9 – 11 May 2019 | The Palace of Ritual / by Lynn Lu


The Palace of Ritual
Palazzo Donà Brusa, Campo San Polo 2177, Venezia
9-11 May 2019, 2 – 6pm

An Arts Territory Initiative
Co-Curated by Annie Jael Kwan, Denis Maksimov, Michał Murawski and Kasia Sobucka

Featuring Isadorino Gore, Enam Gbewonyo, Florence Keith-Roach, Alena Ledeneva, Karolina Łebek, Lynn Lu, Nissa Nishikawa, Sabina Sallis, Zorka Wollny, Khadija Von Zinnenburg Carroll and Mengting Zhuo

The Palace of Ritual is a programme of immersive, intimate performances, screenings and discursive workshops that aims to activate heterodox knowledges and practices of healing, sourced from myths, ritual and cosmology. Participants are invited to awake from the artificial psychological coma of the accelerating and verticalizing present, via healing rituals of care, levelling, perversion and futuring.

The programme explores why a return to ‘nature’ is an increasingly pressing need for many people today. Does our ‘post-contemporary’ (or metamodern) world, mediated as it is by unprecedented layerings of artificially intelligent technologies, paradoxically make so-called ‘traditional’ practices and rituals more desirable? What do the concepts of attachment to ritual, spirituality and nature mean today? We will revisit older, more divisive rituals, investigating what can be learned and appropriated from their obsolete and hierarchical but seductive styles, shapes and rhythms; and we will explore how rituals have been invented, reinvented and adapted today.

Ritual brings together aesthetic creation and a mythos-reinforcing re-enactment of collective histories; it caters to our primeval need to belong; it consolidates but also – in liminal moments – perverts established social norms and hierarchies. The typology of the Palace – whether a Venetian Palazzo, a Qing dynasty summer residence looted by Lord Elgin or a socialist-era “people’s palace” – provides a grandiose and spectacular backdrop for rituals of every kind. The Palace of Ritual – and its interregional, intersectional programme – will explore some winding paths for forging new ritual bodies, ritual aesthetics and ritual politics: perverted, progressive and planetary.

The Palace of Ritual is initiated by Arts Territory and it launches its new pathway of nomadic, fluid and open agency: offering new models of arts commissioning and curating, supporting radical artistic experimentation, research and collaboration, alongside testing the new forms of curation.

The programme is devised by Arts Territory together with PASAR (Post-Asian School of Alternative Rites), a new practice-based research project curated by Annie Jael Kwan; Perverting the Power Vertical, a research and arts initiative led by Maria Mileeva, Denis Maksimov and Michał Murawski; by the FRINGE Centre at University College London and Avenir Institute.

The Palace of Ritual is supported by Adam Mickiewicz Institute, The School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, The FRINGE Centre for the Study of Social and Cultural Complexity and Istituto Polacco in Rome. PASAR (Post-Asian School of Alternative Rites) is presented in collaboration with Something Human and Asia-Art-Activism and additionally supported by Arts Council England and Diverse Actions.