Author Archives: manuel

A Photographic Exchange: Workshop with Manuel Vason

Dear friends,

since I moved to Folkestone I was wishing to do a project with the landscape and here the opportunity arrived. A fabulous organisation called The Ash Project are inviting artists to respond creatively to the devastating disease that is killing the most common tree in Kent Down area.

During a two days workshop we will photographically explore a local forest, we will gain and share information about the ash trees and we will engage in a series of actions using our bodies that we will document and share as a small campaign to build awareness.

If you believe that imagination, connection and care can make a difference, than join us!


The workshop is free.

Booking is essential so follow the link to book your space.

Over two days we will practice photography as a methodology to communicate and connect with the ash trees of a small forest near Folkestone.

Instead of using photography as an observatory tool that replicates reality from distance, we will explore the medium as a stage on which to enact a correspondence between photographers and plants. Using intuition and imagination we will search for individual ways to interact with the trees and we will investigate creative ways to document those actions with photography. The workshop is open to anybody willing to explore the ash trees as companion for a new photographic and performative adventure.

Over the two days you will engage with an experimental photographic practice that considers the photographic relationship as a transfer of energy between subjects, to explore ways to move the photographic discourse away from a site of capture. The trees are viewed as a breathing, living participant in the act of creation

DARC ‘Transformance Project’ at Tempting Failure Festival 2018


After 2 years from its first conception I will have the pleasure to present the Transformance project through a ‘live’ installation during the Tempting Failure Festival alongside DARC members: Tara Fatehi Irani, Ernst Fischer, Holly Revell, and Jemima Yong.

Matthews Yard Gallery

1 Matthews Yard, Croydon, England, CR0 1FF  (map)


If you want to know more about DARC have a read at LIVE ART UK Feature

Here a small promotional  trailer of the project:

Transformance by DARC (Documentation Action Research Collective) from Tara Fatehi Irani on Vimeo.


A radical new methodology examining how live performance can be experienced, transformed and translated, Transformance is an exciting ongoing project from this extraordinary collective. A meeting of the words ‘transformation’ and ‘performance’, artists Tara Fatehi Irani, Ernst Fischer, Holly Revell, Manuel Vason, and Jemima Yong have been exploring this practice-led research for over a year, seeking to actively blur the lines between performance and documentation, finding exchange between forms in a new hybrid live practice.

As part of this ongoing research, DARC have recently been working with select Tempting Failure artists – Moa Johansson, Hollie Miller and Peter Eason Daniels – exploring the ways in which these innovative approaches can be applied. Asking questions around what is seen, what disappears and what might become fixed from a live performance – the collaboration between these two groups will culminate in the collective’s first public showing for the project as part of TF18.

Moa Johansson, one of the artists selected for TF18’s Mentoring programme, entered into this working process with DARC earlier this month. She described the process as one of exploring what might occur beyond photography purely being seen as an act of documentation. What if it began to function and fuse as part of the creative process of making a performance?

“We began with an initial piece of work and were encouraged to explore ideas around exchange – exchanges between artist and photographer, with a focus on the interaction and communication. A kind of responsive exchange to documentation”

Using the works being developed for TF18 as a starting point, Moa and the other select artists will continue to work in daylong exchanges – with recordings of dialogues, performance, and actions aiming to capture different viewpoints and perspectives on the creative acts.

Peter Eason Daniels, another of TF18’s mentee artists, said “It is hard to believe that spaces like the DARC studio still exist in London, equally rare was the collective itself. From the moment I arrived, they were kind, accommodating, interesting and challenging. I am extremely excited to see what will happen to the performance and how it will be presented and transformed. It was a pleasure…and worth carrying a leaf blower through airport security.”

Both a live performance event and static exhibition, the work from this phase of Transformance will be presented at Matthews Yard, 1-4pm 17th July with the free static exhibition on display until the 21st. Day tickets are available now here. For the full programme please visit

A trailer for Transformance, and this phase of work between DARC and TF18 artists, can also be found here.

Header image by Holly Revell.

Becoming an Image with Cassils at Wiener Festwochen

I’m very happy to be performing with Cassils again the Becoming an Image piece… a live piece that will accompany the artist/collaborator life and manifest the various stages.


Dates: Fri, 15. June , 22:00

Location: Gösserhallen, Halle 4
Laxenburger Straße 2B, 1100 Wien

here some info:

Performance icon Cassils gained international recognition with their use of their own body as artistic material and by continually modifying it. The Huffington Post listed Cassils as »one of ten transgender artists who are changing the landscape of contemporary art.« In their performances, to be understood as a visual critique of ideologies, Cassils’s body, which is constantly transformed by strict physical training regimes, is the protagonist in the contemplation of a history of violence, representation, struggle and survival.

Becoming an Image takes us into a world of absolute darkness where performance, photography and sculpture meet. During the course of about twenty minutes, Cassils unleashes an attack on a 1000 kg clay block with full force, thus making the audience a witness of an act of violence. Delivering a series of kicks and blows in total darkness, the spectacle is illuminated only by the flash of a photographer, burning the image into the viewer’s retina. The result is a series of live photographs that allow the senseless acts of violence against transsexual and queer bodies to be viewed as if through the lens of history.

Symposium: O.U.T (Once. Upon. Time) Performative strategies and the interplay between action and image.

I’m looking forward to present the PhotoPerformer during the upcoming Symposium. I will be talking along side a very interesting group of artists and art critics all captivated by the complex relationship between performance and photography.

