Festival Theaterformen: The Practice of Emptying Space

Like many artists I have had work, touring, and other projects cancelled as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic and in response to regulations about distancing. One festival I am particularly sad not to be able to attend is Festival Theaterformen in Braunschweig, where Ways To Submit would have been part of the programme in July. In the absence of being able to host live performances, Theaterformen have conceived of an online festival, A Sea of Islands, for which I making an alternative contribution.

The practice of emptying space will be live online from 7pm (CET) on the 4th July until midnight on the 6th: theaterformen.de.

More about the new project:
Ways To Submit is a live performance that makes an invitation to the audience to have a physical fight. It asks strangers to be in close physical contact with the performer, and with each other. However much we try to not allow the current conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic to be the lens for our every experience, to separate our making and thinking from present limitations, it’s hard to be rid of the question: when will this be possible again? The practice of emptying space is the consequence of this preoccupation, an inter-disciplinary reflective essay in three pieces: a text, an image series, and an audio piece. It is part archive, part invitation, part meditation on fighting, power, and absent bodies.


A needs graph for Veem House for Performance

Veem House for Performance, in Amsterdam, invited artists and members of their community to reflect on and communicate their current experience of the Covid-19 pandemic through poetic graphs. I made this one for them, in response to how my needs were changing throughout the first 10 weeks of the lockdown.

Needs Graph I.Brand


A new project for Fraslab, 12th-14th March

I am very happy to have been invited by Frascati in Amsterdam to participate in their Fraslab programme this Spring. I’ll be spending a few weeks in the studio, starting to work on the research for a new performance project. There will be some (very first!) public sharings of the research on the 12th, 13th & 14th March, in a double bill with Jessie L’Herminez. Full details and tickets here: frascatitheater.nl.

This new project is called Commitment Phobe (for now!), and here’s something I wrote for Frascati about what I will be working on:

Commitment Phobe will explore (and celebrate) multiplicity, inconsistency, ambiguity, and doubt. It is a response to a perceived social and cultural demand for the clear, the certain, and the consistent – ways that we are taught it is worthwhile and understandable for a person to be. How can we conceive of doubt as a tool? How can we value ambiguity without making ourselves powerless?

For Fraslab, Ira will engage in a series of formal experiments, with a focus on the relationship between performer and audience, and the uncontrollable qualities of live performance. Ira’s process is often one of starting with broad conceptual questions, translating them into something embodied, visceral, human, and playful, and for Fraslab she will attempt to do the same. 


Ways To Submit on tour in 2020

It’s almost a new year, GOODBYE 2019! I’m very happy to be continuing to tour Ways To Submit into 2020. Some already confirmed dates below, and watch this space for more..

Maketank, for SCARE THE HORSES, Exeter, UK
Friday 17th January 2020, 7.30pm
Tickets on sale soon: scarethehorses.uk
(SCARE THE HORSES is a live performance and events club. You can join as a member and subscribe for the year, or buy tickets for each individual event.)

Monty Kultuurfaktorij, Antwerpen, Belgium
Thursday 13th & Friday 14th February 2020, 8.30pm
Tickets: €12/€10
Booking: monty.be

Festival Cement, Den Bosch, Netherlands
Tuesday 24th March 2020 @ 5pm, Wednesday 25th March 2020 @ 7pm & Thursday 26th March 2020 @ 9pm
Tickets: €15/€11.50 (or buy a festival pass!)

More programme info: festivalcement.nl

 


FIAC Festival: A Residency in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

I am in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, participating in a two-week exchange residency. The project is a collaboration between Forest Fringe and FIAC Bahia Festival, who are hosting us. I am working alongside Deborah Pearson, and three Brazilian artists – Roberta Nascimento, Laís Machado & Lenine Guevara – sharing our artistic practices, ideas, concerns, questions, strategies, and needs. So far it is proving to richly stimulating and exciting, and I am very inspired to be working with these women.

There will be an open studio sharing on Friday 25th October at 10am, for members of the public to share in our exchange also: fiacbahia.com


Review: Ways To Submit, Frascati Amsterdam

Here’s a review of the recent performance of Ways To Submit at Frascati from Theaterkrant. It’s in Dutch! But google translate assures me it says some very nice things about the show, and that the reviewer would have liked to have seen the work a second time.

Read it at: theaterkrant.nl


Ways To Submit on tour & new trailer

Ways To Submit is touring..

I’ve also just released a new trailer for the show, made by the brilliant Claire Nolan. Check it out below!

Frascati Theatre, Amsterdam
Wednesday 2nd & Thursday 3rd October, 9pm
Tickets: €13/€9.50
Booking: frascatitheater.nl

New Queers on the Block, Folkestone Quarterhouse
Friday 1st November, 7.30pm
Tickets: Pay what you decide

Booking: creativefolkestone.org.uk
More info about NQOTB here.

Arnolfini, Bristol
Friday 8th November, 7.30pm
As part of the expanded programme of Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance
Tickets: £12/£10
Booking: arnolfini.org.uk


Ways To Submit at Frascati, Amsterdam, 2nd & 3rd October

Touring of Ways To Submit kicks off at the beginning of October with two performance at Frascati in Amsterdam.

Ways To Submit
Wednesday 2nd & Thursday 3rd October 2019, 9pm
Frascati Theatre, Amsterdam
Tickets here.

More upcoming dates to be announced soon!

 


Ways To Submit at New Queers on the Block, Folkestone, 1st November

Excited to announce that Ways To Submit will be part of New Queers on the Block at Folkestone Quarterhouse in November! A weekender of experimental performances, conversations and video works by a line-up of local and international LGBTQ+ artists.

The New Queers on the Block weekender runs Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd November, and features work by Nando Messias, Last Yearz Interesting Negro, and Benjamin Sebastian. All events are pay what you decide.

More info and to book: creativefolkestone.org.uk


Interview in TANK Magazine

In March, just after the first showings of Ways To Submit at The Yard in London I did an interview with TANK Magazine about the show for their ‘talks’ series.

The interview is now out in print in their beautiful looking summer reader, and you can also read it online here: tankmagazine.com


Theaterszene Europa, 8th-15th June in Köln, Germany

I will be in Köln in Germany this coming week, participating in Theaterszene Europa Festival which takes place at the Studiobühne Köln. The festival runs from the 8th to the 15th June, showing the work of ten German and British artists and companies.

I will be performing two shows: Break Yourself on Friday 14th June, and Ways To Submit on Saturday 15th June.

For the full programme, and booking see here: studiobuehnekoeln.de/theaterszene-europa-2016/.