In December 2014, Leisa Shelton curated and presented a program of Australian Performance work for the Venice International Performance Art Week. The artists presented were Sarah-Jane Norman, Julie Vulcan and Barbara Campbell.
The Venice International Performance Art Week is dedicated to contemporary Performance Art, showcasing works from around the globe. The program consists of live performance, installation, photographic and video documentation, daily artist talks/presentations, and engagement with the participating artists, researchers and curators.
It actively curates groundbreaking performance from historically established artists alongside contemporary directions and emergent artists.
The trilogy live art exhibition project (2012-2016) was initiated and is curated by artist duo VestAndPage (Verena Stenke & Andrea Pagnes) and co-organized by Studio Contemporaneo, We Exhibit, Live Arts Cultures, Venice Open Gates and the European Cultural Centre – GAA Foundation, which hosts the event in its premises in Venice.
For the 2014 edition there were 41 artists from more than 20 countries and included works by JosephBeuys, Tehching Hsieh, Taiwanese Company Legend Lin Dance Theatre alongside key contemporary artists from Sth America, Asia and across Europe.
Each work was chosen for its distinctive relationship to Australian practice and for the potential for this engagement to advance and challenge the artist and their work in as yet unexplored ways. The aim was never to simply ‘tour’ established works, but gather significant artists to showcase the excellence of Australian works AND enable these works and their artists to re-consider and extend each piece within the context of a European siting.
Barbara Campbell is one of the most sustaining and influential performance art makers in Australia today. She is well known within the UK, but this will be her first performance work within wider Europe and the first major presentation of both her live performance work and her archive as a senior artist.
Equally, the opportunity for Julie Vulcan to perform ‘I Stand In’ at this time in Europe was both an essential act for the current devastation under way in Eastern Europe and a work allowing arts practice to merge with lost yet necessary rituals of grief and loss.
Sarah-Jane Normans work ‘Bone Library’, is regarded as one of the most important contemporary works to have been made in Australia in recent time.
One of the key aspects of Venice International Performance Art Week is the considered invitation to key writers, drawers, documenters and commentators to respond to the experience of the works presented across the whole week. The response to the Australian program was resoundingly ecstatic. View key responses by clicking on the following links.