This symposium and performance lecture took place at Goldsmiths University in November 2016, being part of an ongoing conversation on archival research and collaboration. Together with Barbara Mahlknecht I presented new work and curatorial aspirations, and chaired a discussion with invited speaker Nicky Coutts and the audience. With performer Helena Rice I worked on a script which became a lecture performance on the connotations of (un)wanted proximity. Helena engaged the public in a conversation on the physical tension between bodies and the fading responsibility towards what is outside the individual; on what happens when face contact dwindles in a community of strangers.
The performance lecture was also a reflection on the experience of a theatrical text and the event placed the viewers in close proximity to the problems of representation; as Flaubert wrote: "for anything to become interesting you simply have to look at it for a long time." Unwanted Proximity considered the prolonged time in which actor and text, researcher and research subject, artist and practice exist together. Besides the ephemeral time of performance, the ownership of or estrangement from a role offer insights into the anxieties and perilous identifications of artistic research. At what distance is the panorama? What gestures can bring us closer?