The event will take place at the James Hockey Gallery  ( UCA Farnham ) from 10.00 till 5.00 pm.

The project is part of BookRoom 


Temporary Monument, Permanent Protest

I’m very happy to have been commissioned a new photographic intervention commemorating the 30th anniversary of the protests against Section 28.


In 1988, the UK government introduced Section 28, legislation that stated that councils should not ‘intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality’ in its schools or other areas of their work.

Over 20,000 people marched in protest against the legislation on 20 February 1988 in Manchester: the city’s largest ever peaceful protest at that time.

Click here for more info:

Queer Contact ’18: Temporary Monument, Permanent Protest


Attend an initial workshop with the organisers to explore ideas for the images, and discuss connections to the march and the issues surrounding the struggle for LGBTQ+ people’s rights in the 30 years since the protests.

Either: Sat 10th February 2018 (2pm-5pm, Longsight Library, 519 Stockport Road, M12 4NE)

Or: Sat 17th February 2018 (2pm-5pm, Manchester International Festival, Blackfriars House, M3 2JA)

Then attend the public photoshoot of the images in Manchester City Centre.


The photographs will then be presented at a public event in May 2018, alongside performances, poetry and music celebrating the protest and its legacy.


Please email [email protected] if you’d like to take part, or for more information.

Please note: this opportunity is unpaid but we aim to provide food and refreshments at all the session days.

Be Right Back exhibition and Performance


I’m very please to announce a new group exhibition happening in the studio in Rhoda Street.

Few months ago I was approached by Tete de Alencar, with whom I did my master at Central Saint Martins, about the ideas of using the space for a group show. The idea was quickly transformed into a project, and in collaboration with an exciting group of artists, we are now ready to share it with an audience.

Fo the exhibition I decided to continue my recent investigation of The PhotoPerformer and present a new live performance.

Looking forward to see you on Friday evening!


‘SUBMERSION’ – Live performance, London [2017]

SUBMERSION was performed at MV Studio as part of Be Right Back Exhibition curated by Tete De Alencar.

As the title suggests the aim of the action was to submerge the body of the PhotoPerformer into a ‘pool’ of crunched photographs.

The action lasted more than 3 hours.

The repetition of the gesture of picking up, showing and crunching the same image again and again wanted to resemble the exhausting production of images.

While we are motivated and encouraged to photographically record and post every second of our live in reward of fame, profile and power, somewhere ‘machines’ are extrapolating personal information so to control and manipulate our needs and behaviours.

While we are beneficially assisted by the support of technological advancement we are also dangerously affected by its mathematical and computational thinking.

The action of the PhotoPerformer was ‘programmed’ to exhaust.

Here some documentation images photographed by Andrea Abbatangelo:

All Inked Up Artist Book Fair

As part of the All Inked Up Artist Book Fair, myself, Rubiane Maia and artist Ernst Fischer will be presenting a selection of our books at the Creative Foundation stand.



M.A.P. (Movement x Archive x Performance)

I’m delighted to have been asked to contribute to MAP 3: Archiving ‘Asia’ event at the Live Art Development Agency along side DARC colleague Jemima and Tara to question the role of Documentation.

4 November, Saturday, 12pm – 7pm: Dr Eva Bentcheva (Batubalani), DARC (Tara Fatehi Irani, Manuel Vason, Jemima Yong), Melanie Keen (Iniva), Lois Keidan (LADA), Dr Ray Langenbach (University of the Arts, Helsinki), Hammad Nasar, Raju Rage, Erika Tan (with Whiskey Chow, Jess Heritage and Michael Taiwo), Sung Tieu, Loo Zihan.


Here some info on the event:

A two-day event curated by Something Human to launch a new special collection of Southeast Asian performance materials and a newly commissioned Study Room Guide. These will be made accessible at the Live Art Development Agency in London for researchers, artists, students and academics.

On 3 and 4 November, the launch event of the Southeast Asian performance collection will feature a programme of performative interventions, workshops, presentations and panels to explore the themes and issues that are connected with building this new archive and its relationship with its contributors within the context of London.

From 2014 to 2016 Something Human curated three editions of CCLAP (Cross-Cultural Live Art Project), a programme of outdoor and indoor performances, artist residencies, presentations, performative lectures and panels with the aim of instigating the sharing of the developments and critical reflections of significant and diverse live art practices in Southeast Asia and the UK, to connect the critical contexts of Southeast Asian live art practice with that in the UK/Europe.

The project of building an archive out of the CCLAP experience began with the realization of the lacunae of information and materials about Southeast Asian live art practices here in the UK, and raised a series of questions: what are the ethical and legal considerations with regards to the gathering of such materials from artists from and working in Southeast Asia? How do we maintain the non-linear, fragmented and open nature of an archive, contaminating and contesting its very existence, bearing in mind, such an archive of practices, experiences, stories are from artists who work within the blurred and contested borders of Southeast Asia?

Building an archive can be an act of resistance, of care, and of creating the possibility of a polyphonic narrative through a range of diverse resources. If building an archive is something that cannot be described in its totality and that emerges only in fragments of perspectives, M.A.P. (Movement x Archive x Performance) is a platform to initiate these critical discussions and instigate further research.


New gallery/studio space in Folkestone

Dear Friends in Folkestone and close by, please come along on Sunday for the opening of our new space, a joint adventure between my wife, myself and Ernst Fischer.

We will show a small selection of work but it would be a great opportunity to present our practice to the local community and start planning future projects and collaborations.