notes on behaviour outlet [a short listed history of PB performances]

NOTES ON BEHAVIOUR OUTLET                                             [a short listed history of PB performances]

Certain actions and themes return in a different form years later

The motif of the hanging man re-emerges in a performance in Eindhoven (NL, De Fabriek 1987- SILHOUETTES LIKE SHIVERING ANCIENT FEELINGS): this time the performance was carried out for two hours by sixteen figures dressed in black. Turn by turn half of them hung overstretched for five minutes from the curved ceiling while the other half rested after applauding to eachother, when unhooked) as well as in New York (1990- Franklin Furnace presents SPIRIT. Peter Baren performances featuring Seymour Likely and two homeless men).

In 1988, during the annual Steirischer Herbst festival in Graz (A), Baren produced ECHO OF HYSTORIA. The city has a huge clocktower, that dominates the skyline and from there he hung a larger than life-size figure suspended from the hands of the clock, thus stopping time for the period that the exhibition lasted (Points Of Reference 38/88). ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, the second project, was refused without any official reason by Austrian Railway Company. It consists of a proclamation, published in 1938 during the uprising of National-Socialism, and was to be handpainted on the huge window-pane in the Main Hall of the station (every day till the very end of the exhibition) .

For the final round Prix de Rome 1989 Art&Theatre in the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam  several scenes were produced to perform Macbeth.

WE WANNA LOSE OUR HEADS FOR ANYTHING IN TIME was a succession of crystallized emotions. Long-haired figures were held up with balloons, filled with heliumgas, in a bedding of shredded paper and only lit up by sudden flashlights.              The natural flow of time was sliced up. Several versions of WWLOHFAIT have been performed in: 1988- London (UK), Chisenhale Gallery and Dance Space/ 1989- Amsterdam (NL), Beyond Performance. Arti et Amicitiae/ 1989- Zürich (CH),  Shedhalle/ Performance Tage. 1 2 3 November and 1991- Katowice (POL),                  III. Spotkania Teatru wizji I plastyki. Poltel Filmstudios. 

A great number of very short SPIRIT. performances were presented as part of guided tours throughout a medieval fortress, blending reality (as we know it) with moments of recollection during Belluard Bollwerk International 1992, Fribourg (CH).

CARESSING THE DIKE [1996] celebrated the making of dikes and the struggle to protect the land from being flooded. During DIJKWACHT. Art and poetry on the borders of FlevolandEveryday for three months, in the summer of 1996 (near Lelystad, polder-district, NL), a tractor gently rotated an impressive selection of casted hands of the workmen who built the dikes (in the fifties), inhabitants of the district itself and visitors to the performance.

During TransArt Communication 1997, high up the timpanon of Műcsarnok- Palace of Exhibitions in Budapest (HU), PROGRESS PROGRESS was performed as                   the missing allegory on Heroes Square. Also on top of Cinema MIER (Nové Zámky, SK)

ABBEY ROAD / 2001 PITFALLS, consisted of a full days walk (September 1, 2000- with Koos Dalstra), started from the geographical center of Zeeland, a southern province in The Netherlands: where two monks found pumpkins (on that very spot) and brought them to socalled Zeeuwse Meisjes (young maids in folkloristic costumes) who were awaiting them in the main square of the capital city, Middelburg. It is said that the seed of pumpkins raises fertility.

BEGGARS BANQUET. A well-dressed man yet in beggar position, demanded passers-by to DISCOVER HEAVEN and showing examples how to achieve that. First appearances in Nové Zámky and Bratislava, Slovakia (TransArtCommunication 2002)/ Around the city of Venice, during the preview of 50th Biennale di Venezia (Italy) 2003/ Cleveland’s international performance art festival/PERFORMANCE OPEN 2003, Ohio (US) and Tate Modern Gardens and city of London (UK) in 2003- Ongoing series.

In 2004 the ARK series started life in New York City during Currency 2004, an international festival of contemporary performance. Operatic in nature, ARK ( ) finds a meeting ground between sensual bewilderment and political commentary which points out the constructed nature of our ideas of cultural memory and our sometimes superficial notions of identity.

One example in this series: ARK (ON HOPE AND OTHER TERMINAL BODIES SUCH AS BRIDGE OF SIGHS, SLEEP OF REASON AND WAILING WALL) was performed during BLURRR 5. Biennial of Performance Art. Tel Aviv (Israel), Nov. 2005. For three days in a row, a young man with his head scarved in and dangling satellites from his outstretched fingers, was lead out of CCA Gallery and was process(ion)ed along different sites where suicide-bombings took place, such as shopping streets, market, crossroads, busstation, and seaside.
Several actions took place at that seaside: writing the word HOPE (in different languages) in the sand around the (exhausted) scarved figure, still holding up the dangling satellites – throwing a boomerang towards the sea with SPIRIT written on it and after tearing the shirt opposite the scarved figure, return to CCA-

Other extended ARK versions: (2005-2012) LIVE. Biennial for Performance Art in Vancouver, Canada (Oct. 2005)- The National Review of Live Art/NEW MOVES INTERNATIONAL. Tramway, Glasgow (UK). Feb. 2007- Incantation in the sense  of stillness. Bewaerschole, Burgh-Haamstede (NL). Together with Aaron Williamson and Toine Horvers (Sep. 2007) 10th OPEN International Performance Art festival. 798 Art Zone, Beijing (CN), August 2009- 3. Preavis de Desordre Urbain. Marseille (F), September 2009- The Manifold (after) Lives  of Performance. Frascati theatre/de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam (NL) and PLAYGROUND festival/ STUK, Kunstencentrum, Leuven (BE), November 2009- InfrAction 6. Festival International d’Art PerformanceSete (F), September 2010- Guangzhou Live.   53 Art Museum, Guangzhou (CN), December 2010- TRANSMUTED festival internacional de performance. Ex Teresa Arte Actual, Mexico City (MEX), April 2011- INTERAKCY. 14th International Action Art Festival. Galeria ODA, Piotrkow Trybunalski (POL), May 2012-

In 2013 a new [ongoing] series did come to life:                                                                         BLIND DATES WITH THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. First appearances during Infr’Action Venezia #2 alongside the 57th. Venice Biennial.   

May 2014: The first monograph about Peter Baren was presented at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam: PERFORMANCES 1980-2013. BLIND DATES WITH THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.

For up to date listings:

Text excerpts by and thank you:

IJsbrand van Veelen, Lance Blomgren, Werner Fenz, Andrei Tarkovsky, Rob Perree, Iggy Pop, Robert Fripp and Goya.