Public Collection Tate Modern: In Conversation with Manuel Pelmus

On July 7, Manuel Pelmu? comes to Romanian Cultural Centre to talk about his work, collaborations and the most recent project: Public Collection Tate Modern, which can still be seen until July 3rd. I will be hosting the conversation.

Public Collection Tate Modern 2016 is a site-specific work by Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus. The work is enacted by a group of five performers who use their bodies to transform artworks originally made in other media. These include well-known and not so well-known works from the Tate collection, alongside works from other public collections. Though the work is playful, at the same time it critically proposes an alternative system of value in which the live act prompts us to consider how we might embody a shared heritage.
Manuel Pelmus is a Bucharest and Oslo based artist. He has a background in choreography, and over the years he developed works for the theater context, while recently being increasingly more active in the visual arts/museum context. Manuel Pelmus represented Romania (together with Alexandra Pirici) at the -55th- Venice Biennale with the acclaimed project “An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale”. His works have been presented at the Van Abbe Museum – Eindhoven, Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Moma Warsaw, Para/Site – Hong Kong, Centre Georges Pompidou , Museum M – Leuven, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, The Kiev Biennale, Bass Museum of Art Miami, The Off-Biennale – Budapest, Judson Church New York, De Singel Antwerp, Tate Liverpool, among others. Manuel Pelmus has been awarded the Berlin Art Prize for Performing Arts 2012 and the Excellence Award of the National Dance Center in Bucharest.

For more information visit:

Theatre Criticism in the Public Sphere: Masterclass at FITEI, Porto


Decline, demise, deliberation: the question of criticism in the public sphere

presented as part of Creating Dialogues: Performing Arts Criticism and the Public Sphere

In 1989, in The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Jurgen Habermas argues that the formation of the bourgeois public sphere in the 18th century developed through democratic deliberation and the exercising and constitution of public opinion. Habermas is influential in tracing a relationship between criticism, deliberation and political practice that, despite its flaws, has been instrumental in thinking about criticism’s role and position in the public sphere. Habermas situates criticism and gives intellectual and political weight to its capacity to operate collectively.


In 2011, art theorist Hito Steyerl argues, in Free-Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective, that we find ourselves in constant free-fall, a perspective that ‘throws jaw-dropping social inequalities in sharp focus’, but also ‘a shifting formation’, a productive instability. This is a different moment for criticism; one in which we declare its fall, its deterritorialisation, but also where we profess our passion for its sustained engagement and ongoing re-formation. Yet if the ground is no longer there, then where is criticism situated? And where and what are its spaces of debate?


In this masterclass, we will use these starting points to think through the question of criticism in the public sphere. How can criticism consider and actively engage with the spaces it occupies and creates in the public sphere under these circumstances? How can we revisit notions of community and deliberation under these circumstances, where spaces of critical dialogue are in constant conflict with the mechanisms of neoliberalism? And what of public opinion- is it something to be constructed, or something to be rescued?


Aula Magistral com Diana Damian-Martin



Stamsund Festival: Critics in Conversation

I took part in this year’s Stamsund Festival, together with critic Anette Therese Pettersen.


The programme of talks was:


Wednesday 25th 13:00 :  Friendship and Criticism

with Thorbjørn Gabrielsen


Thursday 26th 15:00 : Borders: collaboration and friendship

Verdensteatret and Mårten Spångberg


Friday 27th 13:00 : On feminism and power relations

Lisa Lie and Marianne Kjærsund


Saturday 28th 15:00 : Criticism and ecology

Katrin Gunnarsdottir, Christelle Fillod and Fabrice Monet


And you can read about the conversations on the festival blog here.

Roaming Assembly: A Public Salon on Feminism and Criticism in Bloomsbury

Part of

‘Walking the City’ TCCE Annual Walking Weekend 2016


“When you asked me to speak about women and criticism, I wandered the streets of Bloomsbury with books by my side, in a roaming assembly”
adapted from Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’

In 2015, Diana Damian Martin, Mary Paterson and Johanna Linsley started a conversation about the spaces, voices and structures of ‘feminist critical practices’, embracing newspaper and on-line criticism, from academic critical discourse to a broader cultural stance of criticality.

In this walk, we aim to further extend this ongoing, informal conversation in a public space, building on the  histories of Bloomsbury as the site of literary and critical history.

Bloomsbury will act as a poetic and historically charged backdrop to our walk – a roaming, open-ended, public Salon. We will be prompted into conversation by extracts from key female figures of criticism, from Susan Sontag and Virginia Woolf, Hannah Arendt to Judith Butler.

We will congregate in Bloomsbury’s squares to listen to these extracts, and during our walks, we will discuss feminism, writing and critical thought today. We will end with an assembly of poetics, inspired by both site and conversation.

We welcome participants to read an extract out loud, if they would like to, or simply engage with the conversation. Texts will be provided.

This walks starts at Tavistock Square and takes us around the squares of Bloomsbury, ending at Queens Square.


Diana Damian Martin and Mary Paterson

This walk is part of a project led by Diana Damian Martin and Mary Paterson which addresses feminist critical practice from a multiplicity of vantage points, and with deliberate interest in staging public, open-ended conversations that weave in history and different forms of collective discourse.

Link to event here.