Black Market International

Work with Live Art Danmark
2015 Group performance at Kulstof 15, Nordkraft, Aalborg

Group Performance
For a long durational performance, the artists who collectively perform under the legendary moniker of Black Market International took over the vast hall of the culture centre Nordkraft in the Danish city of Aalborg, a former coal fired power plant. Starting with a selection from their huge archive of helpful objects and action-images, amassed in more than 30 yeas of common practice, they quietly set out to act and interact, shape the atmosphere and temperature of the space for the given time of six hours. As always with Black Market, there was no theme or goal beyond the basic idea of creating encounters between humans as art. Any performance that leads up to a moment of what the members feel is a true meeting between the participants of that particular action (which includes everyone in the audience), is deemed a success in their deeply humanist understanding of performance as art. And so, we assume, this one was successful.

About the Artists
The name Black Market International does not designate a group or a collective, but rather an idea of working together. The aim is to promote an open and free exchange of ideas, and to achieve a “Kunst der Begegnung” (Art of Encountering). For more than 30 years, the artists that follow this influential idea, have collectively presented durational performances worldwide. The movement was founded as Market Project in 1985 in Poznan (Poland) by Boris Nieslony, Zygmunt Piotrowski, Tomas Ruller and Jürgen Fritz. For the first European tour in 1986 the name Black Market was adopted. In 1990/91, accompanying changes in the membership, Black Market International emerged, roughly in its present shape. In 2014, the group consisted of twelve regular members, each one with an established and independent practice as a solo performance artist: Jürgen Fritz, Germany; Norbert Klassen, Switzerland (died 2011); Miriam Laplante, Italy; Alastair MacLennan, UK; Helge Meyer, Germany; Boris Nieslony, Germany; Jacques Maria van Poppel, Netherlands; Elvira Santamaria, Mexico; Marco Teubner, Germany; Julie Andree T., Canada; Roi Vaara, Finland; Lee Wen, Singapore (died 2019).


Photo: Peter Lind

Additional information about performance activities of Black MArket International can be found on this slightly outdated webpage, more about the ideas behind it on Boris Nielony’s ancient ASA-webpage (find Black Market in the left hand side menu).

Om 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.