Born 1954, lives and works in Amsterdam.
The ARK series”
‘Operatic in nature, ARK ( ) finds a meeting ground between sensual bewilderment and political commentary which points out the constructed nature of our ideas of cultural memory and our sometimes superficial notions of identity.’
During “Currency 2004, an International Festival of Contemporary Performance” in New York, Peter BAREN started an ongoing series of performances entitled ARK ( ), that has continued to evolve and change shape over time. The DISCOVER HEAVEN performances in Sète are part of this series. A multi-sensory work, ARK performances include fog, saran-wrapped performers, circling satellites, orphaned whisperings, molasses, written and spoken texts, boomerangs and more. Baren's practice uses the public assumptions of performance – the promise of drama, duration and theatricality – to evoke a disquieting sense of primordial mystery, public yearning, fear and cultural reformation. Blending props common to show business (fog machines, aural moodscapes and nearly nude performers) with cross-cultural signifiers (Aboriginal boomerangs, Palestinian scarves, Japanese toys), Baren's work creates a site of what photographer and art critic Kristoff Steinruck dubbed ‘radical mystical fundamentalism’ (LIVE Biennial, Vancouver 2005- Helen Pitt Gallery) – Lance Blomgren
The involvement of the audience is triggered by mobilizing all the senses. It cannot and should not be that the spectators leave the location unmoved. A performance by Peter Baren is not a visual spectacle, but an emotional experience -
(Selected) ARK performances and presentations were held during LIVE Biennial, Vancouver (2005)- BLURRR. The fifth Biennial of Performance Art. Tel Aviv (2005)- Trace, Cardiff (2005). The National Review of Live Art/New Territories. Tramway, Glasgow (2007)- Incantation in the sense of stillness Bewaerschole, Burgh-Haamstede, together with Aaron Williamson and Toine Horvers (2007)- ASIATOPIA 10. Bangkok Arts And Culture Centre, Bangkok (2008)- Exist in 08. International Live Art Event. The Judy Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane and Artsworx, Toowoomba (2008)- INTERAKCJE. Galeria OFF, Piotrkow Trybunalski and Galeria BWA, Bielsko Biala (2009)- 3. Préavis de Désordre, Friche la belle de mai, Marseille (2009)- 10th OPENART festival. 798 Art Zone, Beijing (2009)- The Manifold (after) lives of performance. Frascati theater/de Appel, Amsterdam (2009)- exist-ence. live, film, art-i-fact. White Canvas Gallery, Brisbane (2010)- 6th INFR’ACTION, Sète (2010)- MEME, Cambridge (MA, 2010) - and Mobius, Boston (MA, 2010).
In 2007 ARK (Unknown Pleasures), the performing dvd, was screened every night for two months in Amsterdam, from a cornerhouse on Leidsestraat/Prinsengracht. Commissioned by Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and from there featured a.o. in Tallin, Brisbane, Istanbul, Madrid (Coll. NIMk, Amsterdam).
Peter Baren. ARK. Open Beijing. 2009.