This practice-as-research (PaR) PhD will investigate the possibilities and risks of choreography as a curatorial-hosting practice. It critically responds to a recent wave of projects by UK choreographers that commission and incorporate works authored by other artists (e.g. Siobhan Davies’ exhibition ‘material / rearranged / to / be’, 2017). I use the concept of ‘hosting’ to foreground the relational complexities and modes of production unique to these choreographic-curatorial works. By collaborating with the internationally acclaimed dance house Sadler’s Wells Theatre (SWT), I will directly explore how these emergent practices might circumvent and transform institutional power relations and curatorial processes.
This PaR process will develop an extensive studio practice that directly experiments with the materials and processes of choreographic-curatorial hosting. It will develop solo-authored artworks, and host practice by invited collaborators, through ‘collective study’ (Harney & Moten) and an ‘ethics of incommensurability’ (Tuck & Yang). Taking place in SWT, University of Roehampton and extra-institutional contexts, this project will address the potentials of hosting to challenge and innovate production models across the diverse economies of UK dance, and their respective legacies of systemic exclusion and colonial violence (Bhambra).
This PhD will develop this interdisciplinary research framework of choreographic-curatorial hosting within the emerging field of ‘expanded choreography’ (MACBA, 2012), where choreography takes on a generic capacity for analysis and production alongside and beyond dance. It will introduce to this field – and elaborate choreography’s potential to revitalize – key debates from Institutional Critique (Buren, Wilson) on artist-curator-institution relations. The project will draw from continental philosophy (Derrida) and queer theory (Halbestram) to contextualise notions of ‘hospitality’, ‘hosting’ and the ‘feral’; critical theory (Harney & Moten) and queer writing (Mitchell) on ‘dispossession’ and ‘fugitivity’; and feminist (Freeman) and sociological research (Bourdieu) to address the power relations of peer-organising, within the unique economies of experimental art.