Wed–Fri, 4-8 PM
Sat–Sun, 1-5 PM
Over the span of five days at the Renaissance Society, Alexandra Pirici presents Encyclopedia of Relations, in which six performers continuously reconfigure themselves into various forms and structures while using movement, sound, and language. Pirici’s performative actions unfold over longer durations of time, without a clear beginning or end. Rather than being conceived as one-time events, they invite you to linger or come back repeatedly.
First staged at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022, within the main exhibition, the work is presented in a new space at the Ren, as the performers revisit various ongoing relations—encompassing human interactions and relations with and among other entities, such as plants, animals, and artificial intelligence. In its combinatory logic, Encyclopedia of Relations takes inspiration from biological realities, such as symbiotic or parasitic relations, and the fantastic, including medieval bestiaries and surrealist “exquisite corpse” games, as well as human-technology relations. As Pirici notes, “Relations are fluid, made and remade, revealing how apparently distinct life-forms or elements are embedded in inseparable, larger forms of coexistence.”
For Pirici, this project is a continuation of her interest in making something fixed (re)become fluid — whether it has to do with public memory, history, or the art historical canon. In her own words, Encyclopedia of Relations embodies “a hopefully generative contradiction: on one hand, encyclopedias are written archives and forms of ordering, meant to organize knowledge systematically and make it reproducible in the exact same form; on the other hand, the live, performative dimension of this endeavor places instability, reinterpretation and change at its very core.”
Curated by Karsten Lund.
ALEXANDRA PIRICI (b. 1982 in Bucharest, Romania) is an artist with a background in dance and choreography. Working in museum contexts, in public space, and sometimes in theatrical frameworks, she choreographs ongoing actions, performative monuments and performative environments that fuse dance, sculpture, spoken word and music. Her work has been widely exhibited, including twice at the Venice Biennale, in the 59th edition of the International Art Exhibition in 2022 and the Romanian Pavilion at the 55th edition in 2013, as well as at Skulptur Projekte Munster in 2017. She has had collective and solo exhibitions in contexts such as the New Museum, New York; the 9th Berlin Biennale; Manifesta 10; Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven; and NTU CCA Singapore. Since February, 2023, she is the first Professor for Performance in Contemporary Art at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munchen (AdBK Munich).
Launched in 2017, Intermissions is an ongoing programming series devoted to performance and other inventive time-based works, staged in the Renaissance Society’s empty gallery in between exhibitions. This recurring platform features two artists every year, supporting a wide variety of live projects.
Encyclopedia of Relations was originally realized for the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, “The Milk of Dreams,” 2022 as a Special Project supported by Audemars Piguet Contemporary.