Research Academy 2015

28 August – 5 September 2015

The RESEARCH ACADEMY is an international platform based at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). It aims to develop artistic practices and foster research through the strong interaction between fellows, faculty members, the artistic community, and the general public. The RESEARCH ACADEMY seeks to explore artistic strategies of contemporary performance practices in order to ask how they speak back to the economic environment, the political landscape and social values.

“Part of the crew, part of the ship”, the title of 2015, is a quote from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The crew of a doomed ship sings it to enact their total loss of corporeality, their bodies actually melting into the wooden planks. The ship is absorbing the individuals and using their bodies as material for the very institution, they are serving.

What is the contemporary relationship between body and institution? How does the ‘contemporary body’ react to and subvert the power, claims, and marks of the contemporary outside world? Is the body the last hideaway of the subject, an asylum for individual truth and freedom? Or is the body just another institution one has to submit to? How do, again, institutions react on the corporeality of individuals, regarding their economical, political and educational commission? Does the institution become part of the body? Does the body become part of the institution? How is the relationship between corporeality and institution being acted out? What does this mean for the phenomenological body and what does it mean for the performative body?

These are the questions that are going to be explored in 9 days of artistic research, linking practical experience with profound reflection on a high level. It will be directed by an expert faculty from dance, theatre, and theory: Elizabeth Waterhouse (Dresden/Bern), Ulrike Quade (Amsterdam), and Franz Anton Cramer (Berlin/Paris).

The RESEARCH ACADEMY is a cooperation between the Department of Performing Arts and Film/ Zurich University of the Arts, the Institute for the Performing Arts and Film/ Zurich University of the Arts, and the Institute of Theatre and Dance Studies/ University of Berne. The course directors will work closely with the appointed fellows in a series of intensive workshops and open working sessions.