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What are the genealogies of performance art in North Africa and the Middle East?

Joe Namy
28 May 2015
Joe Namy, Dive: A daily choreography for shimmer and flight, 2014-15.
Joe Namy, Dive: A daily choreography for shimmer and flight, 2014-15.


A few notes on the difference between performance art and mayonnaise:

+ Everyone, everyday, is performing, being this then that  presence as oscillation  performance art exposes the instability of being.

+ There are many ways to experience a performance: sensuous, intellectual and intuitive, through feeling.

+ A performance can have multiple lives across many mediums. In the end it exists only in the scene of memory (in all the ways a body remembers).

+ Witnessing a performance automatically implicates the spectator as an active participant in the performance.

+ A performance should suggest, imaginatively negotiate, but make no claims of reconciliation.

+ The true nature of a performance piece is bound up with the ideological stand or world outlook of its creator  not just their intent but also the manifestations of power tied inextricably to their work.

+ Supposing we succeeded in giving a perfectly accurate and complete genealogy of performance art which goes into detail, and thus a detailed repetition in concepts of what it expresses, this would also be an accurate and complete explanation of the world in concepts.

Joe Namy

works with sampled sounds, documentary/music videos and photography, to investigate aspects of identity, memory, power and currents encoded in music. His ideas often revolve around the space between two technics turntables – how faders get faded and amplifications transformed. He received a MFA from New York University, participated in Ashkal Alwan's Home Workspace programme in 2011–12, and has independently studied jazz, Arabic and heavy-metal drumming. His work has been exhibited, screened and amplified at the Detroit Science Center, USA; Queens Museum, USA; Brooklyn Museum, USA; and Beirut Art Center, Lebanon; as well as various international underground dance floors.

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