If/Then is a collectively generated and collaboratively written performance and poetic work comprising multiple voices and registers created just prior to and following the EU referendum of 2016. The piece enacts a poetics of plurality and reversal by seeking to open a space of sharing and assembly through its process, performance and voices. The first development of this work was performed at After the Referendum: a one-day festival exploring European identity at Camden People’s Theatre (September 2016).
(Image credit: Kakia Konstantinaki).
If/Then explores the terrain of the dilemma drawing on examples in history, myth, literature, philosophy; alongside on-street vocal recordings of the general public in Athens, London and Glasgow; and written responses by selected artists, writers, poets. Vocal recordings were made following a short poetic game that sought to frame a collective witnessing of moments occurring through these different European cities, locales and social spaces. The performance frames a multitude of stories on people, boundaries, the universal and the everyday. What questions simply cannot be answered by a yes or no and how would you respond? Responses between street, stage and page serve to further illustrate the multiplicity and validity of singular points of view – expanding the slippage between yes and no.
Commissioned by European Theatre Research Network (University of Kent), Inside/Outside Europe Research Network (University of Winchester) and Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre.
Devised, written and performed by Lisa Alexander and Hari Marini.
With written responses by: Alexandra Baybutt, Madeleine Botet De Lacaze, Gale Burns, Sarahleigh Castelyn, Alec Finlay, João Florencio, Jen Harvie, Eirini Kartsaki, Claire MacDonald, Mary Mazzilli, Lara Pawson, Saradha Soobrayen, Myrto Tsilimpounidi, Fin Walker.
If/Then will be presented for Special Edition: The National Poetry Library at Royal Festival Hall, London on 02/08/17.
(Image credit: Kakia Konstantinaki)
Lisa Alexander is an artist, performance maker and researcher whose work explores the
performance of witness and artistic practice as a lens on social change. She has presented work and held residencies in the UK, France, Cuba, Greece and Russia and recently curated Love Letters to a (Post-)Europe at BIOS, Athens (2015). Interview with Alessandra Cianetti: https://performingborders.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/lisa-alexander-december-2016/ Lisa holds a PhD in Performance (Roehampton 2014). http://www.lisaalexander.co.uk
Hari Marini is a researcher, performance maker and founder member of PartSuspended performance group (www.partsuspended.com). Her work focuses on the spatial and urban contexts and conditions of performance and architecture, and their social and political implications. She has taught various modules in the Department of Drama at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). She holds a PhD in Performance from QMUL. She has published in Contemporary Theatre Review and Performance Research. Her work has been presented in the UK, Greece, Prague and NY.