Misadventure, June 2009, Zagreb CROATIA
For nine months in 2008 and 2998, Laurie Clark and Michael Peterson traveled around the world on a research leave, visiting fifteen countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, and South and North America. Misadventure was an event that combines a welcome-back party (thrown by the returnees themselves), a travelogue, and an experimental performance about violence, memory and performance.
The performance was by turns theoretical, critical, self-critical, ‘academic’ and playful. It incorporated Clark’s academic research on tourism to sites that memorialize historical traumas and Peterson’s on the relations between torture and performance. Spectators were invited to relax, chat, eat, drink and consider the potentials offered by travel, tourism and academic and artistic inquiry both for privileged movement through the globalized world and for a critique of that privilege.
Misadventure was in two parts. In Packed multiple threads of content, experience and activity were rapidly interspersed. In Unpacked the performance became a soiree, with a roster of special guests joining us for a more casual consideration of the issues raised earlier.
The atmosphere of Misadventure was inspired by the all-night performances we attended in Indonesia. Audience members were encouraged to come and go at will. Food and drink (beer, wine, tea, water) were served. Flash photography was strongly encouraged.
attempt to learn 50 words in Croatian
yield the stage to Josh Abrams and Jennifer Parker Starbuck
yield the stage to Jill Dolan and Stacy Wolf
complain about tourist guidebooks
survey trauma memorials and pay homage to Polish theatre
look at wildlife and pay homage to South African theatre
analyze boundaries and pretend to be a mountain gorilla
question the neoliberal performance of ‘torture’ and ‘rights’
muse about photography
look at scenery and pay homage to Nepali theatre
critique the political economy of trauma tourism
think about ruins and pay homage to Argentine theatre
yield the stage to Paul Rae
ask people around the world about torture and performance
whine about tourism
yield the screen to Chele Isaac,
start to unpack,
and hear an Argentine song from the gorilla
serve drinks and dinner and answer questions along with Nick Ridout, Richard Gough, Marilyn Arsem, and others
begin to discuss ‘misadventures’ with guests
and continue to eat and drink
omakase shimas: yield to the audience
learn Niko’s song