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Saturday March 16 | Session 15:05 - 16:35 (20 min) De Brakke Grond | Steegzaal
This presentation starts from the assumption that the history of lecture performances since the 1960s traces the trajectory ascribed to interventionalist performances in this CfP. The lecture performances performed by the conceptual artists since the 1960s (Robert Morris, John Cage, and Andrea Fraser, etc.) confronted traditional institutions of art (museums, galleries, etc.) and rejected their modes of knowledge presentation, such as lectures or gallery tours. More contemporary lecture performances, however, prefer to intervene in existing art institutions from within. Artists, like Jérôme Bel, Walid Raad, or Rabih Mroué, draw on fictional institutions to examine the symbolic imaginary of institutional critique or embed their work across multiple institutions to invoke interdisciplinary and cross-institutional forms of critique.

The format of the lecture performance highlights artists’ attempt to interrupt academic logocentrism and points to the desire to formulate an embodied mode of critique. More critical voices, however, accuse the lecture performance of falling into the traps of the neoliberal institution. Produced with minimal technical requirements and performed by a solo-artist, lecture performances are easily toured and can be seen as the performance format par excellence for Europe’s austerity plagued cultural institutions and the embodiment of (co-opted) immaterial labour.

My lecture performance draws on the cleft between these historical performances and more contemporary examples to examine the contemporary lecture performance’s claim to ‘intervention’. It interrogates the political dimensions this performance format offers to the presentation of artistic knowledge today. My presentation asks whether the lecture performance can still be seen as a mode of ‘intellectual agitation’ to the performance of criticism or has to be seen as instrumentalising the modes of neoliberal production for its own purposes thereby consolidating the very institutional structures it claims to critique.
Clio Unger is a PhD candidate at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, where she works on lecture performances, the performance of knowledge and forms of embodied criticism. She holds an MA in theatre and performance from The Graduate Center (CUNY) and an MA in dramaturgy from the University of Munich. She was awarded IFTR's New Scholars Prize in 2015, and her essay was published in the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media. Clio is the editorial assistant for Contemporary Theatre Review and has works as a freelance dramaturg and translator. 
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