From June 26-30, Stanford University’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies will host the nineteenth annual Performance Studies international conference (PSi 19). The conference, which has not been in the United States in six years and has never been on the West Coast, features over one hundred performances, praxis sessions, workshops and installations, and approximately one hundred and eighty panels, roundtables, and lectures. Conference delegates, of which there are over 700, will come from South Africa, Australia, China, Russia, Italy, and Colombia, to name but a few countries. These delegates will be experts in the fields of performance studies, visual arts and art history, literature, music and musicology, drama, cultural studies, area studies, gender and sexuality, and critical race studies.
Art installations and videos of performances will occupy open spaces in the conference hub and around campus in courtyards, fountains, and theatres. The shortest performance will last one second and the longest will run nineteen hours.
The headlining performances and highlights are:
- Strange Democracy: Border Wars by Guillermo Gómez-Peña on Friday, June 28 at 7:30pm (ticketed)
- Incorruptible Flesh: Messianic Remains by Ron Athey on Saturday, June 29 at 11pm (ticketed)
- On Friday, June 28, Heather Cassils will present Teresias, a five-hour durational performance that she began training her body for three months before the conference
- On Saturday, June 29, Bruce Tomb will present Maria del Camino, a Camino car that flies and performs gymnastics.
- Also on Saturday, at dawn and dusk, Helen Paris will perform Out of Water at Fr. Funston Beach in San Francisco.
- Every evening in the Performance Gallery, Linda Montano will offer Art/Life Counseling
- Numerous artists will present video and performance installations, and Agatha Morell will offer palm readings.
The conference theme this year is “Now Then: Performance and Temporality,” and the work presented here will address issues of repetition and doubling, duration, syncopation, new media, market futures, ephemerality and documentation, temporary spaces, and free time. The conference program will include three plenary dialogues, sessions attended by all delegates featuring two experts in the field who will converse with one another about their work as it relates to questions of temporality. Concurrent panel sessions will run in the mornings and early afternoons of each day. Evenings of the conference will feature workshops, performative presentations, and performances, some of which will last all night.