XIV: Audience as Allies, Witnesses, and Enemies (Claire Bishop, Tania Bruguera, Ann Liv Young & Florian Malzacher

Ever since the audience light in most Western theatres has been turned off in the 19th century artists have tried to push spectators out of their comfort zone again. The 14th episode of The Art of Assembly looks at radical approaches to audiences, turning them from spectators into participants, witnesses, collaborators, and enemies. Art theorist Claire Bishop reviews how the relationship between art and audience has changed in the decade that has passed since the first edition of her influential book Artificial Hells. Artist and activist Tania Bruguera has always challenged her audience to become active participants not only in her performances but also in society. The stage personas of theatre maker Ann Liv Young tend to come too close – physically as well as psychologically – attacking her audience and making herself attackable at the same time.