Salon 41 Performance in Reality

Salon 41 is focused on performance, an act which implies a distinction between those who are performing and those who are watching, and exists in a constant state of evaluation—whether literally in a workplace review, in political proceedings, or even in the form of likes and views on social media. As we go about our daily lives, we are constantly enacting performances of self, adapting them to fit the nuances of each audience we encounter. If theaters have not been the only sites for performance for centuries, the advent of digital technology has further displaced the performer and their audience across time and space. This salon’s ambition is to examine performance’s contemporary manifestations and provide the critical distance we need to understand its omnipresence.

We will pose the following questions: How can we use performance as a lens to understand the world around us? Inversely, how has the increased performativity of everyday life altered our understanding of traditional performance? To what degree has performative activism usurped more concrete means of effecting change? How has social media altered our performance of self? To what extent does performing something enact it into being? In contemporary politics, can the difference between the performance of serving your constituents and the actual execution of civic services be recognized? How can performance be utilized as an agent for social change?

This salon took place on May 9, 2023

At timestamp 3'30" the correct attribution for the artwork is: Sun&Sea by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, and Lina Lapelytė.


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