This year Associates Programme is titled "Disobedient Biographism" and it focuses on artists who have researched on the lives of marginalised historical figures who resisted and questioned cultural clichés and political impositions. Often excluded by official historiographic narrations these figures are not necessarily fully unknown, but certainly not recognised because not obedient to socially accepted canons.
Through their research, the associated artists adopt methods of trans-chronological narrative allowing different characters to travel across time, assume different appearances or be represented in bumpy contexts and landscapes, with the aim of producing non-conforming readings of history and attempt to unload hegemonic narratives.
By eliminating time-lapses, on the one hand artists take responsibility for the lives of the past, connecting the ancient with present political and social concerns; on the other hand, they reconnect with emancipatory practices and explore self-representation through processes of memory transferring: the body becomes the scene where somatic experiences accomplished by other can be represented and assert one’s presence face of presumed absence. In fact, they slip into their characters’ skin: at various degrees, all the reported events are narrated by the authors in first person operating processes of historical embodiment.
Moreover, these existences are often mixed with the intimate sphere of the artists and re-kneaded through the addition of fictitious elements giving life to a series of performances of the self where metamorphosis and transmutation processes are central. In fact, the historical characters are only simulacrum of the portrayed persons, allowing the artist’s body to transcend the conventional boundaries of verisimilitude - i.e. objective or literal likeness - and give life to new persona.
2021 Associate Programme is also dedicated to artistic forms of publishing: each associate artist produced a new publication exploring the potentialities of language and performance. "Schismatics" is Goda Palekaite's new fiction book which reunions her long-term research into forgotten historical figures that were considered trouble makers and subversives. El Palomar produces his first LP to explore the life and the writings of Paul David Schreber combining queer aesthetics with sound experiments. And Mohamed Albdelkarim' s "Let the Sea Eat Me: To Perform a Ferry" is a new book of performance scripts that reasons upon states of migration through languages, bodies, and writing genres.