Manuel Pelmuş was born in Bucharest, Romania. He is a choreographer and artist who lives and works in Oslo and Bucharest. Pelmuş could be seen as one of the protagonists of the “new performance turn,” artists who have been reimagining the role of performance in the context of visual arts. He often deploys continuous live presence within the context of exhibitions, using enactment as a strategy and the human body as a medium and a means to explore the body’s relationship to memory and the construction of history. In addition to his recent solo exhibition at Para Site, Hong Kong (2018), Pelmuş’s projects have been featured at institutions including the Tate Modern, London; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Centre National de la Danse, Paris; TanzQuartier, Vienna; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Tanz im August, Berlin; and the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, among others. In 2013, he represented Romania at the 55th Venice Biennale with a collaborative project with Alexandra Pirici. He has additionally participated in the Off-Biennale, Budapest (2017), and the Kyiv Biennale (2015).
In 2012, Pelmuş was awarded the Berlin Art Prize for performance arts and later recognized with the prize for excellence from the National Dance Center of Bucharest in 2015.

PhD project: Permanent Collection (working title)

For this artistic research project, I am particularly interested to explore how notions of liveness, movement, and performativity are invested in reimagining political, collective, and social forms of organisation. How they relate to reconfiguring the public sphere in the sense of forms of community, and to notions of memory and collective history. The conceptual framework for this artistic research project developed during the last years of my artistic practice (alone and in collaboration) working with performance and live works within the context of the visual art field. Through this hybrid framework, I was able to reflect on a range of artistic and political topics that have circulated recently in the field of art and are informed by what is generically called the new performative turn in the arts.
In this sense Permanent Collection will function as a trigger or a starting point addressing the current international debate on how this recent performative turn of dance and choreography in the arts is “invested in contesting late modernist formulations and structures, and how it reevaluates discourses of institutional critique, queer theory, postcolonial theory” (Ana Janewski & Cosmin Costinas), and relates them to un/writing of history, often by means of radical choreography.
My artistic aim is to put in motion different performative strategies using mainly the human body, in order to complicate and challenge established categories permeating the field of arts and society at large, such as preservation, originality, value production, ownership, collectivity, spectatorship, politics of history and politics of display.
I am particularly interested in (art) institutions as places where long term politics are enacted and played out, but also as devices that archive, classify, record and categorise artefacts and events, write history and reflect on society. I want to mobilise these conventions by means of presence and performativity with the aim of actualising and rethinking them anew.

I will produce three works during the three years of research. These works will built on each other and will be presented through formats and protocols specifically designed during the research period aiming at rethinking forms of spectatorship and attention, and the politics they produce.