My Barbarian: Pre-Apocalyptic Jam Band Dance Soiree (PoLAAT)

Fri, April 8, 9pm & 10:30pm

Austin Saengerrunde Halle, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd

Performances at 9pm & 10:30pm (25 mins)

The artist collective My Barbarian will be in residence at the Visual Arts Center at UT Austin April 4–9, 2016, where they will employ the pedagogical model and (self-consciously) codified technique that they developed in 2008 called the Post-Living Ante-Action Theater or PoLAAT. This five-stage technique—consisting of Estrangement, Indistinction, Suspension of Beliefs, Mandate to Participate, Inspirational Critique—incorporates song, dance, levitation, trust circles, masks, signs and other elements to playfully reenact serious artistic, political, social and historical situations. Taking place over several days, students and members of the Austin community will be invited to participate in a PoLAAT workshop led by the three members of My Barbarian and in the rare opportunity to encounter group-building, cultural exchange and political critique through imaginative reenactment.

My Barbarian’s residency will occur in tandem and in collaboration withPastelegram and their fall 2015 publication of a manual and sourcebook for PoLAAT. Pastelegram’s manual, “The Audience is Always Right,” will cover exercises developed by My Barbarian for each stage and include documents, source materials and later reflections from participants in earlier PoLAAT workshops, which have occurred with varied groups across several countries. 

Through a weeklong series of workshops My Barbarian’s PoLAAT project will take an interest in how a culture “performs itself.” Exploring Austin’s reputation as the “Live Music Capitol,” My Barbarian will use this PoLAAT workshop to form an experimental band for a one-time live performance. 

About the Artist

My Barbarian is an LA and New York-based trio whose performances enact historical narratives and rehearse social situations. The group draws on performance art, political theater, queer camp, institutional critique, folk plays, musicals and music videos to construct playful performances that encourage both imagination and presence. They have presented their work nationally and internationally, in solo shows at Museo El Eco, Mexico City, the Hammer Museum, LA, Participant Inc., New York; and in exhibitions including the 2014 Whitney Biennial, the 2010 Baltic Triennial, Performa 05 and 07, and many others.

Support for My Barbarian’s residency comes from the Ford Foundation,The John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, Pastelegram, Church of the Friendly Ghost, Fusebox Festival, Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, through the O'Donnell Fund, and the Fine Arts Diversity Committee.