Sylvester Space

Yael Davids
Learning To Imitate

Performance – Sat 24 April, 6pm CANCELLED
DUE TO BE POSTPONED: contact SCAF for more details

By asking questions such as “what is a lecture?” and “how to give a lecture as an artist?” Learning To Imitate can be positioned in relation to the current reactivation of the genre of the lecture performance as well as its legacies. It is also connected to a recurrent trope in Yael Davids’ work namely: the voice.

Learning To Imitate forms a pretext for contemplating the idea of ‘having a voice’. The emancipatory connotations are addressed, as well as the relation of the voice to the body and to vision. Divergent examples of the manifestation and affects of the voice in theatre, cinema, literature and law are reviewed and shown in manifold ways.

With the prospect of having to speak and perform herself, Davids decided to approach the lecture as an exercise. She trained herself to learn the text by heart and analysed the lecture in relation to its constitutive parts, such as audience, stage, voice, text and positions in space. Putting ‘work’ at the core of the action, Learning To Imitate circumvents the lecture and its representational characteristics and instead, articulates both ideas and delivery in their original state.

In this performance for Art Sheffield 2010 – Life: A User’s Manual, Davids will further develop an existing lecture. This new performance will involve a sense of community and examine the possibilities of the plural to share and carry a single voice.

Born in 1968, Kibbutz Tzuba, Israel
Lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Image credit: Learning to Imitate, Yael Davids, 2009. Original lecture performance. Commissioned by If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part of Your Revolution. Courtesy Akinci Gallery, Amsterdam