The Performative Trace



Alan Schacher Behemoth performance  Cementa, Kandos NSW 2015

Lecturer: Alan Schacher

Venue: Cell Block


Performance exists in a balance between desire, compulsion and energy on the part of the artist and the impulse and pressure of the act to be brought into existence. Its appeal lies in the immediacy of a demonstrated concept, the physicality of witnessing, and in the ephemeral trace.

In this encounter you will make, do, conceive, devise, observe, discuss, document, witness, remember, improvise, respond, sense, provoke, attack, surrender.

The faculties required are a combination of internal and external observation, response to a situation or place or material, commitment, determination, embodiment and an ability to fully enter the moment. Some performance is durational, some has a natural end, some is surreptitious, some is loud and political.

Together we will approach and address burning issues, profound and persistent images, ethereal and even mystical essences, cultural beliefs and familial histories,….all brought up from your personal depths.


Alan Schacher Diasporic Body performance Articulate Sydney 2015

Alan Schacher:

Alan Schacher is a performance-maker using improvisation and devising methods as key tools in collaborations. He has backgrounds in both dance and visual arts. Founder of Performance Companies Gravity Feed and Gravity Research Institute, his current interests are in diaspora as a global condition, in architectural experience and the performativity of public space. He enacts performance art solo works and together with WeiZen Ho examines cross-cultural themes, misunderstandings and inheritances.


Alan Schacher Palimpsest performance Woodford Academy NSW 2015


References and research:

Performance is a broad topic, please do some research, especially on China and Latin America, and think about the history of Performance in relation to historical art movements.

Here are a few starters:

The early work of Australian Ken Unsworth is significant and (NAS graduate!) Mike Parr continues to be a central figure. The early work of American Chris Burden is seminal, as was the partnership of Marina Abramovic and Ulay.


Ken Unsworth

Have a look at comments on the Art School environment by Irish Artist Alastair MacLennan and at the work of his colleague Sandra Johnson.

Indonesian performer Melati Suryodarmo is one of the famous students of Marina Abramovic.


Melati Suryodarmo

For performative moments by artists see Erwin Wurm and the British duo

John Wood & Paul Harrison.


Erwin Wurm, One Minute Sculpture

Feature Image Joeseph Beuys