In 2021 artist Ant Hampton initiated Showing Without Going together with Caroline Barneaud of Théatre de Vidy-Lausanne, with an initial aim to collect examples of how live performance work can travel and be experienced / performed without artists being physically present.
Later, in June 2021, a small working group was formed with artists, producers and curators from around the world. Over a period of collective writing, the group created the ‘Atlas’, bringing together their overview of current practice with a great array of related theoretical concerns. The idea is for it to grow, remaining open for some time to contributions from people engaging with it.
“As an artist who creates site-specific or context-specific works, the going (to allow for the ‘being’ on site) has been crucial for my work. During the past year, as relocating myself and my work became impossible, I’ve worked around the question: How do we connect with places and with people at a distance or by means of our distance? It made me think of the impossibility of travel beyond the pandemic for many and possibly for all of us, may it be for different reasons; political, economic, ecological. In order to create the Atlas, we gathered as a working group in the same (online) space, uploading our thoughts, texts into the same file, while thinking them in different places in the world, in different circumstances, different time zones. After a click on the button ‘leave meeting’ the distance between us returned inexorably. I was alone again, felt far away from our common space in which birds from Nairobi, wind from Lausanne, the lockdown in Bangalore and the heat of an apartment in New York’s summer were simultaneously present, even though I had not left my seat. Working on Showing Without Going, made me rethink what ‘going’ means. To not go raises the question: how to stay? How can the going nor the staying be taken for granted? If to go, who goes where. If to stay, who stays why. The context as part of the work. Could this way of showing and creating inspire forms of art and connection across distance? It might demand a new kind of care and attention from us – I would consider that to be a good thing.”
initiated by Ant Hampton
and Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne – Caroline Barneaud
Munotida Chinyanga (UK), Ant Hampton (UK / Germany), Rita Hoofwijk (Netherlands/Belgium), Ophelia Huang (China), Gundega Laiviņa (Latvia), Kate McIntosh (New Zealand/Belgium), Ogutu Mũraya (Kenya), Shiva Pathak (India).
Atlas designer: Tammara Leites (UY / CH)
Production manager: Tristan Pannatier (CH)
Production: Théâtre de Vidy-Lausanne
Coproduction: Zürich Theater Spektakel
With the support of Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council
And with thanks to all the initial contributors to the « Showing Without Going » research-database.