The thirteenth Tonight event features Yael Davids, who presented her lecture performance Learning to Imitate.
By asking the question: “what is a lecture?” and further: “how to give a lecture as an artist?”, Learning To Imitate can be positioned in relation to the current reactivation of the genre of the lecture performance as well as its legacies. It is also connected to a recurrent trope in Yael Davids’ work, namely, the voice. Learning To Imitate forms a pretext for contemplating the idea of ‘having a voice’. The emancipatory connotations are addressed, as well as the relation of the voice to the body and to vision. Divergent examples of the manifestation and affects of the voice in theatre, cinema, literature and law are reviewed and shown in manifold ways.
With the prospect of having to speak and perform herself Davids decided to approach the lecture as an exercise. She trained herself to learn the text by heart and analysed the lecture in relation to its constitutive parts, such as audience, stage, voice, text and positions in space. Putting ‘work’ at the core of the action, Learning To Imitate circumvents the lecture and its representational characteristics and instead, articulates both ideas and delivery in their seminal state.
26 November 2009: Thematic seminar at Piet Zwart Institute
As part of the workshop on the theme of masquerade, If I Can’t Dance together with critic and curator Lars Bang Larsen is currently tutoring at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, Yael Davids will reflect on the performance in a conversation with Vanessa Desclaux, curator at Bloomberg Space in London, on the 26th of November 2009.