Wednesday, February 04, 2009

UBS Openings: Saturday Live
Characters, Figures and Signs

Friday 20 Feb - Saturday 21 Feb

Tate Modern and River Thames

This unique two-day event takes the alternately spoken and movement-based form of the choreographic 'lecture-demonstration' as its' starting point, and presents contemporary dance in dialogue with visual art and discussion. Taking place on a boat on the river Thames, in the Turbine Hall and in the Starr Auditorium at Tate Modern, the programme explores a number of ways in which verbal and gestural languages intersect, staging tensions between language and meaning in a deliberately unresolved manner.

This unique cross-disciplinary event features Jérôme Bel, Julien Bismuth, Pablo Bronstein, Bojana Cvejic, Guillaume Désanges, Jean-Pascal Flavien, Martin Hargreaves, Florian Hecker, Jennifer Lacey, Xavier Le Roy, Robert Morris, Tino Sehgal, Marten Spanberg, Catherine Sullivan, and Ian White. Whilst verbal language is typically seen as a system of communication in which direct meaning is created through discrete relationships between signifier and signified, gesture (and, often, dance) is commonly understood as being 'outside' language: functioning at the level of the image and therefore constituting a "pure mediality" (Giorgio Agamben). Through their interventions and experimental presentations, the artists, curators and choreographers in the programme address notions of 'saying' and 'doing' as distinct forms of signification, challenging the idea that the former is descriptive, the latter, effective. The resulting 'choreographies' propose new cultural forms and imagine ne w modes of communication and participation.

A full programme of events across the Friday and Saturday includes:

Friday 20 February

19.30 – 21.30 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern, tickets £5, booking recommended

- Talk by artist Bojana Cvejic
- Film screening: artists Robert Morris, 21.3 and Catherine Sullivan, The Chirologic Remedy (extract)
- Artist Tino Sehgal in conversation with Tate Curator Catherine Wood

22.00 – 23.00, Turbine Hall Bridge, Tate Modern
Booking recommended
Performance by celebrated dance choreographer Xavier le Roy, Product of Circumstances.
Over two days Xavier Le Roy, molecular biologist turned choreographer and dancer will conduct 'Product of Circumstance' a carefully devised lecture-performance which will explore the significance of gesture and language at play in the act of creating performance art.

Saturday 21 February
Free daytime events

11.00, 12.00, 14.00 and 15.00 East Room, Tate Modern
Jennifer Lacey/Florian Hecker, Robin Hood: The Tour
Workshop style event, for details and to book a place email

15.00, 16.00 and 17.00 Bankside Pier, River Thames
Julien Bismuth and Jean Pascal Flavien, Plouf!
Semaphore flag signalling, reading out loud to each other, and signing between 2 boats on the River Thames!

11.30 – 12.30 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern
Film screening: dance choreographer Jérôme Bel's Véronique Doisneau and Pablo Bronstein's Plaza Minuet

14.30 – 16.00 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern
Artist Guillaume Désanges, Signs and Wonders

16.15 – 17.00 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern
Artist Ian White, Black Flags

19.30 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern
Artist Pablo Bronstein's film, Intermezzo

20.00 – 21.30 Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern
Round table panel discussion chaired by Ian White including artists Bojana Cvejic, Martin Hargreaves, Jennifer Lacey and Tate Modern Curator Catherine Wood, discussing the relationship between visual art performance and contemporary dance choreography.

22.00 – 23.00 Turbine Hall Bridge, Tate Modern
Booking recommended
Performance by celebrated dance choreographer Xavier le Roy, Product of Circumstances.

For tickets for all events visit, or telephone +44 (0) 20 7887 8888, or in person at the Tate booking office

This event is part of UBS Openings: Saturday Live, a series of bi-monthly performance events celebrating contemporary cultural practice at Tate Modern.

Opening up Art
Tate Modern Collection with UBS

UBS Openings: Saturday Live Characters, Figures and Signs is part of Paris Calling, a Franco-British season of performing arts

UBS Openings: Saturday Live Characters, Figures and Signs is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator, contemporary art and performance, and Vanessa Desclaux, Assistant Curator