List of selected artworks. Maps for the tour in the museum



There is no other poetry than action

April 12 - 13, 2013 /
Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200 and Auditorium 400

The new direction taken by political and social happenings in recent years has once again made public space an excellent place for manifestations by the community. In contrast with the situation during the last third of the 20th century, dissident action does not avoid urban spectacularization, hiding in private or clandestine spheres. Instead it transforms and is shown in public space. This seminar explores the use of “theatrical” gestures, behaviours and performances in social space for the purpose of expressing disagreement and dissidence, and it also examines the way that today's art, specifically theatre, has taken in and dialogued with these non-artistic theatricalities.

The possibility of art that is effective in the public sphere involves recognition of the art and poetics present in “real” actions, posits this seminar. Expressing this necessity, at the end of Poeta delle ceneri (1966-67), Pier Paolo Pasolini wrote: The actions of life alone will be communicated, and these will be poetry, because, I say it again, there is no other poetry than true action. Unlike other artists from the same generation, who generally leaned towards a dissolving of artistic practice in life, the interests of the author of Scritti corsarifocused on the practice of a poetry as real as the actions of life. This perspective, which remains relevant in our day, entails recognition of forms of poetry, art and cinema that continue to be autonomous but that speak the same “language” of reality.

In the context of this seminar the term “action” does not refer to gestures that make a direct or explicit intervention, but rather to the hybrid methods situated in the confluence between visual and performing arts (mainly from the 1950s and 1960s onwards) and characterized by an expanded practice that avoids self-referentiality. We are talking about practices that have left the theatre building, and also those practices the driving force of which is reality.

There is no other poetry than action aims to discuss - from the vantage point of artistic practice (with Rabih Mroué, Rolf Abderhalden and Héctor Bourges) and from the perspective of research (with Maaike Bleeker, Adrian Heathfield, Simon Bayly, Leire Vergara, Jordi Claramonte and Ana Vujanović) - the specificity of contemporary stage practices, the questions arising from such practices and the theoretical tools we can use to think about them.


April 12. Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200

4:30 - 5:00 p.m. José Antonio Sánchez. There is no other poetry than action: an introduction
5:00 - 5:30 p.m. Rolf Abderhalden. Shifting cartographies
5:30 - 6:00 p.m. Héctor Bourges. Because everything can always be different, even if it never is...Teatro Ojo or emotion as a field of political intervention
6:00 - 6:15 p.m. Break
6:15 - 6:45 p.m. Leire Vergara. The body as a frontier. Artistic practice as dissident epistemology
6:45 - 7:15 p.m. Jordi Claramonte. Necessity, possibility and effectiveness of the aesthetic
7:15 - 8:00 p.m. Rolf Abderhalden, Hector Bourges, Jordi Claramonte, José Antonio Sánchez and Leire Vergara. Round table. Moderated by: Sebastián Asioli, Isabel de Naverán and Fernando Quesada.
8:30 p.m. Rabih Mroué. The Inhabitants of Images. Performance, 2009. Co-produced by Tanzquartier-Wien, Bildoun magazine and Ashkal Alwan (Beirut)
Place: Nouvel Building, Auditorium 400
Admission: free of charge but requires a ticket. Tickets can be picked up at the box office starting on April 10.

April 13. Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200

4:30 - 5:00 p.m. Maaike Bleeker. Serious games
5:00 - 5:30 p.m. Simon Bayly. Carry on Camping?: spectacle and concealment in the representation of politics
5:30 - 6:00 p.m. Ana Vujanovic. Staging ideology: Immunitas and communitas in today's neoliberal democratic society
6:00 - 6:15 p.m. Break
6:15 - 7:00 p.m. Adrian Heathfield. The spectral time of the transformation
7:00 - 7:30 p.m. Simon Bayly, Maaike Bleeker, Adrian Heathfield and Ana Vujanović. Round table
Moderated by: Esther Belvís, Victoria Pérez Royo and Luca Zanchi
7:30 - 8:00 p.m. Debate and conclusion


Rolf Abderhalden. Artist. Manager of the interdisciplinary master's program in Theatre and Live Arts at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Co-founder of Mapa Teatro (Bogotá).

Sebastián Asioli. Artist and independent researcher. Participant in the study program Expanded Theatricalities at Museo Reina Sofía and member of the collective Enclave (Granada).

Simon Bayly. Artist and writer. His recent publications include A Pathognomy of Performance (2011) and is a Principal Lecturer in Drama, Theatre and Performance at the University of Roehampton (London).

Esther Belvís. Researcher, writer and pedagogue. PhD in Theatre and Performance from the University of Warwick and the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.

Maaike Bleeker. Dramaturge in theatre and dance and President of Performance Studies international (PSi). Professor of Theatre Studies at Utrecht University (the Netherlands).

Héctor Bourges. Artist and member of the company Teatro Ojo (Mexico City).

Jordi Claramonte. Author of various books on aesthetics and philosophy and professor of aesthetics at the National University of Distance Education (Madrid).

Isabel de Naverán. Independent researcher. Member of ARTEA and Bulegoa Z/B (Bilbao).

Adrian Heathfield. Writer and curator. Professor of Performance and Visual Culture at the University of Roehampton (London).

Rabih Mroué. Artist, co-editor of The Drama Review and co-founder and commission member of the Beirut Art Centre (Beirut).

Victoria Pérez Royo. Researcher, professor of aesthetics and art theory at the Universidad de Zaragoza and member of ARTEA (Madrid-Berlin).

Fernando Quesada. Member of ARTEA. Architect and tenured professor of architecture projects at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares (Madrid).

José Antonio Sánchez. Chaired professor of art history at the Universidad de Castilla La Mancha and member of ARTEA (Madrid).

Leire Vergara. Curator, independent researcher and member of Bulegoa Z/B (Bilbao).

Ana Vujanović. Freelance theorist, dramaturg, and cultural worker in contemporary performing arts (Berlin/Hamburg/Belgrade).

Luca Zanchi. Artist, author of critical essays and participant in the Art History and Visual Culture program offered by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Museo Reina Sofía.

This activity is linked to ARTEA's research project “Dissident Theatricalities” HAR2012-34075, which is funded by Spain's State Department for Research, Development and Innovation.

Activity´s details

Study center
Seminar Admission: free of charge, but space is limited. Performance Admission: free of charge. Tickets can be picked up starting on April 10
Organized by: 

ARTEA and Museo Reina Sofía

See all activities in: Live Arts
See all activities in: Seminars and conferences


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