Performance Art-year course at the Fine Arts program at the Escola Guignard - UEMG - Universidade Estadual de Minas Gerais, Brazil).
FLAM VI also offered two workshops: one with the experienced teacher John Deimiling from PAS, Performance Art Studies and one with young artist and choreographer Clara Saito. Both workshops ended with a performance seen during FLAM VI. Workshops were open for art students of all disciplines and to everybody interested in experiencing the making of performance art.
FLAM has developed a special relationship with VERBO, the International Performance Platform of Galeria Vermelho in São Paulo, known as a space for bold and provocative art. Marcos Gallon, curator if the performance program of Galeria Vermelho was present, as well as Marco Paulo Rolla, curator of MIP Manifestação Internacional de Performance of Belo Horizonte as a guest curators to work to scout performance for their platforms in Brazil.
FLAM VI started at its base, the exhibition spaces of Arti et Amicitiae at Rokin 112, 22-25 March, then traveled through the water to Amsterdam Noord, where we were guests of Dansmakers Amsterdam at the former Stork grounds on 25th and 26th of March.
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Ivy van der Veer
FLAM VI is made possible with support from Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and Mondriaan Fonds