How We Behave
What began as a dialogue to bring our archives up to date has transformed into an on-going conversation..
How We Behave
What began as a dialogue to bring our archives up to date has transformed into an on-going conversation about how the “unfinished” work from Grant Watson’s How We Behave yields valuable moments for understanding research-as-performance and reconfigures the assumed ‘pastness’ of documents as ‘liveliness.’ The project, an ongoing and rhizomatic interview-based research undertaking, takes its title from a 1983 interview in Vanity Fair magazine with Michele Foucault, but has since 2012 far exceeded Foucault’s discussion. Across the wide range of materials gathered together in Watson’s How We Behave, practices of note-taking—per Foucault—and storytelling—an element that has become central for Watson—are grounding forces. In the last months, we have dug back into these materials, thinking together about the various forms of archival activation that How We Behave/an Archive of Radical Practice has taken over the years and what forms of activation feel resonant today.
An archive of radical practice — Sound recordings
Interviews, March 2012 – ongoing
Digital images and audio files
Interviews with Akhil Katyal and Laurence Rassel
Gift Science Archive
Gift Science Archive is an 18-month durational performance happening at the Rijksakademie van beeldende Kunsten..
Gift Science Archive
Gift Science Archiveis an 18-month durational performance happening at the Rijksakademie van beeldende Kunsten, where If I Can’t Dance artist commission Sands Murray-Wassink is a guest resident. For the performance Murray-Wassink and collaborators Megan Hoetger (Curator, If I Can’t Dance), Radna Rumping (independent curator and editor), and Amalia Calderón (storyteller and graduate student in Artistic Research) are digging, ordering, and archiving the full inventory of the artist’s expansive, multimedia 25-year studio practice. Over the course of the performance two “process events” are set to take place—these activities are oriented around particular keywords central to the project: value and relationships. For the second of these process events curator Aimar Arriola was invited to be in an on-going dialogue with Murray-Wassink on key thematics present in the artist’s practice, including self-care, mental health, gender, sex and sexuality, to name just a few. In the “process” of this dialogue, which unfolds via exchanged letters and gifts, Arriola and Murray-Wassink also explore and reflect upon how relationships—including the one in the making here—form and grow and shift and blossom.
Chapter One: Getting To Know Each Other
26 June – 15 August 2020
Chapter Two: Detached but Intimate / Personal
16 August–2 September 2020
Chapter Three: Aquarian Late Responses
10 – 13 September 2020
Chapter Four: I Am More Interested in Content
13 – 29 September 2020
Chapter Five: El Ano Tuyo
15 – 29 November 2020
Chapter Six: Missing Strands
1 December 2020 – 7 January 2021
Chapter Seven: To rhyme an ending with a new beginning
7 January – 6 February 2021
Fire for Water
‘Study #1: Eye’ is the first study of Fire for Water, a newly commissioned performance work..
Fire for Water
‘Study #1: Eye’ is the first study of Fire for Water, a newly commissioned performance work by U.S. artist and performer MPA for If I Can’t Dance’s Edition VIII – Ritual and Display (2019 – 2020). Revolving around the question “Can we stop bullets with our minds?”, the project develops the artist’s investigation of energetic practices vis à vis the history of human violence. For this first Study the artist has invited the Staff of If I Can’t Dance to participate in a performative exercise “to enliven the metaphysical activity that connects all matter.” Following a recipe delivered by the artist, the If I Can’t Dance Team will experience living in the office with three different eyes provided by the artist starting with Private Eye, a surveillance camera that is broadcasting 24h live to the ifcantdance.studio. The three eyes are considered as literal frames of inner and outer gazes that we normally interact with largely unconsciously. The recipe is meant to activate our conscious life with these gazes, or offers another angle to a daily and familiar eye. A co-production with Gessnerallee, Zürich, Fire for Water unfolds through a series of Studies across Amsterdam and Zürich from Fall 2020 till 2022.
Mythic Channels: Giulia and Le Nemesiache
This Studio Room is an online expansion of the exhibition From the Volcano to the Sea..
Mythic Channels: Giulia and Le Nemesiache
This Studio Room is an online expansion of the exhibition From the Volcano to the Sea. The Feminist Group Le Nemesiache in 1970s and 1980s Naples, curated by Giulia Damiani in conclusion of her research fellowship with If I Can’t Dance, as part of EDITION VIII – Ritual and Display (2019–2020). The exhibition is realized in collaboration with the Amsterdam art space Rongwrong and runs in their premises from October 23 2020 till January 17 2021. Presenting to an international public the group’s archive for the first time, From the Volcano to the Sea dwells upon Le Nemesiache’s ritualistic investment in mythology, place and body. Functioning as a portal to the exhibition and to Le Nemesiache’s world, ‘Mythic Channels’ introduce research materials generated in preparation of the show but also archival documents, photographs, and videos.
