Alexander Roberts (b. 1986), started in music – playing in punk and hardcore bands. It was during that time that he developed an interest in bodies, in the idea that aesthetic movements can also be a political movements, in amateurism as a strategy, in Live Art, performance, dancing and choreography.
Now – Alexander works predominantly as a curator and as a producer of Live Art. But also sometimes as a dramaturgical advisor, a pedagogue, and as a choreographer (most typically in collaboration with others).
Typically his curatorial practice has almost always manifested as independent one–off format–specific programmes. However, there are exceptions. Including artFart festival 2009 and 2010, as well as Reykjavik Dance Festival 2013. Alexander established a Live Art research and development agency with Ásgerður G. Gunnarsdóttir in Iceland in 2012, and co–founded art collective Choreography Reykjavík that same year. Both are still in operation today.
Alexander also gives courses across the departments at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts on tactics and strategies for writing about Live Art, dancing, choreography and performance. As well as different approaches to thinking about the relation between politics and aesthetics.
Additionally Alexander is currently working with Ásrún Magnúsdóttir on a radio series exploring movement and bodies in popular music culture – and developing two dance solos exploring the same topic.
FOLK? I do (not) agree!
by Ásgerður G. Gunnarsdóttir and Alexander Roberts
Edyta Kozak came to us with the invitation of working together to facilitate an artistic exchange between artists from Iceland and Poland. The selection of artists for the exchange was rooted in the question of how artists in both Iceland and in Poland might be incorporating, and engaging with, ‘disappearing folk cultures’ in their artistic practices. As such – we were specifically concerned with inviting artists whose artistic practices had previously engaged with giving life to, or reinventing, apparently forgotten, or currently absent, rituals. Artists that were seeking to bring about a certain condition of attention towards the world, or a particular space of encounter with it, through the staging of these rituals and their spatial and temporal structures.
Beyond that however – our invitation to these artists was very simple. We provided salaries, production budgets and spaces to work in – with the sole request that they work on a current project of theirs that held affinities with this project’s thematic. The ambition, in this sense, was to ensure that the artistic practices of the invited artists were foregrounded above and beyond any prescribed thematic.
The outcome, as such, will be a series of artistic offerings that allow the initial question of this project to staged as an open one. Audiences will be invited to encounter the work of these artists and consider for themselves what traces of ‘disappearing folk cultures’ are perceptible within their current artistic practices.