a decade of performance art in the UK

In 2021, after ten journeys around the sun, our bodies soaked in blood, sweat, tears, eco-glitter, ]performance s p a c e[ celebrated our 10th anniversary with a special programme looking to the past, present and future(s) of performance art in the UK.

PSX is a proudly intergenerational programme, marking both our international and local constellations, and foregrounding the contirbutions of queer, Trans*, POC & womxn artists. 

You can scroll down for the full programme or use the arrow at the top to view our individual programmes of screenings, talks, performances, exhibitions, bursaries, workshops and residencies. 


PSX was curated and managed by Benjamin Sebastian and Joseph Morgan Schofield, supported by project assistants Ash McNaughton and Lise Boucon. Anna Goodman of Abstrakt handled the press and PR.

The project was supported by VSSL studio, the Live Art Development Agency and The Ugly Duck. The project was funded by Arts Council England and Folkestone and Hythe Council.

Anne Bean and selina bonelli. Photo by Fenia Kotsopoulou.

10 hours

live event @ Ugly Duck, 21st August 2021

︎︎︎ PSX: a decade of performance art in the UK

What dreaming of performance art in the UK would be complete without a durational live event? PSX culminated with a special 10 hour performance, across which 9 exceptional artists shared space and time.

The participating artists were: Anne Bean, Alastair MacLenna, Chinasa Vivian Ezugha, Elvira Santamari, Joseph Morgan Schofield, Martin O'Brien, Poppy Jackson, Rubiane Maia, and selina bonelli.

The event was documented by photographers Fenia Kotsopoulou and Manuel Vason, videographers Baiba Sprance and Marco Beradi, and writers Daniella Valz Gen, Lateisha Davine Lovelace-Hanson, and Zack Mennell.

On live anthologies, memory and dreamscapes

“Durational live performance has the power to evoke memories, it also has the power to infiltrate the depths of our consciousness and shake us enough so that symbols and archetypes can arise in unforeseen connecting ways. Witnessing highly activating works live arouses the nervous system, mobilises emotionally and mentally, the tempering comes afterwards, with distance, so a more sober and holistic view can emerge. That view is still emerging.

Some of the images from PSX 10 have infiltrated my dreams, and some seem to have come out from them too. At times, I still feel in a daze when I recall the experience. What is a memory from a past experience and what is a dream? It’s hard to know when we enter a time warp.”

Daniella Valz Gen

︎︎︎ Read Daniella’s full text

Chinasa Vivian Ezugha and Rubiane Maia. Photo by Fenia Kotsopoulou.

Filmed and edited by Baiba Sprance and Marco Beradi.

“4.5 hours in there's less activity, less noise but it feels more frantic. Maybe it's the sleeplessness and caffeine buzz? Stood back, taking in the landscape of this marking of the rotation of celestial bodies; feeling them slowed, disinhibited of some physical ignorance, how influenced it is by my own silly little physiology. A sparseness of words – a redaction of the power emanating. The futility of Martin trying to burn a fresh cut rose in a flame, plant singeing and dulling pffft with little effect. A chalk outline on the floor, remnants growing, stomach turning stronger faster, quicker, and my hand grows slack twitching. How do words and photos come together? Composing on top and over invoking fractal collages.”

Zack Mennell

︎︎︎ Read Zack’s full text

Photos by Fenia Kotsopoulou.

residential workshop:


︎︎︎ PSX: a decade of performance art in the UK

28th - 30th July 2021, Folkestone

Featuring E.M. Parry and Adrian Coto, with interventions by Ernst Fischer.

“Process as Performance – Thought as Action – Reverie as Method

x1 provocateur + 3 artists over x3 days
= coexisting in a real-time process room of mulling + mapping

A proposition for three days of process, generating visual vocabularies and spatial grammars of materials, actions, mark-making, objects, body, maps, diagrams, sound, space and time.

Each participant will bring their own discrete practice and aesthetics into dialogue with a common set of provocations - working individually but within a coexistent frame.

We will be accruing our coexistent thinking in the space and over time, through processes of - generating + disturbing | layering + disrupting | erasing + collision”

Julia Bardsley is an artist working with the interplay of performance, pinhole photography, video projection, sculptural objects, psychological garments and hybrid personae. Works include: The Divine Trilogy: Trans-Acts, Almost The Same (feral rehearsals for violent acts of culture) and Aftermaths: a tear in the meat of vision (London, Glasgow, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, Belgium, Italy); meta-FAMILY (Brazil, UK, Belgium, Slovenia) and Medea: dark matter events (Brazil & London). A book of her pinhole photographs, u See The Image Of Her i, was published in 2016.
In a new phase of work, under the creative umbrella The House of Wonder & Panic, she has developed a series of durational process events entitled Reading Rooms. The Reading Rooms have repurposed a political, a philosophical and an entomological text. The third of the series, An Apian Paradox, conjures an apicultural world that offers a feminine ecology of creativity, pleasure and female bee-ing and has been presented in London, Lisbon and at Fierce! Birmingham.
Her work tests coexistences and antagonisms across the nature/culture & animal/human spectrums. She is currently exploring ways of appropriating and folding rewilding principles of disturbance and succession into her creative process.

