Essay by Sietske Roorda on UNFOLD: Audience/Performer/Mirror

“You are the audience and I am the performer.” This sentence was often repeated in the art performances that took place on the evening of 15 January 2020 during the UNFOLD event organised by LIMA in Amsterdam. LIMA, an organisation that has (amongst other mandates) the preservation of media art, invited artists Keren Cytter, Emile Zile, Jan Robert Leegte and students of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (under the leadership of Willem van Weelden) to create a reinterpretation of the iconic performance ​Audience/Performer/Mirror which artist Dan Graham gave at De Appel arts centre in 1977. This phrase sets up a demarcation between the performer and the audience and is epitomised in the performance by Graham. He stands in front of the mirror with the audience seated behind him, describing every little movement he makes in detail, implying a sense of objectivity. But, when he turns his attention to the audience and starts describing every uncomfortable movement they make, he turns the tables, making them part of the performance."

For UNFOLD: Audience/Performer/Mirror on the 15h of January 2020, LIMA invited art critic and writer Sietske Roorda to write an essay about the event. You can read her essay 'Reflections on Reinterpretations of Audience/Performer/Mirror' here