As part of Art Night 2019, The Department of Love will present four newly commissioned performances by Débora Delmar (MX), Jade Montserrat (UK), Alvin Tran (US/CN) and Steven Warwick (UK). Each performance will explore the places, meanings and functions of love in today’s world and will carry audiences on a journey from Battle Bridge Place, along King’s Boulevard and underground at King’s Cross Tunnel.
Débora Delmar, What is Love? (2019)
Exploring global consumer culture through pop music, Débora Delmar has gathered a series of lyrics from various love songs that have shaped our understanding of romance, relationships, togetherness, and being in love. These lyrics have been printed across t-shirts which will be worn by 15 performers circulating Kings Cross. Here, Delmar recognises how messages of love are coopted and exercised as marketing strategies for mass produced fashion labels. Moreover, Delmar explores the power of words to activate personal memories of passion and intimacy. In a conjuncture where staying together is an act of rebellion, What is Love? calls on the power of ‘we’ and ‘us’.
Jade Montserrat, Love. Love? (2019)
Developed as part of Montserrat’s ongoing Rainbow Tribe project, Love. Love? emphasises renewal and a renewing of energy and materials against the backdrop of Kings Cross. The work seeks to unsettle representational space, physical privilege, gendered connections of sexuality and empowerment. A somatic response to trauma and healing, the performance which follows a series of durational exercises, is a continuation of Montserrat’s work to create transitional spaces and strategies of survival for the body. Love, Love? will also be presented earlier in the day at Wysing Art Centre as part of The Rural Assembly project.
Alvin Tran, Kundiman (2019)
Alvin Tran’s performance Kundiman explores practices of care and love as ethics in times of uprootedness. It’s an exercise of coming together and creating spaces that engage with people’s capacities to love. Working with four dancers, the choreography is an interrogation of an array of colonial performance trainings ranging from Spanish courting dances to theatrical re-enactments of conquests to the canonization of folk music. Tran contributed a performance for the first iteration of The Department of Love in Shanghai in 2018, which built on his research on love songs and resistance, a recurring theme in his work.
Steven Warwick, My Journey - St. Pancras (2019)
Under the guise of the Roman saint Pancras, Warwick (along with two dancers) will deliver an epic poem describing his inner journey, contrasting diaristic dream sequences and flashes of exterior poetics. Arrivals and departures; interactions and solipsism; one’s journey is a popular tool both in medieval literature, the 19th century Bildungsroman and also the mediated self of bodybuilders of Instagram and reality TV shows. Set in the underground depths of a tunnel in King’s Cross tube station, My Journey - St Pancras will be soundtracked by a custom light show, a public yoga massage as found in airports or train stations and a musical soundtrack.
DoL is an international curatorial collective founded in 2018 by curators Olivia Aherne (UK), Paulina Ascencio (MX), Celina Basra (DE), and Anaïs Castro (CA).