Dead pig huggers, military boot fetishes and nihilism

Warehouse9 is an intimate performance space/art gallery dating back to April 2007. With its location in the blossoming cultural slaughterhouse district, Warehouse9 has the defined goal of bringing art into life, and life back into art.

With inspiration from the avant-garde, Andy Warhol art factory era of New York, Warehouse9 has grown into an experimental and liberating space for contemporary art, music, poetry and performance with a focus on the international queer community. Over the years, it has succeeded in breaking down boundaries between the music, theatre, art and nightclub scenes, building bridges between established genres and communities.

Since 2009, an always exciting and provocative year of events has culminated in the International Performance Art Festival. The four-day 2012 festival continues the focus on radical contemporary performance art that dares to take risks, challenge the limits of all things artistic and explore new ways of defining the world around us.

The festival opens on Thursday with Beijing artist Zhu Ming. His signature style balloon performances see him, exposed and vulnerable, sealed into a balloon that is gradually filled with water. With only a limited amount of air in the balloon, Zhu Ming recreates concepts of self-isolation, nihilism and the time-space continuum, while interacting with the audience. Ming’s performances have been witnessed all around the world at venues including the Tate Modern in London and ICP in New York.

Friday evening promises to be a wonderfully uncompromising assault on the senses. The legendary and unstoppable Penny Arcade climbed out of her bedroom window at the age of 13 to join the fabulously disenfranchised world of queers, junkies, whores and geniuses. Her fearless brand of feminist sexuality and intellectually-charged performance style has delighted and shocked audiences around the globe. Mad Kate and the Tide explore the concept of Alive:ness: how alive we are in each other’s lives. An eclectic variety of musical styles combines the traditional concert staging with a performance concept that sees Kate provide an aural and visual cocktail that you won’t forget in a hurry. These two performances, one after the other, will leave you breathless and ready for the ensuing dialogue featuring these artists.

Saturday’s highlights include the Swedish feminist art collective, Tir, in a performance of Sidewalk Position – Up Your Ass, partly an interpretation of Valerie Solana´s 1965 manuscript. Kira O’Reilly is perhaps known for upsetting Daily Mail readers (which can only be a good thing) in 2006 by hugging a dead pig on stage. An intriguing and unique combination of bio-science concepts and dance has been her more recent focus. Portuguese/Brazilian dance duo Antonio Maya and Fernando Belfiore perform The Miserable Thing, a story that considers how our body is repressed and fetishised by society, which culminates in hallucinatory imagery using paint and oil. Multi-talented Joseph Mercier’s Giselle (or I’m too Horny to be a Prince) sees Mercier on an intensely personal voyage, narrated through challenging dance, military boot fetish and a reflection on body image. Mercier delves into his own experiences as a trained ballet dancer. The last performance of the evening is by Luscious Montana: Montana died for a Good Cause. The performance delves into the complexities of the sex industry in the form of an intimate self-portrait.

Each of the three days close with what promises to be some fascinating debates and discussions featuring the artists. Sunday is mostly a day of lectures for those with a more academic interest in performance art. However, there is a performance by the young Danish artist Nicolai Legind, Leaving for a Moment, which is the final one of the festival.

Over the four days at the art bar BarHvaViHar, a group of students from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, will encourage discussion and audience involvement on the theme of ‘welcome’.
The International Performance Art Festival is absolutely guaranteed to both entertain and provoke. It’s a utopian arena where the borders of art are expanded and explored in an atmosphere of mutual trust.

International Performance Art Festival
Warehouse9, Building 66, Halmtorvet 11C, Cph K; starts Thu (Nov 22), ends Sun; Tickets: Festival pass 350kr, one-day pass 160-230kr, per show 90kr, lectures free,;