Interview to Lina Mangiacapre on 1968 and the Feminist Movement
Nadia Nappo for Napoli Frontale, 1998
Extract from interview
The Earth, the Moon and the Serpent. A Chat about Le Nemesiache’s Symbol
Exchange between Sara Giannini, Giulia Damiani, and members of Le Nemesiache, September 1– September 11 2020
Reconstruction of digital correspondence
We Are All Political Prisoners
Manifesto from Le Nemesiache’s performance ‘Siamo tutte prigioniere politiche’, (‘We Are All Political Prisoners’), 1978
Photograph of the original manifesto and of the facsimiled translation realized for the exhibition ‘From the Volcano to the Sea’
With organizing a series of Feldenkrais lessons in Amsterdam, If I Can’t Dance continues a fruitful collaboration..
With organizing a series of Feldenkrais lessons in Amsterdam, If I Can’t Dance continues a fruitful collaboration with artist Yael Davids that started in our first edition in 2005 developing the performance “End on Mouth”. Now, following her recent exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven in which the Feldenkrais technigue played a key role, we are thrilled to invite anybody interested in this technique to join the lessons. The technique, in short, is developed by Moshé Feldenkrais and focuses on enhancing self-awareness through movement and departs from the idea that changing the way we move, leads to changes in the way we observe, think and feel. The lessons will take place in the Rijksakademie and will start from January onwards. We are excited to extend our .studio to the spacious attic room of the Rijksakademie and to have physical classes in our .studio offer. In the .studio you’ll find introductions to Feldenkrais’ and Davids’ practices, and once we have started Yael Davids will use it as a depository for her notes and observations generated by the weekly lessons.
These are letters to unknown—though dear—readers, present and future ones. They began in late March 2020. Since then the letters have continued with a generally monthly rhythm, offering forth reflections, ruminations, queries and concerns about our contemporary global conditions and the position of If I Can’t Dance within them.
Locations listings for the If I Can’t Dance Studio provide visitors to the If I Can’t Dance .studio with a brief glimpse into the other sites through which our studio moves.
If I Can’t Dance office
Westerdok 606-608, 1013 BV Amsterdam
As the primary site of our curatorial research, the If I Can’t Dance office at Westerdok is our studio, and, as such, it is an ever-present force in the If I Can’t Dance Studio. Additionally, through April 2021, it will also serve as one (amongst many) studio spaces being activated by Fire for Water, the four-part project of our current artist commission MPA. At Westerdok, MPA’s Study #1: The Eye will be installed, casting its gaze on our day-to-day activities and, in the process activating an on-going conversation between the artist and the If I Can’t Dance team about the boundaries and effects of surveillance culture.
Rijksakademie van Beeldenden Kunsten
Sarphatistraat 470, 1018 GW Amsterdam
The If I Can’t Dance Studio partners with the Rijksakademie—an institution itself devoted to provided studio space and infrastructural support to artist practices from around the world—to bring to the Amsterdam arts communities a bi-monthly Feldenkrais, led by artist Yael Davids.
The If I Can’t Dance Studio is a long time in the making. The idea first crystalized around 2015 as a dream to have a project space of our own, where preparations for our biennial program presentations, as well as rehearsals and try outs from members of our Amsterdam communities, could take place. With time, however, this idea has developed into something much more. In line with the nomadic nature of If I Can’t Dance, the If I Can’t Dance Studio is not defined by a given location. Shifting between physical environments, printed matter and this web platform, the Studio moves with its activities, projects and collaborations. Wherever it finds itself, the Studio makes room for experiments, attempts and failures, fostering new encounters among artists, practitioners and communities. It is a space that asserts performance as a living methodology – that is, as a practice that does not necessarily come to exist (and, therefore, is justified in its existence) by virtue of having a final outcome. It is ultimately about acknowledging and making more visible the collaborative and a-climactic – maybe even uneventful – everyday work involved in performance: making, researching, rehearsing, writing, organising, convening and archiving.
The digital public life of the Studio is built upon the same spirit of experimentation. It is thus always “under construction.” You can expect things here to change and grow and diverge and expand: all of those actions, discoveries and transformations the space of a studio makes possible. It is hard to give an exhaustive overview of what .studio will hold in it; but we can offer you some buoys for now...
Some .studio “rooms” offer diverse and dynamic insights: into our biennial project commissions’ development; into our archive through various activations of the materials in there; and into the work of our research fellow and other researchers busy with the legacies of If I Can’t Dance. There are also rooms that expand upon other activities happening in the Studio. They offer an interface to different types of collaborations with artists, including, for instance, classes and open rehearsals.
Each of these rooms is represented by a visual icon, which marks the beginning of your journey into the practice shared. More details on the individual icons, as well as the projects they represent, can be found in the Studio Notes accompanying each room in the Studio. These Studio Notes can be accessed as you wish (via a tab in the upper right corner of each page). Their content varies, ranging from “stage directions” offering suggestions on how to approach the materials, to curatorial introductions to the projects, to excerpts from artists’ writings, to footnotes for further research. You are welcome to encounter the projects via the visual constellations of icons, which we are arranging; but you can also peruse the projects via the Index page where they are listed in textual notation and link out to the .studio rooms. The .studio is, after all, also a space for you to experiment.
Unless otherwise stated, Studio Note authors are:
FB: Frédérique Bergholtz
AF: Anik Fournier
SSG: Sara Giannini
MH: Megan Hoetger
Design and web development: Kommerz
Editing: If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution
If I Can’t Dance is supported by the Mondriaan Fund and the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).