2008-2009: The Masquerade/ & The Office of Lost Gestures / A project and an event curated by If I Can't Dance I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution for DAI / tutored by Sarah Pierce, Stefanie Seibold and guests

In the academic year 2008-2009, If I Can't Dance... has initiated, together with eleven art students of the Dutch Art Institute, The Office of Lost Gestures, a 7-month programme in which artists, theorists and curators meet, work and think together on the topic of 'gesture' and 'masquerade'. Collaborating with the students of the MA Visual Arts in Dublin, the project with culminate in a 10-day performative art exhibition in the LAB, a contemporary art space in Dublin. In Dublin, the interventions of The Office of Lost Gestures run parallel with If I Can't Dance...'s presentation of episode 3 of Masquerade in Project Art Centre.

Departing from Giorgio Agamben's essay 'On Gesture', the students will look at gesture as an alternative way of understanding the way we produce, present and act in this world. According to Agamben, by the end of the nineteenth century, Western bourgeoisie had definitely lost its gestures and today therefore we have become obsessed by them. Exploring this obsession together with artists and thinkers of If I Can't Dance... the students study the concept from different angles. The mask and the act of 'masquerading', a perpetual process of covering and recovering the self, has thus been of special interest, since it points to the performative, gestural dimension of our lives, to the artfulness of the everyday.

In seven sessions The Office of Lost Gestures will look at the potency of gesture through examining concepts such as archive, autobiography, camp, conversation, dancing and the styling of the self. Departing from gesture – and not from image, or representation – there has been a special interest in thinking about art and exhibitions as open-ended and in perpetual progress, not as fixed ends, but as moments of temporary arrest. Indeed, as Agamben says, "what characterizes gesture is that in it nothing is being produced or acted, but rather something is being endured and supported." It is in this spirit that the students will work in the LAB art space in Dublin, not freezing their artistic practices but regarding them as "the prologue or the moulds for other absent works, representing only sketches or death masks", as Agamben puts it.

The tutors in the programme are Frederique Bergholtz, Francesco Bernardelli, Rick Dolphijn, Annie Fletcher, Flora Lysen, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Sarah Pierce, Dieter Roelstraete, Stefanie Seibold, Iris van der Tuin and Marta Zarzycka. The project is co-ordinated by Joris Lindhout.
The students are Buba Cvoric, Teresa Maria Diaz Nerio, Tvika Gutter, Rana Hamadeh, Seda Manavoglu, Barbara Philipp, Eva Schippers, James Skunca, Marina Tomic, Veridiana Zurita and Yen Yitzu.



As a rolling curatorial platform IICD generates a web of relationships between the viewer and the artwork. With Edition III, IICD will be focusing on the notion of the 'masquerade'.

The aim of If I Can’t Dance to explore an alternative conceptual framework of the 'masquerade' can be read in the light of its continuing exploration, since its inception in 2005, of paradigms such as 'theatricality' and 'feminism(s)'. Edition III - Masquerade will touch on aspects such as rituals, gestures, normalized as opposed to transgressive behaviour, covert as well as manifest action and differing approaches to role playing, power positions and appearances. The artists Keren Cytter, Jon Mikel Euba, Olivier Foulon, Suchan Kinoshita, Joachim Koester and Sarah Pierce are invited to produce new projects: to be developed within a two-year time frame; to be presented at the subsequent moments when If I Can’t Dance… visits international partner institutions. Apart from attending IICD’s activities and participating in IICD’s reading group a selected group of DAI students will meet and work with artists, theorists and curators involved in ICCD at the DAI, and develop a side-project that will culminate in a workshop taking place in Dublin when IICD presents episode 3 in Project Arts Centre (Dublin) in the spring of 2009.

More information to be found under

In Dublin: The Office of Lost Gestures
PROGRAM for participants in the If I Can't Dance/DAI - project

11:45Gather at Central Station Amsterdam inside main hall at 'Shakies'
Gabriëlle, Frederique, Itz, Teresa, Tvika, James, Eva, Veri, Marina, Buba, Rana and Barbara.
11:56Amsterdam Centraal (track 13a)
12:34Den Haag HS
12:53Rotterdam Centraal (track 4)
14:17Antwerpen Central Station Bus track 5 take bus 23 direction Waalse Kaai
14:34Arrival at station 'Visserskaai', walk 3 minutes to MuHKA
14.45-16.00Discussion with students, Frederique Bergholtz and Gabrielle Schleijpen
16.00-17.00Tour through "The Order of Things"
17.00-18.15Visit the museum
18.15-19.30Curator Grant Watson discusses 'Behaviour lecture series'/Terre Thaemlitz, MuHKA provides drinks and snacks
20.00Lecture by  Terre Thaemlitz
Terre Thaemlitz will present an audio visual lecture/performance on the theme of nuisance and identity jamming in relation to the term behaviour.

Thaemlitz who is a DJ and writer on issues of transgender and queerness, socio - economic theory and the media, will deal explicitly with issues of human behavior and its capture within a marketplaces of production. In particular, he will challenge the widespread cultural demands for optimism and productivity which also come from within critical circles.

Terre Thaemlitz is an award winning multi-media producer, writer, public speaker, educator, audio remixer, DJ and owner of the Comatonse Recordings record label. Her work critically combines themes of identity politics - including gender, sexuality, class, linguistics, ethnicity and race - with an ongoing critique of the socio-economics of commercial media production. He has released 15 solo albums, as well as numerous 12-inch singles and video works. Her writings on music and culture have been published internationally in a number of books, academic journals and magazines. As a speaker and educator on issues of non-essentialist Transgenderism and Queerness, Thaemlitz has participated in panel discussions throughout Europe and Japan. He currently resides in Kawasaki, Japan.
http://www.muhka.be/denkt_lezingen_detail.php? la=nl&date=&id=2685&subbase=&jaartal=2008&jaargang=
21:05Leave MuHKA
21:20Take bus 23 direction ‘Luchtbal’ from busstop ‘Waterpoort’ (on the Gillisplaats)
21:59Antwerpen-Centraal (last train)
23:06Rotterdam Centraal
00:06Amsterdam Centraal

PROGRAM for participants in the If I Can't Dance/DAI - project

13:45 - 14:00Gather in the Van Abbe museum cafe
14:00 - ± 15:00Tour through 'Heartland' by curator Kerstin Niemann
15:30 - max. 17:00Possibility for further discussion until museum closes

Programme Sunday November 30
Sarah Pierce 'If I Can't Dance Tonight' in Frascati, Amsterdam

16:00Start of the program (with breaks)
20:00(approximately) end of program

If I Can't Dance Tonight featuring Sarah Pierce

If I Can't Dance Tonight is a monthly series of gatherings featuring an eclectic programme of performances, mini-exhibitions, conversations with artists, discussions, film screenings, etc., all drawing the viewer into the question how visual artists nowadays are dealing with performance and performativity. In which way do these artists associate with other disciplines such as dance, theatre, literature and film? These gatherings of discovery offer performances that have reached the stage of completion, but also trial showings of works that are still in progress. Visitors can view screenings of (classic) performance videos or witness top-notch new work. They are invited to contribute to the discussion during artist's talks and might even be seduced into dancing...

Sarah Pierce (1968) works and lives in Dublin. She studied art at Cornell University and in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. A solo exhibition of Pierce’s work was mounted in the Project Arts Centre in Dublin in 2006. Her work was included in various group exhibitions, such as “Nought to Sixty” at ICA London (2008), “Left Pop”, in the 2nd Moscow Biennial (2007) and “Nekromantic” at Zoo Art Fair, London (2006).



More information to be found under