Images: REVERIES on VISIBLE THINKING workshop outcome, Julia Bardsley, Adrian Coto, E.M. Parry and Ernst Fischer, 2021. Photos by Manuel Vason.

residential workshop:

Re:STORE (trust) by Sandra Johnston

︎︎︎ PSX: a decade of performance art in the UK

25th - 27th August 2021, Folkestone

“In the unfolding circumstances of the past year where interpersonal connections have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, how can performance art be reconfigured to address an uneasy new body-phobic social consciousness? I suggest that one of the central ideas that gives performance art agency as a discipline is the range of intimacies that can be tested and opened up through myriad acts of close witnessing. In this workshop we will explore together various ways that trust might be reconstructed, or restored between self and others, including more-than-human relationships and perspectives. Moving between a scale of viewing distance, touching distance, breathing distance, with the aim not to rupture but to respect the parameters of how we sense these sensitive borders, we will consider how intimacy might be redefined. Furthermore, can we still trust ourselves to engage through attuning practices?”

Sandra Johnston’s practice involves developing strategies of performance art improvisation, as a means of engagement with imbedded issues of social trauma within selected contexts. She utilises improvised actions as a form of porous interaction with the actuality of environments, open to interference, adjustment and connective responses. The somatic physical aspects of the work develop from an ethos of attrition – consciously attempting to use a minimum of available resources, intersecting with a desire to leave no trace on the surroundings. This approach of ‘provisionality’ insists upon a speculative relationship to the emergence of narratives and meanings being formed directly, and conjointly, between the artist and audience. A key impetus for the work arises from recognition of the implications of social trauma and the ensuing cultures of silence, finding in performance methods a humble means to provide alternative forms of live testimony and mediation.


residential workshop:

Layers of Time by Rubiane Maia

︎︎︎ PSX: a decade of performance art in the UK

21st-23rd May 2021, Folkestone

Featuring Chinasa Vivian Ezugha, Pierce Starre, and Sylvia Morgado, with Ash McNaughton and Maria Clara.

“The notion that the past is a vital force that moves incessantly inside and outside us, coexisting and actualising itself through our bodies continuously has been a fundamental aspect in my current artistic production. I am particularly interested in the idea that the moment a memory is actualised through an action, it ceases to be a memory and becomes perception. In this sense, we could consider the body as a channel with infinite layers of time - a primordial device that never stops to launch us towards the future.

My proposal is to develop an immersive and practical study around collective and individual memories using empirical exercises of telepathy and telekinesis. Throughout the workshop we will be practicing actions that involve acuteness, permanence and physical-mental resilience.”

Rubiane Maia is a Brazilian visual artist based in Folkestone, UK. She completed a degree in Visual Arts and a Master degree in Institutional Psychology at Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil. Her artwork is an hybrid practice across performance, video, installation and text, occasionally flirting with drawing and collage. She is attracted by states of synergy, encompassing the invisible relationships of affect and flux, and investigates the body in order to amplify the possibilities of perception beyond the habitual. More recently, she has been researching the concept of memory and its resonances in our way of existing.

In 2015, she took part at the workshop 'Cleaning the House' with Marina Abramovic and participated at the exhibition 'Terra Comunal - Marina Abramovic + MAI', at SESC Pompéia, São Paulo with the long durational performance ‘The Garden’ (2 months). In 2016, she worked on the project titled 'Preparation for Aerial Exercise, the Desert and the Mountain' which required her to travel to high landscapes of Uyuni (Bolivia), Pico da Bandeira (Espírito Santo/Minas Gerais, BRA) and Monte Roraima (Roraima, BRA/Santa Helena de Uyarén, VEN). In the same year she completed her second short film titled 'ÁDITO'. Since 2018 she has been working on the creation of a ‘Book-Performance’, a series of actions devised in response to specific autobiographical texts particularly influenced by personal experiences of racism and misogyny.

Images: The Table, ‘Layers of Time’ workshop outcome, Rubiane Maia, 2021. Photos by Manuel Vason.

Forcing Hyacinth, Kelvin Atmadibrata, 2019. Helsinki. Photo by Julius Töyrylä.

Thresholding, Adriana Disman, 2019. Photo: Mike Zenari.

studio bursaries at VSSL studio

Kelvin Atmadibrata & Adriana Disman

In collaboration with VSSL studio, our sister-space in Deptford (London), we invited Kelvin Atmadibrata and Adriana Disman to undertake 7 month studio bursaries. Kelvin and Adriana presented performance works during the PSX photography exhibition at VSSL.

Kelvin Atmadibrata (b.1988, Jakarta, Indonesia) recruits superpowers awakened by puberty and adolescent fantasy. Equipped by shōnen characters, kōhai hierarchy and macho ero-kawaii, he often personifies power and strength into partially canon and fan fiction antiheroes to contest Southeast Asian masculine meta and erotica. He works primarily with performances, often accompanied by and translated into drawings, mixed media collages and objects compiled as installations. Approached as bricolages, Kelvin translates narratives and recreates personifications based on RPGs (Role-playing video games) theories and pop mythologies.

