A Note from the Editors Alexander Roberts and Ásgerður G. Gunnarsdóttir:
We, curators Alexander Roberts and Ásgerður G. Gunnarsdóttir, have been working on a curatorial research under the title ‘Into the City, Onto the Stage’ since 2014. The central point of enquiry has been to ask how we as curators – based in Reykjavík, Iceland – working as Artistic Directors of Reykjavík Dance Festival – can create a platform, with the performing arts at its centre, where the basic assumptions about who the performing arts are for can be fundamentally challenged and transformed. Who in our city gets to watch it, make it and have opinions on it? How to cultivate and shape an institution that gathers publics through engagements with the performing arts on terms that are ardently anti-racist, pro-queer, interspecies, anti-ableist, feminist, pro-worker and decolonising? How to foster a platform that is constituted by a porous and intersectional community of listeners and learners committed to amplifying the voices, bodies, experiences and urgencies among them that are otherwise often under represented, lesser seen and lesser heard?
We have never seen these questions as a side project on the periphery of the ‘real’ curatorial work we are doing, we have always seen these questions as the main work. This has meant devising strategies towards challenging and changing who is in the audience, who performs on the stages, who attends the parties, participates in the talks and conversations, and equally who gets to curate.
We conceived of this book as a space to learn from others that have also been busy devising artistic and curatorial strategies relevant to these questions. Formulated as an open-ended non-exhaustive series of chapters, with each chapter bound in its own cover, the book is thought of as an ever-growing platform for holding and collecting together articulations from different artists and curators whose work we feel offers important and urgent responses to these questions outlined above – in ways that are nevertheless particular to their work and working context.
With deep gratitude to all that have contributed and all those we have worked with on the making of this book.
You can download and read the book here
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