Dada Matinée

Dada Matinée was a group performance
with my students at Laleh Park, Tehran. Together with Hadi Nasiri, we succeeded in convincing Honar University to incorporate performance into their curriculum for one semester.
The event, a final term project, focused on performative writing and the ways in which it can be performed. Each student or group of students developed their own idea of composing and interacting with texts in a performative manner.
Having discussed the history of the avant-garde in the class as a historyof performance which in our situation one cannot simply regard as passé,  the idea of a ‘matinée’ à-la-Dada was put forward.
The whole event was supposed to be spectacular: An unused open theatre was ‘reclaimed’, each student bringing along four or five ‘viewers’ who were instructed how to react to each part. Other students would invite passers-by to join in. The idea was to create a non-existent context so as to make the happening of a text possible, to create a chaos where much could happen that otherwise would not be authorized.
The programme (only partly planned) ranged from poetry auctions, to  concert of alarm clocks and mobile phones and umbrellas accompanying a poem, from a sportive  performance of a Dada manifesto to a group performance of a poem from within the audience who consisted of vagrants, soldiers, pedlars, retired old men as well as students and artists, etc. The result was broadcast on Arte channel on 11 Feb. 2009 as a part of the film ‘The Cave of Treasures’ by Bahman Kiarostami.