The Oerlikerpark will for the 10th time serve as an artist platform for the PERFORMANCE REIHE NEU-OERLIKON under the artistic direction of Maricruz Peñaloza.
In 2019 the PERFORMANCE REIHE NEU-OERLIKON celebrated its 10th anniversary as one of the longer-lasting festivals for performance art in public space in the City of Zurich. A variety of events have been realized for the series: performances, artist talks, and a cooperation with la_cápsula, an independent and experimental curatorial project in Zurich.
Over the past ten years the PERFORMANCE REIHE NEU-OERLIKON has not only established itself as an event in the City of Zurich, in Neu-Oerlikon and, along with it, in Oerliker Park, it has developed into a place of exchange and discourse for artists and for performance art. Until last year, Oerliker Park and occasionally Wahlenpark served as the only location and platform for the more than 150 artists from France, Ghana, Germany, Irland, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States who have performed during these ten years and will perform. This year we would like to combine both neighborhoods of Oerlikon: Alt-Oerlikon [„older“ Oerlikon settlement] and Neu-Oerlikon [New Oerlikon, i.e., formerly the center of the Zürich-Nord industrial area and recently re-developed into a new residential quarter].
Traditionally, public space lends identity and character to the city, which enables inhabitants to relate to it and deeply experience living in an urban situation in terms of nature, culture, and history. Public space also preserves the memory of how inhabitants once lived in their natural, cultural, and historical environment. In the remaining text we will address this idea, tracking traces as we walk between the two locations of Oerlikon and Neu-Oerlikon. This „extension“ of the spatial components is intended to serve and be interpreted as a metaphor to connect both parts of Oerlikon. Attention will be directed to both spaces. We will again walk from the new to and through the old part of Oerlikon and vice versa, sounding out/exploring and experiencing these spaces together with the artists invited for this year’s series of events.
The PERFORMANCE REIHE NEU-OERLIKON 2019 will newly raise many questions, especially focusing on the cultural-political topic of taking action in public space encompassing issues related to gender, power and politics, sexual and cultural identity as well as the inclusive society. To „er-leben“ [erleben = to experience, leben = to live] public space through performance art means an exchange, an exchange of experience and access to this genre of art. Public space goes far beyond aesthetics, it is a political space that provides its inhabitants with a sense of identity and belonging and that means urban culture. Hanna Arendt says that public space is not an abstract space; public space is the place for juxtaposition in order that questions be posed to the political community. Oerliker Park and the PERFORMANCE REIHE NEU-OERLIKON form a platform for political discourse and stimulate debate about the cultural-political relevance of temporary (artistic) approaches and interventions in public space.
It is, and remains, our express aim and desire to make the boundaries disappear between the public–above all, non-insiders–and the participating artists. Our list of priorities can be described by such terms as mutual empathy, exchange of opinions, and confronting key social issues. On the one hand, everything ought to be accessible to a broad public, while, on the other hand, these performances will be exposed to completely different groups in public space, unlike in the traditionally defined “protected space“ in the cultural field.
For the 10th time, the PERFORMANCE REIHE NEU-OERLIKON 2019 will approximate both a „laboratory for communication“ and, at the same time, a „workshop for taking action“ in which the genre of performance is not only transmitted, but also discussed and debated.
For this year’s program, for the first time there will be three days of performances: Friday, 30 August 2019, in Oerlikerpark, and Saturday, 31 August 2019, in Oerliker Park and at Marktplatz, Oerlikon.
Taking place on Friday, 30 August 2019, The Gathering is an open format inviting artists to perform together in public space and including an exchange afterwards. The aim is to practice and reflect on collaboration in performance art. The initiators are Dominik Lipp (Rupperswil) and Gisela Hochuli (Bern/Ruppolsried). Through an open call, artists are invited to participate in this collective performance which lasts for several hours.
On the second day of performances, Saturday, 31 August 2019, we are looking forward to greeting our „Special Guests“ from Mexico and London, and–of course–we are also looking forward to welcoming all the other invited artists and guests who live in Switzerland.
On Sunday, 1 September 2019, from 11:00 AM to 06:30 PM, lectures and time for resonance will be held in the foyer of Gessnerallee, as well as performances by Anna-Käthi Wehrle (Zurich) and Mustafa Boga (London). In conclusion, there will also be an artist talk with all participating artists.
„Art in public space not only shapes the cultural life of the city, but also creates identification with the urban environment and contributes to public usage of these spaces.“
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