Astrit Ismaili explores the possibilities of 'being as becoming' within the realm of performance. In alter egos, body extensions and wearable musical instruments. Thinking of, about and through the body: as it transforms and is transformed. As it moves, makes sounds and makes contact. As it extends and exceeds itself, reaching out to and touching the other.
In BAU's studio, Ismaili went looking for more ways to reinvent themself: new movements, new voices, new portable instruments that form body extensions and are equipped with sensors.
"I want a polyphony of voices to emerge, a dialogue between my old and my new body. The boundary between natural and artificial is broken, as is that between man and woman. No one sees my gender or my war past, this is a completely new start for me. What I present are three new identities, there are a lot more. That's why I'm so interested in performance: only in it are you free to explore all these options."
In his final presentation at Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond, Astrit showed their work with fragments from a film and a performance. Astrit was accompanied by sound designer Michele Abolaffio and filmmaker Anna Plowden. Afterwards, a substantive post-showing discussion took place led by Charmy Rose.
'BAU AIR was a great opportunity to take further my research on creativity when limited through developing a new musical instrument, a workshop and a short documentary. Through open studios and final presentation I was able to share the process and get useful insights from visitors and audience members. The presence of BAU AIR in the Amsterdams performance scene is vital both for local and international artists, creating space for exchange, experiments and significant outcomes. '
Watch here a short video from our pilot residency BAU AIR² 2020. Choreographer/dancer Vera Tussing and choreographer/composer/performance artist Astrit Ismaili immersed themselves in their current, artistic research at BAU Studios. They also organized workshops, held an open studio and presented the interim outcome at the end of the residency during an informal presentation in Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond.
'Dance and performance makers in Amsterdam want to keep exploring their art and experiment with different disciplines. They also want to meet colleagues working elsewhere in the world. Platform BAU does something about it.'
Het Parool, 2 December 2020
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Astrit Ismaili is an Amsterdam-based performance artist. Astrit graduated from DasArts' Master of Theatre programme. Received the Young Visual Artist Award in 2011 and was a resident at ISCP in New York. Their work has been shown at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, at S.A.L.T.S. Basel, KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin, Kunstverein Amsterdam and Salzburger Kunstverein, at Robert Grunenberg Berlin, Juliette Jongma Amsterdam, Frascati Theater Amsterdam, Korzo Theater The Hague, Spielart festival Munich and the Kaserne Theater in Basel. Astrit co-organised the performance event 'Prishtine Mon Amour' and a number of Lost & Found events in Amsterdam.