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Future Collect

Collecting Performance: A Study Day Jade Montserrat

25 Mar 2021

Marking the first presentation of Jade Montserrat’s new performance, made as part of her Future Collect commission and to be acquired by Manchester Art Gallery, this study day brings together artists, curators and writers to explore what it means to collect performance. The discussion will centre around three core questions: How do we collect the ephemeral? What does it mean for performance artists to archive themselves? and By re-performing the performance are we essentially collecting it?

In developing her new performance, Montserrat has made the decision to take her own body out of the work, exploring the implications of the performance becoming activated through the actions of others and the role of the score in the work being collected and re-performed.  Through the study day we will investigate the role of scoring and notation, and consider the distinction between collecting as financial exchange and the act of archiving e.g. the notion of community as archive, where the collective body remembers.  We will encounter choreographies of care through different perspectives on performing the self, performing blackness and performing queerness, and consider what it means for an artist to be a collector of their own histories.

Speakers include: Adelaide Bannerman, Jamila Johnson-Small, Amy Lawrence and Rose Lejeune. The day will conclude with the first presentation, in digital format, of Jade Montserrat’s new performative work Rehearsal Methods: audition pieces for solo and collective.  Montserrat’s commission for Manchester Art Gallery encompasses performance, works on paper and a publication, as she explores questions of care in relation to both objects and people in the context of the gallery’s collection and collecting practices. Incorporating synchronised breathing, charcoal drawing and a chorus, her new performance takes cues from the theatrical oeuvre of Ira Aldridge, responds to the site of Manchester Art Gallery and is influenced by our current experience of physical distancing.


Image: Sketch for a performance, Rehearsal Methods: audition pieces for solo and collective, Jade Montserrat 2021