Panoply Performance Laboratory

Work for Live Art Denmark
2013: “Any Size Mirror is a Dictator” at Hitparaden 1

Any Size Mirror is a Dictator
For our first Hitparaden festival of performance art, Panoply Performance Laboratory, in their own words “actualized a framework from their current long-form social performance in progress, Any Size Mirror is a Dictator, a relational opera of refractions and “inaccurate” reflections”. Outside in a rainy Copenhagen night, performers Valerie Kuehne, Brian McCorkle and Esther Neff transformed the complex theoretical theorems of their personal libretti into weird, striking images, invloving the audience into micro rituals, performed with everyday objects like a ketchup bottle and a meat tenderizer, ice cubes and paper plates, and made them move about and interact with the performers. Soaking plaster bandages in rain puddles, a white hollow object the size of a human head was carefully produced and then unceremoniously carried away. All this was accompanied by a very specific PPL music, blending repetitious chords with a wholly individual, rhythmic, a capella style of singing. Panoply Performance Laboratory, the then Brooklyn based space for social, theoretical and aesthetic experimentation, is one of the most exciting voices on the performance scene then and still today.

Photo: Peter Lind

Photo: Peter Lind

About the Artists
Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) is Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle working with collaborators such as (in this instance and quite often) the performance artist, writer, and cellist Valerie Kuehne. PPL combines conceptual music, sculpture, and performance art. Each site-and-context-specific performance theorizes compositional and constructive systems, ideological structures, modes of production, and epistemic geneologies via precise, viscereal actions.  Often participatory and created in the moment with a collaborating audience, PPL performances swing violently between the hyper-structural and the indeterminate, dealing with causation, reaction, conception, cognition, and active human practices of construction and reality-projection.

Photo: Peter Lind

Photo: Peter Lind

In addition to and often as social performance work, PPL researches social construction and communal cognition by performing organizational actions ranging from the production of operas through the organization of conferences on philosophical and disciplinary questions. These larger and longer-term PPL projects have many layers, existing as clouds of interviews, public “Focus Workshops,” interactive surveys, theoretical writings, video, participatory frameworks, hand-made props, public meetings, installation elements, roles, and pieces of through-written music and text. These projects have a collective, public form, culminating as hyper-complex and tightly wound long-form “operas,” often rehearsed over a period of 6-10 months and performed in collaboration with audiences, artists, and “non-artists” from all over the world and from many different walks of life.

Photo: Peter Lind

Photo: Peter Lind

Here’s PPL’s website.

Om liveart_dk

Liveart.dk was founded in 2004 in Copenhagen to promote the discussion, documentation and development of live art in Denmark. The organisation is equally inspired by the imaginative and entertaining English Live Art tradition as by the theoretical and political German theatre tradition. We have organised 10 large international festivals of Live Art for kids and adults since 2004, and over 40 discussion events, books, video series, symposia and more in the field of live art, performance art, art criticism and documentation. We collaborate with theatres, music venues, art museums and festivals in Denmark and internationally.