Masking and Enmasking: Noh Theatre as a Strategy in Contemporary Art and Performance
This event took place on 14th May 2016. You can view videos of the event below. In most cases these are videos of the full performance.
The event started with a screening of Simon Starling’s Project for a Masquerade (Hiroshima), which connects the making of contemporary Noh masks with Cold War politics, nuclear development and art.
The video below is an interview with Starling about the installation at MOCA Hiroshima and gives an overview of the themes and mask-making techniques behind the project.
Ignacio Jarquin presented excerpts from his piece Madam Butterfly Returns, incorporating Noh elements, music by Michael Finnissy and a libretto by Andrew G Marshall.
In their perfomance piece HERO, Ami Skånberg Dahlstedt and Palle Dahlstedt looked at the role of hero and victim in Noh through movement and sound fragments.
David Toop and Wiebke Leister explored the psychological and aesthetic significance of voice and face masking in Noh through sound and photography.
This was followed by a panel discussion and the launch of an artist publication by Wiebke Leister, Fieldstudy 22, Echoes and Afterlives. You can download a PDF copy of the publication here.
Film still from Simon Starling: ‘Project for a Masquerade (Hiroshima)’, 2010; collaboration with Yasuo Miichi.
Simon Starling was born in 1967 in Epsom, UK, and graduated from the Glasgow School of Art. He was Professor of Fine Arts at the Städelschule in Frankfurt between 2003-2013 and currently lives in Copenhagen. He won the Turner Prize in 2005 and was shortlisted for the 2004 Hugo Boss Prize. He represented Scotland at the Venice Biennial in 2003 and has exhibited widely with solo exhibitions at Mass MOCA, North Adams, MA; The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada; MAC/VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine, France; Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin, Germany; The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan; Tate Britain, London, UK; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany; MUMA, Melbourne, Australia and MCA, Chicago, IL, etc. At present he is developing work for forthcoming solo exhibitions in Mexico City at the Casa Luis Barragán and Museo Experimental El Eco.
Ignacio Jarquin as Tomisaburo in Madam Butterfly Returns.
Ignacio Jarquin studied music and theatre in Vienna and has worked extensively in France and Germany. He recently completed two self-produced tours of UK theatres (playing over one hundred dates) with two plays about the life of the tenor Enrico Caruso and singing his repertoire. Other credits include Ten Thousand Several Doors (winner of Best Show at Brighton Festival 2006).
Andrew G Marshall
Andrew G Marshall’s previous play Caruso and the Monkey House Trial was short-listed for best new play at the Brighton Festival Fringe (2011), The Guardian called Coming Around Again ‘Impressive’. He is also the author of twelve books and his work has been translated into twenty different languages.
Michael Finnissy is Professor of composition at the University of Southampton and a past President of the International Society for Contemporary Music. His commissions include Red Earth BBC Proms 1988, Gedächtnis-Hymne at the November Festival in the Netherlands 2011.
Ami Skånberg Dahlstedt and Palle Dahlstedt: A Particular Act Of Survival, 2015; Photo: Alexandra Lange.
Ami Skånberg Dahlstedt
Ami Skånberg Dahlstedt is a Swedish performer, choreographer, filmmaker and writer, trained in Sweden, the U.S., and Japan. She is a member of Nishikawa Senrei’s studio in Kyoto, and a PhD candidate at UoL. Since 2002, she has incorporated traditional Japanese dance and theatre into her contemporary performances and films. Her most recent performance received a performing arts award by Scenkonstgalan in Sweden in 2015.
Palle Dahlstedt is a Swedish composer, performer and researcher, working predominantly with keyboard instruments and advanced electronics. Based on his contemporary musical practice and on Noh studies in Kyoto, he has carried out a number of experimental collaborations with Noh musicians and dancers in Japan and Sweden. Palle is currently Professor of Art & Technology at Aalborg University and Reader in Computer-aided Creativity at University of Gothenburg.
David Toop performing at White Cube gallery in London; Photo: Fabio Lugaro
Wiebke Leister: photograph from Echoes and Afterlives, 2015.
David Toop is a composer/musician, author, curator and Chair of Audio Culture and Improvisation at University of the Arts London who has worked in many fields of music, writing, arts and theory. He has recorded Yanomami shamanism in Amazonas, appeared on Top of the Pops with the Flying Lizards, exhibited sound installations internationally, and worked with artists including John Zorn, Evan Parker, Bob Cobbing, Ivor Cutler, Akio Suzuki and Rie Nakajima. His published books include Ocean of Sound, Haunted Weather, and Sinister Resonance. His tenth solo album – Entities Inertias Faint Beings – will be released in June 2016. His opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – inspired in part by Benjamin Britten’s adaptations of Noh theatre, was performed in Aldeburgh in 2012. His next book – volume 1 of Into the Maelstrom: Improvisation, Music and the Dream of Freedom – will be published in May 2016.
Wiebke Leister is a German artist and writer living in London. Her work investigates the nature of photographic portraiture beyond the limitations of representing individual likeness. Her project Echoes and Afterlives looks at face-masking and inversion in different performance contexts as something that equally changes gait and voice while playing with sensations of displacement and transformation. She is course leader for MA Photography at London College of Communication and a core member of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre at University of the Arts London. Weibke’s UAL research profile.
‘Echoes and Afterlives’, 3 May – 24 June 2016
The photography exhibition ‘Echoes and Afterlives’ by Wiebke Leister will run from 3 May to 24 June 2016 at PARCspace, London College of Communication. The exhibition features photographs by Wiebke Leister and is related to her performance during the ‘Masking and Enmasking’ event below.