Kelvin Atmadibrata, PSX: Photography exhibition, VSSL studio, 2021. Video by Baiba Sprance and Marco Beradi.

Adriana Disman is a performance art maker, thinker, and writer. Her practice searches for minor modes of resistance as she seeks liberation – an interdependent and as yet un-imagined state – through refusing to adhere to the logics of power. Often engaging with self-wounding, her work is minimal, poetic, and intense.

Disman’s writing on performance can be found in both academic and arts publications, and she is currently co-editing a book entitled "50 Key Performance Artists" for Routledge with T. Nikki Cesare Schotzko. Currently a PhD candidate at Queen Mary University of London under Dominic Johnson, Disman writes on the pathologisation of self-wounding performance art.

Adriana Disman, PSX: Photography exhibition, VSSL studio, 2021. Video by Baiba Sprance and Marco Beradi.

James Jordan Johnson. Photo by Alex Gulino.
Cummndazz, Jade Blackstock, 2020. Image courtesy of the artist.


Jade Blackstock & James Jordan Johnson

︎︎︎ PSX: a decade of performance art in the UK

We hosted the artists Jade Blackstock and James Jordan Johnson for a shared residency month at ]performance s p a c e[ in June 2021. Jade and James’ projects are ongoing and this page will be updated with further information at a later time.

Jade Blackstock (B. 1993, Birmingham, UK) is a British Jamaican performance artist. Her work explores questions of the body and identity in relation to historical, cultural and personal events and experiences. Her practice is particularly anchored in exploring Afro-Caribbean customs, rituals and material, and attempts to discuss how prejudices and colonial histories continue to impact the lives and current representations of Black people and people of colour. She seeks to highlight how the body, material and space have shared capabilities of holding, transferring and embodying collective pasts or memories, which bears importance in our understanding of selves and each other. Themes of race and Black identity, feminism, ownership, class and loss are present in her work.

James Jordan Johnson (b. 1997, London, UK) is an artist working in performance and sculpture. He explores how personal/collective memory and mythmaking informs historical experiences within Black life (specifically Afro-Caribbean life). Through this, he uses his practice as a way to think about the embodiment and unnamable ties between objects and people within life-cycles.

hancock & kelly, 2017. Photo by Paul Samuel White.

Keijaun Thomas, 2019. Photo by Andrea Abbatangelo.

photographic exhibition

︎︎︎ PSX: a decade of performance art in the UK

We chose 10 epochal photographs from our archive which typify the energy, attitude and ethos of the artists ]ps[ works with. Explicit, unapologetic & poetic; these images act as portals to various collaborations, geographies and moments from our past, while projecting that energy into our future(s).

The exhibition took place in both Folkestone and London, and each opening was marked with live performances by Ash McNaughton and Lise Boucon (Folkestone) and PSX Studio Bursary artists Kelvin Atmadibrata and Adriana Disman (London).

28th May - 6th June 2021
]performance s p a c e [, Folkestone

12th - 19th August 2021
VSSL Studio, London


Jade Montserrat
Keijaun Thomas
Hancock&Kelly LIVE
Ron Athey
Kris Canavan & Elizabeth Short (performing as Nick Kilby)
Nicholas Tee
Benjamin Sebastian
Poppy Jackson
Nina Arsenault


Manuel Vason
Andrea Abbatangelo
Marco Beradi
Anna Martinou
Alethea Raban
Paul Samuel White

live performances

Ash McNaughton
Lise Boucon
Kelvin Atmadibrata
Adriana Disman

Kelvin Atmadibrata & Adriana Disman, PSX exhibition launch, VSSL studio, 2021. Photos by Zack Mennell.

Rocío Bolíver, Fierce Festival, 2017. Image courtesy of the artist. 

Katy Baird, Poppers Boudoir. Image courtesy of the artist.

]performance s p a c e [ is nothing if not its relationships; a dynamic constellation of  thinkers, feelers & makers, reimagining our world(s). Throughout PSX, ]ps[ director Benjamin Sebastian hosts a series of 10 conversations with artists and culture makers from our   p a s t   who have influenced our ongoing work.

Links to the podcast conversations can be found here, and details of the final three conversations will be posted soon. We are working on getting transcript texts of the conversations and these will be added when available. 

Until the Last Breath is Breathed, Martin O’Brien, 2018. Still from video by Suhail Merchant.
Horizon, Carlos Martiel, 2017. Image by Terry Smith.


Double bill screenings of significant ]performance s p a c e[ archival documentation, as well as more recent ]ps[ Associate Artist commissions, took place on the last Friday of each month (April through August) during Last Fridays Folkestone.

The films were offered online for the month following the live screening.


Ash McNaughton

Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro

Va-Bene E. Fiatsi [crazinisT artisT]

Leo Devlin, Benjamin Sebastian and Bean

selina bonelli
Kira O'Reilly

Keijaun Thomas

Joseph Morgan Schofield

Martin O'Brien
Carlos Martiel