Performance in East London to be celebrated in week-long festival

A series of performances, discussions and events will take place at Queen Mary, University of London in March to showcase the Artists in Residence (AiR) Project.

Published on:

This week long program of live work from 7 – 14 March, entitled ‘Outside AiR’, includes an afternoon tea party with Queen Mary Artists in Residence Peggy Shaw and Ron Athey. Ernst Fischer and his theatre company Leibniz will perform The Ghost Letters and there will be an open forum conversation on the relationship between artists and institutions. The events are being organised by Lois Weaver, Professor of Contemporary Performance Practice at Queen Mary, who will also be premiering Lost Lounge with her performance company Split Britches.

Commenting on the performance, Professor Weaver said: “Lost Lounge is a humorous and bittersweet cabaret that explores what is lost when our neighbourhoods undergo drastic change. The performance is set in New York however it echoes the relentless pace of change we are witnessing here in London’s East End as we prepare for the 2012 Olympics.”

The AiR Project is an in-house initiative to sustain established Live Art practitioners, support emerging artists, and invest in the spaces that nurture their work and audiences. It will create a dedicated community for Live Art at Queen Mary, ensuring that audiences in the East End and across London have the opportunities to engage with a wide variety of performances. 

“AIR is a fantastic new initiative that will nurture and support the work of emergent and established artists in equal measure. Queen Mary has been at the forefront of dynamic performance developments in the UK for years and AiR will take all this to a whole new level,” commented Lois Keidan, from the Live Art Development Agency.                                            

Those involved in the project hope to produce new audiences, with a particular emphasis on engaging local audiences in East London. The project will develop existing and potential audiences for Live Art, by promoting and sustaining new performance and related practices.

One of the discussions is looking to encourage an open dialogue with the local community regarding the future of the People’s Palace, located on the Mile End campus. The Long Table event will consider the creation of an innovative venue in a familiar location that is dedicated to the development and presentation of contemporary performance practice.

The Arts Council England is helping to support the event and their Arts Officer Salette Gressett said: “Outside Air presents London with a unique offer that provides the rare space for a rich public exchange with internationally significant artists to explore and inform current performance practices.”

The AiR Project is co-funded by the Arts Council England, LCACE, Westfield Trust, Prospects Fund and Women@QM. For more information and a complete listing of events please contact Rose Sharp on 020 7882 5196 or e-mail her.