On 4 June PETER BAREN will produce Performance Suite Chicago from the new series BLIND DATES WITH THE HISTORY OF MANKIND (RAGE AND TIME) with local performers. This multi-sensory work searches for a meeting ground between sensual bewilderment and political commentary which clashes with the constructed nature of our ideas on both progress and cultural memory coming from different social and political territories.

PETER BAREN (NETHERLANDS) was born in 1954 in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and currently lives in Amsterdam.   He studied at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam from 1972 to 1977 and since his first public performance in 1980 his work has been shown frequently in the Netherlands as such and towards an international level during the late eighties. In 1989 he was one of the recipients of the PRIX DE ROME Art & Theatre, together with Sanne Danz, Hans Klasema en Erik Kouwenhoven.

Baren’s work is often collaborative; other artists he has worked with in the past include a.o. dancer, choreographer Truus Bronkhorst, poet Koos Dalstra and artist Marion Gadiot.  Baren’s multimedia practice includes site-specific public performances which he refers to as ‘Exploitation Performances’. He uses video both for documenting these performances and to create works which are more medium-specific examinations revolving around the history of mankind, cultural objects and space. Many of Baren’s pieces revolve around the notion of ritual and the way it functions in various socio-cultural contexts. This is conveyed in his art through the use of concepts of otherness and ancient cultures in works that also employ ‘body art’ techniques slightly reminiscent of Burden, Acconci, and D’Armagnac, but in anti-minimalist settings constructed with theatrical props.

photos by Geurt Imanse

this performance is made possible by support from the Netherlands American Foundation NAF