Performance Be-wildering, Waag Society

Performance Be-wildering en ethisch panel’
With Jennifer Willet & Kira O’Reilly, Waag Society
May 12, 7.30 – 10 PM
location Waag Society, Nieuwmarkt 4 Amsterdam


The final performance Be-wildering by Kira O’Reilly (GB) and Jennifer Willet (CAN) will take place on Friday 12 May at Waag Society. This will be followed by the launch of the Trust me, I’m an Artist final exhibition which brings together artworks and projects featured in the series of performative events at Zone2Source in het Glazen Huis, Amstelpark from 13 May untill 25 June 2017.

During the final performance artists O’Reilly and Willet will bring (or perhaps smuggle) a variety of living materials to the Theatrum Anatomicum of the Waag building in Amsterdam, questioning which species are allowed in which ecologies and questioning the laboratory as ecology and the wilderness as lab. A specially formed local ethics committee will react.

Questions will be raised on bio-safety, public health, pollution and toxicity. The work will be presented to the committee. While following the rules and procedures typical for the Netherlands, the ethics committee will debate the proposal and come to a decision. The artist will be informed of the ethics committee’s decision and, together with the audience, enters into a discussion about the result.

Willet and O’Reilly have performed together before and for Trust Me I’m an Artist their work will again intersect, this time in a faux ethics review of different but parallel practices escaping the studio, the laboratory, and into the wilderness. Part performance, part lecture, part bureaucratic response and procedural rebellion O’Reilly and Willet will propose a series of real and imagined attempts at ‘re-wilding’ their art/science practices. They will propose to enact twin sets of installations in Canada along the coastline of the Great Lakes, and in the forests of Finland. Unruly laboratory and performance practices will challenge notions of pollution, invasiveness, toxicity, and discrete national boundaries in interspecies dispersal actions; calling into question the possibility of a wilderness at all.

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Performances, Public Program