Towards a Performative School — Performance Philosophy Biennial

Workshop by Silvia Bottiroli

Adopting the Twenty-four Terms for Examination proposed by Liam Gillick and his students at Columbia University, School of the Arts (2007) as a starting point and reference, this workshop aims to explore concrete strategies, tactics and choices that can make education in art performative, in the sense originally proposed by Austin (1979) and lately re-appropriated by Malzacher and Warsza (2017) in relation to the performing arts curation.

According to Austin, performative utterances are sentences which change the reality they are describing; for Malzacher and Warsza, performativity means “reality-making” and occurs when “theatre-like” techniques are applied to enable “reality-making” situations.

A “performative school” would then be a school that is capable to transform and produce reality, not only within itself but also in the larger field that it contributes to. What could be the features of such a school? To what extent can an art school change the artistic and social reality around it? How can it act both within its program and community, and towards the practices and discourses of the contemporary performing arts field, and their possible relation with overall societal and political themes?

This workshop is part of the biennial conference of the network of Performance Philosophy from 14-17 March 2019 at the University of Amsterdam and de Brakke Grond. The Biennial has as its topic Institutions and interventions into them. Debates and contributions are delivered by scholars and art practitioners alike, considering questions such as: How do artists and scholars wish to alter their institutions, schools and working places, how in fact might they already be doing so, and how is society altered through institutions? Before the workshop, from 09.30-10.30, Silvia Bottiroli will deliver a keynote lecture, the topic of which the workshop seeks to broaden.

Silvia Bottroli, PhD, is a curator, researcher, educator and writer in the field of performing arts.

She has directed Santarcangelo Festival (2012-2016) and curated the artistic and discursive programme ‘The May Events’ for KunstenFestivalDesArts and Vooruit (2018). She regularly co-curates discursive and educational platforms, collaborating a.o. with The School of Visual Theatre in Jerusalem, Homo Novus Festival in Riga, Gent University, Aleppo in Brussels and BUDA in Kortrijk. Since 2011 she teaches at Bocconi University in Milan. She has contributed to several publications, writing in particular about the political and ethical values of performance, the societal implication of artistic creation and spectatorship and in the issues of curating and rethinking the art institutions. Since September 2018 she is the artistic director of DAS Theatre in Amsterdam.

To participate in the workshop, we ask you to register in advance by submitting a short bio and answering the question: “What would you like from the art school of XXI century?”.

Preparatory reading:

– Malzacher, Florian, and Joanna Warsza. Empty Stages, Crowded Flats: Performativity as Curatorial Strategy. Live Art Development Agency, 2017.

Open to all. rMA Students can receive 3 EC for attending keynote, workshop specifically and the four days conference and subsequently writing a review of 1000 words.

Further information and sign-up via:

The number of participants is limited!

Friday, March 15th 2019,

10.45 – 12.15. Workshop Silvia Bottirolli

Location: De Brakke Grond, Rode Zaal

Performance Philosophy Biennial