Conversations on the Integrities of the Body

The Coronavirus pandemic has once again placed the body at the centre of political and social debate. However, questions about its status were already relevant before the virus and remain key issues in many conflicts that continue to have a decisive influence on the world.  

What does it mean for an individual body, for the body of a collective, to be safe or unharmed? How is the idea of the integrity of a body linked to how we imagine, experience, represent or define a body? To what extent is it also a matter of aesthetics, of performance? And, what is our responsibility when it comes to create visibility and agency for bodies that are under physical or symbolic attack?

The online-series ‘Unversehrtheit: Conversations on the Integrities of the Body’, initiated by curator and researcher Sandra Noeth brings together international artists and researchers across different disciplines and fields of practice to take a close look at the body and its possible integrities.

Aesthetically, ethically and politically, the body manifests itself as both a witness and an agent in the current, ideological, humanitarian and bio-political crisis, and as a site where ideals and ideologies are negotiated. Here the question also arises of which bodies we deem worthy of ethical recognition and legal protection. Presented through the highly contested and unequally distributed “right to bodily integrity,” this debate is also expressed on a much smaller scale on a structural and everyday level.

This series of conversations aims at opening up informal exchange and reflection. The format combines discussion-based encounters between experts (In Conversation #1-#8) exploring the concept of the integrity of the body from their specific contexts and fields of activity, with dramaturgical sessions (Dramaturgical Perspectives #1-#4) focussing on strategies and practices that artists develop in response to their specific experiences where the integrity of the body is at stake.

Conversations with: Banu Bargu (Political Theorist, Professor University of California Santa Cruz)  Steven Cohen (Performance Artist), Omar Al-Dewachi (Medical Anthropologist, Associate Professor Rutgers University New Brunswick New Jersey), Gurur Ertem (Sociologist & Dancer), Yasmeen Godder (Choreographer), Eisa Jocson (Visual Artist & Choreographer), Dennis Krämer (Sociologist, Ruhr-Universität Bochum), James Martell (Political Scientist, Professor San Francisco State University), Lina Majdalanie (Performance Artist & Author), Raquel Meseguer (Choreographer) Francesca Raimondi (Philosopher, Professor Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a. Main), Emilia Zenzile Roig (Political Scientist, Funder & Executive Director CIJ-Center for Intersectional Justice), Hakan Topal (Artist, Professor for New Media, Arts & Design, Purchase College New York), Jeremy Wade (Choreographer), Akira Takayama (Theatre Director), Nuno Ramos (Artist & Author) and others.

Curated by: Dr. Sandra Noeth (Professor, HZT Berlin), in collaboration with Anna Wagner.

Please check www.mousonturm.de/en/dmt for programme updates and schedule.
After their first streaming, all conservations are available until July 5th

Curator: Dr. Sandra Noeth, professor at HZT Berlin, has been active internationally as a curator and dramaturge in both independent and institutional contexts. As Head of Dramaturgy and Research at Tanzquartier Wien (2009-2014), she developed a series of research and presentation projects on concepts and practices of responsibility, religion, integrity and protest in relation to the body. Her curatorial and scientific research focusses especially on ethical and political perspectives toward body-practice and theory (see ‘Violence of Inscriptions’, a project on bodies under structural violence, with A. Zaides, 2016-18, HAU Hebbel am Ufer) and dramaturgy in the body-centred performing arts. She co-edited several books on the topics such as ‘Bodies of Evidence: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Politics of Movement’ (2018, with G. Ertem, Passagen) and the periodical ‘SCORES’ (2010-16, with Tanzquartier Wien). Her PhD (2018) deals with the entangled experience of the border and of collectivity in artistic work from Lebanon and Palestine (‘Resilient Bodies, Residual Effects’, forthcoming with transcript in 2019).

‘Unversehrtheit: Conversations on the Integrities of the Body’ is a project by Künstlerhaus Mousonturm with Sandra Noeth as part of ‘Corponomy – Politics of the body in dance, performance and society’, funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung) and as part of ‘DTM – Digital Mousonturm’, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the Alliance of International Production Houses, supported by the Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin.