In April 2020 as the pandemic took hold, the Roberts Institute of Art (RIA) responded by creating a commissioning and development programme with 6 artists whose practices include live work. These commissions will now culminate in an evening showcase of brand new performances by Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom, Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome, Harriet Middleton Baker, Lloyd Corporation, SERAFINE1369 and Sriwhana Spong. The commissioned artists will present work that incorporates wide-ranging influences, from street theatre to tarot reading, orchestral music, dance, shadow puppetry and political debate. Live Art Commissions March 30th Book FREE tickets HERE
David Roberts, co-founder, the Roberts Institute of Art, said,
‘When the pandemic began I felt strongly that the private and commercial sector must act to maintain a commitment to artists. This is something I stand by and which RIA will remain committed to as we continue to commission and programme new work in London and across the United Kingdom. I am delighted that we have been able to support these artists to create these bold new pieces and that they have had the space and the time to shape them during such a difficult and testing period.’
The details of the commissioned performance works are as follows:
Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom Before: Compliment is a sound–based performance that challenges the idea that live performance involves seeing the performer’s body. Appau Jnr Boayke-Yiadom has invited a string trio to play an improvised musical arrangement. The musicians respond to the movement of the audience as they enter the room, creating a heightened relationship between spectators and performers.
Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome Through dance and sound, Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome conjures a collaborative space where audiences are invited to engage with ceramic figures in practices of reading and divination. The ceramic figures are influenced by the trump cards of the tarot deck and have been made in collaboration with artist Nissa Nishikawa. The work has a new sound score composed by Heloise Tunstall-Behrens.
Harriet Middleton-Baker‘s work looks at the dynamics of leadership and control that are played out in performative displays of global power. In The Conference, the artist brings together four performers acting as delegates at an annual summit. A keynote speaker reads an opening address, while the delegates perform a tango — a dance concerned with leadership, surrender, emotion and connection.
Lloyd Corporation‘s New Normal asks to what extent genuine political dialogue is possible in our current times. Influenced by Augusto Boal’s Invisible Theatre, in which distinctions between actors and audience are blurred, the performance involves the duo staging situations that generate dialogue. The work explores the rise in polarized public debate around the politics and ethics of social interaction and communication. New Normal references traditional spaces like Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and online social media, where clashing ideologies, ethical conflicts, (dis)information and conspiracies are scrutinised and contested.
SERAFINE1369 (unarticulated architectures of) ambivalent longing is a solo dance performance with an original sound score by the artist’s frequent collaborator Josh Anio Grigg.
Sriwhana Spong The Poem is a Temple re-enacts and vocalises sections from the twelfth-century Javanese poem the Bhomantaka. This epic mythological tale is described by its unknown author as a candi (temple)— a temple which is built with language.
Developed in close collaboration with the Javanese dhalang (puppeteer) and throat singer, Ki Sujarwo Joko Prehatin, Sriwhana Spong and dhalang Aris Daryono perform fragments from the epic, exploring the shifting boundaries of bodies and spaces and the relationship between personal narratives and mythological figures.
Roberts Institute of Art Presents: LIVE ART COMMISSIONS March 30th Book FREE tickets HERE
In Spring 2021, David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) became the Roberts Institute of Art (RIA). Signalling a new direction under the joint patronage of David Roberts and Indre Šerpytyte-Roberts, RIA drives a programme of exhibitions, live performances, artist residencies and commissioning opportunities across the UK that also benefits international artists and global digital audiences. Further programming takes place with The Hunterian, Glasgow from 14 January to 3 April 2022 in the shape of a new exhibition. A collaboration with the South London Gallery on a performance-based residency takes place in spring 2022 and artist residencies in Scotland will commence in summer 2022.
The Roberts Institute of Art is a non-profit contemporary arts organisation. RIA commissions performance work, collaborates with national partners to create exhibitions, as well as research, share and display the David and Indr? Roberts Collection. The programme is responsive to context and seeks to inspire and open up conversations about how we engage with culture. therobertsinstituteofart.com