We had the chance to talk to Lynnette Moran about the Live Collison Festival which takes place this week in Dublin. Lynnette Moran is a Creative Arts Producer and the Festival Director. We quizzed her on the festival and its growth since its debut 7 years ago. You can see the results below.
Live Collision International Festival 2016 – Special Edition – 30 Nov – 04 Dec 2016
How did this festival begin and how does it differ from the other theatre/ art festivals around Dublin?
In 2009 I returned to live and work in Dublin, having been based in London for nearly nine years where I was grounded in experimental theatre, live art and digital media. I created Live Collision, with the support of the Jerwood Foundation (UK), as a way to have an active dialogue with the city and the cultural terrain in Ireland. It became the mechanism whereby I could continue to work with my established networks of artists, producers, commissioners while at the same time locate new exciting artists and audiences in Ireland. Live Collision became the public moment where those two worlds could collide.
Live Collision presents work that has never before been shown in Ireland and invites international artists to present work that otherwise does not have a platform in Ireland. The festival also creates an invitation to audiences that is unlike any other in the city, we’re asking people to come together around shared prioritises and ways of experiencing dynamic work both individually and collectively.
It is described as a ‘Festival of Live Art’. What does that mean?
Live Art is an interdisciplinary art form that presents artworks ‘live’ in space with audiences who experience and/or come into proximity with that work. It is also an art movement, a community, a context; a risk based practice that defies the convention of dominant art forms and the ways in which we encounter art. Therefore Live Art creates a cultural, social and political space beyond the convention which in turn generates an opportunity to engage in dialogues, subject matter and experiences outside of the expected norm. It is not performance art. It can include performance art but just as it can include dance, theatre, music, digital artworks etc.
The perpetual question through the festival programme is, what constitutes ‘liveness’? And how do audiences come into proximity with that liveness? When is art live and how do we as audiences experience it? As a festival programmer I am preoccupied by the live experience, the moments where I can sense the palpable rigour of an artist and most importantly, I want to complicity understand that me being there to witness or activate that work is vital to its existence. It’s those moments that define Live Collision as a Live Art festival. The festival presents artists that prioritise the role of the audience; work that places audiences central to the experience, to the provocation or to the action. It’s a festival that wants to articulate and provide a platform for challenging work to generate the space for dialogue, exploration and discussion. A festival that holds the space for activism, consciousness-raising and visibility with a view to writing back against the conventional narrative and coming together around our individual and collective selves.
The festival is now in its 7th year. How has it changed in that time?
I initiated the festival in 2009 and the first two incarnations were presented as part of Dublin Fringe Festival, they were a combination of both live performance and a residency period; two primary elements that sit central to the festival still. But in the beginning I curated 3 international practitioners who presented their live performances over one weekend and I created introductions to Irish artists who they then collaborated with during their time here. The outcomes from those collaborations were then presented back to a public. In the third year, I became really curious about how the festival would behave if it sat outside of the bigger mechanism that was fringe, and if audiences would come. So I presented Live Collision Bite Size, a mini festival at Project Arts Centre and to my delight we sold-out every event across the full programme. It was then I could be certain that the festival was carving a space and building a language around Live art and live practice that artists wanted to contribute to, and simultaneously audiences were drawn to come together around the festival and to discover the work curated in programme. From this moment Live Collision International Festival was born, of which we are in the fourth year as it continues to shape and grow year-on-year.
The Festival is part of the Project 50 celebration this year. Has that allowed the scope to increase?
It’s a great honour for the festival to be part of Project 50 alongside an incredible group of artists and companies as part of Project’s celebrations. Project Arts Centre plays such a vital role in the cultural landscape both in the city and nationally. The celebrations haven’t increased the resources or capacity of the festival but it provides a context and a frame that is both vital and relevant. We are living in difficult times of confrontational rhetoric and a sweeping drive towards anti-intellectualism. It’s at times like this we as artists, curators and audiences must continue to challenge our own experiences, to meet like-minded people, to come together in spaces away from the internet into real time and to share our human understanding. We do well to look back and acknowledge the founding aspirations of Project and to think towards the future with some hopefulness mixed with resistance, agitation and of course beauty.
What events are you particularly looking forward to?
I am excited for Live Collision artists and audiences to come together around all of the work at the festival. Our DOUBLE BILL series is truly inter-generational with exceptional work by seminal artists making compelling work over the last five decades, to some of the most hotly tipped emerging to mid-career artists of our time. I’m also really proud of our SALONS and INITIATIVES which include the TRANS LIVE ART SALON a festival residency opportunity for self-identified non-cisgender individuals and practitioners.