THEMATIC PROGRAMS:
Performative
Performance as Process
Delfina Foundation

LONDON, UK
2023 – ONGOING

In 2023, the Delfina Foundation in London organized a season of public and internal programs around the fifth iteration of their Performance as Process series titled “Cyphering, Vibrating,” hosting 8 international artists-in-residence and 2 UK Associates.

In street dance practices, a cypher is a space for practice and performance created by the momentary gathering of dancers together in a ring. In this collective endeavor, participants take turns to enter the center of the ring and perform – improvising, sharing, playing, experimenting, responding – and to support on the side – providing encouragement, feedback, and drawing inspiration. Energy bounces and vibrates as one shifts between the roles of performer and audience.

The season drew on the culture and methodology of the cipher. Bringing together eight artists whose practices engage with performance – from Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, Vietnam, alongside two London-based practitioners – the residency and emergent public program seek to operate as cyphers: a space of incubation, generation, exchange, and collectivity. While promoting individual growth, this approach attempts to weave together supportive and fluid social structures – conducive to deeper connections and resonance.

Supported by the M Art Foundation, three artists-in-residence were Michele Chu, Yewande YoYo Odunubi & Chris Penty Alvarez.

Michele Chu (b. 1994, Hong Kong SAR) in her practice explores intimacy and human connection, specifically the interplay between sensory elements and space to amplify emotional connection between individuals. Her works contemplate what makes us human, through mediums like performances, sculptures, multi- sensory installations and public interventions amongst others. Michele Chu graduated from the Royal College of Art & Imperial College London with an MA/ MSc in Global Innovation Design, and Pratt Institute with a BFA in Communications Design (Illustration). Her works have received coverage in publications including ArtReview, The New York Times, ArtForum and Frieze, and have been shared on global platforms such as TEDx. Her work has been shown at 1a Space (Hong Kong), Negative Space (Hong Kong), and Tai Kwun Contemporary (Hong Kong).

Yewande YoYo Odunubi is an artist, researcher and cultural producer working between movement, research and facilitation. Centering her practice around the core inquiry: “what does the body need to dream?” she is concerned with what can be enacted into space through connecting to intuitive experience and bodily rhythms. Viewing the body beyond the idea of a singular fixed form, identity or function, Yewande is interested in movement, dance, rhythm(s) and music as languages and processes of knowledge production and world-building. Her work often explores how theory and practice can be processed and actioned in the body, experimenting with dance, movement and live and filmed performance as acts of translation and a means of dialogue with the body’s present potentials and imagined possibilities. Alongside poet, curator and friend Rohan Ayinde, Yewande
is one-half of the wayward/motile collaborative duo i.as.in.we formed in 2020.
Her most recent exhibition and first presentation of Calling the Body to attention (2022), was presented by International Curators Forum (ICF) at Block 336. Yewande was ICF’s Diasporic Curatorial Animateur Fellow, 2021-2022, and she has had residencies with g39 and Yinka Shonibare Foundation. She was a recipient of the Jerwood Live Work Fund 2021. As a cultural producer, she has produced public programs in art spaces and cultural organizations including 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning, BLANK100, CCA Glasgow, Free Word, International Curators Forum (ICF), Now Gallery, Tate, V&A, and Wellcome Collection. Yewande is currently a Project Manager and Producer at ICF and is also a member of Black Curators Collective.

Chris Penty Alvarez is a London-based Latinx artist exploring notions of alienation, identity and imagined history through found-sound and recorded media. As a UK associate at Delfina Foundation as part of Performance as Process in Autumn 2023, Chris will explore the creation of illegal bodies in the Latin American political landscape and the embodied trauma they carry.