Restock, Rethink, Reflect Two Live Art and disability

March 2011

In 2006, the Live Art Development Agency instigated Restock Rethink Reflect, a programme of initiatives for and about artists who are exploring and questioning notions of cultural identity.

Building on the achievements and findings of the first Restock, Rethink, Reflect, the Agency is currently developing Restock, Rethink, Reflect Two, a programme of activities exploring the ways in which the practices of artists who work with Live Art have engaged with, represented, and problematicised issues of disability in radical ways.

Following a research gathering in October 2009 with a small group of artists working with issues of disability in innovative and exciting ways, the Agency is now developing a major public project for early March 2011 that will involve newly commissioned works, presentations, discussions, and screenings. This event will generate materials for a publication/resource on Live Art and disability which will be published and distributed by the Live Art Development Agency and build on the success of Documenting Live.

In May 2010 the Agency issued a call for proposals for two new Live Art commissions for the Restock, Reflect, Rethink Two programme. We are delighted to announce that the commissions have been offered to Martin O’Brien for Mucus Factory and Noëmi Lakmaier for Undress/Redress. More information about the two commissions is here.

Full programme details of Restock, Rethink, Reflect Two will be announced in early 2011, but please do contact the Agency if you would like to find out more about this project.

If you are interested in these issues then we recommend you look at Aaron Williamson’s excellent Study Room Guide to Live Art and disability, Disability and New Artistic Models.

The Restock, Rethink, Reflect Two advisory group is: Tonny A, Katherine Araniello, Bobby Baker, Pete Edwards, Mat Fraser, Catherine Long, Maria Oshodi, Jenny Sealy and Aaron Williamson.

Background and context to Restock, Rethink, Reflect

Live Art is often an interdisciplinary, itinerant and ephemeral area of contemporary arts practice that operates within, in between, across, and at the edges of visual art, theatre, dance, digital media and the moving image. Inevitably there are many challenges to the documentation, archiving and contextualistion of such work, and these challenges can lead to the exclusion of significant artists and approaches from wider cultural discourses and art histories. This is particularly the case for artists concerned with politicised and complex questions of identity and cultural difference, whose experiences and practices are often sidelined within UK’s cultural histories.

Restock, Rethink, Reflect Two aspires to reflect, map and archive the ways in which Live Art has been, and continues to be, a potent platform for artists to explore notions of identity and representation; and to resource and empower artists now and in the future. We hope that the Restock, Rethink, Reflect Two events and publication will be of interest to artists, students, scholars, activists, policymakers, critical writers, and thinkers.

Restock, Rethink, Reflect Two is financially assisted by Arts Council England and Tower Hamlets Council.