Block Universe to Explore Changing Political Landscape

Stina Nyberg, Shapes of States, 2016. Photo: José Figueroa

Block Universe, London‘s annual international performance art festival, is back for the third year running from May 29 to June 4, 2017. Newly commissioned performances, UK premieres, talks and workshops are some of the festival highlights.

Taking place at renowned institutions, including the Royal Academy of Arts and Somerset House, as well as unique locations across the city, the week-long festival presents work by some of the most exciting UK-based and international artists working in performance art today. They include Eglė Budvytytė, Işıl Eğrikavuk, Liz Magic Laser, Nicole Bachmann, Rory Pilgrim, Stina Nyberg, Will Rawls, Young In Hong, Zadie Xa and a first-time collaboration between Kim Coleman, Zoë Poluch and Cara Tolmie.

In the context of post-Brexit Britain, this year’s performance arts festival theme will explore ideas surrounding political bodies, both personal and public, addressing identity politics and notions of nationhood set against a changing socio-political landscape. Looking at networked communities and the power of collective voices, Block Universe will champion work that questions the status quo in divisive times.

With four UK premieres and five site-specific commissions in noteworthy settings across central London, the works by international artists include choreography modeled on the Gwangju uprising taking place in the public square of the Royal Academy of Arts courtyard by Young In Hong; Stina Nyberg’s choreographic work questioning Swedish physical ideals from the 1920s through a visually described performance; Rory Pilgrim’s collaboration with a youth group exploring sci-fi robotic support systems of care set in a Quaker Hall; and Işıl Eğrikavuk’s performative dinner exploring parallels between Pluto’s demotion from our solar system with the UK’s exit from the EU, among others.

About Andrea Hammer 205 Articles
Andrea K. Hammer, founder and director of Artsphoria Magazine & Boutique, is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. She has published articles in international publications. Through this expanded edition of Artsphoria, she invites fellow artists, writers, innovators and creative thinkers to join our conversation!