Le Mouvement

Performing the City

August 26 to August 31 2014

Artistic Performances in the City of Biel/Bienne

Opening ceremony on August 26 2014 6 p.m.

Performing the City proposed an open-air exhibition that replaced sculpture by live performers acting directly in and testing the boundaries of urban space. The inhabitants of Biel/Bienne and all visitors had the rare opportunity to witness orchestrated encounters with artists and dancers performing in the streets and squares of Biel throughout the whole duration of the show.

The exhibition intended to investigate the sculptural quality or materiality of the body, how that body negotiates public urban space, and finally questioned the permanence of and expectations associated with public sculpture. Simultaneously endangered by the ubiquity of the screen and images, which continually threaten to flatten the body into two dimensions, while nevertheless functioning as the site of production in a post-Fordist paradigm, the body has become more important and fraught as living palpable thing than ever. Such issues can partially account for contemporary art’s growing preoccupation with dance, an art form that will play a large role in this exhibition’s conceptual and literal structure.

In his brilliant study of the politics of choreography since the 18th century, Social Choreography. Ideology as Performance in Dance and Everyday Movement, Andrew Hewitt goes as far as to suggest that the connection between the logic of dance and the structures that shape modern society is not merely metaphoric, but in fact intrinsic. He argues that dance is the “space in which social possibilities are both rehearsed and performed” and that the choreographies of certain dance styles therefore constitute a “structuring blueprint for thinking and effecting modern social organization”.

In consonance with such questions, the public aspect of this exhibition was entirely ephemeral, critically opposing the monumentality of public sculptural interventions with the fleeting presentation of performances, which foreground the materiality of the body and its vulnerability. Eschewing the construction of stages, the performances have taken place directly in public spaces themselves. As such, the exhibition explored the viability of public space, to what extent it can accommodate such activities, or whether or not it could be said to even exist.




  • If You Don't Want Us, We Want You, Alexandra Pirici
, expo 2014
    If You Don't Want Us, We Want You
  • SCHAUPROZESS, San Keller, expo 2014
    SCHAUPROZESS
  • The Departure From Her Feet, Lin Yilin, expo 2014
    The Departure From Her Feet
  • Bag-People, Mladen Stilinović, expo 2014
    Bag-People
  • Crossdressing-Aktionen, Ocaña, expo 2014
    Crossdressing-Aktionen
  • Vain Combat, Douglas Dunn, expo 2014
    Vain Combat
  • Circle Dance, Germaine Kruip, expo 2014
    Circle Dance
  • Huddle, Simone Forti, expo 2014
    Huddle
  • Looking Up (Plaza de Santo Domingo, México D.F., Agosto 18, 2001), Francis Alÿs, expo 2014
    Looking Up (Plaza de Santo Domingo, México D.F., Agosto 18, 2001)
  • Kissing Through Glass, Jiří Kovanda, expo 2014
    Kissing Through Glass
  • Walk, Hands, Eyes (A City), Myriam Lefkowitz, expo 2014
    Walk, Hands, Eyes (A City)
  • City Dance, Anna Halprin, expo 2014
    City Dance
  • battlefield #95 / gaze, Leuba Jérôme, expo 2014
    battlefield #95 / gaze
  • Dancer, Dara Friedman, expo 2014
    Dancer
  • Piazza, Pablo Bronstein, expo 2014
    Piazza
  • Choreography for the Running Male, Eglè Budvytytè, expo 2014
    Choreography for the Running Male
  • The Pleasure Project, luciana achugar, expo 2014
    The Pleasure Project
  • Girl on a Late-19th-Century Swiss Balcony, Pablo Bronstein, expo 2014
    Girl on a Late-19th-Century Swiss Balcony
  • Untitled (Remember JK, Universal Futurological Question Mark U. F. O.), Rirkrit Tiravanija, expo 2014
    Untitled (Remember JK, Universal Futurological Question Mark U. F. O.)
  • Around, Ulla von Brandenburg, expo 2014
    Around
  • Drift, Trisha Brown, expo 2014
    Drift
  • Nastagio’s Itinerary, Prinz Gholam, expo 2014
    Nastagio’s Itinerary
  • Bodies in Urban Spaces, Willi Dorner, expo 2014
    Bodies in Urban Spaces
  • Fotografien, Beat Streuli, expo 2014
    Fotografien
  • Paralyzed, Klara Lidén, expo 2014
    Paralyzed
  • Trois cercles, Köppl/Začek, expo 2014
    Trois cercles
  • Tilted Arc, Alexandra Pirici, expo 2014
    Tilted Arc
  • Reactivation (Circulation in Space), Marko Lulić, expo 2014
    Reactivation (Circulation in Space)
  • The Complete Works, Nina Beier, expo 2014
    The Complete Works
  • Summer is Not the Prize of Winter, Alex Cecchetti, expo 2014
    Summer is Not the Prize of Winter
  • Body Configurations, VALIE EXPORT, expo 2014
    Body Configurations
  • At a bedroom in the middle of the night, Noritoshi Hirakawa, expo 2014
    At a bedroom in the middle of the night
  • Study of Perspective, Ai Weiwei, expo 2014
    Study of Perspective
  • Work No. 1701, Martin Creed, expo 2014
    Work No. 1701
  • Amsterdam Erotica, Paulo Bruscky, expo 2014
    Amsterdam Erotica
  • Like You, Liz Magic Laser, expo 2014
    Like You
  • SSSSSSSSSSSS, Ieva Miseviciutè, expo 2014
    SSSSSSSSSSSS
  • Striking, Tomislav Gotovac, expo 2014
    Striking
  • Kevin and Me, Dave McKenzie, expo 2014
    Kevin and Me
  • A Needle Woman, Kim Sooja, expo 2014
    A Needle Woman
  • Kunstturnen, Christian Jankowski, expo 2014
    Kunstturnen
  • Mortal Kombat, Ariana Reines, expo 2014
    Mortal Kombat
  • N.P. 1977, Neša Paripović, expo 2014
    N.P. 1977
  • The new line, The flexible school or Trust, Alicia Frankovich, expo 2014
    The new line, The flexible school or Trust
  • A Proposal for a Worker’s Monument in Biel, Marco Lulić, expo 2014
    A Proposal for a Worker’s Monument in Biel
  • Heavy Weight History, Christian Jankowski, expo 2014
    Heavy Weight History
  • Show, Maria Hassabi, expo 2014
    Show