03 March, 2008

'If I Can't Dance...' - review

'If I Can't Dance...' at De Appel
Bart van der Heide
1st March 2007

Curators Frederique Bergholtz and Annie Fletcher have been exploring their desired synergy between 'celebration' and 'the ability of art to take a political and critical stance' in a series of performance projects that operate in response to Emma Goldman’s declaration, 'If I Can't Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution'.1 Since its conception in 2005, ‘If I Can't Dance...' has managed to substantially influence the Dutch cultural landscape, avoiding the dominant vortex of temporary exhibitions and successfully reshaping conventional curatorial practice. 'If I Can't Dance...' abandons the model of brief, one-off collaborations between artist and curator in favor of a multiplicity of public and creative contexts, different in location, time and character.

After the success of Edition I, in which artists such as Johanna Billing, Gerard Byrne, Yael Davids and Matti Braun presented their work in various festival and publication formats, 'If I Can't Dance...' took up residence at De Appel in Amsterdam for the production of Edition II. De Appel, renowned for its influential support of performance and installation art in the 1970s within the European context, proved to be ideal for this event, both as partner and location.

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