DFBRL8R proudly presents


a european performance art expedition 

ROTTERDAM | SAT24 | Pictura Dordrecht 


HELSINKI | SAT 01 |  Yö Galleria

PÄRNU ESTONIA JUL 8 | Loovlinnak/Creative City

roving facebookThe main objective of ROVING is to create new works of performance art or re-contextualize existing actions to suit a wide range of exhibition styles. From a historic drawing society in Dordrecht, Netherlands, to a white-wall art gallery in Helsinki, the situations are vastly different. Somewhere in-between is Loovlinnak, located in the former Bliebernicht Brewery in Pärnu, Estonia. The people of Pärnu have made it into a Creative City, transforming the community, neighborhood, and all of Pärnu into a collaborative creative hub. Here, the artists will live for a week, exploring the massive industrial site and situating their work within it. However, artists are not limited to Loovlinnak – actions can take place anywhere in the city. Pärnu is a beautiful resort and spa town on the Baltic sea, providing artists with stunning landscapes to explore and possibly activate with performance.

ROVING aims to invigorate international performance art relations. Artists who often travel to present their work live were grounded during the pandemic. ROVING will re-connect artists who have worked together in the past while introducing them to new ones. Maintaining this community is essential to the ecosystem of performance art where organizers are often artists themselves who tour or attend festivals to show their own work while simultaneously seeing work by other artists. This is how performance art proliferates and ROVING aims to bolster this specific creative ecosystem. 

Another goal of ROVING is for the artists to enjoy themselves. Life, especially in the US, can be crushing at times. It is important for artists to explore and relax and leave the real world behind for a short time – put back into the well. Pärnu has beautiful beaches and the surrounding area has marshes and forests. Artists can also take time to relax, a thing too frequently underrated. Spending time in cities like Helsinki is exciting! Artists deserve adventures, too. ROVING provides creative stimulation and essential relaxation while invigorating the international performance art ecosystem. 

Teekengenootschap Pictura [Drawing Society] was founded in 1774 and is the oldest (still existing) artists association in the Netherlands. Since 1901 the society has been located in the monumental building “Oosten-rijck”, originally built in 1561. Now a platform for contemporary art, the building was expanded to include a large hall, a third hall and a graphics workshop. The artists had (and have) studios and exhibition rooms there, which is unique in the Netherlands.

Yö Galleria is not exclusively an interest organization or an artist-led gallery, but an association of ready-to-work and enthusiastic professionals from various fields. Yö is a movement and a community whose large number of members enable ambitious initiatives to be implemented. The values of community, sustainable development and multiculturalism are central to Yö. All of the association’s activities emphasize openness, working together, peer support and multidimensional dialogue – dialogue between different forms and fields of art, as well as between the artist, the public and society. The aim is to strengthen the mutual interaction of artist practitioners through peer learning, support and evaluation.

Though events will occur all over the city of Pärnu, Estonia, the residency and performances take place at Loovlinnak | Creative City, located in the former Bliebernicht Brewery. It was located on this property for a century and a half, from 1879 until nationalization in 1940, when they continued under the name Pärnu Brewery for some time before eventually closing. The building stood empty for many years before the young people of Pärnu made it into a Creative City, transforming the community, neighborhood, and the entire city into a collaborative creative hub for all peoples and fields.
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DIVERSE UNIVERSE is a conceptual umbrella that includes not only their own festival and Printmaking IN [SAT05 + SUN06AUG], but also three other residencies throughout the summer, including ROVING. The scale and duration of Direct Universe  allows for deep and meaningful interdisciplinary cross-fertilization between artists from different nationalities to push the boundaries of contemporary performance art, and in turn excite audiences with new work that is affective, thought-provoking and responsive to our current times. The aim is to bring experimentation, non-conformity, and creativity back to contemporary art. Diverse Universe is a nomadic performance festival that fosters cultural fluidity through the exchange of ideas, concerns, and cultural perspective. +

Screen Shot 2023-06-04 at 11.12.20 AMDIVERSE UNIVERSE is the product of NON GRATA, a performance group that travels constantly all over the world presenting original performances and organizing the Diverse Universe Nomadic Performance festival. The main characteristics of Non Grata members are anonymity in group work, ignorance of the local art world, and critique of mass media. Non Grata manifests creative freedom  while physically weaving together a worldwide creative network.

Joseph Ravens, organizer of DU summer programs in Pärnu, founded Defibrillator Gallery (aka DFBRL8R) in 2010 as an international platform for Performance Art in Chicago. DFBRL8R’s bold and courageous programming aims to provoke thought and stimulate discourse surrounding underrepresented voices and conceptual practices. Actively contributing to global dialogs surrounding ephemeral or enigmatic forms of expression, DFBRL8R champions artists and audiences who are diverse in their culture, identities, worldview, and all those who are invested in alternative modes of being in society. Energetically building community and fostering discourse, DFBRL8R has a mission to raise awareness, appreciation, and respect for the discipline of Performance Art. +

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