Our voyage to Greenland was undertaken for the sole purpose to meet the illustrious Sisters Hope and to take part in their Sisters Academy Greenland. However, singular purposes are never basic. The Sisters Academy is in its own right a multi-faceted and layered project, manifesting itself in different locations across the globe in different educational contexts. The Sisters Academy Greenland was no exception. The Academy was to take place within the framework of PSi #21 Fluid States: Performances of Unknowing (http://www.fluidstates.org). PSi stands for Performance Studies International, which is a “professional association founded in 1997 to promote communication and exchange among artists, thinkers, activists and academics working in the field of performance.” Each year the association hosts a global annual conference championing new, innovative and critical approaches to teaching, performing and disseminating performance studies.
Ordinarily the conference is held in one location but for 2015 the mode of meeting and exchange was radically altered to enable multiple events to occur throughout the year and across the globe. The aim of the PSi #21 was to “resist the prerogatives, politics, and hierarchies of centralised and corporatized conferences, festivals and organizations in culture and arts, humanities and social sciences” and instead consider the shifting movement of the tectonic plates and the natural movement of the earth’s geology. This desire resulted in the clustering of events in specific regions. Whilst Greenland sits on the North American tectonic plate, its fascinating colonial history has meant that Greenlandic citizens have Europe citizenship, with political and economic affiliation to Denmark. As such Greenland was included in the North Atlantic cluster of PSi, which consisted of performances, talks and debates across the Faroe Islands, the island of Amagar in Denmark and of course the island of Greenland. The three nodes of this cluster where connected via telematics, allowing us to share across the geographical borders and across their time zones. “Souvenirs” from each cluster were posted here: https://fluidstatesnorth.wordpress.com
The Greenlandic node of the cluster took place in the capital city Nuuk and was hosted by the Sisters Academy. As part of a group of 10 artists/participants of the Academy we explored and considered new modes of sensuous and poetic knowledge production in the educational system, and investigated how to collect data and evaluate the effect of these new modes. These questions were discussed and tested through performance practice in Nukk Kunstmuseum (http://www.nuukkunstmuseum.com/en). The Nuuk Kunstmuseum was founded by Svend and Helene Junge Pedersen who donated their collection of Greenlandic art to the municipality of Nuuk, who have opened the doors to the museum for the viewing pleasure of the general public. We were based in the museum’s temporary exhibition room and here the sisters Academy held classes with a local school, hosted performances, and encouraged us in the installation of work and the sharing of ideas.
We were Tracing the Pathway, taking part in the Sisters Academy, housed in Nuuk Kunstmuseum, sited in the smallest capital city in the world, on the biggest island in the world, connected to two other islands in different time zones, as part of a world-wide conference, in order to make small, sensuous, intimate connections between artists. Frames within frames within frames
This post has been guest authored by Cara Davies from Tracing the Pathway