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Introduction
About Corpus

Bulegoa. z/b in Bilbao, Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius, If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution in Amsterdam, KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Playground Festival (STUK arts centre and M Museum) in Leuven, and Tate Modern in London collaborate in Corpus, an international network for commissioning performance-related work.These institutions, diverse in scale, character and history, share a longstanding interest in, and engagement with performance. Sharing experiences, ideas, and (re)sources, Corpus aims to invest in the practice of performance and embraces its many connotations and varied intellectual kinships. Currently there are six associated partners to Corpus: Ashkal Alwan in Beirut, The Kitchen in New York, KUB Arena of the Kunsthaus Bregenz, OCAT in Shenzhen, Gallery at REDCAT in Los Angeles, and the Whitney Museum in New York.

Corpus was founded in 2012 by the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Brétigny, If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, Playground Festival (STUK arts centre and M Museum) and Tate Modern.

Corpus operates within a two-year rhythm, in which around twelve new works are commissioned. Its structure assists artists in developing work over time and will allow works to evolve in repertory. Corpus wants to create conditions for artists to experiment, speculate, or revisit ideas. Process and presentation are considered to be on equal footing, and the evolution of the series of works is considered as a part of the whole project. The collaboration between the partners thus creates new leverage in terms of both the specific and heterogeneous needs of performance.

The name of the network is chosen for its meaning of ‘collection’, and refers to both a ‘body of institutions’ and a ‘body of works’. The name Corpus also stresses the body as an emblem of performance. In the current flux of developments in performance—the revival of its legacies, the proliferation of an extended notion of this discipline, and an added connotation of ‘achievement’ in a socio-economical sense—the importance of the fundamental component in this discourse, the body, the corpus, will be reiterated. At risk of appearing essentialist, Corpus wants to re-open discussions of ‘the body’, in relation to notions of the ‘live’—and ‘death’—in performance.

In Corpus’ first phase, projects have been realized with Orla Barry, Tim Etchells (i.c.w. FormContent), Joëlle Tuerlinckx, and Emily Roysdon, as well as research projects on Laboratoire Agit-Art and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina.